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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 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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August 7, 2017
Honors and Awards
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

This morning, U.S. News & World Report released its annual rankings of best hospitals in the United States. I am very pleased to share the results: UCSF Medical Center is the fifth best hospital in the nation, the best hospital in California and the best hospital in the West.

Further, of the 16 specialties that U.S. News evaluates, UCSF ranks in the top 25 for 15 specialties and in the top ten for 13. The entire rankings can be viewed here.

While we acknowledge that all ranking systems are imperfect and can change from year to year, I truly believe that these scores accurately reflect the intense work that has taken place at UCSF over the past several years. That work includes an unrelenting focus on quality and safety, increasing access, investing in our people, lowering costs and improving our patients’ experience.

But more than anything else, these scores placing UCSF Medical Center among the top handful of hospitals in the United States reflect the quality of our faculty physicians. Their scientific innovation and creativity coupled with the exceptional care they provide to every patient, 24/7, drive our national and international standing.

Credit for the quality of UCSF’s faculty is shared by many, but it starts at the top, with Chancellor (and former School of Medicine Dean) Sam Hawgood and current Dean Talmadge King. They have jointly recruited and supported a stellar group of clinical and basic science department chairs, each of whom has recruited division chiefs and faculty whose impact advances these rankings directly or indirectly. Please take time to acknowledge our...

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May 22, 2017
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues,

We are honored and very pleased to share the news that Ron Vale, PhD, professor and vice chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology in the UCSF School of Medicine, has been named to receive the 2017 Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine.

Dr. Vale shares the prize with Ian R. Gibbons, PhD, FRS, visiting researcher in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. The award recognizes the scientists’ discovery of microtubule-associated motor proteins, “the engines that drive nerve cell growth and chromosome inheritance essential to human development.”

In 2012, Dr. Vale was one of three scientists awarded the 2012 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for his discovery in the mid-1980s of the motor protein kinesin, which transports cargo inside the cell along microtubule “tracks.” Kinesin makes it possible for the heart to beat and is also crucial to the separation of chromosomes during cell division. Drs. Vale and Gibbons have collaborated on studies of dynein, a motor protein discovered by Dr. Gibbons in the 1960s that moves along microtubules in the opposite direction to kinesin.

Their work underscores the tremendous value of basic research in advancing our knowledge of human health and disease. Read more about Drs. Vale and Gibbons’ Shaw-winning work.

The Shaw Prize, established in November 2002, honors individuals, regardless of race, nationality, gender and religious belief, who have achieved significant breakthroughs in academic and scientific research or applications and whose work has...

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September 12, 2016
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to share the exciting news that Bruce Alberts, PhD, UCSF Chancellor’s Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education, has received the 2016 Lasker~Koshland Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science. One of the highest honors in biomedicine, this award is given every two years by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation.

Bruce’s career spans fifty years and is one of the most esteemed in modern biology. A member of our faculty since 1976, he is recognized not only for his seminal scientific discoveries on DNA replication, but for the leadership positions he has held at every level in biomedical science, including as chair of the UCSF Department Biochemistry for more than five years, as the editor-in-chief of Science, and, during a two six-year term, as president of the National Academy of Sciences.

Bruce was appointed as a United States Science Envoy in 2009, and was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama in 2014.

In addition to his scientific contributions, Bruce has been an indefatigable champion for science and science education. In 1987, he cofounded the UCSF Science & Health Education Partnership (SEP), recognized nationally and internationally as a model partnership between scientists and teachers. Most recently, in 2014, he co-founded Rescuing Biomedical Research (RBR), an alliance of leading researchers that is formulating strategies to reform scientific training and funding and ensure the integrity of research.

Please read more about Bruce’s...

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August 1, 2016
Honors and Awards
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to inform you that UCSF Medical Center is once again on the U.S. News Honor Roll—the “best of the best.” UCSF Medical Center ranks seventh in the 2016-2017 America’s Best Hospitals survey, published by U.S. News & World Report. In fact, we moved up one spot this year. You can read the story here.

We are proud of every member of the UCSF Health team—our physicians, nurses, other health care professionals, and staff. Each of you contributes to the excellence of our organization through your commitment to working together to deliver the highest quality and safest patient care.

Impressively, UCSF Medical Center is among the nation’s top ten hospitals in eight specialties: cancer; diabetes and endocrinology; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; rheumatology; and urology. In addition, we are on the Honor Roll for seven other medical specialties: cardiology and heart surgery; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; ophthalmology; psychiatry; and pulmonology.

It is also important to acknowledge the integral links among the clinical care, learning, and discovery priorities that define UCSF. Each area reinforces the other, strengthening our ability to continually improve and advance the state of health care. This is especially true as we move to population health, more patient-centered care, and increasing our health care value.

Validations such as the U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings and the continued excellence of our schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy—each again number one in the nation in federal biomedical research...

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March 16, 2016
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share the news that the UCSF schools of medicine, nursing, and pharmacy received top rankings nationally in this year’s U.S. News & World Report survey of best graduate schools, with all ranked in the top three schools in the nation—positions they have held for many years. Graduate schools of dentistry are not ranked by the magazine.

It is a testament to the vision and dedication of our faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as the leadership of our Deans, that our schools continue to lead in their fields. The aim of each is to foster an environment that cultivates the next generation of compassionate, highly trained health care providers and researchers to advance patient care and discovery.

We can be very proud.

Read more and see a chart of the rankings at https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2016/03/402161/ucsf-schools-earn-top-rankings-2017-us-news-survey

Sincerely,

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

July 20, 2015
Honors and Awards
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to share the news that UCSF Medical Center is one of the nation’s premier hospitals for the 14th consecutive year, ranking as the eighth best hospital in the country in the 2015-2016 America’s Best Hospitals survey, which was published by U.S. News & World Report today. This ranking also places UCSF Medical Center on the U.S. News Honor Roll – the “best of the best” – for another year. You can read the story here.

The annual rankings, now in their 26th year, recognize hospitals that excel in treating patients who need an especially high level of care. UCSF ranked among the nation’s top ten hospitals in seven specialties: cancer; diabetes and endocrinology; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; rheumatology; and urology. In addition, UCSF ranked on the Honor Roll for seven other medical specialties: ear, nose and throat; psychiatry; geriatrics; orthopedics; gastroenterology; pulmonology; and cardiology.

We should all be very proud of how our patient care givers have embraced and advanced our mission of caring, healing, teaching and discovering over the past year. Their excellence in innovative and compassionate patient-centered care is the reason why we are one of the best hospitals in the nation. They are making a difference to countless individuals in the Bay Area and beyond.

It is gratifying that U.S. News has again recognized this exceptional work. Consumers rely on these independent tools for evaluating quality, so it is important that we continue to excel. Thank...

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February 25, 2015
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased and proud to inform you that our Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy topped the nation in federal biomedical research funding in their fields in 2014 for the second year in a row, with the graduate-level university as a whole receiving the most of any public recipient and second most overall in funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to its annual figures.

These highly competitive funds, which totaled nearly $546.6 million at UCSF through contracts and grants combined, reflect the caliber of research on our campus. Through the four schools and the Graduate Division, these funds enable UCSF scientists to advance understanding of the fundamental workings of biology and the underlying causes of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and others, and work to develop improved therapies for them.

The projects these funds support at UCSF are driving advances in the biomedical sciences, from fundamental, curiosity-driven science to the application of those discoveries to patient care and populations, to training the next generation of scientists and health care professionals to carry those innovations forward. NIH funding is the lifeblood of that research and the heart of efforts by our faculty, staff, students and trainees to collectively transform health.

Whether directly or indirectly, we all have an impact on the success of UCSF. Thank you for all you do toward this effort.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/UCSF2014NIH

Sincerely,
Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock...

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February 18, 2015
Emergency
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues,

As you know, UCSF has been working on multiple fronts in the worldwide effort to contain Ebola, from preparing at home to treat a possible Ebola patient to training health care workers in infection control in West Africa. Please join UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood as he recognizes UCSF volunteers who have responded to the Ebola epidemic during a special town hall meeting on Thursday, Feb. 26, from noon to 1 p.m. at Mission Bay in Rock Hall – Pottruck Auditorium.

We are exceptionally proud of all of our volunteers – doctors, nurses, scientists, and others – who have responded to this public health crisis, often putting their own lives on the line. This is an opportunity to recognize them and hear about their work in West Africa and at UCSF.

The town hall will be streamed live on the web. For more details about the town hall and the link to the stream as well as to watch a video highlighting global Ebola responders, please see this story: http://www.ucsf.edu/ebolanews

Sincerely,

Theresa O’Brien, PhD
Associate Chancellor
Co-Chair, Chancellor’s Ebola Task Force

George Rutherford, MD
Director, Global Health Sciences Prevention and Public Health Group
Co-Chair, Chancellor’s Ebola Task Force

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