The institute is the pharmaceutical research organization for Novartis.
Novartis employs about 120 people in the infectious diseases unit in Cambridge, said spokesman Jeff Lockwood. It is unclear how many of those positions will move to Emeryville — or when they could move — or how large the Bay Area operation eventually could be.
“There will be (an infectious diseases) group that is grown there,” Lockwood said.
Novartis has based its vaccines and diagnostics business in Emeryville and performs some cancer research there as well, but it has no employees dedicated to infectious diseases in the Bay Area.
“It was an opportunity to grow in an area where we had some capacity, and there’s a strong talent base in infectious disease research,” Lockwood said.
Ganem’s hiring, effective the beginning of the year, “added some sense to (the shift from Cambridge) as well,” Lockwood said.
Ganem’s lab at UCSF looks at the molecular mechanisms of the replication of human viral pathogens and the biology and pathogenesis of their resulting diseases. It has worked on Kaposi’s sarcoma, a cancer found largely in AIDS patients, and its causative herpesvirus, KSHV.