Steve Kay is dean of the Division of Biological Sciences and holds the Richard C. Atkinson Chair in Biological Sciences at the University of California San Diego. He also is a Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD. Previously he was Chairman, Department of Biochemistry and Director of the Institute for Childhood and Neglected Diseases at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla, where he was a faculty member from 1996 to 2007. Dr. Kay received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Bristol, U.K., and he has served on the faculty of Rockefeller University and the University of Virginia. His academic research uses systems and synthetic biology to study the molecular basis of circadian rhythms in plants, animals and humans. He was also the Director of Discovery Research at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), where he built a large department applying human genome science to biomedical research and drug discovery. Dr. Kay was the founder, former chief technology officer and senior vice president of Phenomix Corp., a drug discovery and development company in San Diego.
Dr. Kay is the founder and scientific advisory board member of two new startups, Biolight Harvesting, an algae biofuels company, and Reset Therapeutics, which focuses on identifying novel treatments for metabolic diseases.
Dr. Kay has received several awards, including a Keck Foundation Faculty Award in 1992 and the Honma Prize for Life Sciences in 1999. His work was cited in Science magazine’s “Breakthroughs of the Year” consecutively in1997, 1998, and again in 2002. In 2008 he was elected as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.