Our Leadership

Keith Yamamoto, PhD, has served as the director of PBBR for more than 18 years. Dr. Yamamoto has dedicated his career to improving the practice of science and amplifying its impact beyond the walls of academia.

As a Princeton University graduate student in the early 1970s, Dr. Yamamoto helped his mentor, Bruce Alberts, PhD, start a program to introduce the excitement of biological research to Trenton, N.J., high school students. In that politically volatile time, he also participated in Vietnam War protests and took a leave of absence to work full time on George McGovern’s presidential campaign. Those experiences introduced Dr. Yamamoto to the challenges of working with people who see the world differently and to the idea that scientists had a bigger role to play in advancing their own work and bringing the benefits of science to the world at large.

When he joined UCSF in 1976, Dr. Yamamoto continued pursuing those values – as chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, vice dean of the School of Medicine, vice chancellor for research, and the university’s first vice chancellor of science policy and strategy. Throughout his career, he has continued to conduct breakthrough basic science research. His work has been recognized with many awards, including election to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Yamamoto is tremendously grateful to Herb and Marion Sandler, whose visionary philanthropy laid the foundation for PBBR in 1997.

External Scientific Advisory Committee

Sir Paul M Nurse, PhD
Francis Crick Institute, London
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2001

Eric Kandel, MD
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2000

Huda Zoghbi, MD
Baylor College of Medicine