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Class Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

William A. Lee, M.Sc. ’79, Ph.D. ’82

Outstanding Alumnus. William Lee has made remarkable contributions to UC San Diego and beyond. While at UCSD, Lee studied chemistry, training under Professor Teddy Traylor, who helped him develop a strong chemical foundation for future drug innovations.

Currently serving as the senior vice president in research and pharmaceutical development at Gilead Sciences, Lee controls all research and discovery for the company’s primary focus: HIV/AIDS, liver and serious cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. Gilead has developed and cornered the market through its ability to look at novel research outside the traditional pharmaceutical parameters.

Heading the second largest research-based biopharmaceutical company in the world is no small feat. Lee is the co-inventor of Roche’s Cellcept, a drug prescribed to patients who have kidney, heart or liver transplants. And, since joining Gilead in 1991, Lee has greatly contributed to the rising company by developing innovative medicines in many areas of unmet medical need.

With an interest in innovation and discovery, Lee shines in his own affinity for UCSD. Since 2003, his relationship with the University has grown immensely. As an active member of both Chancellor’s Associates as well as the Physical Science Dean’s Advisory Board, he continues to support UCSD on multiple levels. His own story shows the next generation of scientists how academic and corporate communities can partner together to contribute to health care and disease management.