John Aitchison, PhD

John Aitchison, PhD

Infectious Disease Research

Children's Title: Professor and Co-Director, Center for Global Infectious Disease Research

Academic Title: Affiliate Professor, University of Washington

Research Center: Center for Global Infectious Disease Research

  • John Aitchison is co-director of the Center for Global Infectious Disease at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Aitchison received his PhD in Biochemistry from McMaster University, Canada. He performed postdoctoral research in the Laboratory of Cell Biology at The Rockefeller University under the guidance of Professor Gunter Blobel (Nobel Laureate, 1999). Dr. Aitchison is a founding faculty member at the Institute for Systems Biology where he served as senior vice president and executive director of Integrative Biology. Professor Aitchison holds part-time, adjunct or affiliate faculty positions at Institute for Systems Biology, University of Washington (Biochemistry), University of Alberta (Cell Biology) and University of British Columbia (Biochemistry). Outside of the lab, John enjoys spending time with his family, playing squash, and racing sailboats.


    • American Society for Cell Biology
    • American Society for Microbiology
    • Biophysical Society
    • AAAS

    Research Interests:

    1. Systems based approaches to reveal and understand complex biological phenomena focusing on yeast as a model for developing systems biology approaches to infectious disease research. Understanding cellular function from this perspective is essential to developing strategies for intervention when these functions go awry, causing diseases (such as neuropathologies or cancer) or are usurped in the cases of infection by pathogens.
    2. The molecular mechanisms responsible for sorting proteins to peroxisomes – an organelle in the cytoplasm of cells that is responsible for metabolizing fatty acids. Defects in peroxisomal functions have been associated with neuropathologies, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cancer and aging.
    3. The development of innovative and dramatically new approaches for the detection, isolation, and analysis of macromolecular complexes that will enable scientists to realize the full potential of the revolution brought about by genomics, interdisciplinary research, and proteomics technologies.


Research Description

The Aitchison Lab is focused on the development and application of systems biology approaches to infectious diseases. We combine high-throughput quantitative ‘omics technologies (e.g. proteomics, transcriptomics) with computational biology to interrogate, map, and model pathogens, host responses, and the interface between hosts and pathogens. Read more about the Aitchison Lab.

Learn about partnering opportunities with Dr. Aitchison:

Research Focus Area

Computational Biology, Data Analysis, Host-Pathogen Interaction, Infectious Disease, Influenza (Flu), OMICS, Proteomics, Systems Biology, Big Data, Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Genetics, Genomics, Global Health, HIV/AIDS, Immunology, Predictive Analytics