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Presidential Distinguished Speaker Series: Leroy (Lee) Hood, BS '60, PhD '68

Monday, April 10, 2023
5:00pm to 6:00pm
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Beckman Auditorium
Catalyzing a Shift in Healthcare from Disease-Care to Wellness and Prevention Care
  • Public Event

Data-driven health offer us the possibility of assessing and optimizing the health trajectory of each individual.  Our data-driven approach employs both genome and longitudinal phenome analyses.  We will take a systems-driven approach both to the individual health assessments and to the optimization of healthcare itself.  This generates a "precision population based healthcare" that leads the science of wellness and prevention which has been partially validated by a 4-year 5000 person study.  I will discuss 7 examples emerging from these data.  We created  the non-profit, Phenome Health, to support the precision population health strategy by 1) initiating a data-dense retrospective and prospective study of type 2 diabetes and 2) for the longer term proposing the Human Phenome Initiative, a million-person, government-supported project over 10 years that would employ genome and longitudinal phenome analyses.  This effort would be enhanced by the utilization of individual patient data and sophisticated computational tools including knowledge graphs, a digital twin for diabetes and hyperscale AI engines.  Over 10 years, the Human Phenome Initiative potentially will demonstrate a striking increase in the quality of healthcare and dramatic reductions in the cost of healthcare—which will be essential for catalyzing the transformation in healthcare from a disease to a wellness and prevention orientation. 


President Thomas F. Rosenbaum announced the launch of a new, triannual distinguished lecture series. The inaugural speaker is Caltech Distinguished Alumnus and world-renowned innovator Leroy (Lee) Hood (BS '60, PhD '68). Hood will deliver a free, public lecture at Beckman Auditorium at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 10. For more information and to register in advance visit the speaker series website.

A world-renowned scientist and recipient of the 2011 National Medal of Science, Dr. Leroy Hood (BS '60 Biology, PhD '68 Biochemistry, DAA ) co-founded the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in 2000 and served as its first President from 2000–2017. Currently, he is the CEO of Phenome Health and Co-Founder and Professor at the Institute of Systems Biology in Seattle.

Dr. Hood has co-founded 17 biotech companies including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Rosetta and Arivale. In 1992, Dr. Hood founded and chaired the Department of Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Washington, the first academic department devoted to cross-disciplinary biology.

Prior to that, he was a faculty member at Caltech from 1967–1992, serving for 10 years as the Chair of Biology. During this period, he and his colleagues developed four sequencer and synthesizer instruments that paved the way for the Human Genome Project's successful mapping and understanding of the human genome. He and his students also deciphered many of the complex mechanisms of antibody diversification.

His many national and international awards include the Lasker Prize, the Kyoto Prize, and the National Medal of Science. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine; Dr. Hood is one of only 20 people elected to all three.

Dr. Hood received a Bachelor's degree from Caltech in 1960 in Biology, a Doctorate from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1964, and a Doctorate in Biochemistry from Caltech in 1968. He was also named a Distinguished Alumnus by the Caltech Alumni Association in 2011.

In-person attendance is strongly encouraged. The talk will be live-streamed for those requiring remote access.