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Forbes' Most Powerful Woman in Business Tackles the Future of Health Science

Susan Desmond-HellmannOn April 21, 2011 Samuel Merritt University will host the 21st Annual Picchi Memorial Community Lecture at the Health Educating Center (HEC) starting at 6:00p.m.  The hour-long lecture will focus on the future of health sciences in the U.S.  Leading the discussion is one of Forbes' most powerful women in business, Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH. 

In her role as Chancellor, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann oversees all aspects of the university and medical center's strategy and operations.  She holds the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor appointment at UCSF.  Before working at UCSF, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann served as president of product development at Genentech, a position she held from 2004 through 2009.  During her tenure at Genentech, several of the company's therapeutics were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  The company became the nation's number one producer of anti-cancer drug treatments.

"Dr. Desmond-Hellmann's work in overseeing the development of several promising cancer drugs and the final testing phase of others in the non-profit field and as Chancellor at UCSF makes her uniquely qualified to speak about the future of health sciences at this year's Picchi Lecture," said Sue Valencia, Executive Director of Development and Alumni Affairs

For her outstanding contributions in the healthcare industry, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann has received numerous recognitions.  In October of 2010 she was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.  In November 2009, Forbes magazine named her as one of the world's seven most powerful innovators, calling her "a hero to legions of cancer patients."  Other recognitions include being named to Fortune magazines Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.

UCSF Chancellor Desmond-Hellmann"Everyone in and around the SMU community is excited to hear what Dr. Desmond-Hellmann has to say," said Valencia.  "We are pleased and honored that she has agreed to present at this year's Picchi Lecture series."

For more than twenty years, Picchi Lecture speakers have been selected to inform the community about a broad variety of medical topics.  The money raised at each lecture series helps fund the Picchi Collection of Health Information in the John A. Graziano Memorial Library on the Oakland campus of the University.  The lecture series is named in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Picchi

"Dr. Picchi was an energetic and beloved physician who prized health education," said Valencia.  "Both Dr. and Mrs. Picchi firmly believed that education is the most powerful form of preventive medicine."

The Picchi Collection of health information is open to the public-at-large and is located in the John A. Graziano Memorial Library at the HEC on the Samuel Merritt University campus in Oakland.  Contributions of $25 per person is requested but not required to attend the Lecture which will be followed by a reception.  For more information on the 21st Picchi Lecture contact Gena Caya, Development Assistant at 510.869.8628.

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