Scientific American’s recently named top 100 group of biotechnology visionaries includes eight people with University of California ties.
The magazine’s Worldview 100 includes scientists, entrepreneurs and investors who have reshaped biotechnology and are “the industry’s leading lights.”
Those with links to UC are:
Roger Beachy, director of the World Food Center at UC Davis
Beachy is a plant biologist known for developing disease-resistant crops. He joined the World Food Center as its founding director in 2014.
Atul Butte, director of the Institute for Computational Health Sciences at UC San Francisco
Butte hopes to change the world of medicine by developing diagnostic and therapeutic discoveries and bringing them “into the marketplace and closer to patients.”
Brook Byers, founding member of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Byers has developed large biotechnology venture capital funds and has been an extensive supporter of research at UC San Francisco, which has established the Byers Family Distinguished Professorship.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The former UCSF chancellor is working at the Gates Foundation to accelerate public-private partnerships that can develop biotech innovations specifically to help low-income countries.
Jennifer Doudna, Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Professor in Biomedical and Health Sciences at UC Berkeley
Doudna helped create a groundbreaking and simple genome editing technique called CRISPR-Cas9 that could help develop therapies for treating numerous diseases.
Pam Ronald, director of the Laboratory for Crop Genetics Innovation and Scientific Literacy at UC Davis
Ronald co-developed genetically engineered rice varieties that are disease resistant and can tolerate floods. She’s also a professor of plant pathology and is director of grass genetics at the Energy Department’s Joint Bioenergy Institute.
Craig Venter, founder of the J. Craig Venter Institute
The UC San Diego alumnus, part of the Worldview 100 top 10, led part of the effort to sequence the human genome in 2000. More recently, he co-founded and is CEO of Human Longevity Inc., which hopes to combine genomics with advanced computing to create new therapies to extend years of high-quality life.
Shinya Yamanaka, professor at UC San Francisco and the Kyoto University Center for iPS Cell Research and Application
Yamanaka received the 2012 Nobel Prize for his invention of induced pluripotent stem cells, a method for reprogramming mature cells, which could lead to new medical treatments.