Dr. Leroy Hood was born October 10, 1938 in Missoula, Montana. He is recognized as one of the world's leading scientists in molecular biotechnology and genomics. He holds numerous patents and awards for his scientific breakthroughs and prides himself on his life-long commitment to making science accessible and understandable to the general public, especially children. One of this foremost goals is bringing hands-on, inquiry-based science to K-12 classrooms.
Hood was also a founding member of Amgen.
Dr. Hood earned an M.D. From Johns Hopkins University in 1964 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1968. Since then, his research has focused on the study of molecular immunology and biotechnology. Dr. Hood has published more than 600 peer-reviewed papers, received 14 patents, and co-authored textbooks in biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology, and genetics, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the American Association of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. Hood received a D.Sc. from Bates College in 1999.
His professional career began at Caltech where he and his colleagues pioneered four instruments--the automated DNA sequencer and synthesizer, and the protein synthesizer and sequencer--which comprise the technological foundation for contemporary molecular biology. In particular, the DNA sequencer has revolutionized genomics by allowing the rapid automated sequencing of DNA. Dr. Hood was also one of the first advocates of and is a key player in the Human Genome Project--the quest to decipher the sequence of the human DNA. He also played a pioneering role in deciphering the secrets of antibody diversity.
In 1992, Dr. Hood moved to the University of Washington to create the cross-disciplinary Department of Molecular Biotechnology. In his role as the William Gates, III Professor of Biomedical Science, Dr. Hood applied his laboratory expertise in DNA sequencing to the analysis of human and mouse immune receptors and initiated studies in prostate cancer, autoimmunity, and hematopoietic stem cell development.
In 2000, Dr. Hood co-founded the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington to pioneer systems approaches to biology and medicine. He serves as President of the Institute and continues to pursue his interest in biology, medicine, technology, development, and computational biology.
Dr. Hood was awarded the 1987 Lasker Prize for his studies on the mechanism of immune diversity; the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities Award for outstanding contributions to Biomolecular Technologies in 2000; the 2002 Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology for technology development; the 2003 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Innovation and Invention for the development of the DNA sequencer; the 2006 Heinz Award for his extraordinary breakthroughs in biomedical science; and the 2006 Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award for his society-transforming use of information technology. In 2007 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
U.S. Recognizes Work of Biologist Leroy Hood; Prestigious Award; Obama to Bestow National Medal of Science Early in New Year
Dec 22, 2012; Byline: Alexa Vaughn; Seattle Times staff reporter President Obama announced Friday he will give a National Medal of Science to...