Spotlight: Kirsten Thompson

April 16, 2012

When and why did you come to work at UCSF?

I started working at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health in the School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences in 2008.  UCSF is so well-known for cutting edge women's health research and patient care--I was excited to come work with such an inspiring and pioneering group of people.   

Kirsten Thompson

What do you do at UCSF and how is it connected to the UCSF mission?

Wearing quite a few different hats keeps me engaged and challenged.  Right now I'm:

  • Coordinator of a longitudinal research study about contraception and unintended pregnancy. We have 1,600 women and staff at 40 clinics around the country participating.
  • Director of an advocacy project to increase support for R&D on new birth control methods. 
  • Communications manager for the Bixby Center, helping to spread the word about the great work of our diverse researchers.
  • A writer for Bedsider.org and the latest edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves, providing plain English information about birth control.
  • I love helping to share the knowledge generated by UCSF colleagues.

What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of your job?

My biggest reward is that so much of our work focuses on social justice issues like equitable access to care.  It's also the biggest challenge, given how insurmountable an injustice can feel on a bad day. 

What's something that members of the UCSF community would be surprised to know about you?

I can build a house from foundation to final finishes, which I did professionally from 2004-2006.  I learned so that I could someday build my own house--preferably with adobe, a Spanish-style courtyard, and lots of fragrant things in the garden!  

What are your favorite things to do with your free time?

I'm a regular at my local farmers' market, and I love experimenting with new recipes and sharing tasty concoctions with my friends and family.  Next on my list to try is a new okonomiyaki recipe.