Why Universities Are Key to the Future of Biotech, and How UCSF’s Chief is Showing the Way
What’s needed now are the creative partnerships, where someone knowledgeable about the whole process steps in and finds a way to more seamlessly bring together these two factions around what they have in common.
“These are hard times at universities in America. State support is dwindling, tuition is booming, and federal research dollars are in jeopardy. Morale has taken a beating.
But U.S. academic research centers are still the driving force for innovative new medicines, like always. And anyone who cares about U.S. universities should pay attention to what’s happening at UC San Francisco under the leadership of chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann.
Desmond-Hellmann, a biotech industry star from her days running drug development at Genentech, has her work cut out in her third year as UCSF’s chancellor. Like any executive arriving on campus, she’s had to learn a lot in a hurry. UCSF is a complex, 23,000-employee enterprise that does everything from studying the basic functions of stem cells to helping discover new drugs to treating patients. Starting in August 2009, she’s had the unpleasant job of overseeing furloughs, layoffs, and multi-million-dollar budget cuts. She’s said no, repeatedly, to promising new scientific initiatives…”