ISB recently hosted “Visions of the Future,” a one-day symposium featuring an impressive lineup of researchers. The event was held in October in honor of Dr. Lee Hood’s 80th birthday. Dr. Hood is a pioneer in the field of biotechnology, is co-founder and chief strategy officer of ISB, and serves as chief science officer and senior vice president of Providence St. Joseph Health.
All of the speakers focused their presentations on what research and health care will look like in years to come.
Visit us online at www.seattlesciencefoundation.tv to view all of the recorded presentations and surgical demonstrations.
Leroy Hood, MD, PhD, currently serves as co-founder and chief strategy officer at Institute for Systems Biology and chief science officer and senior VP at Providence St. Joseph Health.
Dr. Hood’s outstanding contributions have had a resounding effect on the advancement of science since the 1960s. Throughout his career, he has adhered to the advice of his mentor, Dr. William J. Dreyer: “If you want to practice biology, do it on the leading edge, and if you want to be on the leading edge, invent new tools for deciphering biological information.”
Dr. Hood was involved in the development of six instruments critical for contemporary biology — namely, automated DNA sequencers, DNA synthesizers, protein sequencers, peptide synthesizers, the ink jet printer for constructing DNA arrays and large-scale synthesis of DNA, and the nanostring instrument for the single molecule analysis of RNA (and later DNA). These instruments opened the door to high-throughput biological data and the era of big data in biology and medicine. He helped pioneer the human genome program — making it possible with the automated DNA sequencer. Under Hood’s direction, the Human Genome Center sequenced portions of human chromosomes 14 and 15.
In 1992, Dr. Hood created the first cross-disciplinary biology department, Molecular Biotechnology, at the University of Washington. In 2000, he left the UW to co-found Institute for Systems Biology (ISB), the first committed to a systems approach to biology and disease. He has pioneered systems medicine and scientific wellness in the years since ISB’s founding and has argued for health care that is predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory (P4). In 2016, he oversaw ISB’s affiliation with Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) with the goal of bringing personalized medicine to every patient.
Dr. Hood has made many seminal discoveries in the fields of immunology, neurobiology, cancer biology and biotechnology, and, most recently, has been a leader in the development of systems biology and its applications to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as pioneering technologies and strategies that bring systems biology to personalized medicine.
In addition to his groundbreaking research, Hood has published 750 papers, received 36 patents, 17 honorary degrees and more than 100 awards and honors. He is one of 20 individuals elected to all three National Academies — the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Hood has founded or co-founded 15 different biotechnology companies including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Rosetta, Darwin, Integrated Diagnostics, Indi Molecular and Arivale. Hood has also had a life-long interest in K-12 science education and ISB has been a leader in this area.