Dr. Leroy 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.”
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, 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.
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. 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.
2017 NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society
2016 The UCD Ulysses Medal
2015 The Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association Global Achievement Award
2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology
2014 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science award presented by Research!America
2013 Alvin J. Thompson Award for Leadership in K-12 education and science (awarded by NW Assoc. for Biomed Research)
2013 Future in Review, CEO of the year
2012 Elected as a Fellow to the American Association for Cancer Research
2011 National Medal of Science
2011 Fritz and Dolores Russ Prize, National Academy of Engineering
2007 Elected Member, National Academy of Engineering
2007 Elected Member, Inventors Hall of Fame for the automated DNA sequencer
2006 Heinz Award for pioneering work in systems biology
2005 AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lecturer Award
2003 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science
2003 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Innovation and Invention
2002 Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology
2000 Elected Member, American Philosophical Society
1993 Scientist of the Year, Research and Development Magazine
1987 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
1982 Elected Member, National Academy of Science
1982 Elected Fellow, National Academy of Arts and Sciences
CSO, Providence St. Joseph Health
President and Co-Founder of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, WA
Chairman and Founder of the Department of Molecular Biotechnology at the UW
Caltech Faculty Member — Chair of Biology for 10 years
Senior Investigator, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine