Nothing Like A Room Full Of Brainiacs To Make A Columnist Feel Small

By Daniel S. Levine. I don't recommend attending the BayBio's Pantheon Awards if you've got what we in California call self-esteem issues. It can be a humbling experience. I walked into Herbst Pavilion to see a roomful of people. Look in one direction, and there was Alejandro "I just built another biotech" Zaffaroni. Turn in the other direction, and there was Genentech CEO Art "my market cap's bigger than Merck's" Levinson chatting with UCSF Chancellor Mike "my Nobel laureate tux is at the cleaners" Bishop and Herbert "I invented biotechnology" Boyer, the UCSF researcher who co-developed the technique for creating recombinant DNA. I comforted myself with the thought that I still have a few years to match their accomplishments, when I noticed a Doogie Howser look-alike -- UCSF researcher Joe "they call it a genius grant, but that's not its real name" DeRisi, who paused from his busy schedule as a MacArthur Fellow ridding the world of disease to accept an award. The night reminded me of the time I was taking a shower at ... never mind. Let's just say it was humbling.

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