David Asai, Ph.D. headshot

David Asai, Ph.D.

Senior Director for Science Education

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

David Asai is Senior Director for Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

His group’s portfolio of initiatives includes Inclusive Excellence, Driving Change, Gilliam graduate fellowships, HHMI Professors, the Science Education Alliance, and the Scientific Mentorship Initiative: https://www.hhmi.org/developing-scientists.

David is a cell biologist whose laboratory studied the structural and functional diversity of the microtubule motor protein dynein.  Prior to coming to HHMI in 2008, David was on the faculty at Purdue University, where he was Head of Biological Sciences, and then on the faculty at Harvey Mudd College, where he was Stuart Mudd Professor and Chair of Biology.

Currently, David is a member of several advisory committees, including:  Understanding Interventions, Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI), Yale Ciencia Academy, Claremont McKenna College Founding Science Advisory Council, the Anti-racism Expert Group of the Wellcome Trust, and the NASEM Committee on Advancing Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEM.

David received the bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Stanford University and the PhD in biology from Caltech.  He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Society for Cell Biology.  Some recently published essays are:

  • Asai, D.J.   The Little Red Hen and Culture Change.  Plant Science Bulletin 67(3): 174-180.
  • Asai, D.J. 2020. Race Matters.  Cell 181: 754-757.
  • Asai, D.J. 2020.   Excluded. Micro. Biol. Educ. 21(2): 1-2.
  • Asai, D.J.   To Learn Inclusion Skills, Make it Personal.  Nature 565: 537.
  • Asai, D.J. 2020. Three R’s for Inclusive Education.  American Society for Cell Biology newsletter, September issue, pp. 5-6.
  • Poodry, C.A. and D.J. Asai. 2019. Questioning Assumptions.  CBE-Life Sci. Educ. 17:es7.

Headshot photo credit, Paul Fetters.