Noting his “extraordinary contributions to the scientific community,” the Graduate Division awarded the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award to postdoc alum Art Levinson at a gala dinner on April 9th during the recent UCSF Alumni Weekend festivities at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
The Graduate Division is pleased to honor Art Levinson, PhD, a UCSF postdoc alumnus who did his postdoctoral work with Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus in the Department of Microbiology. In the years since, he has become recognized as an exceptional leader in the biotech and tech industries. From 1995 to 2009 he was CEO of Genentech, and he was a director of Google from 2004 to 2009. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Apple and is founder and CEO (since 2013) of Calico, a research and development company focused on health, aging, and well-being.
In presenting Dr. Levinson with the Distinguished Alumnus Award, Elizabeth Watkins, dean of the Graduate Division and vice chancellor of Student Academic Affairs, observed that after completing his postdoc, Levinson was recruited by Herb Boyer, a UCSF professor and co-founder of Genentech, to join him at what was then just a start-up company. “Dr. Levinson had a remarkable career at Genentech, rising to CEO and eventually Chairman. Trained as a scientist, he is also known for his sharp business sense. Under his leadership, Genentech became one of the world's leading biotech companies.”
Levinson’s many previous distinctions include alumni achievement awards from Princeton University and the University of Washington, and being named “America’s Best CEO” in the biotech sector by Institutional Investor four years in a row (2004 to 2007). In 2008, Levinson was elected as a Fellow to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and in 2014 he was honored as a recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Barack Obama.
The Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award is presented each spring by the graduate dean to recognize former UCSF students and postdocs. The Graduate Division is honored to confer the 2016 award on a postdoc alumnus who has served as such an exemplary leader in science and business.
Read more about Alumni Weekend.