Campus Messages

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

March 31, 2014

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

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to share with you that 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of UC San Francisco. This milestone presents a unique opportunity for all of us to reflect on UCSF’s rich and innovative history, integral role in San Francisco and leadership in the transformation of health worldwide.

Throughout the year, we will host a number of events to celebrate the anniversary, launching with the Founders Day Dinner on April 10, 2014 and culminating in the opening of the new UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay on February 1, 2015. Other cornerstone events will take place around UCSF Alumni Weekend, also held in the spring, and the completion of Mission Hall in October 2014.

I am pleased to announce that Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD ’69, dean emerita of the School of Pharmacy, agreed to chair the 150th Anniversary Celebration Committee, a group comprising faculty, alumni and volunteers who will oversee the planning process. A staff work group already has laid a solid foundation, and I am grateful for their commitment of time and energy.

Dean Koda-Kimble and I invite you to offer ideas for this occasion that both explore our campus’ history and consider its future. To ensure that the celebration period is reflective of the entire UCSF community, we have created a short survey to collect your suggestions. Please visit to share your thoughts.

In the coming weeks, Dean Koda-Kimble will be in touch with additional information about the sesquicentennial celebration. As vital members of our campus community, your participation in this extraordinary celebration...

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March 27, 2014

Dear Colleagues:

As members of the UCSF community, I invite you to read recently published stories about UCSF's multi-year financial planning and projections along with a snapshot of some of the numerous efforts across the enterprise to meet the challenges of our dynamic and competitive marketplace.

The stories are posted at:


John E. Plotts
Senior Vice Chancellor – Finance and Administration

March 27, 2014

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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