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Allen Krantz

NEW POSITION: Executive director, University of South Florida Research Foundation, Tampa

PREVIOUS POSITION: Founder, Bullet Therapeutics, San Mateo, Calif.

Looking to enhance one of its key economic links to the community, the University of South Florida has selected an experienced university researcher and biotechnology executive to head its Research Foundation.

Allen Krantz comes to USF from Bullet Therapeutics, a San Mateo, Calif., company he founded in 1997. Krantz will direct the arm of the university responsible for raising funds for new research and for taking advances made in the laboratories into the marketplace. He'll assume his new duties July 1.

Krantz views the transfer of new technologies to the private sector as a crucial development role for universities, saying that "universities are responsible for the economic vitality of the community." He sees USF positioned to play an increasingly important part in the Tampa Bay area's business growth.

"USF is a big campus with lots of potential in a city which is on the cusp of becoming a great American city," Krantz said. "There's tremendous support to move quickly into the higher echelons."

The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute has helped USF achieve a critical mass in the field of biomedical research, Krantz says, and he thinks biotechnology should have an estimable impact on the economy in coming years as the health benefits of current research are reaped.

"Biotechnology should have a huge impact on health and industry in the next 10 years, with cancer research in the forefront," he said. "There should be substantial fallout from the completion of the sequencing of the human genome."

A faculty researcher at the State University of New York at Stony Brook for 13 years, Krantz received a National Research Service Award from Harvard University and the Veterans Administration Hospital in San Francisco to pursue biochemical studies. He served as a NATO senior fellow, lecturing at several European universities.

Krantz's private-sector career included stints at two Silicon Valley companies, RedCell Inc. and Syntex Corp. He started Bullet Therapeutics in a effort to revolutionize drug discovery, something he says still is a "primitive art."

"Drug discovery is the idea of coming up with chemical structures that have activity against target proteins," Krantz said. "Primarily the process is done by screening. The purpose of our company was to systematically come up with those structures." He'll remain in contact with the company, though he says he'll ease his involvement as he takes on his new job.

Krantz, 55, earned a doctorate at Yale University. He holds 38 patents and has published more than 100 scholarly articles.

_ TIM ANNETT, Times staff writer