New Hughes Research Center to Shift Focus

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is spending $500 million for a new campus and think tank.

Its goal is to let scientists work in small, interactive groups, with no need to write grants or deal with other administrative distractions, said Dr. Gerald M. Rubin, vice president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and director of the new center.

The two themes chosen for the center’s initial focus are understanding how the brain works, and visualizing what goes on in living cells.

Imagine that: thinking instead of peperwork. I saw a documentary awhile back about how the Howard Hughes forutne got in the hands of people who are using it to make a world-class medical research institute. It’s ironic because it’s about the last thing ol’ Howard would have come up with. Essentially, out of the weird, ideosyncratic way Hughes did things, a group of visionaries got their hands on the boodle and are doing good with it.