Contributions to the Campaign for UCSF, a seven-year effort to raise $1.4 billion for the University of California, San Francisco, have topped the $1 billion mark—the first time a graduate institution in the U.S. has raised so much in a single campaign.
“The fact that we were able to reach this milestone in spite of the current uncertainty regarding the economy amounts to a resounding vote of confidence in UCSF and a demonstration of widespread belief in the importance of its mission as a world leader in biomedical research, clinical treatment, and health-care education,” said Andrew S. Grove, chairman of Intel Corporation and national chair of the Campaign for UCSF.
The Campaign’s success will reverberate far beyond Northern California. The Campaign is the largest university fundraising effort to focus solely on improving human health, and it supports an institution with an unrivalled history of scientific innovation. Among their many contributions over the decades, UCSF researchers have discovered vitamin E, established the nation’s first cancer research institute and first AIDS care unit, performed the first successful fetal surgery, revealed cancer-causing genes, devised a vaccine for hepatitis B, and identified a mysterious new class of deadly pathogens called prions.
The university has been home to three Nobel laureates, among them Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, MD, and it is the fourth largest recipient of research funds from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. (The School of Dentistry and School of Pharmacy rank first among peer institutions; the School of Medicine ranks third.
The School of Nursing ranks first in total number of NIH awards to schools of nursing and second in NIH dollar awards.) The UCSF Medical Center consistently ranks among the top 10 hospitals in the U.S. and currently ranks number 7, according to the U.S. News & World Report annual survey.
UCSF scientists virtually launched the biotech industry with the invention of recombinant DNA techniques now used to create human insulin and other life-saving drugs. The campus holds more U.S. patents than another other in the University of California system. Its discoveries have seeded nearly 70 biotechnology companies.
But innovation on this scale requires resources. Though UCSF scientists are uniquely poised to exploit advances in biomedical sciences, several factors hamper their progress, including state budget cutbacks, aging buildings, and difficult health-care economics. The Campaign’s $1 billion achievement will help university scientists overcome these barriers, greatly expanding the potential for medical breakthroughs. The Campaign hopes to raise the entire $1.4 billion by June 30, 2005.
“This institution has been opportunistic in the very best, most socially beneficial sense of the word,” said Chancellor Bishop. “It is one of a handful of players to have shaped modern biomedicine. It achieved this by going far beyond the ordinary, by taking risks. Now UCSF is poised to take another step forward.”
Evidence of the Campaign’s success already is apparent in San Francisco’s Mission Bay district, where UCSF is building a cutting-edge biomedical research campus on 43 acres of former industrial land—the largest urban redevelopment project of its kind in the nation. The first phase of the campus, supported in part by the Campaign, will include new research buildings, a campus community center, housing, shops, and Koret Quad, a landscaped park larger than the city’s Union Square.
University scientists begin moving into the first research facility, UCSF Genentech Hall, in January 2003. There, donor generosity to the Campaign finds tangible form. UCSF scientists will occupy state-of-the-art laboratories, and they will use them to sift for scientific gold: a cure for malaria, a microscope that sees molecules, a roadmap of the human brain. With the Campaign’s support, construction already has begun at Mission Bay on two new buildings to house researchers working in neuroscience, genetics, and bioengineering.
Along with Grove, Campaign for UCSF volunteers include Co-chairs Barbara Bass Bakar, former CEO of Emporium/Weinstocks and current chair of the UCSF Foundation; Brook H. Byers, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Arthur H. Kern, investor and civic volunteer; and William E. Oberndorf, managing director, SPO Partners & Co. and vice chair of the UCSF Foundation. The Campaign’s Chair Emeritus is A.W. Clausen, chairman and CEO (retired) of Bank of America.