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Movers & Shakers: May 7, 2010

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Leroy Hood, co-founder and president of the Institute for Systems Biology has been named the 2010 winner of Foundation for the Future’s Kistler Prize. The $100,000 prize, which was established in 2000, is awarded annually to honor work that, in the words of the foundation’s website, contributes “to the understanding of the connection between the human genome and human society.”

Hood is being honored for technical contributions he has made to the fields of genomics and proteomics. He is the inventor of the protein sequencer and the protein synthesizer, both of which he commercialized through the company Applied Biosystems, now called AB Sciex, which he founded in 1981, and his work laid the technological foundations for much of today’s proteomic research.

He is also responsible for key breakthroughs in the field of genomics, particularly the development of the DNA synthesizer, the automated DNA sequencer, and ink-jet DNA synthesis technology, which allowed for the creation of large-scale DNA arrays.

Formerly the chairman of the department of molecular biotechnology at the University of Washington, Hood left in 2000 to form the non-profit ISB, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. He will receive the prize at a ceremony in Seattle this September, with Foundation for the Future president and benefactor Walter P. Kistler making the presentation.

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