• Renaissance Woman, with Sue Desmond-Hellmann
  • Prev
  • Next

From serving as a frontline physician treating HIV patients in Uganda, to overseeing new therapies for a leading biopharma company, to running a renowned health sciences university, to heading the world’s largest philanthropy – Sue Desmond-Hellmann has seen it all.

It’s little surprise, then, that when she surveys the current pandemic she sees possible solutions across a range of areas. Her conversation with Mike Milken covers broad topics including how to build a durable and effective public health infrastructure as well as deeply specific issues such as whether interleukin-6 inhibitors might be able to prevent the eventual cause of most COVID-19 fatalities – the phenomenon known as cytokine storms.

She also points to signs that make her hopeful, including a major consortium launched at UCSF: “This is such a good example of a multi-lab, multi-investigator scientific collaboration where people are just going as fast as they can together, putting competition to the side.”


Sue Desmond-Hellmann

Former CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; former Chancellor, UCSF; former President of Product Development, Genentech