Theresa O'Brien, PhD

Associate Chancellor

Theresa O'Brien, PhD, was appointed Associate Chancellor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in September 2014, having served as Interim Assistant Chancellor for the University and Associate Dean for Research Strategy in the School of Medicine. She serves as an advisor to and designate of the Chancellor, leading key initiatives in support of UCSF’s operational and strategic priorities. O’Brien is accountable for a wide range of Chancellor Office activities related to UCSF governance structure, strategic planning, the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet (CEC), and emergent priority issues on a day-to-day basis. In all aspects of her work, she partners closely with fellow CEC members and internal and external stakeholders to further UCSF’s mission.

O’Brien is also an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. Her research and teaching interests primarily focus on career and professional development for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at UCSF. She directs the Graduate Student Internships for Career Exploration (GSICE) program, which provides career path education, career planning, and internship opportunities for UCSF’s basic and biomedical PhD students in fields outside of academic research. O’Brien is co-PI on a grant from the NIH to provide better resources for PhD students and postdocs to explore career options and better support faculty mentors through the Motivating INformed Decisions (MIND) program. Her other interests are around advancing precision medicine and related science policy issues.

Theresa is a graduate of UCSF's Tetrad Graduate Program and completed her doctoral work in biochemistry under the guidance of Jim McKerrow, MD, PhD. After graduation, she worked as an Industry Contracts Officer at UCSF, negotiating industry sponsored research agreements.

A Northern California native, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Biology from Williams College in Williamstown, MA.