Leroy Hood on George Beadle
  Leroy Hood     Biography    
Recorded: 01 Jun 2003

I knew Beadle only as a student. He taught me genetics which was a second year course. And it was just a remarkable course. He was a wonderful kind of lecturer. And Beadle was viewed by everyone in the department of biology as kind of this god in many ways. I think probably one of the most depressing things that ever happened to the department was when George Beadle decided to go the University of Chicago to become president there and leave his chairmanship at Caltech. There was just kind of an enormous sense of depression that felt down on the department. But—so I knew Beadle really as a student and as a remarkable teacher.

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.