Hood by Luke Timmerman
Trailblazer of the Genomics Age

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Lee Hood did that rarest of things. He enabled scientists to see things they couldn’t see before and do things they hadn’t dreamed of doing. Scientists can now sequence complete human genomes in a day, setting in motion a revolution that is personalizing medicine.

Hood, a son of the American West, was an unlikely candidate to transform biology. But with ferocious drive, he led a team at Caltech that developed the automated DNA sequencer, the tool that paved the way for the Human Genome Project. He captivated scientists with his almost religious fervor for the new biology enabled by the machines.

Hood’s brilliance, rebellion, enthusiasm, and ego earned him as many admirers as enemies. His management style, once described as “creative anarchy,” alienated many. Some collaborators seethed, claiming he took too much credit. Fellow Caltech biologists charged that his empire building was out of control and ousted him as their chairman. A fraud in his lab made him consider, for a moment, quitting science.

Wooed by money from Bill Gates, Hood started over at the University of Washington. His impatience for rules burned bridges once again. Hood left at age sixty-one to start his own institute. Would he finally achieve the ultimate application of the genome project—personalized medicine?

In “Hood: Trailblazer of the Genomics Age,” journalist Luke Timmerman zeroes in on a charismatic, controversial personality. Never-before-reported details are drawn from the scientist’s confidential files, public records, and more than 150 interviews with Hood and his family, friends, collaborators, and detractors. The result is not just a revealing portrait of one of the most influential biologists of our time, but a deeply human look at science itself.

"A thorough biography [that] never shies away from the contradictions of this forceful personality."
- Kirkus Reviews (Starred review. Selected as one of the T100 Best Indie Books of 2017)

"Excellent...a window into the birth of personalized medicine. Read it!"
- Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Emperor of All Maladies" and "The Gene"

"A must-read popular science book."
- Forbes

"I’d recommend that any budding scientist read Hood."
- Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

"Timmerman captures the glory and clay feet of a great scientist, like Jim Watson did for himself in The Double Helix."
- Phillip A. Sharp, Institute Professor at MIT, Nobel Prize-winning biologist

"What a terrific book about a great scientist who has changed the world we live in"
- Robert Langer, Institute Professor at MIT, winner of the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology.

"A terrific portrait, not just of Hood but science itself, both of them human, flawed, complicated and ultimately triumphant."
- Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist, author of "The Poisoner's Handbook"

"I couldn't put this book down."
- Atul Butte, director, Institute for Computational Health Sciences, University of California-San Francisco

"A fascinating human account of the life of a person who truly has changed the world, persevering in the face of consistent establishment skepticism to achieve his visions."
- Ed Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates chair of computer science and engineering, University of Washington

"A compelling, deeply human read about one of our country's most inventive scientists."
- David A. Shaywitz, Chief Medical Officer, DNAnexus

"A revealing story that should resonate beyond the biotech world."
- Todd Bishop, co-founder, GeekWire

"An engrossing look at the man, his times, the technology he brought into being, and the implications for humanity."
- San Diego Union-Tribune

"A page-turner."
- Bio-IT World

"A masterful guide to one of the most important scientists of the 20th century."
- Genome magazine

About Luke Timmerman

See more books from this Author
Published August 6, 2016 by Bandera Press. 448 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Science & Math, Nature & Wildlife. Non-fiction