Dr. Leroy E. Hood graduated from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1964 with an MD and from Caltech with a PhD in Biochemistry in 1968. After three years as a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health, his academic career began at Caltech, where he and his colleagues developed the DNA gene sequencer and synthesizer, and the protein synthesizer and sequencer - four instruments that paved the way for the successful mapping and understanding of the human genome.
A pillar in the biotechnology field, Lee has played a role in founding 15 biotechnology companies, including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Integrated Diagnostics, and Arivale. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Of the more than 6,000 scientists worldwide who belong to one or more of these academies, Lee is one of only 15 people nominated to all three.
Lee has co-authored numerous textbooks in biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology, and genetics, as well as a popular book on the human genome project, The Code of Codes; and he is just finishing up a text on systems biology. He is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the Lasker Award for Studies of Immune Diversity (1987), the Kyoto Prize in advanced technology (2002), the Heinz Award for pioneering work in Systems Biology (2006), and the coveted NAE 2011 Fritz J. and Delores H. Russ Prize for developing automated DNA sequencing.
In addition to having received 17 honorary degrees from prestigious universities in the US and abroad, Lee has published over 750 peer-reviewed articles and currently holds 36 patents. In 2013, he received the National Medal of Science from President Obama. He has been named by The Best Schools as one of the 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today (2014: http://isb.io/top50), and Scientific American has named him as one of the top six in their selection of 100 biotech visionaries worldwide (2015: http://isb.io/visionary).