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UC Officials Pay Tribute to Chancellor Bishop

UCSF Chancellor Mike Bishop, MD, received a standing ovation on Friday from faculty, staff, students and others who had gathered to meet his successor, Chancellor-elect Susan Desmond-Hellmann.

UC President Mark Yudof on Friday recognized the extraordinary service of Chancellor Mike Bishop, MD, for his “energetic, strong and visionary leadership at UCSF.”

During his 11 years at the helm of UCSF, Bishop led the development of the teaching and research campus at Mission Bay and the creation of the UCSF Strategic Plan, a blueprint that guides the University’s course as a global leader in health sciences. Bishop is also recognized for his role in planning for the new medical center at Mission Bay and the new stem cell research building now being constructed on the Parnassus campus, among many other accomplishments.

Yudof thanked Bishop for his wise counsel while Yudof was learning the ropes as a rookie president of the 10-campus University of California system. Bishop “leaves big shoes to fill,” Yudof said.

Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH – a cancer researcher herself – who will take over as chancellor at UCSF on August 3, calls Bishop “a hero.” A pioneering scientist, Bishop and his colleague Harold Varmus, MD, shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1989 for cancer research.

Bishop has received numerous honors for his scientific research. The 1989 Nobel Prize awarded to the Bishop-Varmus team recognized their discovery of proto-oncogenes, normal genes that can be converted to cancer genes by genetic damage. Their work eventually engendered the recognition that all cancer probably arises from damage to normal genes, and provided new strategies for the detection and treatment of cancer.

Bishop also has been honored with the 2003 National Medal of Science by President George W. Bush and appointment as member and chair of the National Cancer Advisory Board by President Bill Clinton.

Desmond-Hellmann says she plans to follow Bishop’s lead in building upon his successful initiatives, including championing diversity. “Mike Bishop has made an enormous effort to focus the campus on diversity, something I hope to continue.”

Outgoing UC Regents Chairman Richard Blum also praised the vision and leadership of Bishop, saying that “it’s amazing what’s been done at Mission Bay.”

One of the largest academic biomedical research centers in the United States, the Mission Bay campus was launched with a groundbreaking ceremony in 1999. Today, it is a thriving environment for scientists and scholars that includes research buildings, housing and a community center, all enhanced by an extensive program of public art designed to create a visually stimulating environment. Completion of the 57.5-acre campus is expected in 2020, when it will include a new UCSF Medical Center.

Bishop will step down as chancellor, effective June 30. He will continue to serve on the UCSF faculty as a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and as director of the G. W. Hooper Foundation, a biomedical research unit at UCSF.

Photo by Susan Merrell

Related Links:

UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop Announces Plan to Step Down
UCSF News Release, Oct. 24, 2008

History of UCSF Chancellors