David Galas, PhD

1968 Hertz Fellow
Chairman Emeritus, Hertz Foundation
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David J. Galas was the principal scientist for the Pacific Northwest Research Institute (PNRI) and chairman emeritus of the board of directors for the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation.

David Galas, PhD was an internationally recognized expert in molecular biology and human genetics, well known for his work in the Human Genome Project. As a senior investigator at the Pacific Northwest Research Institute (PNRI), he focused primarily on computational biology.

David held leadership positions at several of the nation’s top research institutions and earned his PhD in physics from the University of California. He served as Director for Health and Environmental Research at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, where he headed the Human Genome Project from 1990 to 1993. Prior to that, he served as Professor and Chair of Molecular Biology at the University of Southern California. He also held research positions at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and at the University of California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

David served on many corporate boards, including biotechnology companies he co-founded. He also served on national advisory boards, including the Board on Life Science and the National Cancer Policy Board. He chaired the board of directors of the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation and was a lifetime National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences.

David and PNRI’s Lisa Stubbs, PhD, launched the Decoding Stress Study. It aims to answer some of the biggest questions about the role of people’s genes in determining how they respond to chronic stress.

Hertz Foundation Role

Board of Directors
Fellowships and Programs Council

Graduate Studies

University of California, Davis
Theory of Interaction of Impurities with Superfluid Helium

Undergraduate Studies

University of California, Berkeley


Smithsonian Institution Computer World Pioneer Award

Related News

Nov 21, 2023
To honor Hertz Fellow and Chairman Emeritus David Galas' incredible service to the Hertz Foundation, and to carry on his legacy in perpetuity, we are establishing the new David Galas Fund for Fellows.
Jun 2, 2023
Chairman emeritus and esteemed Hertz Fellow David Galas peacefully left us on May 27 at his home on Bainbridge Island, following a courageous battle with cancer.
Dec 17, 2022
In a conversation with Hertz Foundation’s Director of Community Anne Kornahrens, Hertz Fellow Neal Tanner discusses his involvement with the Hertz community through the Fellowship and Programs Council and explains how recognition is fueling connections among fellows and helping to put innovative ideas into action.
Dec 13, 2022
As John and Fannie Hertz demonstrated decades ago, investment in science and technology can lead to life-changing innovation and enduring impact. We are committed to building on their legacy and invite you to join us. Let's think bigger togethe
Apr 29, 2022
After leading the foundation through the most transformative years since its founding, David Galas has retired from his role as chairman of the Hertz Foundation’s board of directors and has been named chairman emeritus. Galas has worked tirelessly to advance the Hertz Foundation’s mission—as an interviewer of Hertz Fellowship candidates for nearly 50 years and a board member for more than two decades.

Related Events

May 4, 2024 - May 5, 2024
Special Event
Please join the Galas/Isonaka families to celebrate and honor the life of Hertz Fellow and Chairman Emeritus David John Galas (1944–2023) with stories and science talks on May 5, 2024 in Seattle, WA.