By Carol Chaplin
When Arthur Riggs graduated from the California Institute of Technology in 1966, he was unaware of the imprint he would leave on the scientific world.
Years later, his career of remarkable accomplishments at City of Hope would be acknowledged with the highest honor Caltech bestows upon its graduates: the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award.
In his 38 years at City of Hope, Riggs, Ph.D., director emeritus of Beckman Research Institute, has served as a leader in many ways: as chair of the Division of Biology, associate director for research and founding dean of City of Hope’s graduate school.
A researcher at City of Hope for more than 30 years, Riggs has developed or co-developed techniques that have led to effective therapies for diabetes, cancer and
His work on products such as synthetic human insulin helped in developing a process for the large-scale manufacturing of protein drugs, which was a necessary foundation for the growth of an emerging biotechnology industry.
Riggs’ decades at City of Hope profoundly influenced the field of biology, reflected in his election to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in 2006.
Riggs left his administrative position at City of Hope as director of Beckman Research Institute in December 2007. He has continued as professor of biology and director emeritus of Beckman Research Institute, focusing his talents on intriguing scientific problems, including those of diabetes and metabolic disease.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is bestowed in recognition of a particular achievement of noteworthy value, a series of such achievements or a career of noteworthy accomplishment.