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Francis (Donald P.) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Separated Materials
  • Acquisition Information
  • Additions
  • Related Collections
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: University of California, San Francisco Archives & Special Collections
    Title: Donald P. Francis papers
    source: Francis, Donald P.
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2015.01
    Physical Description: 38.25 Linear Feet (29 cartons and 1 oversized box)
    Date (inclusive): 1951-2014, bulk 1975-2000
    Abstract: Donald P. Francis (1942-) is an epidemiologist and pediatrician with extensive experience in vaccines and infectious disease control, including work with Ebola, smallpox, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS. The collection relates to his work at the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other public health organizations and includes travel files, correspondence and subject files, research and patient records, publications, audiovisual material, computer media, and artifacts.
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in English.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Donald P. Francis papers, MSS 2015-01. Archives and Special Collections, University of California, San Francisco.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open for research. The UCSF Archives and Special Collections policy places access restrictions on material with privacy issues for a specific time period from the date of creation. Restrictions are noted at the series and/or folder level. This collection will be reviewed for sensitive content upon request. Contact the UCSF Archivist for information on access to restricted material.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Library and Center for Knowledge Management. All requests for permission to publish or quote from material must be submitted in writing to the UCSF Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Library and Center for Knowledge Management as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

    Separated Materials

    Selected publications from the collection have been transferred to the AIDS History Book Collection of the UCSF Archives and Special Collections. They have been individually cataloged and are available to researchers in the reading room. One artifact, an African wooden sculpture of a man, was transferred to the UCSF Archives Artifact Collection.

    Acquisition Information

    This collection was donated to the UCSF Archives and Special Collections by Dr. Donald P. Francis in April-May 2015.


    No future additions are expected.

    Related Collections

    This collection is part of the AIDS History Project. Learn more about the project and related collections by contacting the UCSF Archivist or visiting www.library.ucsf.edu/archives/aids.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Kelsi Evans in 2017.

    Biographical Information

    Donald P. Francis (1942-) is an American epidemiologist and pediatrician. He worked for the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for 21 years, before joining Genentech in 1992 and later co-founding VaxGen and Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases (GSID). He has extensive experience in vaccines and infectious disease control, including national and international work with measles, cholera, Ebola, smallpox, hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS.
    Francis grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended the University of California, Berkeley. He received his MD from Northwestern University and his Doctor of Science from Harvard University. He later completed training in pediatrics and then joined the CDC in 1971. With the CDC, he worked on a number of projects in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), including the Smallpox Eradication Program in Sudan and India. He was also part of the WHO team that investigated the first Ebola outbreak in 1976. Francis began investigating HIV/AIDS after its emergence in 1981. He directed the AIDS laboratory at the CDC and worked closely with the Institut Pasteur to identify the causative virus. His early efforts to call attention to the threat of AIDS among gay and straight people and warn of the inadequacy of the public health response were chronicled in the Randy Shilts book And the Band Played On. In 1992, he joined Genentech and helped found what became the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). Francis later co-founded VaxGen, which completed the world's first Phase III trials of two candidate HIV vaccines in 2003. In 2004, Francis co-founded GSID and he continues to consult regarding vaccines and public health.

    Scope and Contents

    The Donald P. Francis papers include travel files documenting Francis's lectures and speeches and attendance at conferences and meetings, correspondence and subject files, research study records and patient medical records, publications, audiovisual material, computer media, and artifacts. The material predominately relates to Francis's international and national work with the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and his work in California and San Francisco as an AIDS advisor. Major subject areas include public health, HIV/AIDS research, prevention and control, Ebola, vaccines, and hepatitis.


    The collection has been subdivided into six series: I. Travel files, 1978-2012; II. Subject files, 1951-2007; III. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) files, 1960-2008; IV. Publications, 1955-2014; V. Audiovisual material and computer media, 1983-2003 and undated; VI. Artifacts, 1998 and undated.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    AIDS (Disease)
    Public health
    Francis, Donald P.