The Dr. Saul and Gordon Kit Fellowship Supports Top Campaign Priorities

December 21, 2022

Competition for top graduate students is fierce, and competitive financial fellowships make a crucial difference in convincing them to study at Berkeley. The Dr. Saul and Gordon Kit Fellowship will enable promising graduate students to pursue advanced education in animal virology, including virus pathogenesis and cellular antiviral defenses, virus-associated tumor biology/biochemistry, and viral vaccines.

Established with a $1 million pledge from Gordon Kit M.A. ’78, the fellowship honors his late father. Saul Kit ’48, Ph.D. ’51 studied biochemistry at Berkeley as a G.I. Bill undergraduate. After earning his doctorate, he embarked on a long and distinguished research career, ultimately becoming Professor and Head of the Division of Biochemical Virology at Baylor College of Medicine. Among his accomplishments was co-inventing, with his son Dr. Malon Kit, Omni-Vac PRV, the first genetically engineered live viral vaccine approved for use in the United States and Japan.

Intending to emulate his father’s scientific career, Gordon earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Columbia University and a master’s degree in molecular biology from Berkeley. But a compelling course in First Amendment law diverted him into a 30-year career as a patent attorney and Partner with the Washington, D.C. law firm Sughrue Mion PLLC.

“I hope my gift will inspire and facilitate the next generation of scientists to follow in the footsteps of my father,” says Gordon Kit. “The goal of the fellowship is to give graduate students the opportunity to fulfill their academic dreams, when they otherwise might not be able to."