LEROY HOOD Biography - Pioneers, Explorers & inventors


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Name: Leroy Hood                                                                           
Born: 10 October 1938                                                                       
Leroy Hood is an American biologist. He won the 2003 Lemelson-MIT Prize for                 
inventing "four instruments that have unlocked much of the mystery of human                 
biology" by helping decode the genome. Hood also won the 2002 Kyoto Prize for               
Advanced Technology, and the 1987 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research.           
His inventions include the automated DNA sequencer and an automated tool for               
synthesizing DNA. Hood co-founded the Institute for Systems Biology.                       
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                       
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 has played a role in founding numerous biotechnology companies,                   
including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Systemix, Darwin, Rosetta, and MacroGenics.           
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 Inventors                   
National Hall of Fame.