Announcing James Fraser, PhD, as Chair of the Department of Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences (BTS)

August 9, 2023 | By UCSF School of Medicine

Dr. James FraserWe are pleased to announce the appointment of James Fraser, PhD, as Chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), effective August 1, 2023. 

Dr. Fraser has been a professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, since 2013, and has served as vice dean of research for the UCSF School of Pharmacy since 2022.

Prior to joining the faculty at UCSF, Dr. Fraser was a graduate student at UC Berkeley in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and a visiting EMBO Short Term Fellow in the lab of Dan Tawfik at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. In 2011, Dr. Fraser started his independent research career as a California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) Fellow, where he is now a faculty affiliate.

The Fraser Lab at UCSF looks at proteins and RNA as dynamic molecules, and is interested in relating how the movements of these molecules govern their function, by trying to move the research from static photos to molecular movies. Dr. Fraser recently authored a paper, in collaboration with Salesforce Research, about an AI system capable of generating artificial enzymes from scratch.

Dr. Fraser is active in advocacy around open science and scientific publishing, serving on the board of ASAPbio, a scientist-driven non-profit promoting transparency and innovation in life science communication. As another priority, Dr. Fraser wants to ensure that the evaluation of research in hiring and promotion is consistent with Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) principles. He is particularly interested in the role of transparent and community peer review in scientific publishing.

Dr. Fraser’s significant scientific contributions, the novelty of his approaches to discovery, his dedication to mentoring students and junior faculty, and his strong advocacy for diversity in science make him an exemplary fit for this role. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Fraser on this appointment.

We thank Dr. Deanna Kroetz for her many contributions to the Department, the Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, and the Campus during her tenure as Chair.