Joseph DeRisi

Infusing biomedical research with inventor’s flair
Biomedical Engineering

Joe is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, and he is the President of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. His lab combines innovative software tools with a variety of genomic technologies to study a wide spectrum of diseases, including viral, fungal, parasitic, bacterial, and autoimmune disease, across a wide range of species. In early 2020, Joe led an effort at the Biohub to rapidly launch a COVID-19 CLIA testing facility. Free testing was offered to all California county Departments of Public Health, in addition to jails, prisons, vulnerable communities, and safety-net clinics. Through this project, whole genome sequencing was implemented to aid in rule-in/rule-out epidemiological investigations. 

In 2004, Joe was chosen for a MacArthur Fellowship. He is a Searle Scholar and a Packard Fellow and has received the Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment. He was named an Eli Lilly and Company Research Award Laureate and elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015 and the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine in 2016. He was previously an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 2005 to 2016 before joining the Biohub. Joe received a B.A. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1992, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Stanford University in 1999, where he did his doctorate work with Patrick O. Brown (now CEO of Impossible Foods).