Louis Clark Vanuxem Lecture: Dr.Joseph DeRisi "Pandemic Stories at the Intersection of Basic Science and Public Health"
Dr. Joseph DeRisi is Co-President of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub and a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF. He employs an interdisciplinary approach combining genomics, bioinformatics, biochemistry, and bioengineering to study parasitic and viral infectious diseases in a wide range of organisms, for the purpose of discovering and studying novel or unrecognized biothreats. Early work in his lab contributed to the identification of the SARS coronavirus in 2003. In a parallel effort, Dr. DeRisi studies P. falciparum, the causative agent of the most deadly form of human malaria, in order to develop faster, better therapeutic options. Dr. DeRisi was one of the early pioneers of DNA microarray technology and whole genome expression profiling and is nationally recognized for his efforts to make this technology accessible and freely available. He received a B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1992) from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry (1999) from Stanford University prior to joining the UCSF faculty as a Sandler Fellow in 1999. Dr. DeRisi was a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator from 2006-2016, which he left to take on the role of Co-President of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, a non-profit medical research organization affiliated with UCSF, UC Berkeley, and Stanford University. Dr. DeRisi is a member of the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. DeRisi is continuing to pursue efforts toward data-driven diagnostics for infectious disease, and recently, autoimmune disorders as well. More recently, through his role as Co-President of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, he has redirected his efforts to providing large-scale, rapid turnaround clinical COVID19 testing through a UCSF/Biohub collaboration called the “CLIAHUB.” As of November, the CLIAHUB has returned over 155,000 clinical results to Californians, in addition to thousands of full length SARS-CoV-2 genomes for genomic epidemiological studies, including studies of underserved and vulnerable populations. Starting in 2022, he has accepted the position as sole President of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.