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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 17, 2022
Honors and Awards
People

Dear UCSF Community,

To commemorate Founders Day, an annual tradition when we celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of members of our UCSF community, I am pleased to honor 13 individuals with the 2022 UCSF Founders Day Awards.

I was delighted to recognize the recipients, listed below, for their remarkable work in service of our university and its mission at a reception last Friday.

Please join me in congratulating these faculty, staff, students, and trainees who have committed themselves to public and university service, innovative research, and patient-centered care. I invite you to learn about them and their remarkable efforts by watching these short videos.

Chancellor Award for Public Service

  • Faculty: Daniel Grossman, MD
  • Staff: Hoa Su, MPH
  • Learner: Taia Sean Wu
  • Thomas N. Burbridge Public Service Award: Shira Shavit, MD
  • Edison T. Uno Public Service Award: Roberto Efraín Díaz

Chancellor Award for Exceptional Management

  • Molly Frances Battistelli, MPH
  • Michael L. Helle, MBA, MHA, FP-C, NRP/CCP
  • Janelle Smith Hernandez, MHA
  • Tristin Penland, MS, RN, CCRN

Chancellor Award for Exceptional Service

  • Sue Forstat 
  • Diane B. Ngo, MPA
  • Morgan Vaisset-Fauvel, BEPA...
Read more »
October 4, 2021
Honors and Awards
People

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to share the news that UCSF Professor David Julius, PhD, has been named to receive the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He shares the prize with Ardem Patapoutian, PhD, at Scripps.

David, who chairs 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 channel receptors known as TRP (“trip”) receptors.

In that work, David has used distinctive molecules from the natural world – tarantula toxins and the capsaicin molecule that produces the “heat” in chili peppers, 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 him 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 offers a perfect example of the importance of basic research in understanding both health and disease. More details on his work can be found on our website.

Please make time to join me for a virtual celebration at noon today to celebrate...

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October 7, 2020
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to share the news that Jennifer Doudna, PhD, Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences at UC Berkeley, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes, and adjunct professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at UCSF, has been named to receive the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Doudna shares the Nobel with her long-time collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, PhD, Director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin.

Doudna and Charpentier received the prize for their co-development of CRISPR-Cas9, a genome targeting and editing technology that has ushered in a new era of genetics. Their work has transformed the way scientists study genes and their function and has the potential to revolutionize biomedicine.

Inspired by CRISPR’s potential for treating human disease and improving food security through more sustainable agriculture, Doudna spearheaded the creation of the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI), a joint UC Berkeley / UCSF venture she leads as executive director.

Doudna oversees a lab at the Gladstone Institutes at Mission Bay and has been an adjunct professor at UCSF since 2016. She collaborates with physicians and scientists here and at the Gladstone to develop CRISPR-based gene therapies for diseases ranging from cancer to HIV to familial vision and movement disorders.

Read more about the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry:

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July 1, 2020
Honors and Awards

Dear UCSF Community:

The UCSF Medal, initiated in 1975, replaces the granting of honorary degrees and is our most prestigious university award, celebrating extraordinary individuals for their achievements and contributions. This year, three UCSF Medals will be awarded to remarkable leaders who have advanced diversity and innovation in their fields through mentorship.

The medalists are:

  • Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, MA, PhD—President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC);
  • Afaf I. Meleis, PhD, DrPS, FAAN—Dean Emerita, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Professor Emerita, UCSF; and
  • John A. Watson, PhD—Professor Emeritus, UCSF School of Medicine

I invite you to join me for an inspiring conversation with this year’s Medal recipients, touching on prominent issues of our time. Please RSVP and on Friday, July 10 starting at 12 p.m. tune in online to watch the celebration.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

May 7, 2020
Community
Honors and Awards
People

Dear UCSF Community,

Perhaps now more than ever, it’s important for us to take the time to celebrate the extraordinary work we do at UCSF in service of our public mission. I invite you to join me on Friday, May 22, at 12 noon for the virtual 2020 Founders Day Awards Celebration.

While we can’t physically come together for our traditional luncheon, I am excited to bring this event to our entire community online, giving us an opportunity to honor 13 faculty, staff members, and learners who exemplify our UCSF PRIDE Values, and share their inspiring stories.

The event will recognize recipients of the following awards:

  • Chancellor Award for Public Service, Thomas N. Burbridge Public Service Award, and Edison T. Uno Public Service Award
  • Chancellor Award for Exceptional Management
  • Chancellor Award for Exceptional Service
  • Distinguished Nurse Award

To view the celebration, please register. The Zoom details will be emailed to you closer to the event date.

I hope you will join us for this special occasion.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

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 UCSF.edu....

Read more »
June 18, 2019
Honors and Awards
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

We are proud to announce that UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals have again ranked among the nation’s preeminent children’s hospitals in all 10 pediatric specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report, which released the results of its annual Best Children’s Hospitals survey today.

Together, our two hospitals in Oakland and San Francisco ranked fifth nationwide and best in the West in neonatology, and were recognized as the best in Northern California in pediatric cancer care; cardiology & heart surgery; gastroenterology & GI surgery; and neurology & neurosurgery. We also scored highly in five other specialties surveyed: diabetes & endocrinology; nephrology; orthopedics; pulmonology; and urology. More information, including our complete rankings, is available in the press release.

We are especially excited to see significant improvement in many of this year’s standings compared to last year’s survey results. Of particular note, our 2019-2020 rankings increased in seven specialties from the prior year, with a leap of six places in neurology & neurosurgery, and more than 15 places in cardiology & heart surgery, and orthopedics.

The importance of these results is twofold. First, the rankings continue to reflect the high-quality care we provide to our patients and their families. And second, our improvement across so many fields in one year’s time indicates the marked progress BCH has made in coming together as a unified children’s health enterprise.

...

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February 27, 2019
Honors and Awards

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

I am delighted to share the news that in 2018, for the 12th consecutive year, UCSF was awarded more funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than any other public university in the United States, and the second most overall.

Our four schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy, along with our Graduate Division, earned a record amount totaling more than $647.8 million of these highly competitive contracts and grants, which support research into the fundamental underpinnings of life, the development of treatment strategies for the full spectrum of human diseases, and training for the next generation of researchers and clinicians. The schools of Dentistry, Medicine and Pharmacy topped the nation in federal funding in their fields, and the School of Nursing received the most of any public nursing school and the second most overall nationwide. Read more about this accomplishment.

This marks the first time that UCSF has surpassed $600 million, and it represents UCSF’s largest increase in NIH funding (9.09 percent) since 2011. Our success in competing for NIH funds reflects the high caliber of scientific discovery underway across UCSF.

NIH funding is the lifeblood of our research enterprise, enabling our faculty, staff, students, and trainees to confront problems and answer questions in the biomedical sciences, from curiosity-driven research to the application of those discoveries to patients and populations.

We remain vigilant in our...

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May 30, 2018
Administrative
Community
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce June 2018 as UCSF Alumni Month, an opportunity for our community to honor the accomplishments, dedication, and generosity of UCSF’s remarkable alumni.

This month of celebration kicks off tomorrow with UCSF Alumni Weekend and the presentation of the 2018 Campaign Alumni Awards. Twelve award recipients were selected from 125 nominations by a committee of fourteen alumni volunteers. Through the rest of June, join us on social media as we welcome our newest graduates, share alumni stories, and give thanks using #UCSFAlumniMonth.

The generations of professionals who trained here have shaped our institution, and today, UCSF is the largest employer of UCSF alumni. They also are key to a strong future for UCSF through their ongoing support and advocacy.

On behalf of the entire UCSF community, I extend my deepest gratitude to the more than 67,000 alumni who have helped form the character of the university and who share UCSF’s knowledge and values with the world.

To learn more about our outstanding alumni community, please visit the new alumni website at alumni.ucsf.edu.

Thank you for celebrating UCSF Alumni Month with us.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

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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