UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann “Shapes an Empire,” Says NYT

10/11/11Follow @xconomy

Susan Desmond-Hellmann joked to me a couple weeks back in an interview about how UCSF doesn’t quite have the national profile it deserves, partly because it doesn’t have a football team. But this week, at least, UCSF got some major national attention, as the UCSF chancellor got a lot of ink in the New York Times.

Desmond-Hellmann talked to the Times’ Denise Grady about why she has been inspired to invest for the future at UCSF during a down time in the economy, sort of like how the founders of Apple and Genentech dreamed big in the malaise of the 1970s. Desmond-Hellmann has been profiled before, and this piece covers some of her life story, along with what she’s aspiring to do at UCSF. This is a well-written article, as Desmond-Hellmann comes off as the warm, upbeat character that I think many readers who know her will recognize.

This story comes about a week after Desmond-Hellmann gave her “State of the University” talk, in which she sought to rally the 23,000 UCSF employees around the big mission of becoming “the world’s pre-eminent health sciences innovator.” Part of that vision depends on collaborating with other universities, and industry. You can check a condensed, 4.5 minute version of her talk on the UCSF site, or by clicking on the video below.

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