Dr. James R. Heath is President and Professor at Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle. Heath also has Affiliate Faculty appointments at the University of Washington Bioengineering, Physics and Chemistry departments. Formerly, he was the Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor of Chemistry at Caltech, Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA, and served as co-director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at UCLA.
Heath has had a profound impact on ISB since taking over leadership in 2018. He continues to make important discoveries in the field of cancer immunotherapy, and in 2022 was selected to lead a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center to study sequential targeted inhibitors and immunotherapies.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Heath quickly pivoted the focus of his lab and collaboratively worked with others within and beyond ISB to uncover secrets behind COVID-19 and long COVID. He published research that has changed how COVID-19 and long COVID is understood, and leads the Pacific Northwest consortium of the NIH-funded RECOVER study, which aims to understand the long-term effects of COVID.
Heath received his PhD in 1988 from Rice University, where he was the principal graduate student involved in the discovery of C60 and the fullerenes. He was a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley before joining the research staff at IBM Watson Labs in 1991. He took a faculty position at UCLA in 1994, and moved to Caltech in 2003.
He has received several awards and honors, including the Irving Weinstein Award from the American Association of Cancer Researchers, and the Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences. In 2009, he was named one of the top seven innovators in the world by Forbes Magazine.
Heath has founded or co-founded several companies, including BioAnalytica, PACT Pharma (acquired by AmplifyBio in 2023), Integrated Diagnostics (acquired by Biodesix in 2018), Indi Molecular (acquired by Regeneron in 2022), CTI Molecular Imaging (acquired by Siemens in 2005), Sofie Biosciences, Isoplexis (acquired by Berkeley Lights in 2023), and NanoSys (acquired by Shoei in 2023).
President and Professor, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle
Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor & Professor of Chemistry, Caltech
Professor of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, UCLA Health Sciences Center
Prof., UCLA; 1996-97, Assoc. Prof., UCLA; 1994-96, Asst. Prof., UCLA
1991 – 94
Research Staff, IBM T.J. Watson Res. Labs, Yorktown, NY
UC Berkeley Miller Fellowship, Postdoctoral Scholar
Rice University, PhD, Chemistry
Rice University, MA, Chemistry
Baylor University, BSc, Chemistry