Arthur D. Riggs, Ph.D.
- Epigenetics and Gene Regulation
Dr. Arthur D. Riggs is a world-renowned expert in diabetes, best known for his role in the development of technology that led to the first synthetic human insulin for patients. In 1979, Dr. Riggs received the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Research Award for research that resulted in the bacterial production of human insulin. This work led to the formation of Genentech and the biotechnology industry. Dr. Riggs then turned his attention to recombinant antibodies, setting the stage for their successful use in the treatment of cancer. He has been a pioneer in the field of epigenetics, which is the study of persistent changes in gene expression that do not involve changes in primary base sequence. In recent years, Dr. Riggs’ research has mainly focused on mammalian epigenetic mechanisms and DNA methylation.
Dr. Riggs received his bachelor’s degree from University of California at Riverside and his doctorate in biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 2006 and in 2008 received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the California Institute of Technology.
- 2016 to Present - Samuel Rahbar Chair in Diabetes & Drug Discovery, City of Hope, Duarte, CA: 2015 to Present - Director, Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
- 2008 to 2014 - Chair, Department of Diabetes and Metabolic Disease Research, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
- 2012 to Present - Professor of Cancer Biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
- 2008 to 2012 - Director Emeritus and Professor of Biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
- 2000 to 2007 - Director, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
- 1994 to 1998 - Founding Dean, City of Hope Graduate School, now named Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
- 1993 to 1995 - Director, Shared Resources of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
- 1981 to 1987 - Associate Director for Laboratory Research, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
- 1994 to 2000 - Chair, Division of Biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
- 1981 to 1987 - Chair, Division of Biology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope (In 1983 the City of Hope's research institute was renamed the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope)
- 1979 to 1981 - Associate Chair, Division of Biology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
- 1978 to 1995 - Adjunct Professor, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, CA
- 1974 to 1983 - Senior Research Scientist, Department of Molecular Biology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
- 1969 to 1974 - Associate Research Scientist, Department of Molecular Biology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
- 1966 to 1969 - Postdoctoral Fellow, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA
- 1961 to 1966 - Predoctoral Fellow, Biology Department, California Institute of Technology (CIT), Pasadena, CA
- Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute
- 1966 - California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, Ph.D. in Biochemistry
- 1961 - University of California, Riverside, B.A. in Chemistry
My laboratory research is broad-based, with an emphasis on gene regulation by chromatin-based mechanisms and changes in the genome that take place during mammalian development. Emphasis is given to developing and using new methods for studying and controlling mammalian gene expression, especially during development in tissue culture from a stem or progenitor cell to a mature adult cell. Recent studies, some still ongoing, have included measuring genome-wide DNA methylation patterns, and changes in these patterns, during cancer progression or normal development.
I am particularly interested in improving the efficiency with which embryonic stem cells (ESC), both mouse and human, can be guided towards mature somatic cells, such as insulin-producing beta cells or cardiomyocytes. Three approaches are currently being explored (i) second generation antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs), (ii) transcription factors fused to novel protein transduction domains, and (iii) epigenetic engineering of ESC by gene-specific DNA methylation or demethylation to limit differentiation to the desired pathway. The latter studies are making use of TALES (Transcription Activation Like Effectors) and CRISPRS (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats) to produce mutant cell lines and engineer epigenetic changes in cells and mice.
January 29, 2019
December 05, 2018
July 04, 2018
November 29, 2017
April 18, 2017
January 25, 2017
- 2008 - Distinguished Alumni Award, California Institute of Technology
- 2006 - National Academy of Sciences, Member
- 2004 - Technology Leadership Award
- 1988 - Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of California, Riverside
- 1985 - Invited applicant for NCI Outstanding Investigator Award
- 1981 - Gallery of Achievement Award, City of Hope
- 1979 - Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Research Award