Institute For Systems Biology - Early History

Early History

Leroy Hood co-founded the Institute with Alan Aderem and Ruedi Aebersold in 2000.

However, the story of how ISB got started actually begins in 1990. Lee Hood was the director of a large molecular biotechnology lab at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and was a key advisor in the Human Genome Project, having overseen development of machines that were instrumental to its later success. The University of Washington (UW), like many other universities, was eager to recruit Hood, but had neither the space nor the money to accommodate Hood's large laboratory.

Lee Huntsman, director of UW's Center for Bioengineering, was attending a UW football game, sharing a luxury box with Bill Gates, the former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft. Huntsman took the opportunity to tell Gates about Hood. Bill Gates already had a considerable interest in biotechnology, both as a philanthropist and as an investor, and after meeting Hood, donated $12 million dollars to UW to enable him to head a new department of molecular biotechnology, where Hood continues to hold a faculty position as the Gates Professor of Molecular Biotechnology.

The ISB represents a spin-off of Hood's labs at UW.

Read more about this topic:  Institute For Systems Biology

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