Paul Naik (biology and chemistry, ’90), a top executive for biotechnology company Seattle Genetics, has been named the Cal State San Bernardino College of Natural Sciences Alumnus of the Year.
The honor, which is the college’s highest alumni award, recognizes professional and scientific achievements of former students, showcasing how they have leveraged their undergraduate education to positively impact the world and enrich lives.
Naik currently serves as senior vice president for intellectual property and deputy general counsel for the Seattle-based company that develops antibody-based cancer treatments. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Naik went on to secure a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from UC San Francisco, a doctoral degree in law from Harvard Law School, and a Master of Laws degree from King’s College in London.
As a CSUSB student, he was named the university’s Outstanding Undergraduate Student in 1990. The College of Natural Sciences Office of the Dean is working with Naik to have him speak to students virtually in February, with a finalized date to be announced shortly.
“I am extremely pleased by this wonderful opportunity to recognize an alumnus who has successfully applied his scientific education and training to propel medical breakthroughs and help ease suffering and save human lives,” said Sastry G. Pantula, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. “I am also excited about our plans to have Paul speak to our students about the infinite career opportunities for science majors.”
In a videotaped message he recorded for College of Natural Sciences graduates, Naik credited “the mentorship and guidance that [he] received from dedicated members of the faculty” for laying the foundation for his future successes.
“My Cal State degree started me on a path toward and enabled me to be a contributing member of the exciting new world of biotechnology,” he said. “Over the past more than two decades, I’ve had the privilege of seeing firsthand on a daily basis basic scientific knowledge being transformed into life-saving medicines. And even better, I’ve had the opportunity, with the scientific training I have, to contribute in a meaningful way to this endeavor.”
“Without question, none of this would have been a possibility without the training I received, starting at Cal State San Bernardino.”
Prior to working at Seattle Genetics, Naik practiced patent law, taught biotechnology law as an adjunct professor, and was frequently involved with biotechnology intellectual property policy issues, including serving as an invited speaker at the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s First Bicoastal Biotechnology, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Customer Partnership meeting in 2014.
He also worked in various corporate capacities, including most recently serving as vice president of intellectual property and litigation as well as deputy chief patent officer, over a period of about 16 years at Genentech, Inc., a biotechnology firm that develops and manufactures medicines to treat patients with serious and life-threatening conditions, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.
In his videotaped message, Naik congratulated CNS graduates, describing them as being part of a select group of people equipped “with the scientific awareness, skills, and knowledge to contribute in a meaningful way in a world where science and technology increasingly plays a vital role.”