Arthur D. Riggs

City of Hope National Medical Center

Primary Section: 41, Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology
Secondary Section: 22, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Membership Type: Member (elected 2006)


Dr. Riggs is presently emeritus Director of the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute of the City of Hope. Dr. Riggs received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1966, and since 1969 has been at the City of Hope Medical Center, serving as Chair of the Biology Department from1982-2001 and Director of the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope From 2001 through 2007. He received the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Research Award in 1979 for work leading to the bacterial production of insulin. In 2006 he was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences. His published work includes the Huberman and Riggs classic studies on mammalian DNA replication and the Riggs and Bourgeois series of papers on the lac repressor and bacterial gene regulation. In the late 1970s, Riggs used chemically synthesized DNA for novel recombinant DNA techniques and the expression in E. coli of the first man-designed and man-made genes -- the genes for somatostatin and human insulin. This was followed by work on recombinant and humanized antibodies. He then turned his attention to mammalian gene regulation, and was a pioneer in DNA methylation epigenetics.

Research Interests

1. Development/regeneration of pancreatic islets from progenitor cells.  2. Mechanisms that protect CpG islands from DNA methylation. 3. The role of extracellular vesicles in islet development and regeneration.

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