Harold (“Hal”) Collard, MD, MS, a pulmonologist with deep roots at UC San Francisco, has been named UCSF’s next Vice Chancellor for Research. He currently serves as director of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) and associate vice chancellor for Clinical Research.
In his new post, Collard will oversee all aspects of research at UCSF, orienting the campus toward new directions in science and nurturing cross-campus and extramural collaborations. This includes improving UCSF’s research infrastructure, expanding the partnership between the UCSF research community and UCSF Health, and deepening relationships with the local community.
He also will advocate at the national level for research funding and policy support.
Hal brings to the job a tremendous amount of experience as a physician-scientist who has shown a deep appreciation for the full spectrum of the research enterprise.
“Hal brings to the job a tremendous amount of experience as a physician-scientist who has shown a deep appreciation for the full spectrum of the research enterprise,” said Dan Lowenstein, MD, executive vice chancellor and provost at UCSF. “He is someone who recognizes the vital importance of basic science as the key work that will bring about new treatments and cures, and also clinical trials that are needed to bring therapies to patients.”
Collard said he will be “a champion for research, someone who understands and stewards UCSF’s research mission. Someone who will ask, ‘What do we need to invest in now, so that five years from now we can continue to lead in cutting-edge research?’”
Leading through Change
In this combustible time, Collard notes, many different forces are coming to bear on academic medical centers like UCSF.
Basic, clinical, and translational science are being transformed by new technologies and a dramatic growth in computational speed and power, while societal forces have brought a renewed centering on health equity and anti-racism.
And there are global challenges, including the current SARS CoV-2 pandemic, climate change, and long simmering humanitarian crises.
“It is the responsibility of institutions like UCSF to lead the academic community into this volatile, uncertain and complex world, and to set institutional goals for research that address the emerging scientific and societal needs,” Collard says.
Physician-Scientist in Lung Disease
An expert in the care and research of a progressive, scarring lung condition called interstitial lung disease, Collard has been at UCSF for more than 20 years. He arrived in 1997 as a resident physician, becoming chief resident, and training under Talmadge E. King, Jr., MD, when they were both treating patients at San Francisco General Hospital.
Prior to Collard’s time at UCSF, he attended Harvard College and received his medical degree from Duke University. He spent four years at the University of Colorado, where he completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine, then returned to UCSF, where he has won awards for teaching, clinical care, research and mentoring. In 2021, he received a master’s degree in health law and policy from UC Hastings.
Most of Collard’s career has been dedicated to independent research in the field of interstitial lung disease. He has more than 200 scientific publications and is an internationally recognized leader in outcomes research, epidemiology and clinical trial design, collaborating with the NIH and industry sponsors to develop and oversee early and late phase protocols of novel therapeutics.
Overseeing Clinical and Translational Research
In 2016, Collard became co-director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTSI), and in 2019 he became the director. He has also served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research since 2019, focusing on improving clinical trials operations, biospecimen support services, and helping steward UCSF’s support for the clinical and translational research community.
As associate vice chancellor, Collard worked closely with Lowenstein to develop a vision for research on the Parnassus Campus, including the new Parnassus Research and Academic Building. And during the SARS CoV-2 pandemic, he developed clinical research policies that balanced the public’s health with the need to continue essential research protocols and helped to organize COVID-19 research stewardship across the enterprise.
It is the responsibility of institutions like UCSF to lead the academic community into this volatile, uncertain and complex world.
Collard also chairs the executive committee of University of California Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration, and Development (UC BRAID), a consortium of the five UC campuses with Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) programs that is dedicated to promoting cross-campus research collaboration and realizing efficiencies from UC-wide engagement.
In his current roles, Collard has made diversity, equity and inclusion an important part of his professional work. He helped develop initiatives within CTSI to sustain and expand successful initiatives from the School of Medicine’s Differences Matter campaign and provided pilot grant funding for anti-racism research. He also helped to establish a new position, the associate vice chancellor for research inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
“He’s demonstrated his superb leadership skills,” Lowenstein said. “He’s also someone who has shown a clear interest in the broader perspective of how an academic institution should organize itself to accomplish its mission.”