The investigator portfolio builds from the concept that providing leading researchers with the resources and flexibility to follow their scientific instincts and conduct cutting-edge, often risky research leads to innovative, high-impact science. MMI investigators use a diversity of complementary scientific perspectives and tools (such as molecular ecology, evolutionary theory, geochemical analyses, and computational modeling) to change the paradigm for the field and, in so doing, help achieve our long-term goal of "uncovering the underlying principles that govern the interactions among microbes and that influence microbially mediated nutrient flow in representative marine microbial ecosystems." The investigators' research areas form synergistic themes such as studying marine biogeochemical cycles from multiple angles, developing computational models that span from intracellular and microscale phenomena to global scales, and studying the mutualistic and antagonistic interactions among the different domains of life and viruses.
Multidisciplinary Research, Novel Instrumentation and Methods Development
MMI seeks to overcome conceptual, disciplinary, technological, and methodological barriers that currently hinder scientists from understanding nutrient flow in the ocean; from deciphering the genetic and biochemical bases of microbial metabolism, physiology and ecology; and from understanding how microbes and viruses interact with one another and the consequences of these interactions. One grantmaking approach that MMI uses to address these goals is to fund multi-disciplinary research projects, which support collaborations of international scientists with diverse expertise to overcome these challenges using laboratory, field, theory, and computational techniques. MMI also supports instrumentation and methods development projects to enable technological and methodological breakthroughs for a particular discipline and at interdisciplinary interfaces.