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Gladstone Taps Duke Official as New President

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—October 23, 2009—The J. David Gladstone Institutes today announced that Robert Sanders “Sandy” Williams, MD, has been appointed the new president of the Institutes. Dr. Williams, most recently senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at Duke University Medical Center, will succeed Gladstone founding director and president Robert W. Mahley, MD, PhD, who is stepping down after 30 years to pursue his research into the biology of apolipoprotein E in heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.

The Gladstone Institutes, located at San Francisco's Mission Bay biotech hub, has become one of the region's top independent biomedical research institutes, focusing on cardiovascular disease, HIV and other immunological diseases, and Alzheimer's disease and related neurological afflictions. Williams, who will take over on March 1, 2010, was also named the Robert W. and Linda L. Mahley Distinguished Professor at the Gladstone Institutes. The professorship was endowed by Bill and Eva Price.

“Sandy Williams brings to Gladstone a passion for basic research and extensive experience in all of the elements of growing an academic research institution,” said Mahley. “I can't imagine anyone better suited to take Gladstone into the future.”

Williams earned a BA from Princeton University and an MD from Duke. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in cardiology at Duke. In 1980, he joined the faculty at Duke as an assistant professor of medicine, physiology, and cell biology. He spent 1984 as a visiting professor at Oxford University, and 1995 as a visiting scientist at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

In 1990, he joined the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center as professor, chief of cardiology, and director of the Ryburn Center for Molecular Cardiology. He also was a founder of the Center for Biomedical Invention to translate discoveries in cell and molecular biology into useful medical therapeutics. From 2001 to 2007, he was dean of the Duke School of Medicine. In 2005, he became the founding dean of the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, a position he held through the 2007ñ2008 academic year.

“This is an extraordinary honor and challenge,” said Williams. “Gladstone has a sterling reputation in the scientific community, and I am thrilled to become a part of this great institution.”

Williams's research focuses on genes, proteins, and pathways that control the development and proliferation of cardiac and skeletal muscle cells. He has chaired committees for the American Heart Association, including its Research Committee, which annually distributes more than $200 million in research funding. He also has served as president of the Association of University Cardiologists, on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and on the Board of External Advisors to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. He serves currently as a Director on the boards of Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Laboratory Corporation of America. In addition, he is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

About the Gladstone Institutes
The J. David Gladstone Institutes, an independent, non-profit biomedical research organization affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), is dedicated to the health and welfare of humankind through research into the causes and prevention of some of the world's most devastating diseases. Gladstone is comprised of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease.

About the Gladstone Institutes
To ensure our work does the greatest good, the Gladstone Institutes focuses on conditions with profound medical, economic, and social impact—unsolved diseases. Gladstone is an independent, nonprofit life science research organization that uses visionary science and technology to overcome disease. It has an academic affiliation with the University of California, San Francisco.

Contact Person

Julie Langelier
Direct line: (415) 734-5000