For 60 years, HHMI has been moving science forward. They are an independent, ever-evolving philanthropy that supports basic biomedical scientists and educators with the potential for transformative impact. They make long-term investments in people, not just projects, because they believe in the power of individuals to make breakthroughs over time. HHMI scientists have radically advanced the understanding of cells, the brain, the immune system, the development of organs, and how to treat many diseases.
The vision for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) began to coalesce in the late 1940s among a small group of physicians and scientists advising the aviator and industrialist Howard R. Hughes.
Early on, they established an important principle: The entity would be a “steady operating organization with its own laboratories and not a general program of giving money away.”
Late in 1953, Hughes created the medical institute that bears his name and decided to fund its work through the profits of the Hughes Aircraft Company. In signing the documents to create HHMI on December 17, 1953, Hughes pursued a characteristically bold course of action: He wished to create an institute committed to basic research, to probe into “the genesis of life itself.” The HHMI charter states:
"The primary purpose and objective of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute shall be the promotion of human knowledge within the field of the basic sciences (principally the field of medical research and medical education) and the effective application thereof for the benefit of mankind."
Hughes’s decision would have powerful consequences for biomedical research. After the establishment of the Institute, a select group of advisors to Hughes charted the fields of biomedical research to be supported by HHMI.
Where is Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)