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February 16, 1998

New chancellor named for UC San Francisco

J. Michael Bishop

By Rick Malaspina
UC Office of the President

Nobel laureate J. Michael Bishop, one of the world's foremost medical researchers and a leading advocate for science education and increased public investment in scientific research, was named chancellor of the University of California's San Francisco campus earlier this month.

Acting on the recommendation of UC President Richard C. Atkinson, the UC Board of Regents appointed Bishop, a longtime member of the UCSF faculty, during a meeting conducted by teleconference. The appointment is effective July 1.

Bishop, 61, will become the eighth person to lead UCSF in its 134-year history. It is the only one of UC's nine campuses devoted exclusively to the health sciences.

"I am delighted that Dr. Bishop will serve as UCSF's next chancellor," Atkinson said.

"He brings to the position international renown and a sterling record of accomplishment in research. He also is an inspirational and award-winning teacher, an eloquent spokesman for the university, and a highly effective fundraiser. Dr. Bishop's unique strengths and insight assure that UCSF will continue to excel as one of the world's premier health sciences centers."

Regents' Chairman Meredith J. Khachigian said of Bishop, "His extraordinary academic and scientific credentials, combined with his exuberance and affinity for UCSF and the San Francisco community, make him an outstanding leader for this stellar campus."

Bishop commented, "I have been serving UCSF for 30 years. I consider it one of the finest public institutions in the world. I will do my best to keep it that way and even make it better."

Bishop will succeed Haile T. Debas, dean of the UCSF School of Medicine. Debas accepted the chancellorship in July 1997 after former Chancellor Joseph B. Martin left to become dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard University. Debas planned to serve as chancellor no longer than a year.

"The Regents could not have chosen a more energetic, brilliant, dynamic person to lead UCSF into the next century," Debas said.

"Dr. Bishop enjoys the complete confidence of the faculty, he is a perfect leader at a time when UCSF will have a major expansion of its biomedical research program, and he will be a champion of academic health institutions nationally."

As chancellor, Bishop will preside over an academic enterprise composed of schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy, as well as a graduate division; the UCSF Medical Center, a part of the newly formed UCSF Stanford Health Care; and affiliated programs at San Francisco General Hospital and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

One of San Francisco's largest employers, UCSF has 3,700 students, residents, interns, and other health professionals in training, a 13,000-member faculty and staff, and an annual budget of $850 million. An additional 4,200 UCSF Stanford Health Care employees work at the UCSF site.

Bishop shared the Nobel Prize in 1989 with UCSF Professor Harold E. Varmus, who has been director of the National Institutes of Health since 1994. They won the award for discovering that normal cells contain genes that can cause cancer if they malfunction. Their discovery is widely credited with sparking a revolution in cancer research.

Recently appointed by President Clinton as chairman of the National Cancer Advisory Board, Bishop has been a key voice on national policy issues related to science education and scientific research. He has testified before Congress and has served on numerous public-service bodies such as the Committee on Life Sciences of the National Research Council.

At UCSF, Bishop is a distinguished and popular teacher and adviser. He has twice received the campus's Kaiser Award for Excellence in Teaching and in 1994 was appointed a University Professor, the highest honor UC can bestow on a professor in recognition of superior scholarship and teaching.

Among his administrative responsibilities, Bishop is the director of UCSF's George Williams Hooper Research Foundation, which conducts multidisciplinary research of human disease. He has also been the main force in creating and maintaining the Program in Biological Sciences at UCSF, an innovative program that has become a national model for the training of graduate students, and has served on a number of advisory committees concerning the academic and physical development of the UCSF campus.

Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, Bishop received his A.B. degree, summa cum laude, in 1957 from Gettysburg College. He earned his M.D. degree, cum laude, from Harvard in 1962 and went on to serve in a number of research, teaching, and clinical appointments.

He joined UCSF in 1968 as an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology. Soon after he became an associate professor and professor, and in 1982 was appointed a professor of biochemistry and biophysics. In addition, since 1990, he has been a nonresident fellow of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, CA.

Bishop's many honors and awards include the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the Armand Hammer Cancer Prize, and the Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences from the American Association of Medical Colleges. He is a member of several professional and honorary societies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Institute of Medicine, and the coauthor of three books and nearly 400 scientific papers, publications, and reviews.

In appointing Bishop as UCSF chancellor, the Regents approved an annual salary for him of $274,000.

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