Northwestern’s Alumni Association announced today that Andrew Chan, Senior Vice President of Research Biology, Genentech, and Chair of Northwestern’s Chemistry of Life Processes Institute (CLP), will receive the 2020 Northwestern Alumni Medal. He was one of four distinguished alumni to receive the NAA’s highest honor for the positive impact they have made in their careers and communities.

“I am delighted that Andy has received one of the most prestigious awards bestowed on Northwestern alumni. It is well earned!” says Tom O’Halloran, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular Biosciences in the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, and Founding Director of CLP. “As one of the first members of the CLP Executive Advisory Board  and now as Chair of the Board, he continues to bring a generous spirit and a deep knowledge of science and drug discovery into the service of Northwestern.”

Chan began serving on CLP’s Executive Advisory Board in 2007 and became chair in 2015.   His contributions to the research and training mission of the Institute and Northwestern are many.  Under Chan’s leadership, the CLP Board has deepened its engagement and funding for bold new research and translation programs, such as the CLP-Cornew Innovation Fund and initiatives, and the CLP-Oppenheimer Investor Conference that help bring faculty discoveries and new treatments for disease to society.

Andy Chan (top row, second to the left) founded the CLP Lambert Fellows Program in 2010 and endowed it in 2016 in honor of Joseph Lambert.

The Lambert Fellows Program, which was endowed through Chan’s generosity, has made an indelible mark on the lives of many Northwestern undergraduates. Their post-graduate successes reflect the impact of their training in CLP labs.  In addition, Chan has served as a valuable mentor to graduate students in the CLP Training Program and an enthusiastic participant in the Institute’s career development activities.

“Andy understands the motivations, challenges and hurdles of professors and their trainees who are trying to uncover the fundamental chemistry of living systems in general and disease processes more specifically,” says O’Halloran. “We are so grateful for the wisdom he has freely shared with Northwestern faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students, as we work towards translating academic discoveries into new medicines.”

Andrew Chan is senior vice president of research–biology at Genentech, a biotechnology company that works to develop medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases.

An accomplished immunologist and drug developer, Chan leads more than 1,100 scientists in biological research spanning therapeutic areas of oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases, and protein sciences. His research is focused on understanding how changes in the immune system may result in disease. He is the coinventor of ocrelizumab, an antibody approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Through his leadership roles on several committees, Chan oversees Genentech’s research programs and priorities, and early clinical development portfolio. He also helps shape the company culture as a member of the Genentech Research and Early Development Leadership Team.

Before joining Genentech in 2001, Chan was a faculty member in the departments of medicine and pathology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and served as an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He completed his internal medicine residency at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, and rheumatology fellowship at University of California—San Francisco (UCSF).

Chan sits on the National Council of the Washington University School of Medicine, the scientific advisory board of the Arthritis Foundation, and the Rosalind Russell/Ephraim Engleman UCSF Arthritis Center.

Chan holds a BA and MS in chemistry from Northwestern, and an MD and PhD in cellular and developmental biology from Washington University School of Medicine. He and his wife, Mary, have two children, Michael and Jennifer.

by Lisa La Vallee