Pablo Valenzuela earned a Biochemistry degree from Universidad de Chile (1965) and a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry at Northwestern University (1970). He did postdoctoral training at University of California, San Francisco and held a position as Professor in the Biochemistry Department of that institution.
Despite his interest in developing biotechnology products, Valenzuela has been a champion for basic, curiosity driven research. He has published more than 140 papers, directed more than 20 Ph.D. theses and named as inventor in more than 60 patents. At different times, he has been professor at Universidad de Chile, Universidad Católica, Universidad Andrés Bello and Universidad San Sebastián where presently he is a member of the Junta Directiva.
Pablo Valenzuela is responsible for the development of several biotechnology products in USA and Chile. In USA he developed more than 10 products in the area of blood banking diagnostics including key tests for hepatitis C, AIDS virus and hepatitis B virus; and several pharmaceutical products including the hepatitis B vaccine, human insulin, a plateled grow factor derived wound healing cream (Regranex) and beta interferon, all made in yeast. All together, these products have worldwide sales higher than 5 billions of dollars a year. In Chile, he has developed a commercial vaccine for salmoniculture and several products for human and blood bank diagnostics such as Chagas, Helicobacter, Rotavirus, Blood Groups, etc. These products are today commercialed in Chile and Latin America with sales of approximately 10 million dollars per year.
Valenzuela is an active entrepreneur. Internationally, he has been the cofounder of several biotechnology companies including Chiron Corporation, Ventria Biosciences, Applied Imaging, Phytotox, Austral Biologicals and Praxis Biotech. In Chile, he has been involved in the founding of GrupoBios (with Arturo Yudelevich and José Codner), Andes Biotechnologies (with Luis Burzio and Arturo Yudelevich) and Fundación Ciencia & Vida (with Mario Rosemblatt and Bernardita Méndez). Through the creation of the Science & Business Park, which harbors 15 national and foreign start-ups. He serves as a board member/advisor of several start-ups such as Algenis, Phage Technologies, NovaMineralis, Merken Biotech, Ango Sciences and Ingalfarma.
Among his awards are the Chilean National Award in Applied Sciences & Technology (2002), the University of Chile Rectoral Medal Award (2002), Membership of the Chilean Academy of Sciences (2004), the Orden de la Cruz del Sur Medal from the Chilean Government (2012), the California BayBio Life Time Sciences Achievements Awards (2012), the University of California Medal (2014) and the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year from the Chilean Association of Venture Funds.