William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation: Grants for Science Research

OVERVIEW: The foundation prioritizes medical research, and privileges California-based organizations. Bowes has funded universities and research institutes for research into a variety of diseases.

IP TAKE:  The Bowes Foundation maintains low public profile; it does not accept unsolicited proposals and letters of inquiry. A small staff and Bowes himself  oversee all selection and research of grant recipients.

PROFILE: The William K. Bowes, Jr., Foundation was established in 1991 by billionaire William “Bill” Bowes, Jr, a San-Francisco venture capitalist. The foundation employs a small staff and does not maintain much of a public presence. The only public public guidelines the foundation offers state that it "supports nonprofit organizations in several areas including (but not exclusively) medical research, access to college, the arts, and higher education."

For science researchers, two key areas the foundation funds are stem cell research for the cure and treatment of deadly diseases - especially cancer. Funding for stem cell research has gone to U.C. San Francisco and Harvard University’s Stem Cell Institute. The foundation has also given to cancer research centers such as the Canary Foundation and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

Outside of health initiatives, Bowes also supports science research institutes such as B612 Foundation, a "nonprofit dedicated to planetary defense against asteroids and other near-Earth object impacts," and the Institute for Systems Biology.

The foundation does not accept proposals or unsolicited letters of inquiry, In terms of decision-making, executive director Mary Gregory and her staff mostly provide support, and do not influence giving. The board carries out all of its own selection and research on the organizations that it funds.


  • Mary Gregory, Executive Director
  • Fiona Barrett, Program Manager

The William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation
1660 Bush Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, California 94109
(415) 561-6540