David Galas is Principal Scientist at the Pacific Northwest Research Institute in Seattle. He is an internationally recognized expert in molecular biology and human genetics, known for his work in the development and application of new technologies in the areas of genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. His research has advanced the understanding of human disease processes through several significant genetic discoveries, and more generally complex biological systems networks using both theoretical and experimental methods, particularly aspects of the genetics of biological systems. Currently his group is working on some fundamental aspects of developing new mathematical methods for computational analysis of biological data. His research at PNRI concentrates on the underlying genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of disease. Recently, he and his collaborators have discovered some new dimensions of the roles of RNA outside of the cell, including interactions with the human microbiome.
Over the past four decades, Dr. Galas has worked in a leadership capacity at several of the nation’s top research institutions, including the University of Southern California, the Institute for Systems Biology, Battelle Memorial Institute and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, which he co-founded. He served as Director for Health and Environmental Research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, where he headed the DOE’s Human Genome Project, and a range of other research efforts from 1990 to 1993.
He earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California. He served as professor of molecular biology for 12 years at the University of Southern California, where he headed the Molecular Biology Department. He has also held research positions at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and at the University of California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.