October 1, 2019—Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is a recipient of an NIH Director’s Early Independence Award, the National Institutes of Health announced today. Part of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program, the award supports exceptional junior scientists, allowing them to skip traditional post-doctoral training and move immediately into independent research positions.
Mina holds appointments in the Departments of Epidemiology and Immunology and Infectious Diseases, and in the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics. He is also an associate medical director of clinical microbiology in the Department of Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where he oversees molecular virology diagnostics. His research has uncovered that getting measles appears to increase a child’s risk for all other infections over time. His findings suggest that introduction of measles vaccines across the globe may have had the unintended benefit of reducing overall childhood infectious disease mortality by half.
Mina completed his undergraduate degree in engineering and public health at Dartmouth College, and his medical and doctoral degrees in the NIH Medical Scientist Training Program at Emory University. He completed post-doctoral work at Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. His medical residency was in clinical pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
The award “provides a tremendous opportunity to hit the ground running with funds that will form the bedrock of my lab for the first five years,” Mina said. “I plan to use the Early Independence Award to build a research program surrounding the development and application of new serological technologies and mathematical modelling approaches that will serve to improve early outbreak and epidemic detection and help to inform optimal vaccination strategies.”