Joseph DeRisi

University of California, San Francisco


Election Year: 2016
Primary Section: 26, Genetics
Membership Type: Member

Biosketch

Dr. DeRisi is a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator, and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. DeRisi is also a former Searle Scholar, Packard Fellow, and MacArthur Fellow. Dr. DeRisi received his PhD in Biochemistry from Stanford University, working in the lab of Patrick O. Brown. It was here that Dr. DeRisi was one of the early pioneers in microarray technology, both in its use and in instrumentation design, production, and dissemination. After graduate school, Dr. DeRisi was awarded a Sandler Fellows position at UCSF. He officially joined the faculty a year later. At UCSF, Dr. DeRisi has focused on developing and using genomic and proteomic technologies for the study of infectious disease, including parasites (P. falciparum) and a wide range of viruses from an equally wide range of host species. Together with Dr. David Wang and Dr. Don Ganem, Dr. DeRisi developed the VirusChip, and demonstrated its utility during the SARS outbreak by assisting with the identification of the virus itself. Dr. DeRisi is also dedicated to graduate education and is the PI and architect of an NIBIB T32 award that focuses on systems biology.

Research Interests

Ongoing research in the DeRisi laboratory focuses broadly on infectious disease. The approaches used by the lab include molecular biology, computational biology, genetics, and genomics. The DeRisi lab continues to study Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the most deadly form of human malaria, and a variety of viruses from a wide range of host species, including humans, reptiles, birds, and insects. With regard to malaria, the DeRisi lab is currently focused on drug screening and the basic mechanisms of translational regulation. In addition to parasite work, the DeRisi lab has focused on the development and deployment of genomic sequencing technology for the rapid and unbiased detection of pathogenic species, especially in the context of meningitis and encephalitis.

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