Blog

Campus Messages

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

October 24, 2014
Leadership

Dear Colleagues,

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.

As EVCP, Jeff served as our campus chief academic officer, guiding the research and academic enterprise wisely and carefully during a challenging recessionary period as well as advancing campus research, educational and strategic priorities in close collaboration with the Chancellor and the campus leadership team.

In the role of EVCP, Jeff led many significant initiatives of long-term strategic value to UCSF. Early in his tenure, Jeff led a highly successful effort to secure major funds through the American Recovery and Investment Act, enabling the campus to maintain its research momentum. Jeff has actively overseen the development of a strong core infrastructure and operations to support our faculty in their sponsored research activities, directed a strong ethics and compliance program, and created and managed a technology fund while enhancing the technology transfer office to promote robust industry and academic partnerships. His vision for and management of the high impact Mid-Career Faculty Recruitment Fund have helped departments recruit outstanding faculty to UCSF. Jeff has worked collaboratively with others toward helping set our research priorities, including developing a visionary precision medicine platform and establishing campuswide space principles that will serve UCSF well for years to come. Jeff‘s determination has helped us...

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October 23, 2014
Emergency
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues:

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.

We at UCSF Medical Center are committed to providing the highest quality and safest care to the patients we serve, which is why so many of you - our physicians, nurses, clinical laboratory scientists and staff -- have spent a significant amount of time and thought preparing to care for a potential patient with Ebola.

In recent weeks, after much consideration, we identified a site for an isolation unit to treat any patients who may seek our care. The isolation unit is being constructed in one of the existing intensive care (ICU) units on the Mount Zion campus. The construction design and specifications were based on detailed information from the biocontainment units at Emory University and Nebraska Medical Center, two hospitals that have successfully treated patients with Ebola virus infection. The location of this unit is designed to allow for the proper facilities, equipment and resources, as well as infection control practices, to ensure patient and staff safety. A temporary isolation unit with the same specifications has already been set up in this ICU.

If UCSF receives a patient with suspected or confirmed Ebola virus infection, all other patients will be moved out of the ICU to other comparable locations at UCSF prior to the arrival of the Ebola patient.

Access to the isolation unit will then be tightly restricted and...

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October 19, 2014
Administrative
UC System

Dear Colleagues:

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. It is a privilege and a right that serves as the foundation for the laws that govern our nation.

I also want to remind the campus community that there are legal restrictions on University of California involvement in political campaign activities based on the status of the University as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization and as a state entity. The University may not endorse/oppose (or contribute to) political candidates, nor may University resources (including University-paid time or equipment) be used for campaign purposes in connection with ballot propositions.

I want to emphasize that the University does not restrict any member of the University community – student, academic appointee, staff employee – from exercising his or her right to engage in personal political activity. However, no member of the University community may use University facilities or resources (including time on the job) for political purposes, except as specifically permitted by University regulations. In addition, care should be taken to avoid creating any misperception of University endorsement of a particular political position. I encourage you to review the University guidelines regarding the restrictions that apply to University of California participation in ballot initiative campaigns that are posted at the following link:...

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October 16, 2014
Emergency
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues:

This email serves to update you on our Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) response in preparation for providing care for patients at UCSF. As always, our first priority is to ensure the safety of all of our employees while providing care to the thousands of patients we see every day.

Extensive efforts over the last two months have involved a task force with key stakeholders from Infection Control, Nursing, Critical Care Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Lab Medicine, and the Office of Emergency Preparedness. UCSF leadership has been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Public Health(CDPH), and San Francisco's Department of Public Health, and we have consulted other institutions to gain knowledge of best practices in EVD management or training including Emory, Nebraska, and UCLA.

Currently all patients in the Emergency Department (ED) and the Screening and Acute Care Clinic (SACC) arescreened at triage for high-risk travel history. If a patient is identified as at risk for Ebola, the patient will be isolated by staff using recommended personal protective equipment (PPE), and key leaders will be notified. If a patient at risk for Ebola infection (fever and recent travel to West Africa) presents to an ambulatory clinic, the patient should be placed in an exam room, the door closed, and Infection Control is to be called immediately at (415) 806-0269.

Adult and pediatric inpatients will be placed in a designated ICU room and treated by providers who are specifically trained in the use of PPE. Plans are being finalized for safe laboratory testing, waste management and any other actions that will ensure staff...

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October 15, 2014
Emergency
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

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.

President Obama has issued a call for experienced U.S. health workers to travel to the area, and I expect UC San Francisco doctors, nurses, lab technicians and other clinical health workers will want to join the effort, as, indeed, some already have.

I have charged a task force to advise me on the campus response to the crisis, and I want to assure the UCSF community that I am thinking of the safety of everyone involved. We are taking every precaution to ensure that those who go receive as much training and support as possible, both for their own personal protection and to avoid spreading the disease to others. George Rutherford, MD, professor of Epidemiology and director of the Prevention and Public Health Group in UCSF Global Health Sciences, and Theresa O'Brien, PhD, Associate Chancellor, have agreed to serve as campus liaisons for this effort, and I deeply appreciate their leadership.

We have prepared guidelines, which we will update as the situation evolves, and all UCSF personnel seeking institutionally approved leave will be required to follow them. Volunteers must be licensed clinical care providers and must take the special Ebola training offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before departing for West Africa. They also must work under the auspices of a recognized governmental or non-governmental organization with the...

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October 14, 2014
Leadership

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that Jennifer R. Grandis, MD, has accepted the position of Associate Vice Chancellor—Clinical and Translational Research (AVC-CTR). Dr. Grandis will begin service in her new post in January 2015 while also holding a faculty appointment as Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

This is a critical role for UCSF given today’s rapidly changing landscape of research and patient care that requires the university to have a comprehensive and robust translational and clinical research infrastructure that supports the research and clinical needs of the future. Jennifer will lead and shape the strategic direction for broad elements of our clinical and translational research enterprise including the Clinical & Translational Institute (CTSI). In addition, her responsibilities include serving as a liaison to national committees in the field and overseeing all aspects of clinical trials infrastructure and processes in the EVCP organization.Jennifer will be collaborating with multiple entities and other leaders on campus, including the Medical Center, the four Schools and Graduate Division, and key ORUs and centers on campus.

Jennifer comes to UCSF from the University of Pittsburgh, where she is currently a UPMC Endowed Chair in Head and Neck Cancer Surgical Research and Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology and Pharmacology & Chemical Biology. She leads the Head and Neck Cancer Program and is Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Otolaryngology. Additionally, she is Health Sciences Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Program Integration. Her research areas include precision medicine approaches, signal transduction,...

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October 6, 2014
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to share the news that Bruce Alberts, PhD, a longtime and highly regarded member of the UCSF faculty, has been named by President Barack Obama as one of nine scientists to be awarded the National Medal of Science, the highest U.S. honor for scientific achievement. Bruce will be honored with his fellow recipients at a White House Ceremony later this year.

Currently the Chancellor’s Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education, Bruce joined UCSF in 1976. His 50-year career has been one of the most illustrious in modern biology. Renowned for his fundamental discoveries on how DNA is replicated before cells divide, he has been equally lauded as a tireless advocate for science and education.

After a five-year period as chair of UCSF’s Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Bruce served two six-year terms, from 1993 to 2005, as president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). During his tenure at NAS, he was instrumental in developing the landmark National Science Education standards that have been implemented in school systems nationwide.

He also served as president of the American Society for Cell Biology in 2007 and editor-in-chief of Science magazine from 2008 to 2013.

In 1987, Bruce co-founded the Science & Health Education Partnership (SEP), a 24-year-old collaboration between UCSF and the San Francisco Unified School District to support quality science education for K-12 students. SEP is one of the most successful and longest-running community outreach projects at UCSF, and it is recognized nationally and internationally as a model organization that supports quality science education for K-...

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September 29, 2014
Leadership

Dear Colleagues:

I am delighted to report that the search for the position of Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) – Research Infrastructure and Operations has been completed and that Brian E. Smith, MBA, JD has accepted the position, commencing October 1.

As AVC – Research Infrastructure and Operations, Brian will report to me and will be responsible for day-to-day operations, management, and oversight of several key components of our research enterprise: research management services, government and business contracts, environmental health and safety, and laboratory animal research. He will collaborate with others on the Office of Research team, the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, the medical center, faculty leaders and entities outside of UCSF, to identify potential improvements and best practices. Brian also will represent the Office of Research in campuswide planning and on selected UC systemwide committees and councils.

Brian comes to UCSF from UC San Diego, where he was assistant vice chancellor for Health Sciences Affairs, with responsibilities encompassing health sciences education, research and general administration, and liaison functions to Health Sciences Development, Marketing and Communications, and the UCSD Health System. Prior to his three years at UCSD, Brian served for seven years at the University of Oregon, Eugene, first in the Office of Technology Transfer, and subsequently as assistant vice president and chief of staff in the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and his MBA and JD from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

Finally, I am most grateful to Marge O’...

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September 11, 2014
Leadership

Dear UCSF Community:

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. Dr. Wintroub will maintain his responsibilities in the Department of Dermatology including his position as chair. I am confident that he will serve with distinction and ably steer the School through this transition.

Dr. Wintroub earned a medical degree at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, with residencies and fellowships at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston (Internal Medicine) and Harvard Medical School (Immunology and Dermatology). He earned his AB at Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts. Read more at: http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/09/117211/wintroub-appointed-interim-dean-...

I have appointed a search committee for my successor as dean, and Drs. Catherine Lucey, Professor and School of Medicine Vice Dean—Education, and Shaun Coughlin, Professor and Director—Cardiovascular Research Institute will serve as co-chairs. The committee is charged to work with the search firm of Isaacson, Miller to identify distinguished academicians who have demonstrated their ability to successfully advance all mission areas and whose values align with the core values of...

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September 8, 2014
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues:

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.

Peter, who is a professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, was honored for his groundbreaking work on a cellular quality-control system known as the unfolded protein response, or UPR. Found in organisms ranging from yeast to humans, the UPR is crucial to life and is fundamental to a cell’s ability to ensure that proteins are properly constructed, especially when the cell’s quality control systems are overwhelmed. Disruptions in its workings are believed to play a role in neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, diabetes and other illnesses. As such, Peter’s work is a perfect example of the importance of basic biomedical research, its impact on health and its importance for society.

Peter is the 12th UCSF faculty member to receive a Lasker and shares this year’s award with Kazutoshi Mori, PhD, a leading UPR researcher at Kyoto University in Japan. More details can be found at http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/09/116936/ucsf-professor-peter-walter-rece....

Peter is currently in Europe, contributing his expertise to a grants review group, so we will hold a celebration upon his return. Please join me on Monday, September 15 from 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Genentech Hall atrium, to...

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