Campus Messages

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

February 7, 2018
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are honored to share an important announcement for UCSF: The Helen Diller Foundation has made a $500 million commitment to UCSF to build a new, world-class hospital on our Parnassus Heights campus.

This extraordinary commitment will enable us to begin the extensive planning process for a state-of-the-art, 21st-century hospital that is designed and equipped to provide an unsurpassed level of care for our patients. The Diller family’s generosity also is a testament to the excellence of the clinicians and staff who have made UCSF Medical Center the highest ranked hospital in California and the fifth-best in the country, according to US News & World Report. The new hospital will enable us to relocate inpatient care, currently at Moffitt Hospital, by 2030 and meet the state’s seismic requirements.

In honor of this remarkable commitment, current and future clinical buildings at the Parnassus campus — including the new hospital, Moffitt-Long Hospital and the Crede Ambulatory Care Center — will be renamed the UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights. You can read more about this commitment and the vision for the new hospital at

UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center will be part of a planned broader revitalization of our flagship Parnassus Heights campus that also will modernize facilities supporting our research and education priorities. As we embark on this once-in-a-generation planning process for the Parnassus campus, we will draw upon input from you — our faculty, staff, students — as well as other stakeholders in our community.

The new commitment...

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January 15, 2018

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

I am pleased to congratulate renowned scientist Deepak Srivastava, MD, on his new role as the third president of the Gladstone Institutes.

Deepak is recognized for his contributions in the fields of cardiology and stem cell biology. His laboratory has been a leader in deciphering how embryonic stem cells form a heart, learning how that process is genetically disrupted in heart disease, and using that knowledge to regenerate damaged hearts. Deepak will maintain his research laboratory activities at Gladstone during his tenure as president.

Gladstone, a nonprofit life sciences research institution, shares a decades-long academic affiliation with UCSF. The Gladstone mission closely aligns with ours – to bring together visionary scientists with the technology to treat unsolved diseases and to train the next generation of researchers.

A pediatric cardiologist, Deepak himself is an example of our pioneering trainees having completed his residency in pediatrics at UCSF Medical Center in 1992. He then served fellowships at both the Children’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School and MD Anderson Cancer Center before joining the Gladstone Institutes in 2005.

Prior to being named president, Deepak was a senior investigator and director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, Younger Family Director, and director of the Roddenberry Stem Cell Center.

Deepak succeeds R. Sanders “Sandy” Williams, MD, who as Gladstone president from 2010 to 2017 founded several biotechnology companies based on the translation of discoveries into the development of novel therapeutics. Sandy will continue his affiliation with Gladstone.

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December 19, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

As this year ends, I express my heartfelt appreciation for the great work you have done at UCSF on behalf of our students, patients, their families, and community.

This year, thanks to your contributions and support, we accomplished a great deal, as told in UCSF’s year-in-review story. Each feat is a testament to the vision, determination, collaborative spirit, and compassion in our community.

Without a doubt, this has been a year of extreme global challenges. I am proud that our community continues to show that we are resilient, united in our mission to advance health worldwide. I am equally proud that each and every day we aspire to embody our values of professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity and excellence.

As we usher in a new year, take time to appreciate the strength of our diversity and continue to take actions to ensure that every member of our community feels welcome, included, and supported.

Finally, I encourage you in 2018 to help us solve the most intractable problems in health and human biology as an ambassador for UCSF: The Campaign. Our grand challenges – Decoding Life to Improve Health, Leveraging Discovery to Revolutionize Care, and Partnering to Achieve Health Equity – encompass our collective priorities, define us as a community, and call us to action.

Let us look to the future and move forward together.

I wish you and your loved ones a joyful holiday season and a happy new year.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS...

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December 12, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

The revelations of serious sexual misconduct across the nation over the last several months have underscored its devastating impact on individuals and organizations. These highly-publicized instances of workplace sexual harassment and sexual assault call on all institutions, including UCSF, to redouble their efforts to end abusive behaviors. We are committed to a UCSF community that is free from harassment and discrimination.

Consistent with our Principles of Community, we also are dedicated to providing a safe, welcoming environment where every person benefits from the highest principles of openness, integrity, and accountability. We encourage all those who feel they have experienced harassment to report it. They will be protected against retaliation via the Whistleblower Policy & Whistleblower Protection Policy.

We have been aggressively working to get to zero incidents at UCSF through mandatory education and training; enhanced required reporting; investigations that are fair for all parties; and appropriate sanctioning. However, there is still more work to be done.

We all must hold each other accountable for creating a climate that is free from discrimination, harassment, and assault. Everyone at UC — students, faculty, academic appointees, and staff — has a responsibility to know and comply with UC’s Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, our PRIDE values, and relevant state laws. Everyone...

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December 11, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Mayor Ed Lee. He was an extraordinarily decent, upbeat, and dedicated leader of San Francisco, and a staunch ally of UCSF in our mission to provide high-quality health care for all, teach the next generation of innovators and caregivers in the health sciences, and drive breakthroughs in research. I had the pleasure and honor of working closely with Mayor Lee over the past several years on a variety of UCSF-City partnerships.

Among his many contributions, the Mayor played an integral role in working with UCSF to enable us to construct the new UCSF Research and Academic Building at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center and to purchase property at Mission Bay that will serve as the future home of the UCSF Center for Vision Neuroscience.

On behalf of UCSF, I will be sending heartfelt condolences to his family. Indeed, San Francisco has lost a very special person and one of its great champions.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

December 4, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

I am pleased to announce that Jennifer Arnett, a longtime member of the UCSF community, will be our next vice chancellor for University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR), effective January 1, 2018. In her new position, Jennifer will report to me and serve as a member of the Chancellor’s Executive Team.

As UCSF’s chief fundraising officer, Jennifer will be responsible for designing and directing a comprehensive and dynamic development program for the University’s world-renowned basic and clinical research programs as well as for UCSF Health, including the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. In her new position, Jennifer will lead a team of 180 people with an operating budget of $40 million. Her responsibilities also will include serving as vice president of the UCSF Board of Overseers.

Since joining UDAR in 2010 as senior director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Jennifer has earned the confidence of our most generous donors, our committed volunteers, and our faculty. She understands the special qualities and characteristics of UCSF and is tireless in promoting the work we do. Since 2012, Jennifer has served as associate vice chancellor of UDAR, working closely with John Ford, vice chancellor of UDAR, who is retiring at the end of this year.

Michael Faber, currently assistant vice chancellor in UDAR, will succeed Jennifer as associate vice chancellor and second-in-command. Continuing to work closely alongside Jennifer and Michael will be Erin Hickey, who has served as assistant vice chancellor for Children’s Health, directing fundraising efforts for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals since February 2016.

I am...

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December 3, 2017
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to share the news that Peter Walter, PhD, professor and Howard Hughes Investigator in the School of Medicine Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, has received a 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. This award recognizes him for “elucidating the unfolded protein response, a cellular quality-control system that detects disease-causing unfolded proteins and directs cells to take corrective measures.”

The prize committee acknowledged his work towards improved understanding of how the cell ensures that proteins are properly constructed, especially when the cell’s quality control system is overwhelmed. Because of this research, we now understand that when these basic systems malfunction, serious diseases can result, including type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s. This discovery has altered the field of biochemistry and is a perfect example of the importance of basic science in understanding both health and disease.

Peter Walter previously has been honored with a Shaw Prize and a Lasker Award in 2014, as well as the Vilcek Prize in 2015. Read more about Peter Walter’s work.

Now in their sixth year, the Breakthrough Prizes were founded by Sergey Brin, Yuri and Julia Milner, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Anne Wojcicki, and “dedicated to advancing breakthrough research, celebrating scientists and generating excitement about the pursuit of science as a career.” Information about this year’s other prize recipients, including Kazutoshi Mori, PhD, at Kyoto University in Japan, who also is a leading researcher on the unfolded protein response and who has shared many major scientific awards with...

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November 30, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

As announced in February, at the end of the month, John Featherstone, MSc, PhD, will be stepping down from his roles as dean of the School of Dentistry and faculty member. I know that you join me in thanking him for his remarkable leadership and in wishing him well in his future plans.

I am pleased to inform you that Mark Kirkland, DDS, Health Sciences Clinical Professor, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, and associate dean for Clinical Affairs in the School of Dentistry, has agreed to serve as interim dean while the search for John’s successor continues. Mark will begin this post on January 1, 2018.

A UCSF alum, Mark earned his DDS here in 1983 and has been an active faculty member for 31 years. As associate dean for Clinical Affairs, he oversees all operations related to the School’s robust clinical enterprise, which includes general, restorative, pediatric, and implant dentistry as well as periodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, prosthodontics, craniofacial anomalies, oral & maxillofacial surgery, orofacial pain/TMD, and oral medicine.

As interim dean, Mark also will be a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet. I am grateful to him for accepting this important role during a time of transition. His exceptional leadership and expertise will sustain the important work of the faculty, staff, students, and trainees of the School of Dentistry.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

November 14, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

Tax reform is moving quickly through Congress. The bills being debated by both the House of Representatives and the Senate this week may have a significantly adverse impact on UCSF, the University of California (UC), and colleges and universities nationwide.

If you would like to voice your concern about tax reform, please consider calling your elected officials. Democrats and Republicans alike need to hear from their constituents that the proposed legislation will increase the costs of education, research, as well as health care for all Americans.

Specifically, the policies under consideration would make higher education more expensive and less accessible for students, which runs counter to UCSF’s strong commitment to a diverse and inclusive student body. These policies would negatively affect the university’s ability to support our tripartite mission to educate, provide quality patient care, and conduct cutting-edge research.

To provide a better idea of what is at stake this week, the House of Representatives is considering the following actions:

  • Ending tax-free tuition reimbursement;
  • Repealing the student loan interest deduction;
  • Repealing the Lifetime Learning tax credit;
  • Increasing the standard deduction and repealing the estate tax, which will reduce the incentive for charitable giving to institutions like UCSF; and
  • Repealing tax-exempt bond financing options, which UCSF relies on to make capital investments in buildings and facilities on campus.

While the Senate bill does not include provisions to repeal or...

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October 29, 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

On Friday, I announced the launch of UCSF: The Campaign in my annual State of the University address.

I send my thanks to those of you who gathered at Parnassus, Mission Bay, Oakland, and Fresno, as well as those of you who tuned in online. My appreciation also goes to Drs. Hana El-Samad and Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, who joined me to help explain the importance of this comprehensive fundraising campaign to our shared future. If you were unable to attend or watch live, you can watch or read about the event online.

While there were many important topics to cover, the launch of UCSF: The Campaign took center stage. Through this campaign, we will raise $5 billion to attract, retain, and support brilliant faculty members and students and solve the most challenging problems in biology and human health. Thanks to our visionary supporters, we have already raised nearly $3 billion, positioning us more than halfway to our goal.

As much as the campaign focuses on building the University’s endowment, it also helps us raise our voice in a new and vivid way. Together, we must revolutionize health care and improve lives in our communities as well as solve some of the most complex health problems around the world. We are speaking out for the most vulnerable and standing up for the importance of science. By raising our voice through this campaign, we have an unprecedented opportunity and...

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