Kaspar Mossman works as communications director at QB3, the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences headquarters at UCSF Mission Bay.
When and why did you come to work at UCSF?
June 2009. I liked the people at QB3 who’d interviewed me. They were doing exciting things with science and entrepreneurship. They were a small team, and the job looked like it would let me do a bit of everything and let me take some initiative. Mission Bay seemed a cool place to work. Plus, I was keen to get back to the Bay Area from Washington, DC. Life is good out here.
What do you do at UCSF and how is it connected to the UCSF mission?
I’m the communications director at QB3. I get people engaged with our programs. It’s a total communications and marketing job. I manage the website, event marketing, social media, print material.
To advance health requires delivering the benefits of university research to society. QB3 makes that happen by helping scientists partner with industry and aiding entrepreneurs in starting companies. My role is to let people know what QB3 does and to show them what’s in it for them.
What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of your job?
The most challenging thing is explaining what QB3 is and does. QB3 means many things to many people—plus, we represent not just UCSF but also UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. What is rewarding is that as I create communications for the institute, I am actively helping define QB3. When you discuss how to communicate what you are and do, it exposes what is essential and what is not.
If you chose another career path outside UCSF what would it be?
If freelance journalism paid a living wage and came with healthcare, I’d write long-form features for magazines.
What's something that members of the UCSF community would be surprised to know about you?
I love funk and jazz. I played saxophone in a band that opened for Colin Hay of the 1980s group Men at Work.
What are your favorite things to do with your free time?
I’m a parent of two young kids. I have no free time. If I did I would play saxophone.
What is a common misconception about QB3?
That we are a UCSF-only institute. One of our strengths is that we connect people across UC campuses.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Running a communications team at an expanded QB3. I enjoy helping produce multimedia but to do it well takes time and I don’t have the bandwidth. We’ve had some talented interns making video and audio for us and I hope in the future we could hire one or two people fulltime.
Photo by Elisabeth Fall