Joe DeRisi, PhD.


Joseph DeRisi, PhD., is currently the vice chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California San Francisco and he is also a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. Joe’s research is focused on new approaches to study infectious disease, including the study of Plasmodium falciparum, a killer of nearly 1 million people every year.

In addition to the study of malaria, Joe’s lab is actively pursuing and characterizing a wide range of human, avian, and insect pathogens. He is perhaps best known for his work on identifying the etiological agent of SARS and for his pioneering efforts in the area of DNA microarray technology.

A summary of Joe’s work and links to his recent publications is accessible from his web page at

Prior to joining UCSF in 1999, Joe earned his PhD in Biochemistry at Stanford University, and his BA in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UC Santa Cruz. Joe is a previous Searle Scholar and Packard Fellow. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the WIRED RAVE award, the Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Joe grew up in Carmichael, where he delivered the Sacramento Bee on bicycle, attended Charles Peck elementary school, Arcade Fundamental Middle School, and Del Campo High School.