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UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: These star-like cells are called astrocytes, a type of glial cell that vastly outnumbers neurons in the central nervous system.
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Glial cells surround neurons on all sides and support their function. Because of this, scientists once thought of glia as “brain stucco” — merely there to hold everything in place. Now, they recognize the cells as integral to healthy brain function. This sprawling bed of cells, captured by graduate student Phi Nguyen in Anna Molofsky’s lab, can be seen ensheathing a group of young neurons and helping to direct their development.
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In the Molofsky lab, researchers investigate the role of astrocytes in neural circuit development and brain plasticity. Astrocytes help regulate the formation of synapses, or junctions where neurons communicate with each other. The cells react strongly to stressors and swift changes in the brain environment; by studying healthy neuron-glia interactions, the Molofsky lab hopes to learn what changes take place in neuropsychiatric diseases, including autism, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.
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This striking image makes astrocytes the stars of the show, and placed in this year’s Sci-Resolution competition, a contest that challenges UCSF researchers to capture the beauty of science in a single snapshot.
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#UCSF #SciArt #ScienceIsBeautiful #microscopy #science #STEM #cilia #cellbiology #TIL #SciResolution“As a Director of an LGBTQ resource Center, I constantly think about the future generations of LGBTQ leaders and how it is my duty to advocate for a more inclusive environment and climate.”
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UCSF’s Klint Jaramillo’s experience as a queer immigrant man from Ecuador led him to pursue a career in social justice and higher education. He chose that path after seeing the lack of representation of queer people of color.
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“We have to lean into the discomfort of learning and unlearning. It is at the intersection of education and vulnerability that we can change the world. After educating ourselves, then we must be willing to show up for the LGBTQ community and become active agents of change.”
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✨Follow @UCSF✨ as we celebrate LGBT Pride Month by highlighting members of the UCSF community who represent the LGBTQIA spectrum.
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#UCSF #UCSFPRIDE #PrideMonth #LGBT#LGBTQ #LBGTQIA #STEM #OutInSTEM #Pride2019🦙🦙BEST DAY EVER🦙🦙: UCSF-ers got a special treat when friendly therapy-trained llamas came to campus to help students destress during exams.
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#UCSF #MedEd #HigherEd #MentalHealth #StressRelief #Health #Llamas #LlamasOfInstagram"I had never met a black dentist in my life,” says @UCSFDentistry resident alum Dr. Ernest Goodson. “But I decided to give it a shot. I worked hard and did the best I could.”
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Goodson's grandfather could not read or write, and his grandmother had only a sixth-grade education, but they had high hopes for him. “My grandmother [who raised me] always said she wanted me to go to college,” Goodson says. “But if she was around today, I think she’d probably say I overdid it.”
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Today, Goodson is committed to raising the profile of the African American dentistry pioneers who came before him. He’s working with libraries around the country to highlight their achievements, while leading his own research on the role African American dentists have played in civil rights and orthodontics.
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🎓 This June, we're celebrating #UCSFAlumniMonth by shining a spotlight on our remarkable alumni. 🎓
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📸@babuljak

#Dentistry #UCSFProud #Dentist #IAmYourDoctor #BlackDentist #OrthodontistThis tree-like structure with glowing green leaves is an embryonic mouse lung just 15 days into development. (Follow UCSF to peek through our microscopes all month long!)
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The eye-catching colors capture the way that branching bronchi (red) give way to individual alveoli (green), the tiny balloons that allow a rapid exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and blood vessels.
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The breathtaking image was captured by Chang Xie, a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of professor Jeremy Reiter. Xie and his labmates study how cell development is influenced by cilia - microscopic hairlike structures found on most vertebrate cell types. Cilia are most famous for helping cells and teeny organisms propel themselves through fluid, but a less recognized form of cilia actually don’t move at all. These “immotile” cilia seem to help coordinate cell signaling during development, acting sort of like “cellular antennae.”
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The Reiter Lab is investigating cilia in mouse cells to learn how these structures mediate which cells proliferate and in what patterns. By studying cilia function in healthy cells, they hope to uncover the role of cilia in diseases like cancer, where cell development and proliferation goes haywire.
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This image won second place in UCSF’s scientific image competition, Sci-Resolution!
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#UCSF #SciArt #ScienceIsBeautiful #microscopy #science #STEM #cilia #cellbiology #TIL #SciResolution“One day, you will get to live the way you have always dreamed of living.”
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UCSF’s Assistant Director for Patient Food Services Anne Alexander kept her sexuality hidden when she started her career as a dietitian, often using non-descript terms about her girlfriend or avoid any mentions of dating at all. .
"I found out that the more I was able to be honest, the more confident I became to do it again. I realized that I felt better not carrying a secret around. Even though it sounds counter-intuitive, the more I revealed about myself, the less self-conscious I became.”
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As Alexander celebrates her 13th year at UCSF, she can tell her younger self that she is now confidently living the dream.
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✨Follow @UCSF✨ as we celebrate LGBT Pride Month by highlighting members of the UCSF community who represent the LGBTQIA spectrum.
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#UCSF #UCSFPRIDE #PrideMonth #LGBT #LGBTQ #LBGTQIA  #Pride2019 📸: Susan MerrellIf you squint, this microscopic photo resembles a pair of ladybugs sharing a leaf. But this snapshot shows two developing kidneys in a 16-day-old transgenic mouse embryo. (Follow UCSF to peek through our microscopes all month long!)
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The white shapes scattered across each organ mark a branching structure known as the “ureteric bud,” whose formation is key to proper kidney development.
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Research specialist Wei Yu captured this image while in the lab of UCSF professor Keith Mostov to investigate the signaling patterns that govern how this structure is formed. The Mostov lab wants to understand how the shape, structure and size of organs are determined during development, as well as how scientists can use that knowledge to foster the regeneration of damaged organs.
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Yu now works in the lab of professor Wendell Lim, studying how different cell types regulate their activity and growth. In the future, they hope to engineer new cells to carry out therapeutic functions, such as sensing and destroying cancer.
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This image won the People’s Choice award in UCSF’s science image competition, Sci-Resolution!
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#UCSF #SciArt #ScienceIsBeautiful#microscopy #science #STEM #neuron#neurons #cellbiology #TIL#SciResolution“I would always be afraid of how folx would perceive me with my blue hair and tattoos.” UCSF's Master of Science in Nursing student Fion Ng (@fee_on) described how nerve-wracking it was to pursue a nursing career and share such an intimate space with vulnerable patients.
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However, “Once I became a graduate student in the School of Nursing, and being amongst a group of wildly talented, brilliant, and compassionate people, I just grew into my queerness. I talked more openly about my past relationships and threw out all the reservations I had regarding my appearance, and finally committed to feeling comfortable in my skin, which meant altering, a bit, my gender expression to match my gender identity.
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“Working with adolescents over the last couple years also has actually gotten me more comfortable with my queerness because they are so curious, and are also at a part of their lives where they are also finding themselves, and figuring out who they are, who they connect well with and who they love.”
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And words of wisdom to her younger self? “Don't be afraid to live your most truest, authentic self. There is absolutely nothing better than feeling and being free. So, as cheesy as it sounds, let all of yourself shine, and you will be surprised at the magic that can happen.”
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✨Follow @UCSF✨ as we celebrate LGBT Pride Month by highlighting members of the UCSF community who represent the LGBTQIA spectrum.
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#UCSF #UCSFPRIDE #PrideMonth #LGBT #LGBTQ #LBGTQIA #STEM #OutInSTEM #Pride2019 📸: Susan MerrellYou’ve never seen brain cells like this before. (Follow UCSF to peek through our microscopes all month long!)
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This psychedelic image, captured by UCSF professor Torsten Wittmann, features a group of neurons in the midst of development. The cells started out as induced pluripotent stem cells, which can be “programmed” to express certain genes and take on the identity of any cell type. Wittmann captured this snapshot while investigating how cells develop their supporting cytoskeletons.
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Wiry actin filaments, marked in green, can be seen stretching out from a cluster of nuclei in the center of the image, stained blue. Microtubules, marked in purple, support the stretching actin as it develops, and later help shuttle materials through the mature cell. A cell’s cytoskeleton buttresses its overall shape, holds the internal organelles in place and plays a crucial role in cell division. Learning how the cytoskeleton forms could deepen scientists’ basic understanding of how our cells work and help them treat diseases where these fundamental processes go awry.
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This image received first place for UCSF’s science image competition, Sci-Resolution!
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#UCSF #SciArt #ScienceIsBeautiful #microscopy #science #STEM #neuron #neurons #cellbiology #TIL #SciResolution

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