Leroy Hood on The Human Genome Project: Changes Over Time
  Leroy Hood     Biography    
Recorded: 29 May 2003

So, I would say it’s changed them in a lot of ways. Seventeen years ago the entire concern with the Human Genome Project was getting it done and was developing the technologies and was figuring out how to do the computation.

Today the whole issue is—we have a genome project [and] what are we going to use it for to do in the future? And what new kinds of biology are enabled as a consequence of the genome project?

So I think the whole fundamental orientation has gone from a very, very goal oriented, but large task to enormous applications and opportunities in both biology and medicine.

Leroy Hood, a leading scientist in molecular biotechnology and genomics, received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins Medical School (1964) and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Caltech (1968). In 1992, after more than 20 years as a faculty member at Caltech, where he and his colleagues revolutionized genomics by developing automated DNA sequencing, he relocated to the University of Washington to establish the cross-disciplinary Department of Molecular Biotechnology.

Dr. Hood is currently President of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle where he leads efforts to pioneer systems approaches to biology and medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has received the Lasker Award for his studies on the mechanism of immune diversity.

Sharing an interest in the study of antibody diversity, Hood and Watson met in 1967 when Hood attended his first meeting at CSHL. Leroy has been working on the genome since the late 70’s. He went to the first official genome meeting in Santa Cruz in 1985 and has attended all of the subsequent meetings which have been held at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.