With the holidays upon us – a time of celebration, appreciation, and grace – there could be no more fitting moment to share this extraordinary news: Bill Bowes, one of the most cherished members of our UCSF family, has pledged a $50 million gift to support early- and mid-career faculty at UCSF.
Bill, like all of you, knows well how powerful and crucial this particular form of support is. Indeed, it is because of the generosity of Bill and others that UCSF is known for identifying talented investigators early in their careers and providing the support they need to allow their scientific imagination to flourish.
Today, with Bill’s help, we have the opportunity to cement our tradition of bringing the best next-generation talent to UCSF and ensuring that these individuals have the resources to pursue their creative best.
The Bowes Biomedical Investigator Program will provide a five-year funding stream to investigators whose research shows unconventional and transdisciplinary approaches to discovery and whose work will have a significant impact. These scientists, while among the most creative, often operate outside historically defined disciplines and are particularly at risk for being overlooked by traditional funding sources.
This wonderful gift is a perfect capstone to Bill’s philanthropic interests at UCSF, which have fostered basic science that cuts across multiple disciplines. As chairman of the Mission Bay Capital Campaign, he catalyzed vital momentum and shepherded us through the building of UCSF’s state-of-the-science campus. He also serves on the Industry Advisory Board of QB3, a joint program with UCSF, UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Cruz dedicated to incubating transdisciplinary cutting-edge research and ensuring discoveries are quickly brought to benefit the citizens of California and the world. Bill also has supported such diverse areas as integrative medicine, neuroscience, and stem cell science, as well as our PhD students through the Discovery Fellows Program.
I first met Bill when I was named dean of the School of Medicine. His warmth and generosity were immediately apparent, as was his passion for helping young people to launch their careers. He has accomplished that with this gift and so many others. His impact on UCSF, now nearly $100 million strong, has been profound, as clearly evidenced by the people he has supported and the lives he has touched.
Many young UCSF scientists have captured Bill’s imagination through the years, and he has captured theirs. Time and again, I hear scientists talk of the enormous imprint he has made as a pioneer of the innovation capital of the world, and with such humility and generosity along the way.
I am deeply grateful that UCSF is part of such a remarkable legacy. You can read more about Bill and his gift on UCSF.edu
Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor