Dr. Holmes was appointed a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator at Duke University School of Medicine in 1974 and later became the James B. Wyngaarden Professors of Medicine. He was recruited to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1991 as the Chair of the Department of Medicine and the Frank Wister Thomas Professor of Medicine and Genetics. In 1997 he became the Joseph Grant Professor in the School of Medicine, the Senior Associate Dean for Research, Vice President of Translational Medicine and Clinical Research, and Special Counsel to the President of the University on Biomedical Research at Stanford University. In January 1999 Dr. Holmes returned to Duke University as the Dean of the School of Medicine and Walter Kempner Professor in Medicine and Genetics. Dr. Holmes was appointed Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego in the fall of 2000 and served in this role until October 2006. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Vice Chancellor/Dean of Health Sciences Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, and CEO/President of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Holmes became the Executive Deputy Chairman of the Biomedical Research Council and the Executive Chairman of the National Medical Research Council in Singapore in October 2006; he is currently a Senior Fellow in A*STAR and Advisor to the National Research Council of Singapore. He also holds an appointment as the Lien Ying Chow Professor of Medicine at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.
Dr. Holmes has engaged in basic biomedical and clinical research throughout his academic career and his laboratory has focused on the molecular bases of human disease.
Dr. Holmes has served on the Council of Advisors for the National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. He served as Chair of the Research Advisory Board of GlaxoSmithKline, the SAB of Ajinomoto and Board of Directors of Tularik, Inc. He also served on the Grand Challenges Explorations Innovation Review Panel for the Gates Foundation. He has received Distinguished Alumnus Awards from the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University. He has been elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the United States National Aacdemy of Medicine. For his contributions to the Singapore government Dr. Holmes was made an Honorary Citizen in 2011, and he was awarded the President’s Science and Technology Medal in 2017.