Dr. Kay is one of the world’s top experts on the genetics and genomics of circadian rhythms. Having published more than 200 papers, he was named by Thomson Reuters as one of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” from 2014 to 2019 and has been cited in Science magazine’s “Breakthroughs of the Year” three times since 1997. In 2008, Dr. Kay was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2009 he was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2011 he was awarded the Martin Gibbs Medal by the American Society of Plant Biologists for his pioneering research on biological clocks in both plants and animals. In 2019, Dr. Kay was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in recognition of his contributions to science.
Dr. Kay currently serves as the Director of the University of Southern California (USC) MESH (Medicine, Engineering, Sciences, and Humanities) Academy, the Director of the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, and is a Provost Professor of Neurology, Biomedical Engineering and Biological Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He held the position as the 21st dean of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences from 2012 to 2015. Prior to joining USC in 2012, Dr. Kay served as dean of biological sciences at the University of California, San Diego. He also has held faculty positions at The Rockefeller University, University of Virginia and The Scripps Research Institute, as well as served as the VP of discovery research at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, where he focused on using high throughput technologies to push novel development candidates into the Novartis clinical pipeline. Dr. Kay served as president of The Scripps Research Institute from 2015 to 2016. In addition, he has founded several biotechnology companies. Dr. Kay received his Ph.D. and DSc from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.