Major research universities like UCSF typically cover the cost of tuition and living expenses for their basic science PhD students. But this model has become more difficult over the past decade as state funding for higher education has dwindled and federal funding from the National Institutes of Health, has stayed mostly flat.
While the funding to cover students comes from many university sources, UCSF faculty are under increasing pressure to use their federal research grants to support these costs. The endowment will relieve these pressures.
Weve given to educational institutions where theres an emphasis on excellence, government support has evaporated and there is an urgent need to ensure that smart souls dont have financial hurdles that prevent them from conducting great work, said Moritz. You cant live in San Francisco without being aware of the role that UCSF plays in the community, and everyone in Silicon Valley knows the debt that the entire biotechnology industry owes to UCSF.
UCSF biochemist Herbert Boyer and Stanfords Stanley Cohen jointly discovered how to create recombinant DNA, which involves splicing genes from one organism into another. Boyer went on to co-found Genentech, Inc., which launched the biotechnology industry, pioneering the use of these techniques to create powerful new drugs.
Moritz, who is chairman of Sequoia Capital, in Menlo Park, said he and Heyman chose to give to UCSFs basic science programs because of the enormous potential for future payoffs. Heyman is an author and a former editor at The New York Times who has written for numerous publications. She also serves as a volunteer in a lab at UCSF.
Sequoia Capital made important early investments in Apple, Cisco, Google, Yahoo! and PayPal, and Moritz said he sees parallels to venture capital in his and his wifes donation to UCSFs educa
|Contact: Laura Kurtzman|
University of California - San Francisco