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UC-Berkeley biochemist to lecture on realizing promise of research

Mark Reutter, Business & Law Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Edward Penhoet, a biochemist and a former dean of the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley, will give the Arnold O. Beckman Lecture in Science and Innovation April 4 (Tuesday) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The free public talk will start at 4 p.m. in Room 1122 at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, 301 N. Goodwin Ave., Urbana.

His lecture, “Realizing the Promise of Research: Translation of Technology Into Product,” will discuss how medical needs can be met through the commercialization of public-sponsored research, with an emphasis on stem-cell research.

Penhoet was a leader of the California Stem Cell Initiative, which led to the 2004 passage of Proposition 71 establishing the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed Penhoet vice chairman of the citizens group that oversees the institute’s work.

A longtime biochemist at UC-Berkeley, Penhoet co-founded the Chiron Corp. in 1981 with U. of I. alumnus William J. Rutter and became its CEO. The firm commercialized many medical discoveries, including a process by which human insulin is manufactured. He also organized Renovis, a biopharmaceutical company that has developed drugs to treat neurological diseases and disorders.

After leaving Chiron in 1998, he returned to UC-Berkeley to become dean of the School of Public Health. He is the president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.