CID Research Announces New President

April 20, 2017 (Seattle, Washington) — In a unanimous vote, the Board of Trustees of the Center for Infectious Disease Research (CID Research) appointed John Aitchison, professor and Chief Science Officer, as the third president and director in its 40 year history. Effective May 1, Aitchison will amplify the world recognition of the direction and vision for the Center.

“Apart from his significant professional accomplishments, John is a leader who cares deeply about the humanitarian side of science along with the success of the Center and the people who work here,” says Irwin Goverman, chair of the Board of Trustees. “We are excited about his vision for the future of CID Research.”

Aitchison has held key leadership roles at CID Research since 2011, most recently as the Chief Science Officer. He also leads the Aitchison Lab on the development and application of systems biology approaches to infectious disease. This large scale approach to biology incorporates state-of-the-art high-throughput experimental biology with computational biology to predict disease, outcomes and strategies for intervention.

“Our scientific plan focuses the power of systems biology squarely on infectious diseases such as HIV, TB and malaria that are the scourge of humanity, especially in resource-poor countries”, says Alan Aderem, President Emeritus of CID Research. “John’s leadership and scientific accomplishments will continue this plan, bringing the full force of an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to make the transformational discoveries that will lead to new vaccines, drugs and diagnostics to detect, prevent and cure diseases that impact millions of people worldwide.”

Aitchison came to Seattle in 2000 as a faculty member at the Institute for Systems Biology and is internationally recognized as a pioneer of the systems biology approach and, most recently, its application to infectious disease.

“I am confident in John’s vision and ability to ensure our Center continues its forty-year tradition of innovation and impact in infectious disease research into our future,” says Kenneth Stuart, founder and professor. Stuart, who originally established CID Research as Seattle Biomedical Research Institute in 1976, served as interim president during the international search process and will continue to lead his lab in studying parasitic diseases and malaria vaccine research. “John proved himself to be a valuable leader in his tenure at the Center, and his ability to integrate multiple disciplines for the advancement of research is well respected throughout the global science community.”

“I am honored by the Board’s confidence in my leadership and vision, and for the opportunity to continue working alongside outstanding and dedicated colleagues at CID Research,” says Aitchison. “Our mission has never been more critical – but the technologies available to us today enable brand new approaches, never before possible. I am sure these methods will lead to breakthroughs that will save lives, relieve suffering, strengthen societies and expand economies across the globe.”

Aitchison’s activity in the scientific community is extensive: He holds affiliate or adjunct professorship positions at the University of Washington, the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta and the Institute for Systems Biology, where he was a founding faculty member. Aitchison holds various teaching assignments and serves in numerous editorial and advisory roles to scientific journals, research institutes and biotech companies.

Aitchison steps into his new role at CID Research at a time of unparalleled prospects in the fight against infectious diseases both at home and around the world, just as issues of awareness and funding of pioneering scientific research become more critical than ever.


CID Research is the largest independent, non-profit organization in the U.S. focused solely on infectious disease research. Our research is the foundation for new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics that benefit those who need our help most: the 14 million people who will otherwise die each year from infectious diseases, including malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Founded in 1976, the Center partners with key collaborators around the globe and focuses on discoveries that will save lives. For more information, visit



See more CID Research News & Press