I am pleased to share the exciting news that UCSF Professor Peter Walter has received the 2014 Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, announced today. Popularly known as the “American Nobel,” this is one of the most prestigious honors in science and medicine.

I write to inform you that Bruce Wintroub, MD, has agreed to serve as interim dean of the School of Medicine, effective September 15, while we embark on the search for my successor. Dr. Wintroub, a distinguished dermatologist, has served UCSF for 32 years. Most recently he has served as Vice Dean – School of Medicine since 2004 as well as Professor and Chair of the Department of Dermatology since 1985.

We all have been deeply saddened by the events transpiring in West Africa, which is experiencing the worst Ebola outbreak in history. The disease has killed several thousand people, and without a massive international effort, it could kill tens or even hundreds of thousands more.

Over the next several weeks, University of California faculty, staff and students will join millions of Americans across the country and fulfill their civic duty by casting their ballots for or against a wide range of issues and individuals seeking public office. I encourage all of you to participate in the electoral process.

While there are no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola Virus Disease in California, today Governor Brown and the California Health and Human Services Agency will announce that all five University of California medical centers, including UCSF, have been identified as priority hospitals to treat confirmed patients with Ebola.

After nearly five years of outstanding service to UCSF as Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP), Jeff Bluestone has informed me of his intention to step down. He will be focusing on his exciting research program in the Diabetes Center, while continuing to assist me and the University in a number of strategic ways.

Every October the University of California joins the nation to recognize Mental Health Awareness. This year, UCSF's Student Health & Counseling Services is proud to launch “Mental Health Matters.” This is an awareness campaign to emphasize to our students – the future of patient care, education, and scientific research – that taking care of their mental health is a key component to being successful.

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