In Memoriam: Calit2 Advisory Board Member Duane Roth

In May 2013, Duane Roth at a research open house in Atkinson Hall helps celebrate the naming of Calit2's UC San Diego division as the Qualcomm Institute.
San Diego, Aug. 6, 2013  -- Following two weeks in the UC San Diego Medical Center after a traumatic brain injury suffered in a bicycling accident, Calit2 Advisory Board member Duane Roth passed away on Saturday, August 3. The 63-year-old chief executive officer of CONNECT was a champion for innovation in the San Diego technology and life sciences industries.

In addition to his role at CONNECT, Duane held high-profile positions in two major life-science organizations: vice-chair of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM); and chairman-elect of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute board, where he was poised to take over as chairman in September.

However, we remember Duane fondly as a founding member of the external Advisory Board of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). Since its inception in December 2000, the board’s members, including Roth, helped guide the institute’s leadership.

“For more than 12 years, Duane Roth was a personal mentor and friend” said Calit2 Director Larry Smarr. “He created an essential role for fostering innovation, bridging basic research in the university and the transfer of novel ideas into the marketplace. His lifetime experiences gave him wisdom and judgment, which he kindly shared with the leadership of Calit2. His commitment to public service and to bringing the San Diego region together will be sorely missed. I am deeply saddened by his death.“

On May 31, Roth attended the 2013 Calit2 Advisory Board meeting at UC Irvine. He's shown here front-left, with (l-r in front row) Drew Senyei and Vint Cerf.
Leaders of Calit2’s two divisions – at UC San Diego and UC Irvine – also recalled the supportive role that Roth played throughout his long involvement with the institute:

In 2008, Roth (second from left) with fellow members of the Calit2 Advisory Board tour the UCSD division. Others include Vint Cerf (far left) and right of Roth (l-r) Anne Petersen, Forest Baskett, and Andrew Viterbi, with Calit2 Chief of Staff Jerry Sheehan, and Calit2 Chief Scientist Ron Graham (far right). 
The Calit2 Advisory Board consists of distinguished members of academia, industry and public policy. Past and present members of Calit2’s Advisory Board recall the role that Duane played through the years in helping the institute support California’s industry, particularly in matters relating to strategic thinking, planning, and communications:

In 2005, Duane Roth (with UCI professor Bill Tomlinson) plays a tablet-based interactive art experience during a tour organized for the Calit2 Advisory Board in UC Irvine's newly-opened Calit2 Building.
In addition to his long affiliation with Calit2, Duane worked tirelessly on behalf of other programs at UC San Diego. He served on the board of the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, the UC San Diego Foundation, the campus Health Sciences Advisory Board, and the industry advisory board of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

“The San Diego community has lost an incredible leader, visionary and entrepreneur,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla in recognizing Duane’s contributions to the campus and the broader community. “Duane Roth was a tireless champion for San Diego growth, opportunity and prosperity. He had a unique ability to identify opportunities and spark collaborations that have and will continue to improve our world. Duane's innovation and expertise as an entrepreneur have made the San Diego region and the UC San Diego campus stronger.”

In 2008, Duane Roth at a Calit2 event.
A memorial service for Duane Roth will take place Friday, Aug. 9 at 11AM at University of San Diego Immaculata, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110. In lieu of flowers, Roth's family has suggested donations to Pedal the Cause or the Otterson Legacy Fund.


CONNECT is a regional program that catalyzes the creation of innovative technology and life sciences products in San Diego County by linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success. Since 1985, when CONNECT was originally founded as a part of the University of California San Diego, it has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies. The leadership of CONNECT attributes its success to the unique culture of collaboration between industry, capital sources, professional service providers and research organizations that CONNECT has sought to foster in the region. 

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