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James Heath, PhD

James Heath, PhD

Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor of Chemistry at CalTech; Professor of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology at UCLA; Director of the National Cancer Institutes NSB Cancer Center


James R. Heath is the Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor of Chemistry at Caltech, Professor of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology at UCLA and Director of the National Cancer Institutes NSB Cancer Center. Heath received a B.Sc. degree in 1984 (Baylor) and his Ph.D. in Chemistry (Rice) in 1988 where he was the principal student involved in the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of C60 and the fullerenes. Heath was a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley from 1988-91, and on the technical staff at IBM Watson Labs from 1991-93. In 1994 he joined the faculty at UCLA. He founded the California NanoSystems Institute in 2000 and served as its Director until moving to Caltech. Heath’s lab works on fundamental problems at the interface of the chemical, physical, biological and biomedical sciences, with focus areas of molecular biotechnologies and oncology. The biological/ biomedical research is relatively new (past 10 years) as Heath’s previous research history was in the areas of nanomaterials, solid-state physics and nano/molecular electronics.

He has received a number of awards, including a Public Service Commendation from Governor Grey Davis, the Sackler Prize, the Spiers Medal, the Feynman Prize, the Jules Springer Prize and the Arthur K. Doolittle Award. He has founded or co-founded several companies, including NanoSys, MTI, MoB and Homestead Clinical Corporation, and he serves on the board of a number of organizations, including the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute.

Education & Training

  • 1984: Baylor University, BSc
  • 1988: Rice University, PhD

Awards & Honors

  • 2009: Forbes List of 7 Top Innovators in the World; AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Award and Lectureship
  • 2006: Baylor Univ. Top 150 Alumni
  • 2005: Spiers Medal Royal Society
  • 2004: Arthur K. Doolittle Award
  • 2002: Scientific American Top 50; ISI Highly Cited Researcher; Commendation from Governor Gray Davis
  • 2001: Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences; LA Business Journal Technologist of the Year
  • 2000: Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology; Jules Springer Prize for Applied Physics
  • 1999: Fellow of the American Physical Society; Vanity Fair Magazine Hall of Fame
  • 1997: Seaborg Award; Sloan Fellowship
  • 1994: Packard Fellowship; NSF-NYI Award
  • 1988: Miller Fellowship
  • 1987: Rice Univ. Graduate Award for the Discovery of C60, the fullerenes, and La @ C60

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