John Wooley, the long-time associate vice chancellor for research and professor of pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, passed away on April 20, 2015 after a long battle with cancer.
Dr. Wooley was an Adjunct Professor in Pharmacology, and in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and a Strategic Advisor and Senior Fellow of the San Diego Supercomputer Center. He received his Ph.D. degree in 1975 at The University of Chicago, working with Al Crewe and Robert Uretz in biological physics. Dr. Wooley created the first programs within the US federal government for funding research in bioinformatics and in computational biology, and has been involved in strengthening the interface between computing and biology for more than a decade. For the new UCSD California Institute for Telecommunication and Information Technology [Cal-(IT)2], Dr. Wooley directed the biology and biomedical layer or applications component, termed Digitally-enabled Genomic Medicine (DeGeM), a step in delivering personalized medicine in a wireless clinical setting. His research involved bioinformatics and structural genomics, while his principle objectives at UCSD were to stimulate new research initiatives for large scale, multidisciplinary challenges. He also collaborated in developing scientific applications of information technology and high performance computing; creating industry-university collaborations; expanding applied life science opportunities, notably around drug discovery; establishing a biotechnology and pharmacology science park on UCSD's health sciences campus zone.