Hood’s fame as a genomics pioneer stems from his invention of instruments for sequencing and synthesizing proteins and RNA and DNA molecules. The work helped enable the Human Genome Project, brought home a slew of prizes, and led Hood toward a focus on predictive and personalized health care built around massive amounts of gene and protein expression data. All of that proved crucial last year as Hood’s Institute for Systems Biology and a group of hospitals tackled the mystery of long Covid. In a study published in Cell this January, Hood and collaborators found that just a handful of factors predicted whether the hundreds of patients they followed would develop long Covid, including type 2 diabetes, high levels of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or Epstein-Barr virus particles in the blood, and specific antibodies associated with autoimmune disease. Using such factors, Hood has predicted, could allow doctors to provide treatments that head off long-haul symptoms before they develop.
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Founder, Health Justice
Founder and CEO, Advancing Health Equity
CEO, National League for Nursing
Director, Scripps Research Translational Institute
Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center
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