The professorship will be named in memory of Bowes's mother, Ruth Garland, a distinguished physician who was one of the first women to graduate from the Stanford School of Medicine, where she later taught. Garland was born in Santa Barbara and raised in Ojai.
"Mr. Bowes's generous gift provides UCSB with the flexibility to build on our existing strength as a leading center for collaborative interdisciplinary stem cell research," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "In my meetings with him I have been impressed and personally touched not only by his vision for the future of science, but also by his dedication to the memory of his late mother."
Michael Witherell, UCSB vice chancellor research, said, "UCSB is bringing to stem cell research its characteristic approach of integrating science and engineering in a single center. The Ruth Garland Chair is central to this approach, because it allows us to attract a researcher of national stature to lead the new center."
Embryonic stem cells are among the first cells to form after an egg is fertilized and exist for just a few days before giving rise to specialized cells. Their ability to become any type of tissue in the body is what gives them potential as a means to study human disease in a Petri dish or for use as "replacement" cells for damaged ones.
The interdisciplinary Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering, which is pending formal approval by UCSB's Academic Senate, will help expand existing stem cell studies already under way on campus and stimulate new investigations of stem cell biology and engineering.
Earlier this year, UCSB was awarded $2.26 million by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to construct new research facilities dedicated to collaborative research in the emerging field. More than 20 researchers from UCSB, Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, and Cottage Hospital plan to use the new laboratory facility on the UCSB campus.
"The Ruth Garland Chair will allow the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) to build upon its research and teaching in the area of developmental biology, with an emphasis on the basic mechanisms that underlie proliferation and differentiation of cells," said Dennis Clegg, professor and chair the MCDB. "Because of the potential for the treatment of disease, stem cell research is one of the most exciting subjects in developmental biology."
Ruth Garland's grandparents settled in Santa Barbara in 1855. She was born in 1897. Garland earned both a B.A. in bacteriology and a medical degree from Stanford University. While in medical school she participated in a groundbreaking diabetes study with Dr. William Sansum in Santa Barbara. Two of her brothers were diabetic, and their participation in the study significantly improved their quality of life. She later married William K. Bowes, and they had two children, William K. Bowes, Jr., and the late John Bowes. Garland maintained a general practice in San Francisco.
Endowed chairs are important to the future of the campus because they make it possible for UCSB to attract and retain leading scholars. Investment income generated by the endowment provides the chair holder with ongoing support for research and instruction, scholarships and fellowships, innovative programs, and facilities.
Since the inception of The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara in 2000, UCSB's endowment—now estimated at $190 million—has grown by $115 million. Forty-four new endowed professorships have been established during the campaign to help build and support the teaching and research of the university's distinguished faculty, bringing UCSB's total to 68.
About the Donor
William K. Bowes, Jr. has been a successful venture capitalist in the San Francisco Bay area for 35 years. He was a founding shareholder and the first chairman and treasurer of Amgen, Inc., which has become a leading human therapeutic company in the biotechnology industry. Amgen pioneered the development of novel products based on advances in recombinant DNA and molecular biology and launched the biotechnology industry's first blockbuster medicines. Today, Amgen continues to be an entrepreneurial, science-driven enterprise dedicated to helping people fight serious illness.
Since 1981, Bowes has been a founding partner of U. S. Venture Partners (USVP), a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm. USVP works alongside entrepreneurs to build companies that define and dominate high-growth markets in information technology and healthcare.
At USVP, Bowes has led the firm's investments in Advanced Cardiovascular Systems, Applied Biosystems, Cardio Vascular Imaging Systems, Devices for Vascular Intervention, Glycomed, Sun Microsystems, among other initiatives.
Before founding USVP, he was a senior vice president and director of Blyth Eastman Dillon & Co. and a consultant to Blyth Eastman Paine Webber.
Bowes holds a B.A. in economics from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.
At UCSB, Bowes, and his wife, Ute, have been generous benefactors. They helped establish the George and Joy Rathmann Fellowships in the Division of Molecular, Life, and Physical Sciences and the John Carbon Chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The Carbon Chair is named in honor of UCSB Emeritus Research Professor John Carbon, a pioneering biochemist who has made numerous contributions to advance medical research.
In addition, William Bowes recently established the Ruth Garland Chair for the Director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering at UCSB in memory of his mother.
Previously, he established an endowed chair in memory of his parents in Stanford's School of Engineering.
The couple reside in San Francisco.