UCSF Mourns Loss of Andrew S. Grove (1936-2016)

By Mike Billings

The UC San Francisco community is deeply saddened by the passing of Andrew S. Grove, a Silicon Valley pioneer who applied his drive for innovation to advocacy for advancements in health care and the treatment of cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

Andew S. Grove
Andrew S. Grove

A longtime resident of the Bay Area, Grove was former CEO and chairman of Intel Corp., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of semiconductors. His impact extended into philanthropic and volunteer endeavors, including at UCSF, where he helped lead a fundraising effort in the late 1990s that was integral to establishing the UCSF Mission Bay campus. He also supported a number of groundbreaking research and educational programs.

“Andy Grove was a champion of innovation in the health sciences,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS. “His generous and tireless support of UCSF has transformed our university and helped accelerate our research into breakthrough treatments and better patient care.”

Grove generously supported several significant research programs at UCSF, which underwrote innovative research projects, helped recruit world-class scientists, and funded the technology and facilities that enable their work.

Most recently, his support was instrumental in the 2012 launch of the Center for Healthcare Value (CHV), an initiative that focuses on advancing rational, science-driven, and clinical health care solutions that reduce cost and improve quality.

“He wanted clinicians to account for cost in addition to quality, and he hoped that sharing performance information and prices with patients would allow consumers to drive the system to better outcomes,” said CHV Director R. Adams Dudley, MD. “Andy was passionate about change and disruption, and that helped the CHV be a catalyst at UCSF and beyond. He will be missed.”

The Masters in Translational Medicine degree program, a Grove brainchild launched jointly at UCSF and UC Berkeley after his gift to the two universities, also aimed at accelerating care for patients. The program addresses the critical need for expediting new therapies to treat devastating diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders, and diabetes by teaching the critical-thinking skills needed to maneuver new treatments from the lab bench to the patient’s bedside, through various obstacles along the way.

“What we have learned from decades of rapid development of information technology is that the key is relentless focus on ‘better, faster, cheaper’ – in everything,” Grove said when the program launched in 2010. “The best results are achieved through the cooperative efforts of different disciplines, all aimed at the same objective.”

Born András Gróf in Budapest, Hungary, in 1936, Grove survived the Nazi occupation and immigrated to the United States in the 1950s. He attended City College of New York, where he studied chemical engineering. He completed his PhD at UC Berkeley in 1963.

Grove, one of the first hires at Intel, became president of the technology company in 1979 and CEO in 1987. He served as board chairman from 1997 to 2005.

In 2000, Grove was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, after which he championed many research programs seeking a cure. At UCSF, he established the Kinetics Foundation Chair in Translational Research to support research in translational neuroscience with a special emphasis on Parkinson’s disease.

Grove’s generous support for UCSF also included funding for the UCSF Prostate Cancer Center, the Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building, obstetrics and gynecology research and programs, the Clinical & Translational Science Institute, and general surgery initiatives.

In addition to his generous philanthropy, Grove donated his time to UCSF, serving as national chair of the seven-year Campaign for UCSF, which raised more than $1.6 billion in support of research, education, and patient care programs, as well as UCSF’s expansion to Mission Bay. He was also a lifetime director of the UCSF Board of Overseers.