San Francisco Chronicle Profiles UCSF Chancellor

April 13, 2010

UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, is profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle, appearing on the front page of the Sunday paper on April 11.

The article, now online at SFGate, charts the course of the chancellor’s life, from her childhood in Reno—her father depicts her as a zestfully competitive Scrabble player—to her medical residency at UCSF, to her accomplishments as president of product development at Genentech, to her goals as the ninth chancellor at UCSF.

The story features comments and warm reminisces from friends, relatives and colleagues, including Lloyd “Holly” Smith, who as chair of UCSF’s Department of Medicine, selected Desmond-Hellmann among other applicants vying to get into UCSF.

“I remember Sue as an intern,” he told the Chronicle. “We had hundreds of applicants from Ivy League schools, from Stanford. Sue came from the University of Nevada, an institution we hadn’t had any experience with. We took a chance on her because the university had written these letters filled with superlative descriptions. They said they had not seen a student like her.

“When she got here, she quickly stood out in a very elite group,” Smith said.

Frank McCormick, PhD, director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, describes her as the “god of drug development…She really oversaw the development of some of the top drugs that have had a major benefit to a huge number of cancer patients,’’ he said.“It doesn’t get much better than that.’’

Read the article here.