Not that Kelly hasn’t logged molecular-level achievements. As a professor (now emeritus) and department chair of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF, he studied the proteins that affect neuro-signaling and long-term memory. But in 2001, Kelly began to expand his role beyond laboratory and classroom. As executive vice chancellor, he oversaw UCSF’s entire research enterprise—an experience that deepened his insight into the relationship between a major public university and the place it calls home.
Mission Bay will respond to what the world needs, in health science and in our everyday lives. It will take UC citizenship to a new level.
Not long after UCSF completed its Mission Bay research facilities, Kelly was tapped for a position that takes full advantage of his specialized scientific expertise and broad perspective. Today he directs the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, QB3, which tackles complex biological problems by uniting the powerful computational tools of the physical sciences, engineering, and mathematics.
QB3 will play a vital role in the translational medicine—turning biomedical discoveries into lifesaving treatments—at the core of the UCSF mission. With research enterprises and three groundbreaking hospitals at Mission Bay, scientists and physicians will be able to collaborate as never before. And with connections to biotech companies in Silicon Valley, ideas born in UCSF laboratories and tested in UCSF clinics can be rapidly developed into the next generation of drugs, therapies, and technologies.
The ultimate impact of this work, Kelly believes, will be measured in medical breakthroughs shared worldwide, but also in the evolution of San Francisco itself. “What drives Mission Bay is more than the desire to expand the UCSF footprint,” Kelly says. “It’s a comprehensive urban concept of community. Mission Bay will create jobs. It will change the landscape all the way to Hunters Point. It will attract a particularly important industry—biotech. And it will bring people together.”
As someone who strives to see the big picture—of UCSF, of San Francisco, of tomorrow’s medicine—Kelly considers The Campaign for UCSF Medical Center a necessary, catalyzing investment. “Mission Bay will bring new energy to UCSF’s commitment to contributing to the place we inhabit,” he says. And, Kelly believes, the philanthropists this campaign attracts—people with the vision and courage to invest in bold social, scientific, and economic change—will be true champions.