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Campus Messages

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

May 27, 2014
Community
Emergency

Dear UCSF Community:

The tragic events that took place the night of May 23 in Isla Vista have had a severe and direct impact on the UC Santa Barbara community, as well as on the family and friends of the victims. We want to acknowledge that members of the UCSF community also are feeling a sense of grief, bewilderment and loss.

The students of UCSF have initiated a solidarity vigil for all UCSF faculty, staff, students and trainees. The vigil will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, May 28, at 6 p.m., on Parnassus in Saunders Court.

Please also know that counseling services are available to faculty, staff and trainees through the Faculty & Staff Assistance Program, and, for students, through Student Health & Counseling.

In addition, we have strengthened our ability to warn faculty, staff, students, trainees and affiliates using the WarnMe mass notification system. If an imminent threat to life and safety were to occur, the UCSF police would activate the WarnMe system and members of the community would be alerted on their individual cell phone and other registered phone numbers. If you haven’t registered with WarnMe, I encourage you to take a few minutes and sign up.

Our faculty, staff, students and trainees constitute a large UC family, and this loss saddens and touches all of us.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Interim Chancellor
Dean, School of Medicine

May 26, 2014
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted and honored to share the news that Peter Walter, PhD, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the UCSF School of Medicine, has been named to receive the 2014 Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine.

Dr. Walter shares the prize with Kazutoshi Mori, PhD, professor of biophysics at Kyoto University, in Japan, for their discovery of the Unfolded Protein Response of the cell’s endoplasmic reticulum, which makes what Walter calls “life and death decisions” for the cell.

The award acknowledges the scientists’ work in understanding how the cell ensures that proteins are properly constructed, especially when the cell’s quality control system is overwhelmed. Because of their work, we now understand that when these basic systems malfunction, serious diseases can result, from type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease to the more arcane eye disease retinitis pigmentosa. This discovery has altered the field of biochemistry and is a perfect example of the importance of basic research in understanding both health and disease.

Peter, who is also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, joins four previous Shaw laureates from UCSF: Herbert Boyer (2004), Yuet-Wai Kan (2004), Shinya Yamanaka (2008), and David Julius (2010). Widely considered the “Nobel Prize of Asia,” the Shaw prize recognizes individuals who have achieved significant breakthroughs in academic and scientific research or applications, and whose work has resulted in a positive and profound impact on mankind.

For more information about Peter and his Shaw-winning work, please visit:...

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May 19, 2014
Community

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

Finance3 went live on March 10. A major initiative affecting a significant and diverse population of campus, this effort included converting twenty-nine central systems to the new Chart of Accounts and launching MyReports and UPlan—two new financial tools that will benefit our campus by providing better and more robust data that will inform our decisions moving forward.

The Finance3 project exemplifies the best of UCSF, with significant collaboration and extensive input from across the campus. We send our thanks to all of the people who worked tirelessly over the last two years to implement Finance3 including:

  • Finance3 Champions from across the campus
  • UPlan Coordinators from each of the Control Points
  • MyReports and UPlan departmental Subject Matter Experts
  • Think Tanks and Local Process Design Groups from the Schools and Central Administration
  • Finance3 Project Teams comprising representatives from Budget and Resource Management, Controllers Office, IT and the Program Management Office
  • Finance Functional Leadership Team

In addition, we extend our appreciation to everyone who attended the Finance3 town halls and to those who completed the extensive training offered. Thank you in advance for your continued dedication and patience as we transition to these two new tools.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Interim Chancellor
Dean, School of Medicine

John Plotts
Senior Vice Chancellor – Finance and Administration

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April 29, 2014
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues,

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced today the election of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Once again, UCSF faculty were included among those honored. This year’s new NAS members are:

I would also like to recognize the two faculty members elected last week to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), which is among the world’s oldest honorary societies and includes accomplished members of academia, business, public affairs, the humanities and the arts.

  • Jason Cyster, PhD, professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology
  • Frank McCormick, PhD, David A. Wood Distinguished Professor of Tumor Biology and Cancer Research

    Read more about their election in this UCSF news story.

    Please join me in congratulating these outstanding individuals on their achievement.

    Sam Hawgood, MBBS
    Interim Chancellor, UCSF
    Dean, UCSF School of Medicine

    • Warner Greene, MD, PhD, director of the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology at the UCSF-affiliated J. David Gladstone Institutes, the Nick and Sue Hellmann Distinguished Professor of Translational Medicine, and a professor of medicine, microbiology, and immunology at UCSF
    • Jaime Sepúlveda, MD, MPH, executive director of UCSF Global Health Sciences
April 23, 2014
Partnerships
Philanthropy
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new program at UCSF: a $100 million preterm birth initiative of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, which will be led by Larry Rand, MD, director of Perinatal Services at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco Fetal Treatment Center. Dr. Rand will co-direct the initiative with Jaime Sepulveda, MD, MPH, MSc, DrSc, executive director of UCSF Global Health Sciences.

The initiative is jointly funded by Lynne and Marc Benioff and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This 10-year partnership aims to reduce the number of children who are born premature, and protect the health of preterm babies in California and worldwide.

This visionary effort could have a dramatic and sustainable impact on the leading cause of death for newborns across the globe. Every year, 15 million infants are born premature, defined as having a gestational age of less than 37 weeks, and more than 1 million of these infants die within their first 28 days of life. Much of this could be prevented through quality prenatal care.

The new program will focus on the many factors that drive prematurity and ways to encourage communities to adopt proven interventions. It also will develop new technologies, which we will freely share with partners throughout the world.

We also plan to collaborate with organizations such as the March of Dimes, Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirths, National Institutes of Health and World Health Organization, to make this effort a reality. For more information, see:...

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April 9, 2014
Community

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

On April 28, you will receive a message from Gallup to participate in the third UCSF Staff Engagement Survey, which will be administered April 28 through May 16. UCSF leadership strives to build a work environment that supports staff engagement, one that is conducive to achieving our collective mission of advancing health worldwide. Gallup, known nationally for its excellence in data-driven research, will administer the 2014 survey.

One of the primary ways we gauge our success in building a supportive work environment is by periodically gathering the opinions of our staff. The Staff Engagement Survey provides staff members with an opportunity to express their voices candidly and confidentially. The 2013 survey results showed progress on staff engagement, and units across the campus and medical center have created and implemented quality action plans to continue this improvement. The 2014 Staff Engagement Survey will provide greater insight into the impact of these efforts, and help us plan future engagement activities that contribute to making UCSF a great place to work.

The survey should take 5 to 10 minutes to complete, and Gallup will hold your responses in complete confidence. Responses will be reported anonymously without reference to identity of any respondents. We will provide an assessment of outcomes of the 2014 survey once it is closed and analysis of results completed.

Please take time to reflect on your employment experience at UCSF and share your feedback through this important survey.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Interim Chancellor

April 7, 2014
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues:

As you know, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital has affiliated with Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland (CHO). Together, the two partners will become even stronger advocates for young patients on both sides of the San Francisco Bay.

Now, thanks to another generous $100 million gift from Lynne and Marc Benioff, we will strengthen the existing talent and programs in basic and clinical research and patient care offered by these two premier institutions – to read more about UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, please visit – http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/04/113131/ucsf-benioff-children%E2%80%99s-.... This funding also will enable us to attract world-renowned researchers and clinicians to accelerate the development of innovative solutions for children’s health care throughout the Bay Area, as well as nationally and globally.

BCH Logos

You will notice a few changes to our name – and our look – starting with the colorful emblem on this page. The adoption of the Oakland location’s logo, which we are truly excited about, visibly places children at the heart of our mission and symbolizes our united efforts.

In addition, our San Francisco hospital will be called UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital...

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March 31, 2014
Leadership

Dear Colleagues,

I’m pleased to be writing to you today in my new role as Interim Chancellor of UCSF.

UCSF is at an exciting point in its evolution, and I look forward to working with many of you in the coming months to continue to advance excellence across our mission areas of research, education, patient care, and community service.

I know I speak on behalf of the entire UCSF community in thanking Sue Desmond-Hellmann for her leadership over the last four-and-a-half years and in wishing her the very best in her role as chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

UCSF made great progress under Sue’s leadership. Her legacy includes the strong leadership team she built, the financial strength she fostered and the scale of the projects this campus has undertaken in such a short time. The Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet is fully committed to partnering with me to ensure the current transition is a seamless one.

The coming months promise to be rewarding. Later this month, UCSF is planning to launch a yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of Toland Medical College, a celebration that in February 2015 will include the opening of three new hospitals at UCSF’s Mission Bay Campus. We also will continue advancing key initiatives, including UCSF 2.0, which is focused on charting a future vision for the entire institution, and the UCSF Health System, a clinical enterprise strategy to ensure we are well positioned as the healthcare landscape continues to evolve.

The breadth of what we do at UCSF is unsurpassed, from fundamental, curiosity-driven science to the application of those discoveries to patient care and...

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March 27, 2014
Leadership

Dear Colleagues,

I am extremely pleased to announce that Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS, an acclaimed cancer scientist, will become the new director for the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. His appointment will officially begin January 1, 2015.

Dr. Ashworth currently is professor of molecular biology, leader of the Gene Function Team in the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre and chief executive officer of the Institute of Cancer Research in London. Together with its partner hospital, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the ICR is one of the top cancer centers globally.

Dr. Ashworth is renowned for his research on genes that determine cancer risk, especially for his key role in the discovery of BRCA2 in 1995. His is also known for his innovative approaches to exploiting genetic weaknesses in cancer cells as a way to generate new therapies and for his passion for the development of precision cancer medicine, translating laboratory studies into improvements in patient care.

Dr. Ashworth is an elected member of EMBO and the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is the recipient of a number of scientific prizes and awards including The European Society of Medical Oncology Lifetime Achievement Award, the David T. Workman Memorial Award of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation and the Meyenburg Foundation’s Cancer Research Award.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the search committee who so ably assisted me in Dr. Ashworth’s recruitment.

Dr. Ashworth will succeed Dr. Frank McCormick as director of the Cancer Center at USCF. Dr. McCormick joined UCSF in 1997, launched our cancer center and...

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