Gilead Foundation Grants SF State $3.5M for Science & Engineering Innovation Center

Grant funding will support students and fund state-of-the-art equipment in the University's new Science & Engineering Innovation Center

The Gilead Foundation, the philanthropic non-profit organization from Bay Area biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc., awarded San Francisco State University $3.5 million in grant funding for the University’s new Science and Engineering Innovation Center (SEIC) slated for completion in 2024. The grant moves the University closer to its Catalyze the Future campaign goal to raise $25 million in private funds for research equipment and student support related to the new building.

“We thank Gilead and share their conviction that their generosity will inspire other companies to follow their extraordinary example,” said San Francisco State Dean of the College of Science & Engineering Carmen Domingo. "Gilead's generous investment in the building and our students' success is also a tremendous investment in the Bay Area's unparalleled STEM workforce. Their support allows the University and our exceptional faculty to further strengthen SF State's proud record of helping fuel a highly qualified and diverse regional workforce pipeline.”

The funds will outfit SEIC’s labs with state-of-the-art equipment and furnishings that will train students in essential skills required for biopharma, biotech and engineering careers. For example, SEIC houses a fluids and process control lab with a wind tunnel to evaluate wind turbines and vehicle aerodynamic efficiency as well as a biophysical and chemical analysis lab where students can conduct sophisticated experiments.

“All students should have access to state-of-the-art equipment, a quality education and the opportunity to prosper as they enter the workforce,” said Andrew Dickinson, Chief Financial Officer of Gilead, and member of the Gilead Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Our relationship with San Francisco State University will help to expand the robust science and engineering education and research at the University for years to come and help it continue to provide students with the education they need to thrive. We hope that our grant will inspire other funders, particularly those in the biotech sector, to do the same.”

Gilead Foundation is also committing to student success by investing in new summer and academic programs for STEM students. Their investment will also help finance fellowships for undergraduate and master’s students in research labs.

The College of Science & Engineering (CoSE) has steadily grown and this new 125,000-square-foot science building will help sustain this expansion and support the University’s role as leaders in fueling the workforce of the Bay Area. It will be prominently visible on 19th Avenue and is anticipated to benefit more than 7,000 CoSE students annually.


University raises $10 million for new science building

SF State moves closer to its fundraising goal for the Science & Engineering Innovation Center thanks to the Genentech Foundation and other partners

San Francisco State University has received commitments totaling more than $10 million from the Genentech Foundation and other partners in support of the new Science & Engineering Innovation Center (SEIC). The gifts mark the public launch of San Francisco State’s Catalyze the Future campaign to raise $25 million from private sources. With the California State University system investing $150 million to fully cover the facility’s construction, $25 million in privately raised funds will provide leading-edge research equipment and support to student success initiatives and programming related to SEIC.

Among the funds raised thus far is a generous $5 million gift from the Genentech Foundation. The majority of these funds ($3.5M) will provide state-of-the-art equipment for chemistry teaching labs and activities. The remainder will contribute to student scholarships, support faculty designing new chemistry curricula associated with new ways of teaching chemistry on campus, and help faculty and student research activities in the new building. Commitments from other funders to date focus on equipment and instrumentation for the facility.

“The Catalyze the Future campaign builds on our decade-long partnership with SF State by expanding access to the most advanced technologies, facilities and curricula to make it easier for students from historically underrepresented communities to pursue degrees in STEM fields,” said Allen Napetian, Board Chair of the Genentech Foundation and Vice President, Site Services at Genentech. “We are already so impressed by SF State students and faculty, and now expect the renovations and improvements supported by this new funding to further enhance students’ educational experience and academic outcomes.”

The 179,000-square-foot SEIC is a historic opportunity for SF State to provide science and engineering classrooms and labs furnished with state-of-the-art technology and tools. The addition will expand student education and research opportunities, and provide high-quality labs for many College of Science & Engineering (CoSE) faculty members. SEIC will serve more than 7,000 CoSE students and hundreds of general education students each year.

As the new home of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, SEIC will facilitate studio-style hands-on chemistry teachings, which will impact all CoSE students who have to take chemistry. The new facilities will include three studio-style integrated lecture/lab chemistry classrooms with audio-visual systems, configurable work stations, and integrated research and lecture labs. A physical chemistry and chromatography lab will have two mass spectrometers available for research. Other noteworthy additions include facilities for protein crystallography — a new experimental capability for the University — and cold room and culture support spaces for advanced studies of macromolecules.

In addition, the new building will also house the School of Engineering. New engineering facilities include two makerspaces and a machine shop where students can produce and prototype their designs and projects. For many students, this will be their first experience working in a creative makerspace. There will also be an engineering applied project space with a strong wall/strong floor and shake table that will be used by hundreds of undergraduate students in fundamental engineering courses and by students participating in engineering competitions. Other highlights include a robotics and mechatronics lab, an engineering fluids and process control lab with wind- and water-testing capacity, a configurable training HVAC system and more.

The CoSE dean’s offices will also be moving to the 5th floor of SEIC. On the ground floor, there will be an accessible Student Success Center and Student Enrichment Opportunities Office (SEO), along with a donor wall and a reconfigurable lecture hall/teaching space with advanced audio-visual capabilities.

Slated for completion in 2024, the newly built 125,000-square-foot building and renovated and repurposed 54,000-square-foot building will have frontage on 19th Avenue’s transportation corridor. SEIC will be designed to be LEED Gold-certified, with leading-edge energy and ventilation systems. Many spaces in the building will be flexible and adaptable and can be reconfigured to reflect changing needs and future technologies. As the college’s students graduate, their diversity, perspectives and commitment to living in the Bay Area will positively impact the local STEM industries and community.

“The new SEIC building will provide students with the quality education and hands-on training necessary to meet the new and rapidly changing science and technology needs of the Bay Area and the nation,” said Dean of the College of Science & Engineering Carmen Domingo.