Former Intel Corp. chief executive Andy Grove has pledged $1.5 million to two University of California campuses -- San Francisco and Berkeley - to jointly launch the first program of its kind aimed at accelerating the translation of cutting-edge research into advances in patient care.
The commitment, which the two campuses will share equally, will enable UCSF and UC Berkeley to create a combined program in translational medicine at the master's level. The program aims to address the critical need for expediting new therapies to treat devastating diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes.
"The significance of this gift is that it reflects Andy's powerful vision of infusing the spirit of Silicon Valley innovation into the advancement of patient therapies and care," said UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH.
The two-year program was the brainchild of Grove, who believes that the model which has fueled innovation in technology can do the same in health care.
"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. "The best results are achieved through the cooperative efforts of different disciplines, all aimed at the same objective."
Despite the nearly $30 billion annual investment in federal research funding through the National Institutes of Health, there has been increasing concern that these investments have not resulted in the expected cures for life-threatening diseases. In fact, while inflation-adjusted federal research spending doubled from 1995 to 2005, new drug approvals were flat, said S. Claiborne "Clay" Johnston, MD, PhD, associate vice chancellor of research at UCSF and the director of the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which helped launch the program and will assist in its oversight.
Read more at Kristen Bole, UCSF News Office