Koret grant signals collaboration with UCSF on Berkeley Global Campus

Efforts to chart the research agenda of the Berkeley Global Campus received a boost today, as leaders of UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco announced a joint planning grant from the San Francisco-based Koret Foundation.

The $1 million gift will help shape part of the research agenda of the global campus planned for the Richmond waterfront and identify how the two institutions will collaborate there in the future along four research themes:

  1. Global and public health, which will allow UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco to work collaboratively in addressing pressing needs in global population health as well as environmental issues that affect the health of surrounding communities;
  2. Quantitative precision medicine, which seeks to better understand the multitude of genetic and environmental mechanisms of disease, disease susceptibility, risk prediction and the development of tailored treatments for patients. The work will also address the challenges of collecting, dynamically tracking, storing, querying and visualizing massive and diverse biomedical, molecular, clinical, and social/behavioral data that will comprise the baseline electronic health record of the future;
  3. Diagnostic and therapeutic precision medicine, which will allow both campuses to work collaboratively to develop the technologies and tools to more effectively diagnose and treat disease;
  4. Microbial research, which examines the microbial world and has potentially dramatic implications for every area of human activity from health, energy production, agriculture, to even the architectural design of physical buildings.

berkeley global campus“We are delighted to take this important step together with UCSF and articulate the opportunities for a robust research and academic agenda informed by the deep talent and strengths of both institutions,” said UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks. “This partnership bodes well for the future, and we’re grateful to the Koret Foundation for making this foundational planning possible.”

The BGC has been a priority of Dirks since the fall of 2014, when UC Berkeley first announced plans to build the campus on university-owned property. It has been envisioned as a focal point for addressing complex global challenges across disciplines through a new model that brings leading researchers and academics from around the world to Richmond, rather than the campus planting a satellite campus abroad.

“By uniting UC Berkeley’s pioneering strides in engineering and computation with breakthrough biomedical research and health care at UCSF, the Koret Foundation has made a remarkable investment to advance research in multiple facets of quantitative and health sciences,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood. “I am confident that this uniquely transdisciplinary partnership, encompassing genetic, ecological and biomedical concerns, among others, will advance present strategies to save lives as well as produce new discoveries impacting the world.”

The planning grant covers a two-year period, and will highlight research strengths of both institutions. It will culminate in a report and action plan, positioning and propelling the Berkeley Global Campus as a vital new locus of research and multi-institutional collaboration, with benefits for the entire Bay Area and ultimately the global community.

“UC Berkeley and UCSF are remarkable world-class institutions committed to excellence in teaching, research, and serving the public,” said Dr. Michael J. Boskin, president of the Koret Foundation. “Building on a long history of support, the Koret Foundation is honored to fund this planning grant at a pivotal time in the formation of the Berkeley Global Campus. By creating a hub of scientific innovation, this partnership has the potential to shape the next generation of medicine, benefiting the health of humankind for decades to come.”

For more information see the Berkeley Global Campus website.