"If the McArthur Award is for geniuses, then they have found the right person," says UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop.
Also named a 2004 MacArthur Fellow was Julie Theriot, PhD, formerly a UCSF Program in Biological Sciences (PIBS) graduate student in the laboratory of former UCSF scientist Tim Mitchison. Theriot, a microbiologist, cell biologist, and biophysicist, is focused on unraveling the secrets of bacterial infection.
In 1997, Eva Harris, PhD, formerly of the UCSF laboratory of Nina Agabian, PhD, in the UCSF Department of Stomatology, was named a MacArthur Fellow for her work in developing techniques to diagnose and treat disease in Central and South America.
DeRisi is the second member of the UCSF Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics to be named a MacArthur fellow. In 1987, the late Ira Herskowitz, PhD, a UCSF geneticist, received the honor. His studies on the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae yielded major insights into the fundamental aspects of cells. He was also a pioneer in pharmacogenetics -- the study of the way natural variations in individuals' genes affect their response to drugs.
DeRisi, who designs and builds microarrays -- a technology in which gene activity is revealed on a glass slide -- to carry out his studies on infectious diseases, says he plans to use the MacArthur funding to "drill deeper into malaria."
"I want to try new research directions in the field that would probably be too risky to be supported with traditional funding mechanisms," he says. "I want to learn more about the life cycle and internal regulatory mechanisms of the parasite, and how it avoids the immune system of the o
Contact: Jennifer O'Brien
University of California - San Francisco