General Science
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Robert A. Swanson

Co-founder
Research and Development
Genentech
United States of America

Biography

In 1976, a 29 year-old venture capitalist approached Dr. Herbert Boyer, a biochemist at the University of California at San Francisco, with a proposal to develop and market useful products using recombinant DNA technology. Although significant advancements were being made in molecular biology in the 1970s, no one had yet recognized the potential application of the new biologically-based technology to create beneficial new products. Under Bob’s guidance Genentech was born, a company that provided broad applications of this science to modern society, developing new medicines such as human insulin, interferons, human growth hormone and thrombolytic agents. Prior to forming Genentech, Swanson was a partner with Kleiner & Perkins venture capital partnership in San Francisco. When he retired from Genentech, Bob formed K&E Management, a private investment management firm, and served as chairman of the Board of Directors of Tularik, Inc., a biotechnology firm focused on therapeutics that act through the regulation of gene expression. Bob Swanson served as a director and as chief executive officer of Genentech until February 1990 when he was named chairman of the board, a position he held until his retirement in December 1996. He passed away on December 6, 1999 at age 52. Innovation in Action As the first biotechnology company, Genentech is an industry leader with an impr

Research Interest

In 1976, a 29 year-old venture capitalist approached Dr. Herbert Boyer, a biochemist at the University of California at San Francisco, with a proposal to develop and market useful products using recombinant DNA technology. Although significant advancements were being made in molecular biology in the 1970s, no one had yet recognized the potential application of the new biologically-based technology to create beneficial new products. Under Bob’s guidance Genentech was born, a company that provided broad applications of this science to modern society, developing new medicines such as human insulin, interferons, human growth hormone and thrombolytic agents. Prior to forming Genentech, Swanson was a partner with Kleiner & Perkins venture capital partnership in San Francisco. When he retired from Genentech, Bob formed K&E Management, a private investment management firm, and served as chairman of the Board of Directors of Tularik, Inc., a biotechnology firm focused on therapeutics that act through the regulation of gene expression. Bob Swanson served as a director and as chief executive officer of Genentech until February 1990 when he was named chairman of the board, a position he held until his retirement in December 1996. He passed away on December 6, 1999 at age 52. Innovation in Action As the first biotechnology company, Genentech is an industry leader with an impr

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