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Following a determined battle with cancer,

on Saturday May 27, 2023 David J. Galas

left the world peacefully, surrounded by his wife

and family. His scientific contributions, artistic talents, generosity, and good nature have bettered the world

and will continue to be his legacy.

Biology, Computation, Mathematics, Physics


Principal Scientist,
Pacific Northwest Research Institute
Seattle, WA

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In honor of David's significant contributions to science, please consider a donation in his memory, to enable the continuation of his life's work:

Pacific Northwest Research Institute          Hertz Foundation

                 (About the DECODING STRESS PROJECT)

Summary of Scientific Achievements

  • Publications: Approx. 180 collected scientific publications & issued patents with a total of more than 33,000 citations in the scientific literature

  • Citation indices: h index= 71, i10 index =152

  • 20 issued US patents

  • Founder or co-founder of 5 biotechnology companies

  • Has held significant leadership positions in academia, in companies, and in government service

  • Inventor of several technologies including DNAse footprinting (published 1978), still the most widely used method to determine the DNA binding sites of regulatory proteins on DNA

  • Discoverer of four important human genes


Current Research


While David’s past research has included both experimental work of several kinds, as well as work in mathematical and computational biology, his work now is largely focused on the latter (mathematical/computational) - click for link to related mathematical/computational publications.


The Galas lab is in transition to focus on the development and use of new, information theory-based methods. The methods themselves and the software that implements them is one central effort. These methods have been used in several genetic analysis problems, particularly to look at gene interactions, modifiers etc., and for inferring panels of biomarkers. Past biomarker projects included Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, diabetes, and cancer. In addition, the concepts and mathematics underlying the data analysis methods were used to reformulate some of the quantitative genetics theory, giving it an information theory foundation (J Comp Biol, 2020).


The Galas Lab, in collaboration with the Stubbs Lab, is working on a novel project that uses new information theory-based methods to analyze the genetics of chronic stress. The Decoding Stress Study intends to pinpoint genes, networks, and pathways responsible for how we respond to chronic stress and thus identify how our individual genetics influences risks for developing type 2 diabetes, depression, and anxiety (stress-related diseases).  This project brings together David’s strengths in genetics, mathematics, and computation with the goal of impacting patient health.

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Self portrait.jpg


~ by Ralph Waldo Emerson

(self-portrait by David Galas)

To earn the respect of intelligent people and to win the affection of children;

To appreciate the beauty in nature and all that surrounds us;

To seek out and nurture the best in others;

To give the gift of yourself to others without the slightest thought of return, for it is in giving that we receive;

To have accomplished a task, whether it be saving a lost soul, healing a sick child, writing a book, or risking your life for a friend;

To have celebrated and laughed with great joy and enthusiasm and sung with exaltation;

To have hope even in times of despair, for as long as you have hope, you have life;

To love and be loved;

To be understood and to understand;

To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;

This is the meaning of success.

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