Most Influential Seattleites of 2017: Rick Horwitz

Seattle Magazine presents the Most Influential Seattleites of 2017.

By Sally James December 5, 2017

horowitz-crop

This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Seattle magazine.

He left comfortable tenure at the University of Virginia about two years ago to lead the brand-new nonprofit Allen Institute for Cell Science here in Seattle—and he’s wasted no time. In April, Rick Horwitz, Ph.D., and his team opened the Allen Cell Explorer, a free scientific resource, accessible to anyone in the world, that has the potential to help speed up insights about drugs and diseases.  

The Cell Explorer allows viewers to “see” inside microscopic photos of once-living cells. Forget parts of the cell you labeled in seventh-grade biology: mitochondria, nucleus, vacuole. “We don’t know where any of that is,” Horwitz explains. The inside of a cell is dynamic, moving and churning to conduct daily chores. The Explorer gives viewers ways to see 3-D images that are built using living cells, which are photographed in ways that expose specific structures at work.

Hundreds of science teachers and researchers are already using this new tool. (Researchers can even buy the actual stem cells used in the photos—frozen and then thawed—to grow in their own labs.) “This potential goes from textbooks to discovery. It is huge,” says Horwitz, a self-labeled nerd who describes himself as a mix of Jewish neurosis and Scandinavian reserve. At the Allen Institute, where the goal is scientific collaboration rather than individual achievement, Horwitz describes his role this way: “I clear the way for my team to be great.”

Read about the rest of 2017’s Most Influential Seattleites here.

 

Follow Us

Adrian Diaz Out As Seattle Police Chief

Adrian Diaz Out As Seattle Police Chief

Twenty-seven-year SPD veteran held the post for almost four years

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has reassigned Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz. The move comes as the department faces several legal challenges. Diaz was officially named chief of police by Mayor Bruce Harrell in September 2022 after he had served as interim chief since the summer of 2020, replacing Carmen Best. Harrell said former King County…

The Scourge of Tipflation

The Scourge of Tipflation

When to tip, and how much is too much?

What do vape shops, self-serve frozen yogurt outlets, ticket counters at movie theaters, and merch tents at concerts have in common?

No Cap: This is Really Bussin

No Cap: This is Really Bussin

Confused by Gen Z slang? This handy guide can help.

Gen Z has cooked up a dialect that's practically foreign to the rest of the world, and you can thank TikTok for that. Since its debut...

Editor's Note: Persistence and Progress

Editor’s Note: Persistence and Progress

Women share their perspective on equity and equality

During a recent appearance on entrepreneur Rachel Horgan’s new podcast, The Weekly, she jokingly told me something that caught me completely off-guard...