Biotech pioneer to speak on personalized medicine at Graduate Research Day

Dr. Leroy Hood, a renowned systems biologist who helped pioneer the human genome program with the development of the automated DNA sequencer, is the keynote speaker for Georgia Regents University’s 31st annual Graduate Research Day.

Hood’s presentation, “Systems Medicine and Proactive P4 Medicine: Catalyzing a Revolution in Healthcare,” will cap off the two-day event. His presentation will be held at 12:30 p.m. Friday, March 20, in the Natalie and Lansing B. Lee Jr. Auditorium on the GRU Health Sciences Campus.

Hood’s professional career began at the California Institute of Technology when he and his colleagues developed the DNA gene sequencer and synthesizer and the protein sequencer and synthesizer – four instruments that paved the way for the successful mapping of the human genome, which revolutionized biomedicine and forensic science.

“Dr. Hood is an internationally recognized scientist that has had a major impact on modern biology, including the development of the fluorescent DNA sequencer, the work horse of the human genome project,” said Dr. Richard McIndoe, Associate Director for the Center of Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine at GRU. He worked with Dr. Hood as a post-doctoral fellow in his laboratory in the Department of Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Washington.

Hood’s keynote will be of particular value to future clinicians and researchers, McIndoe said.

“He pioneered the use of systems biology in medicine and will be talking about the future and implementation of what he calls P4 medicine,” he said. “The four P’s stand for predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory, which he argues will improve patient outcomes and lower health care costs.”

President of the Institute for Systems Biology, Hood’s research continues with new approaches to P4 medicine. His laboratory also continues to develop new tools and applications for genomics, such as large-scale DNA sequencing and computation, including various approaches to delineating and engineering biological networks, and nanotechnology measurements of blood proteins.

Other Graduate Research Day activities at GRU include oral research presentations by postdoctoral fellows from 1-4 p.m. Thursday, March 19, in Room 2109 of the Interdisciplinary Research Building; and poster presentations from fellows, medical residents, and graduate students from 10 a.m. to noon, March 20, in the Wellness Center.

The event gives students an opportunity to receive feedback on their work and sharpen presentation skills before presenting at national meetings. Presentations are judged by faculty and awards are presented by The Graduate School and participating programs and colleges.

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Kelly Jasper

Kelly Jasper is Digital Content Manager at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-4706 or

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Written by Kelly Jasper

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