Richard Scheller, 23andMe

Richard H. Scheller joined 23andMe in April of 2015 as chief scientific officer and head of therapeutic development. He is responsible for translating genetic information into the discovery and development of new therapies for both common and rare diseases.


Prior to joining 23andMe, Scheller worked at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. Scheller was responsible for overseeing the strategy for research, drug discovery, business development, and early development activities. He joined Genentech in 2001 as senior vice president of research and was promoted to executive vice president of research in 2003. In 2008, he was named chief scientific officer. Following the company’s merger with the Roche Group in 2009, Scheller was promoted to executive vice president and head of Genentech research and early development, and joined the Roche enlarged corporate executive committee. Scheller served as chairman of the Genentech Foundation’s board of directors.


Scheller received his bachelor of science in biochemistry in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and his doctorate in chemistry in 1980 from the California Institute of Technology. After postdoctoral research fellowships at Caltech and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Scheller was hired as an assistant professor at Stanford University in 1982. In 1993, he was named a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and biological sciences, and in 1994 as an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Stanford University Medical Center. He has been an adjunct professor at UC San Francisco since 2004. Scheller's research elucidating the molecular mechanisms governing neurotransmitter release earned him the 2013 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the 2010 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience, and the 1997 US National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, among other honors. In 2014, he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Caltech.


He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. He has served on numerous advisory boards, including the National Advisory Mental Health Council of the National Institutes of Health. In 2014, he was named a trustee of Caltech.