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Universities in Hot Pursuit of Research Talent

When the School of Medicine wanted to raise its profile in the burgeoning field of genomics, officials recruited one of the world’s leading experts—and her 60-member team. Claire Fraser-Liggett, PhD, directed The Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, whose scientists were the first to sequence the entire genome of a free-living organism. Sometimes, though,
centers want the young up-and-comers. “For me, I don’t necessarily seek 50 virtuoso violinists. Sometimes you need a harmonica player, a specialist in a smaller area,” said Robert Gallo, MD, director of the School's Institute of Human Virology. As he looks for a biologist, Gallo said he’s been told to find someone who brings along a significant grant from the National Institutes of Health. E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, dean of  the School, said this is part of the reality of running an institution like his. “If departments or institutes are expanding, you prefer to identify someone with a funding track record, so they are able to hit the ground running,” he said. J. Glenn Morris Jr., MD, MPH, TM, former chairman of the School’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, was lured this spring to the University of Florida to run its Emerging Pathogens Institute.