Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

October 6, 2021

Dear UCSF Community,

One of our goals at UCSF is to ensure that people in our university community feel empowered and valued in an environment that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Chancellor’s leadership team continues to work on multiple fronts to create a culture in which faculty, staff, and learners from all backgrounds feel welcomed, supported, and respected.

To better understand how we are doing in this regard, we invite you to share your perspectives and experiences about the environment in which you work and learn through the UCSF Climate Survey. On October 11, you will receive an email with a unique link to the confidential survey, which closes November 30.

Please complete this survey to help us build upon and enrich our diverse culture. Your feedback will help us develop action plans to strengthen our community. Your opinions matter and have already led to changes that have improved UCSF. You can read more about the survey in this campus news story.

We appreciate your contributions to the UCSF community and look forward to your thoughts on how we can continue to improve our campus climate.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

J. Renee Navarro, PharmD, MD
Vice Chancellor – Office of Diversity and Outreach
Chief Diversity Officer
Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care

October 4, 2021
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to share the news that UCSF Professor David Julius, PhD, has been named to receive the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He shares the prize with Ardem Patapoutian, PhD, at Scripps.

David, who chairs the Department of Physiology, was honored for his groundbreaking work in understanding the molecular basis of pain. Through his years at UCSF, David has spearheaded some of the major advances in the field through his identification and characterization of a unique class of nerve-cell ion channel receptors known as TRP (“trip”) receptors.

In that work, David has used distinctive molecules from the natural world – tarantula toxins and the capsaicin molecule that produces the “heat” in chili peppers, for instance – to gain an understanding of how signals responsible for temperature and pain sensation are transmitted by neural circuits to the brain. This work has stimulated significant research among scientists who aim to better understand and treat chronic pain, placing him among the world’s most cited scientists.

David’s work was driven from the start by the great need for effective pain medications without the side effects and addictive potential of opioid drugs. His research has led to significant interest in TRP channels as potential targets for new painkillers. As such, he offers a perfect example of the importance of basic research in understanding both health and disease. More details on his work can be found on our website.

Please make time to join me for a virtual celebration at noon today to celebrate...

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September 30, 2021
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

Next week, UCSF will begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots based on guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with support from the California Department of Public Health.

These booster shots provide extended protection against COVID-19, especially among those at increased risk for hospitalization and severe disease, including those over age 65, those with compromised immune systems, and those who work in health care settings.

We continue to urge everyone 12 years of age and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19, since unvaccinated persons remain at much higher risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19 than those who have been vaccinated.

Currently, the federal authorization for a booster dose is limited to use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends that a single Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster dose be given at least 6 months after a person received their second Pfizer dose. The CDC does not recommend giving Pfizer vaccine booster shots to those who have received Janssen or Moderna vaccines.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, we will provide Pfizer booster doses to persons who received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in March 2021 or earlier who are:

  • Age 65 years and older or residing in a long-term care facility, or;
  • Age 50 through 64 years with underlying medical conditions or at increased risk of social inequities;
  • Age 18 through 64 years with underlying medical conditions, such as cancer, or at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting, including those who work in health care settings...
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September 29, 2021

Dear UCSF Community,

Today, we are sharing reports from a comprehensive seismic safety review of UCSF’s owned buildings that found most are seismically resilient.

Prepared by our independent team of leading structural and geotechnical engineers, these reports are posted on the UCSF Real Estate website.

The vast majority of our buildings are safe, comply with the University of California’s strict seismic policy and require no further action. Other buildings will require further analysis and action, including securing funding to pay for improvements.

This voluntary seismic evaluation is part of a UC systemwide effort to ensure buildings will perform well during a large earthquake. You can read more about this effort in this campus news story.

We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all who live, work and learn in or visit UCSF’s buildings. Our teams continually work to seismically retrofit, renovate and modernize our facilities to better enable us to fulfill our advancing health worldwide mission.

Questions about our ongoing seismic safety efforts can be emailed to [email protected].


Brian Newman
Senior Associate Vice Chancellor, UCSF Real Estate
Vice President, UCSF Health

September 28, 2021

Dear UCSF Community,

I am writing to share the news that Jennifer Arnett, vice chancellor for University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR), has been named chief development officer at Mayo Clinic and will be leaving UCSF on October 22, 2021.

In her new role, Jennifer will be responsible for leading Mayo Clinic’s philanthropic strategies in support of the organization’s mission to transform health through integrated clinical practice, education, and research.

Jennifer’s 12-year tenure at UCSF has been marked by increasing responsibilities and contributions to our mission. She first joined us in 2010 as senior director of corporate and foundation relations, and assumed the role of vice chancellor in 2018. Under her leadership, UDAR completed the most successful fundraising campaign in UCSF’s history. Known as “UCSF: The Campaign,” this ambitious effort raised $6.2 billion over a seven-year period, closing early and exceeding its original goal of $5 billion.

The driving force behind Jennifer’s success has been her commitment to creating a collaborative fundraising culture at UDAR. Jennifer and her team have focused on building relationships with donors that connect their interests with UCSF’s research, education, and care delivery priorities. By anchoring this shared interest in our core mission, she has helped to strengthen and broaden the foundation for UCSF’s work for decades to come.

Jennifer has been a key member of the Chancellor’s Executive Team and Chancellor’s Cabinet, and I will miss working with her and receiving her reliable counsel.

We will soon start the process to fill Jennifer’s role. During this recruitment period, I have asked Erin...

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September 21, 2021
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As we head into influenza season, I am writing to emphasize that it is critically important to get a flu vaccine to avoid the risk of contracting the influenza virus.

We encourage everyone to be vaccinated to protect not only yourself and your family, but also our colleagues, our patients, and our neighboring communities. Please also remember to wear masks while indoors and when in crowded places outdoors, as well as to clean your hands regularly.

A normal flu season combined with a surge of COVID-19 could have an overwhelming impact on our health system, especially as we are experiencing a staffing shortage. We ask for your support by getting a flu vaccine to help keep our frontline care providers and all other faculty, staff, learners, and patients healthy this fall.

As a reminder, the San Francisco and Alameda Departments of Public Health require all health care workers to receive the annual influenza vaccine or to sign a form if they choose to decline vaccination.

You have a variety of options and locations available to get your vaccine, including on-site flu clinics, Occupational Health clinics, your primary care provider, and most pharmacies. Please visit the Occupational Health Services website for a full list of on-site clinic locations and dates, as well as additional free options for members of UC health plans. Please note that at this time, we...

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September 17, 2021

Dear Colleagues:

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Nicquet Blake will become the next leader of Student Academic Affairs (SAA) and the Graduate Division effective December 1, 2021. As Vice Provost of Student Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate Division, Dr. Blake will be a direct report to me in my capacity as Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, and she will be a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet.

Dr. Blake comes to UCSF after a fourteen-year career in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at University of Texas Health San Antonio, most recently as senior associate dean for admissions and student affairs. In that role, she was responsible for the recruitment, admission, and retention of students, and directed three NIH training grants. Dr. Blake has a resounding record of success in transforming the student body at GSBS to reflect the diversity of the surrounding communities and virtually eliminating first-year attrition of underrepresented students. With diversity as an integral factor to both her professional and personal goals, she is an expert community-builder and champion for students becoming their best self-advocates.

As graduate dean at UCSF, Dr. Blake will have broad administrative oversight of the master's and doctoral programs offered by the Graduate Division as well as postdoctoral training at UCSF. She will work closely with her accomplished staff, graduate program directors, fellow deans, partners across the University, the chancellor, and me to craft and realize a comprehensive plan that will ensure equitable access, inclusivity, and continued excellence in graduate education and postdoctoral training.

Among her many charges as...

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September 10, 2021
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

As many of you know, last week the Supreme Court voted not to block Texas law SB8, which bans abortion after six weeks, including in instances of rape and incest. The law – a near-total ban on abortion and one of the strictest in the country – sets a deeply concerning precedent for other states. The law is uniquely insidious in that it is enforced by incentivizing private citizens with a $10,000 bounty to sue people who provide abortion care or help those who need it.

As leaders of an organization committed to improving the health of our communities and advancing health worldwide, we denounce this law. It attacks our deeply held values of health equality and dignity for all people, and for evidence-based health care.

This law infringes on basic human rights to reproductive autonomy and will have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities. History shows that laws like this result in greater numbers of women managing their own abortions, which could put them at risk for criminalization, or facing the health and economic risks of carrying unwanted pregnancies to term.

UCSF has a proud history of advocating for reproductive health and education – providing exemplary patient care to all women, especially those who face barriers due to systematic oppression; training and inspiring the next generation of reproductive health leaders; and improving policy and practice through research and scholarship.

As informed citizens, we have a duty to call out and work to eliminate laws that disadvantage our fellow people. And as health care professionals, we have a duty to advocate for evidence-based, comprehensive health care, including...

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September 9, 2021

Dear UCSF Community,

As the humanitarian crisis worsens in Afghanistan, UCSF is working to bring Afghan scholars to our campus to support their education in the health sciences. I am pleased to share with you that we have identified two scholars and are now coordinating with other groups to secure their safe passage out of Afghanistan. 

Two Afghan Scholars Admitted to UCSF Programs

The first scholar is a physician with a master’s degree in public health who has earned one of the competitive slots in the PhD program in Global Health Sciences. Their research interests involve strengthening health systems and improving health for women and minority populations. The second scholar has been admitted to the master’s degree program in Global Health Sciences. This scholar graduated from a medical university in Afghanistan and has a research focus on reproductive health for women in Afghanistan.

We are hopeful that we will be successful in helping these scholars safely leave Afghanistan and arrive at UCSF. As we launch this program, we are coordinating with the national Scholars at Risk Network, including the UC-wide chapter, to identify other Afghan scholars whose skills and academic interests may be served by UCSF’s unique focus on the health sciences.

How to Support the Afghan Scholars Program

I am proud of the efforts of so many at UCSF working to bring over Afghan scholars at risk. The UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences and the UCSF Health and Human Rights Initiative have made preparations to accommodate Afghan scholars at UCSF, train them, and support their time with us. UCSF also is working with local and legal organizations to provide additional...

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September 8, 2021

Dear UCSF Community,

In recognition of the need to brighten our spirits and encourage wellness as we continue to face myriad challenges, I am delighted to announce that we are offering grants for projects that aim to promote the wellbeing of our UCSF community.

From September 13 to September 30, 2021, UCSF academic and staff employees and learners, based at campus or affiliate locations, may apply for funds for events or initiatives that aim to support our wellbeing in one or more of our pillars of wellness: emotional, physical, social, financial, professional, environmental, and spiritual.

This program is being led by a recently formed UCSF Wellbeing Committee, which includes faculty and staff representatives from across the campus and UCSF Health. The committee, guided by staff in Wellness and Community, a division of Campus Life Services, will review the proposals and base its funding decisions on the proposed impact of the projects.

For information on how to apply for these wellbeing grants, please see the Wellness and Community web page. Read more about this opportunity online. Questions about the grants may be emailed to [email protected].

As the executive sponsor of this program, I hope that it will have a positive effect on our lives during a time when we could all benefit from a boost in morale. Please think creatively on ways you can...

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