Dr. Pablo Valenzuela to Receive UCSF’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award


February 19 — The Graduate Division is proud to announce the first-ever recipient of the UCSF Graduate Division Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award, Pablo Valenzuela, PhD. The inaugural award recognizes Valenzuela for his service to UCSF, to his home country of Chile, and to the greater scientific community through his individual discoveries and leadership in creating organizations and businesses that will have a lasting positive impact throughout the world.

A UCSF postdoctoral scholar alumnus and former faculty member, Dr. Valenzuela is best known for his work in studying hepatic viruses and for the invention of the recombinant vaccine against the Hepatitis B virus. He is also directly responsible for the development of biotechnology products valued at $8 billion, as well as more than 50 patents and patent applications. Valenzuela currently serves as co-founder and scientific director of the Fundación Ciencia para la Vida, a nonprofit organization aimed at improving economic and societal development through the advancement of biological sciences in Chile. In addition, Valenzuela founded GrupoBios SA, the first biotechnology company in Chile, and together with William J. Rutter and Edward Penhoet, he founded Chiron Corporation in 1981, which became within a decade the second largest biotechnology company in the world. Valenzuela earned his PhD at Northwestern University and is a member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences.

The new Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award will be presented each spring by the graduate dean to honor former UCSF students as well as postdoc alumni. Dr. Valenzuela will be on hand to receive this year’s award in a festive presentation at UCSF Alumni Weekend on Saturday, April 27, 2013. For details on this and other activities of the Weekend, see ucsfalumni.org or contact gradalumni@support.ucsf.edu.

Additional information:

See more information on the Fundación Ciencia para la Vida on their website at www.cienciavida.cl.

See also this 2008 article in UCSF News, on the important ties between science in Chile and UCSF, and Valenzuela’s role in forging those connections.