PODCAST: An Interview with Henry Samueli, PhD


Simply understanding how the am/fm radio works; that was the assignment for Henry Samueli’s 7th-grade electric shop class, the point in his life that turned out to be the beginning of it all. In the latest episode of On Human Flourishing, Samueli sits with Wayne B. Jonas, MD, to discuss the long path of life, which later led him to dive into the world of integrative medicine.

Samueli’s journey in integrative health began on the home front, as he watched his wife, Susan, nurse their children to health using homeopathy, Chinese herbs, and nutrition. He admits that he found it mystical at first, but later, after watching his children flourish, he came to appreciate it.

“I’m a complete believer that these alternative therapies have a lot of efficacy.” –Henry  Samueli, PhD


Samueli’s successes in engineering allowed him to act philanthropically, investing in science education for young people. Much of his philanthropic work was executed through the Samueli Foundation, a charity organization started by his wife, Susan Samueli, PhD. The Samueli Foundation endeavors to create value within society by endowing innovation, entrepreneurial and sustainable ideas. Mr. and Mrs. Samueli later began investing in organizations and projects having to do with complementary and alternative medicine, the only thing missing according to Henry Samueli, was the science that supported this form of medical care.

“That became another area of interest for us; to try to develop some scientific evidence behind it.” -Henry Samueli

To unveil the science behind the esoteric world of integrative medicine, Henry and Susan Samueli first started a research center at University of California, Irvine. Later, the Samueli’s partnered with Dr. Jonas to start the Samueli Institute for Information Biology, now called Samueli Institute.

Jonas believes that Samueli has “a passionate drive to enhance human flourishing,” and there is much more in the future for the Samueli Foundation in the area of integrative health. Henry Samueli’s “primary motivation,” in starting Samueli Institute and pursuing his other philanthropic projects was to understand how integrative medicine works, just like the radio from his electric shop class. Today, he continues to transcend mere curiosity, by helping Samueli Institute in exploring the science of healing to create a flourishing society.

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