John Leavitt, Ph.D.
Analyst John Leavitt, Ph.D., helps life science companies develop solutions to critical problems and pursue novel business strategies. Dr. Leavitt applies his expertise in the biotech fields of diagnosis and treatment of human diseases, genetics, and cell and molecular biology to help companies make informed decisions.
Dr. Leavitt’s academic career as a molecular and cell biologist started as a graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, then as a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University in cancer research. He was a senior fellow at the National Institutes of Health and a career civil servant with CBER, a part of the FDA located on the NIH campus involved with regulation of vaccines and biologic drugs. Later, as a senior scientist at the Linus Pauling Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., Dr. Leavitt cloned and characterized several important human gene families linked to the development of cancer. After six years at the Pauling Institute, he became Scientific Director at the California Institute for Medical Research, and then Director of Research at Adeza Biomedical. During his academic career, Dr. Leavitt was responsible for the isolation of four fundamental human genes and the development of two powerful gene promoters for genetic engineering of cells and tissues. His research was supported with grants and contracts from the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, the U.S. Air Force, and private foundations.
Dr. Leavitt has published over 60 research papers. He also has three patents, one of which Stanford University successfully licensed to the biotech industry.
- Senior Fellow, National Institutes of Health (FDA)
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University
- Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
- B.S., Chemistry, Bethany College
- Peer Review NIH Funding Study Sections
- Army Breast Cancer Funding Study Section
- Consultant for the Channing, Weinberg Venture Fund
- Visiting Scientist, Laser Lab, U.S. Air Force Academy
- Stott, B, “Therapy in the Cellular Age”, Leavitt, J quoted in Therapy Times, March 24, 2008
- Leavitt, J, “The Skinny on Stem Cells: Successful Human Cloning Stirs Hope and Controversy”, Nerac Insights, http://www7.nerac.com/nerac_insights.php?category=articles&id=63, February 2008
- Leavitt, J, “Better Than Stem Cells? Short Interfering RNA Hold Promise For Dramatic New Treatments”, Nerac Insights, May 2007
- Lin, CS, Part, T, Chen, ZP, Leavitt J, “Human plastin genes. Comparative gene structure, chromosome location, and differential expression in normal and neoplastic cells”, J. Biol. Chemistry 268:2781-92, 1993
- Lin, CS, Aebersold, RH, Kent, SB, Varma, M, Leavitt, J, “Molecular cloning and characterization of plastin, a human leukocyte protein expressed in transformed human fibroblasts”, Molec. Cell Biology, 8:4689-68, 1988
- Gunning, P, Leavitt J, Muscat, G, Ng, SY, Kedes, L, “A human beta-actin expression vector system directs high-level accumulation of antisense transcripts,” Proceedings Natl Acad Sci, USA 84:4831-5, Communicated by Linus Pauling, 1987
- Aebersold, RH, Leavitt, J, Saavedra, RA, Hood, LE, Kent, SB, “Internal amino acid sequence analysis of proteins separated by one- or two-dimensional gel electrophoresis after in situ protease digestion on nitrocellulose”, Proceedings Natl Acad Sci, USA 84:6970-4,,Communicated by Leroy Hood, 1987
- Leavitt, J, Ng, SY, Varma, M, Latter, G, Burbeck, S, Gunning, P, Kedes, L, “Expression of transfected mutant beta-actin genes: transitions toward the stable tumorigenic state”, Molec. Cell. Biology, 7:2467-76, 1987
- Ng, SY, Gunning, P, Eddy, R, Ponte, P, Leavitt, J, Shows, T, Kedes, L, “Evolution of the functional human beta-actin gene and its multi-pseudogene family: conservation of noncoding regions and chromosomal dispersion of pseudogenes”, Molec. Cell. Biology, 5:2720-32, 1985
- Leavitt, J,; Gunning, P, Porreca, P, Ng, SY, Lin, CS, Kedes, L, “Molecular cloning and characterization of mutant and wild-type human beta-actin genes”, Molec. Cell. Biology, 4:1961-9, 1984
- Leavitt J, Bushar, G, Kakunaga, T, Hamada, H, Hirakawa, T, Goldman, D, Merril, C, “Variations in expression of mutant beta actin accompanying incremental increases in human fibroblast tumorigenicity”, Cell, 28:259-68, 1982
- Leavitt J and Kakunaga, T, “Expression of a variant form of actin and additional polypeptide changes following chemical-induced in vitro neoplastic transformation of human fibroblasts”, J. Biol. Chem., 255:1650-61, 1980
- Vandekerckhove, J, Leavitt, J, Kakunaga, T, Weber, J, “Coexpression of a mutant beta-actin and the two normal beta- and gamma-cytoplasmic actins in a stably transformed human cell line”, Cell, 22:893-9, 1980