Bourne received his BA degree from Harvard in 1960 and his MD degree from Johns Hopkins in 1965. After two years of medical residency and two years at the NIH (Public Health Service), he became a fellow in clinical pharmacology at UCSF in 1969. At UCSF he joined the faculty (Department of Medicine) in 1971 and took the chair of the Department of Pharmacology in 1984. Beginning in the mid-1970s, his research focused on trimeric G-proteins and human disorders caused by G-protein defects, including the genetic basis of pseudohypoparathyroidism, toxic thyroid nodules, and the growth hormone-secreting pituitary tumors that cause acromegaly, as well as the molecular pathogenesis of cholera and whooping cough. In about 2000 he switched his lab’s interest to neutrophil polarity and chemotaxis. He retired from active research in 2008 and now serves as an emeritus professor. He is the author of two books (Ambition and Delight, a memoir, published by Ex-Libris in 2009) and Paths to Innovation: Discovering Recombinant DNA, Oncogenes, and Prions, in One Medical School, Over One Decade (University of California Press, 2011). In retirement his principal research interests relate to discovery and innovation in the US biomedical research enterprise, including the interacting roles of universities, research institutes, the NIH, and individual research scientists.