An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Arthur D. Riggs, Ph.D.

Samuel Rahbar Chair in Diabetes & Drug Discovery; Director, Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope
Research Focus
  • Epigenetics and Gene Regulation
Director Emeritus, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope

Arthur D. Riggs, Ph.D., is a world-renowned expert in diabetes, best known for his role in the development of technology that led to the development of 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’s research has mainly focused on mammalian epigenetic mechanisms and DNA methylation.

Dr. Riggs received his bachelor’s degree from University of California Riverside and his doctorate in biochemistry from 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 California Institute of Technology. He is currently Director of the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope.


City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1500 East Duarte Road

Duarte, CA 91010

1: Branciamore S, Valo Z, Li M, Wang J, Riggs AD, Singer-Sam J. Frequent
monoallelic or skewed expression for developmental genes in CNS-derived cells and evidence for balancing selection. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Oct 30;115(44):E10379-E10386. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1808652115. Epub 2018 Oct 15. PubMed PMID: 30322913; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6217436.

2: Yadav S, Kowolik CM, Lin M, Zuro D, Hui SK, Riggs AD, Horne DA. SMC1A is
associated with radioresistance in prostate cancer and acts by regulating
epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cancer stem-like properties. Mol Carcinog. 2019 Jan;58(1):113-125. doi: 10.1002/mc.22913. Epub 2018 Oct 5. PubMed PMID:30242889.

3: Castanotto D, Zhang X, Alluin J, Zhang X, Rüger J, Armstrong B, Rossi J, Riggs A, Stein CA. A stress-induced response complex (SIRC) shuttles miRNAs, siRNAs, and oligonucleotides to the nucleus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Jun 19;115(25):E5756-E5765. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1721346115. Epub 2018 Jun 4. PubMed PMID: 29866826; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6016802.

4: Sun G, Wang J, Huang Y, Yuan CW, Zhang K, Hu S, Chen L, Lin RJ, Yen Y, Riggs AD. Differences in silencing of mismatched targets by sliced versus diced siRNAs. Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 Jul 27;46(13):6806-6822. doi: 10.1093/nar/gky287. PubMed PMID: 29718312; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6061797.

5: Awasthi S, Tompkins J, Singhal J, Riggs AD, Yadav S, Wu X, Singh S, Warden C, Liu Z, Wang J, Slavin TP, Weitzel JN, Yuan YC, Awasthi M, Srivastava SK, Awasthi YC, Singhal SS. Rlip depletion prevents spontaneous neoplasia in TP53 null mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Apr 10;115(15):3918-3923. doi:10.1073/pnas.1719586115. Epub 2018 Mar 23. PubMed PMID: 29572430; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5899455.

6: Zhang M, Racine JJ, Lin Q, Liu Y, Tang S, Qin Q, Qi T, Riggs AD, Zeng D. MHC-mismatched mixed chimerism restores peripheral tolerance of noncross-reactive autoreactive T cells in NOD mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Mar 6;115(10):E2329-E2337. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1720169115. Epub 2018 Feb 20. PubMed PMID: 29463744; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5877958.
7: Zhang X, Branciamore S, Gogoshin G, Rodin AS, Riggs AD. Analysis of high-resolution 3D intrachromosomal interactions aided by Bayesian network modeling. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Nov 28;114(48):E10359-E10368. doi:10.1073/pnas.1620425114. Epub 2017 Nov 13. PubMed PMID: 29133398; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5715735.

8: Tompkins JD, Jung M, Chen CY, Lin Z, Ye J, Godatha S, Lizhar E, Wu X, Hsu D, 
Couture LA, Riggs AD. Mapping Human Pluripotent-to-Cardiomyocyte Differentiation:
Methylomes, Transcriptomes, and Exon DNA Methylation "Memories". EBioMedicine.
2016 Jan 19;4:74-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.01.021. eCollection 2016 Feb.
PubMed PMID: 26981572; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4776252.

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