John Aitchison, PhD


Send Email

(206) 732-1344


Dr. John Aitchison is a Professor and founding faculty member at the Institute for Systems Biology. He also holds an appointment at Center for Infectious Disease Research as Director of Integrative Biology and Principal Investigator. As a student, he studied biochemistry, specializing in biotechnology and genetic engineering, at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. There, in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Rachubinski, he investigated the molecular mechanisms responsible for sorting proteins into peroxisomes. After receiving his PhD, Dr. Aitchison performed his postdoctoral work in the l aboratory of Nobel Laureate Dr. Günter Blobel at Rockefeller University. In Dr. Blobel’s lab, Dr. Aitchison applied classic cell biology techniques and yeast genetics to the study of protein import into the nucleus. During this time, he began to apply large-scale proteomics to the problem, which he continued as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta until joining the ISB in 2000. Dr. Aitchison also holds affiliate appointments at the University of Washington, University of Alberta, and University of British Columbia. He is a member of the Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biomolecular Structural Design Graduate Programs at the University of Washington. Since joining ISB in 2000, his laboratory has been exploiting systems based assays and analyses to reveal and understand complex biological phenomena. Over the past ten years, his lab has focused on yeast as a model for developing systems biology approaches. He recently, took a Principal Investigator position at Center for Infectious Disease Research to immerse his lab in an environment rich in infectious-disease research to enhance our collective exposure to, and education in, research of infectious diseases. With his current position and lab at ISB, he will remain at the cutting-edge of systems biology while bringing new developments to infectious disease research at CID Research.

PhD, Biochemistry McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, 1992

Systems Cell Biology, Organelle Biogenesis, Host-pathogen Interactions