Gary Novack selected as UC alumni regent by UCSC Alumni Association

Gary Novack's loyalties run deep.

He still has his student ID card from his days as an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Cruz, from 1970 to 1973. And when he returned to UCSC this month, an old alumni volunteer name badge was in his pocket.

Those loyalties will be put to good use in the next two years. Novack has been selected to serve as one of two alumni members of the University of California Board of Regents. The selection on February 1 by the Alumni Association Council, the governing board for the UC Santa Cruz Alumni Association, capped an 18-month process that attracted alumni candidates from around the nation. UC's alumni Regents are drawn from the various UC campuses on a rotating basis.

"I am proud that a UCSC graduate will be serving again as alumni Regent, and especially proud that we will be represented by Gary Novack," said UCSC Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood. "His scientific expertise and obvious commitment to UCSC and the university as a whole will make him a valuable asset to the Board of Regents."

Novack will be the third UCSC graduate to serve on the Board of Regents. His predecessors are Los Angeles Superior Court judge Allan Goodman (Stevenson '67), from 1979 to 1981; and San Francisco Bay Area attorney Paul Hall (Merrill '72), from 1991 to 1993.

During Novack's first year as an alumni Regent--from July 2003 to June 2004--he will attend all meetings and participate in policy discussions as a Regent-designate, without voting rights. During that year, Novack will also serve as treasurer of the Alumni Associations of the University of California. In the second year, Novack will become a voting Regent, and serve as vice president of the UC alumni organization.

Novack, founder and president of the pharmaceutical and drug consulting company Pharma.Logic Development, Inc., ( has a long history of involvement with UC. A biology major at UCSC, he graduated in 1973 with honors, after just three years. He received his Ph.D. from UC Davis in 1977 in pharmacology and environmental toxicology, was an NIH postdoctoral trainee at UCLA from 1977 to 1979, and later taught at UC campuses in Santa Cruz, Davis, Irvine, and San Francisco.

Novack spent eight years on the UCSC Alumni Association Council and served as its president in 1993-94. He is a trustee for the UCSC Foundation and is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council for the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences at UCSC. He has lobbied the legislature as a volunteer advocate for UC and helped create a UCSC Alumni Association scholarship endowment that has granted awards to 110 financially needy students since its establishment in 1992.

Continuing a family tradition begun by his father, Novack is an Eagle Scout, and so is his son, Philip.

Speaking like the scientist he is, Novack joked that he may have a "genetic predisposition" for UC service. "My parents were Cal alumni," he explains. "I'm proud to continue the UC heritage."

"Gary Novack represents the best in academic, professional, and personal achievement by our alumni," said Alumni Association Council president Eric Thomas. "He brings a wealth of important perspectives to the UC Regent position as an undergraduate and graduate student, teacher, and successful businessman. He's given back to UCSC with years of active volunteer service. In addition, he has an easy confidence that quickly endears him to people. His skills and experience will serve him well in representing all UC alumni as a UC Regent."

Novack is a board-certified clinical pharmacologist. He has had a major role in the investigation of over 50 new drugs for the treatment of human illnesses, including macular degeneration, glaucoma, allergies, and cancer. He is a reviewer or is on the editorial board of several key ophthalmology journals, and has written more than 220 abstracts and publications in pharmacology, ophthalmology, neurology, dermatology, and medical communications.

Novack is on the boards of the nonprofit Foundation Fighting Blindness and of Inspire Pharmaceuticals, a public drug discovery and development company.