Christopher Scott

Chris Scott1998 Marsh O'Neill
Award Winner

Chris Scott wears a lot of hats in the Stanford University School of Medicine. His enthusiasm and skill in seeing numerous projects through to success has earned him the 1998 Marsh O'Neill Award for exceptional support of research at Stanford.

A scientist by training, with a background in molecular biology, Scott came to Stanford from a private biotechnology company in Colorado in 1988 and has spent most of the last 10 years working to improve research opportunities at the School of Medicine. Among other things, he has helped develop valuable partnerships with industry, has streamlined the process for obtaining and managing grants and has overseen a new system for facilitating clinical trials. He now divides his time among his various responsibilities as associate director of the Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine, director of research and development at the School of Medicine, and director of the school's Research Management Group.

Michael Hindery, senior associate dean for finance and administration in the Medical School, says "Chris has the academic training and has worked with industry and understands the needs of investigators. All that makes him effective. I think he has a deep belief in the importance of science and how the relationship of our scientific community with industry needs to - and can - change. He has a passion to see all of this succeed. That commitment, together with his skills and talents, makes him a very effective player in these kinds of negotiations and implementation of programs."

Scott joined Stanford in 1988, in part to work with the Director of the Beckman Center, Paul Berg. "Paul was one of eminent biologists I had studied in school, so I jumped at the chance to work with him," Scott said.

By 1990, he had been promoted to the position of associate director at the center, where he has worked closely with Berg, the Cahill Professor of Biochemistry, in developing new programs and creating opportunities for basic and clinical scientists to interact.

"I have worked with many people on Stanford's administrative staff, but very few, if any, have impressed me as much as Chris Scott," Berg said. "He is one of the Medical School's most effective administrators and facilitators of our academic mission."

At Beckman, Scott organized the Spectrum program, a technology-transfer initiative designed to attract industry support to the research institute. His skill in working with industry led to his simultaneous appointment as director of corporate initiatives in the Office of Medical Development. In that job, he played a key role in obtaining a multimillion-dollar research grant from French pharmaceutical company Rhone Poulenc. The grant is one of the school's largest sponsored awards to date.

Scott also serves as the executive director of ACCESS (Academic Consortium for Clinical Excellence in Scientific Studies). ACCESS was formed last year to broker relationships between investigators and industry sponsors for clinical research. (See Stanford Report coverage, January 21, 1998.)

Scott was also tapped last year to direct the Research Management Group (RMG), a program to help all School of Medicine faculty members and departments obtain and manage grant money. He is now preparing for the final phase of implementing the program, which is expected to streamline the grant-making process and cut the cost of grant administration.

From the Stanford Report, November 18, 1998

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