Campus Messages

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

September 20, 2019
UC System

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

I am writing to provide an update on our ongoing seismic program to evaluate UCSF’s owned and leased buildings to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of our community — our faculty, staff, learners, patients, neighbors, and visitors.

As residents of California, we recognize the importance of taking steps to mitigate seismic risk. UCSF buildings are designed and constructed to the codes and standards that are effective at the time of their construction or major renovation. However, as seismic engineering and standards evolve, we work to update and enhance our facilities to meet the latest standards.

Our current seismic review is part of the University of California’s proactive initiative to update seismic performance ratings throughout the UC system. The UC-wide assessment bolsters our ongoing seismic program, which has invested many millions of dollars to make seismic upgrades across the campus and clinical enterprise. This voluntary effort goes beyond what many institutions across the state currently follow.

Today, we released the first batch of reports based on seismic building evaluations conducted by the UCSF Seismic Review Committee, our independent team of leading structural and geotechnical engineers. The reports are posted online and represent about 20 percent of UCSF’s buildings being evaluated. The seismic experts approved all of the buildings in this first collection for use by the UCSF community, including our patients and visitors. Most of these buildings meet UC seismic standards, while others require further analysis to...

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September 5, 2019
Honors and Awards

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

We are delighted to share the news that David Julius, PhD, has received a 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. This award recognizes him for “discovering molecules, cells, and mechanisms underlying pain sensation.”

David, professor and chair of 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 channels known as TRP (“trip”) receptors.

In that work, David has used distinctive molecules from the natural world – tarantula and scorpion toxins, and the compounds that produce the heat in chili peppers and the zing of wasabi, 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 David 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 personifies the importance of basic research in understanding both health and disease. More details on his work can be found at

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September 3, 2019
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

As you likely have heard, the government recently issued a change to a federal immigration policy that puts in jeopardy the life of one our patients at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and other patients across the United States. The outcry from the public, media, elected officials, and health care community has prompted the federal administration to delay action on this policy.

Yesterday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it would postpone immediate elimination of the “humanitarian medical deferred action” program and reopen patient cases that were shut on August 7. This program has allowed immigrants to avoid deportation while they or their families receive medical treatment not available in their own countries. The decision refers only to those cases that were pending on August 7 and does not address long-term implications for our patient, Isabel Bueso, and others. We are continuing to monitor this issue closely, working with Isabel and her family.

In the meantime if you would like to learn more about Isabel and express your concern, visit the webpage that her family has established to advocate on her behalf.

Isabel, who has been treated by our physicians at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland for more than 16 years, with weekly, six-hour infusions, was ordered by USCIS to leave the country in 33 days or be deported without an opportunity to appeal the decision.

Isabel came to the U.S. from Guatemala at...

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