Scripps Research Logo

Steve Kay, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Professor of Cellular and Molecular Biology
Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
Department of Molecular Medicine
California Campus
Laboratory Website
Scripps VIVO Scientific Profile
(858) 784-8830


B.Sc., Biochemistry Honours Degree, University of Bristol, UK, 1981
Ph.D., Biochemistty, University of Bristol, UK, 1984

Professional Experience

August 2016-Present    Professor of Cellular and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute   
Jun 2009-Present        Adjunct Professor, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Oct 2012-Present        Adjunt Professor, Biological Sciences, Neurology, and Physiology and Biophysics, USC
Nov 2014-Present       Distinguished Associate, Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, USC
Nov 2015-Aug 2016     President, The Scripps Research Institute
Oct 2012–Oct 2015     Dean, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, USC
Sep 2007-Sep 2012    Dean, Division of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego
Sep 2007-Sep 2012    Richard C. Atkinson Chair in the Biological Sciences, UC San Diego
Sep 2007-Sep 2012    Professor, Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, Division of Biological Sciences, UCSD
Sep 2005-Sep 2007    Chairman, Department of Biochemistry, The Scripps Research Institute
Jan 2004-Sep 2007    Chairman, Scripps Florida Steering Committee
Dec 1998-Sep 2007    Professor, Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute
Jan 2001-Sep 2007    Director, Institute for Childhood and Neglected Diseases, The Scripps Research Institute
Jan 2000-Sep 2012    Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UC San Diego
Feb 2002-May 2003    Founder, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President, Phenomix Corporation
Jan 1999-Feb 2004     Director, Discovery Research, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation
Oct 1996-Nov 1998    Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute
Jun 1995-Sept 1996   Associate Professor with tenure, Biology Department, University of Virginia;
                                   Associate Professor of Cell Biology, University of Virginia Medical School
Jan 1992-Jun 1995     Assistant Professor, Biology Department, University of Virginia
Feb 1989-Dec 1991    Assistant Professor, The Rockefeller University
Feb 1985-Jan 1989     Postdoctoral Fellow, The Rockefeller University

Awards & Professional Activities

June 2014                   Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher
January 2014              Honorary D.Sc. degree, University of Bristol, UK
May 2011                    ASPB Award for the Martin Gibbs Medal
April 2010                   UCSD Chancellor's Associates Faculty Award for Excellence in Research
January 2010              Highly Cited Researcher, ISI
November 2009          AAAS Fellow
April 2008                   Member of the National Academy of Sciences USA
September 2007         Richard C. Atkinson Chair in Biological Sciences, UCSD
December 2002          Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2002
August 1999               Honma Prize for Life Sciences
December 1998          Science Breakthroughs of the Year 1998
December 1997          Science Breakthroughs of the Year 1997
1992-1996                 W.M. Keck Foundation Junior Faculty Award
1991-1993                 NIH Director's Shannon Award
1987-1989                 Winston Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
1985-1987                 NATO Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship

Selected References

All Publications

Hirota, T., Lee, J.W., St. John, P.C., Sawa, M., Iwaisado, K., Nogushi, T., Pongsawakul, P.Y., Sonntag, T., Welsh, D.K., Brenner, D.A., Doylle III, F.J., Schultz, P.G., Kay, S.A. Identification of small molecular activators of cyptochrome. Science 337:1094-1097, 2012

Nusinow, D.A., Helfer, A., Hamilton, E.E., King, J.J., Imaizumi, T., Schultz, T.F., Farré, E.M., Kay, S.A. The ELF4-ELF3-LUX Complex Links the Circadian Clock to Diurnal Control of Hypocotyl Growth. Nature 475:398-402, 2012

Zhang, E.E., Liu, Y., Dentin, R., Pongsawakul, P.Y., Liu A.C., Hirota, T., Nusinow, D.A., Sun, X., Landais, S., Kodama, Y., Brenner, D.A., Montminy, M.R., Kay, S.A.  Cryptochrome mediates circadian regulation of cAMP signaling and hepatic gluconeogenesis. Nature Med. 16:1152-1156, 2010

Zhang, E.E., Liu, A.C., Hirota, T., Miraglia, L.J., Welch, G., Pongsawakul, P.Y., Liu, X., Atwood, A., Huss 3rd , J.W., Janes, J., Su, A.I., Hogenesch, J.B., Kay, S.A. A genome-wide RNAi screen for modifiers of the circadian clock in human cells. Cell 139:199-210, 2009

Pruneda-Paz, J.L., Breton, G., Para, A., Kay, S.A. A functional genomics approach reveals CHE as a novel component of the Arabidopsis circadian clock. Science 323:1481-1485, 2009

Liu, A., Welsh, D.K., Ko, C., Tran, H., Zhang, E., Priest, A., Burr, E., Singer, O., Meeker, K., Verma, I., Doyle, F., Takahashi, J., and Kay, S.A. Intercellular coupling confers robustness against mutations in the SCN circadian clock network.  Cell 129:605-16, 2007

Sawa, M., Nusinow, D.A., Kay, S.A., Imaizumi, T. FKF1 and GIGANTEA complex is required for day-length measurement in Arabidopsis.  Science 318:261-5, 2007

Sato, T.K., Panda, S., Miraglia, L.J., Reyes, T.M., Rudic, R.D., McNamara, P., Naik, K.A., FitzGerald, G.A., Kay, S.A., Hogenesch, J.B.  A functional genomics strategy reveals Rora as a component of the mammalian circadian clock.  Neuron 43:527-537, 2004

Imaizumi, T., Tran, H.G., Swartz, T.E., Briggs, W.R., Kay, S.A. FKF1 is critical for photoperiodic-specific light signaling in Arabidopsis.  Nature 426:302-306, 2003

Yanovsky, M.J. and Kay, S.A. Molecular basis of seasonal time measurement in Arabidopsis.  Nature 419:308-312, 2002

Alabadi, D., Oyama, T., Yanovsky, M., Harmon, F.G., Mas, P., Kay, S.A. Reciprocal regulation between TOC1 and LHY/CCA1 within the Arabidopsis circadian clock. Science  293:880-883, 2001

Harmer, S.L., Hogenesch, J.B., Straume, M., Chang, H-S., Zhu, T., Wang, X., Kreps, J.A., Kay, S.A. Orchestrated transcription of key pathways in Arabidopsis by the circadian clock.  Science 290:2110-2113, 2000

Darlington, T., Wager-Smith, K., Ceriani, F., Staknis, D., Gekakis, N., Steeves, T., Weitz, C., Takahashi, J., Kay, S.A. Closing the circadian loop: CLOCK-induced transcription of its own inhibitors per and tim. Science 280:1599-1603, 1998

Plautz, J., Kaneko, M., Hall, J., Kay, S.A. Independent photoreceptive circadian clocks throughout Drosophila. Science 278:1632-1635, 1997

Millar, A.J., Carre, I., Strayer, C., Chua, N-H., Kay, S.A. Circadian clock mutants in Arabidopsis identified by luciferase imaging. Science 267:1161-1163, 1995