UCSF to Present Medal to Five Individuals to Celebrate Founders Day

Melvin Grumbach, who is commonly recognized as the father of modern pediatrics at UCSF, greeted then Chancellor-elect Susan Desmond-Hellmann at UCSF on May 8, 2009.

Five distinguished individuals will be recognized today (April 29) with the UCSF Medal – the University’s highest honor – to acknowledge those who have made outstanding contributions in areas associated with the University’s mission.

The UCSF Medal will be presented at the 2010 Founders Day banquet this evening at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco.

Initiated in 1975 by then Chancellor Francis Sooy, MD, the UCSF Medal replaced the granting of honorary degrees. Recipients are selected annually by a committee composed of University members and others.

The recipients of the 2010 UCSF Medal are:

  • Nancy Andreasen, MD, PhD, a prominent neuroscientist and psychiatrist who has made a significant impact on improving both scientific and public understanding of mental illnesses;
  • Nancy Aossey, MBA, president and chief executive officer of International Medical Corps, a humanitarian organization that delivers lifesaving assistance to tens of millions of vulnerable people;
  • Melvin Grumbach, MD, a pioneering pediatric endocrinologist, national leader and member of the UCSF faculty for more than 40 years; and
  • Herbert “Herb” Sandler, JD, and Marion Sandler, MBA, successful entrepreneurs and founders of Golden West Financial Corporation and the Sandler Foundation, which advances scientific research and human rights.

As part of the 2010 Founders Day festivities, the UCSF Academic Senate will present the following awards:

  • Faculty Research Lecturer:
    Ken Dill, PhD, professor of pharmaceutical chemistry and of biochemistry and biophysics;
  • Distinguished Clinical Research Lecturer:
    Walter Miller, MD, professor of pediatrics and chief of the Division of Endocrinology;
  • Distinction in Teaching Awards:
    S. Andrew Josephson, MD, assistant professor of neurology, director of the Neurohospitalist Program and medical director of the Inpatient Neurology Service; and
    Nora Goldschlager, MD, professor of medicine;
  • Distinction in Mentoring Awards:
    Louise Walter, MD, associate professor of medicine; and
    Ralph Gonzales, MD, MSPH, professor of medicine.

Members of the UCSF community will celebrate the 2010 Founders Day at the annual luncheon awards ceremony, where the chancellor’s awards for public service, exceptional University service and management will be presented, along with awards for outstanding nursing. This invitation only-event is slated for Friday, May 21, on the Parnassus campus.

About the 2010 UCSF Medalists

Nancy Andreasen

Nancy Andreasen

Nancy Andreasen is the Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry and director of the Neuroimaging Research Center and the Mental Health Clinical Research Center at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. She is a pioneer in the use of neuroimaging technology for the study of brain structure and function.

Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Andreasen received a doctorate in English literature from the University of Nebraska and became a professor at the University of Iowa. A severe illness following the birth of her first child spurred her interest in a medical career with a commitment to achieve something as important as the discovery of penicillin, the antibiotic that had saved her life.

Drawn to research and patient care, Andreasen received her medical degree in psychiatry from the University of Iowa. Today, Andreasen leads a team working on three-dimensional image analysis techniques to integrate multi-modality images and to develop innovative methods for conducting automated quantitative measurements.

She is past president of both the American Psychopathological Association and the Psychiatric Research Society and is the founding chair of the Neuroscience Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is a fellow of the Society for Neuroscience and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

In 2000, Andreasen received the National Medal of Science from then President Bill Clinton. She served for 13 years as editor in chief of the American Journal of Psychiatry, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 500 articles and 12 scholarly books.

Nancy Aossey

Nancy Aossey

As president and CEO of International Medical Corps, Nancy Aossey provides remarkable vision and leadership of the humanitarian organization, which has delivered more than $1 billion in lifesaving assistance to people in low-income, fragile and post-conflict states. The organization works to strengthen health systems in highly challenging environments, to provide both medical relief and health care training, and to develop sustainable programs that build skills, knowledge and self-reliance.

The granddaughter of Lebanese immigrants, Aossey earned her MBA degree at the University of Northern Iowa. She joined AT&T and transferred to California, which led to her work with International Medical Corps and put her on the path to becoming a leader in community service.

Over the years, Aossey has assisted numerous devastated populations, including Somalis struggling with violence and famine, Indonesians who suffered during the 2004 tsunami and, most recently, Haitian victims of the earthquake in January. She led the humanitarian community at large when she served as chair of the board of InterAction, the largest US coalition of relief and development organizations.

Recognized as an expert in emergency medical relief, Aossey works closely with other international agencies, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Food Program, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Aossey frequently testifies before Congress and has briefed leaders in the White House – including presidents, vice presidents and first ladies – on humanitarian issues. Her expertise in global health and health care system recovery is frequently solicited by the media.

She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Young Presidents’ Organization, and serves on the board of the Pacific Council on International Policy. Aossey received InterAction’s Julia Vadala Taft Leadership Award and the Young Presidents’ Organization’s Global Humanitarian Award as well as its Legacy Award.

Melvin Grumbach

Melvin Grumbach

Melvin Grumbach, the Edward B. Shaw Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus, is a longtime member and leader in pediatrics at UCSF. Commonly known as the father of modern pediatrics at UCSF, Grumbach has had a lasting national and international impact on the health of infants, children and adolescents.

Born in New York City, Grumbach received his MD degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and completed his residency training in 1951. He served as a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University.

During his early work at Columbia University and the Babies and Children’s Hospital of New York, he focused on disorders of sex determination, using cytogenetics – a novel tool at the time. In the early 1960s, Grumbach teamed with Selna Kaplan, MD, to characterize the hormonal regulation of growth from fetal life through puberty. He and his colleagues were the first to demonstrate the nuances of the hypothalamic control mechanism, which heralds the onset of puberty.

After a decade of substantial academic and scientific accomplishments, Grumbach became chair of the Department of Pediatrics at UCSF, a position in which he served from 1966 to 1986. Grumbach is credited with advancing the Department of Pediatrics from a small, regional program to world prominence, in part by successfully fostering collaboration between clinical investigators and laboratory-based scientists.

In 1990, Grumbach spearheaded a committee whose report led to the establishment of the interdisciplinary Center for Health and Community and the consolidation of behavioral and social science programs, units and institutes. These efforts advanced collaboration among the behavioral, social science and health policy faculty at UCSF.

The father of Kevin Grumbach, MD, a national leader and successful faculty member in his own right, the elder Grumbach has served in leadership roles in national academic societies and as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health. Among his many honors and awards, Grumbach has received the Koch Award of the Endocrine Society, the Borden Award for Research of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the John Howland Medal of the American Pediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Education.

Grumbach was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Herbert Sandler and Marion Sandler

Herbert Sandler

Married in 1961, Herb and Marion Sandler founded Golden West Financial Corporation in 1963 and built the company to $125 billion in assets by the time it was acquired in 2006. A major reason for their success was their drive for excellence – an emphasis that pervades the operation of the Sandler Foundation, which they established in 1991.

The Sandler Foundation provides funds in areas that may been overlooked by other philanthropists. The foundation supports efforts in five areas: international human rights, early childhood education, the environment, medical research and advocacy.

In 1998, when UCSF’s basic biomedical sciences ran short of funding for cutting-edge research, the Sandlers stepped in and built up basic research that focused on asthma, a neglected disease, through the establishment of the Sandler Asthma Basic Research Center and the American Asthma Foundation. They also founded the Sandler Center for Basic Research in Parasitic Diseases, one of the first drug discovery and development operations in an academic setting. Researchers at this center may be close to finding a treatment for Chagas disease, which is found mainly in rural areas of Latin America, where poverty is widespread.

Marion Sandler

Marion Sandler grew up in Maine, graduated from Wellesley College, earned her MBA degree at New York University and pursued a career on Wall Street, where she specialized in financial companies, including savings and loan associations. Because it was clear that a woman could not become a partner at a financial firm at that time, Sandler decided to advance her career by managing her own business. She became one of only nine women who served as chief executive officers of a Fortune 500 company.

Herb Sandler grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, graduated from City College of New York and earned a law degree from Columbia University. After one of his clients made investments in several small West Coast savings and loan associations, Sandler was put on retainer to advise those companies. At this point, Marion and Herb Sandler’s business interests converged, and they decided to become entrepreneurs in the savings and loan business. They started by acquiring Golden West Savings, which was headquartered in Oakland, CA, with assets of $34 million and two offices.

Top photo by Susan Merrell

Related Links:


UCSF’s Dill to Deliver 53rd Academic Senate Faculty Research Lecture
UCSF Today, April 19, 2010

Academic Senate Names Miller Distinguished Clinical Research Lecturer
UCSF Today, Sept. 17, 2009