New classes for the public on medical discovery at UCSF

By Sandi Gettys

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UCSF begins the winter quarter with new courses for the public starting in February 2006. 

Six-week courses on “Medical Heroes: Great Discoveries, Great Care” and “Understanding the Human Genome and the Future of Medicine” will be taught by UCSF’s world renowned faculty.  Classes meet from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. beginning the week of February 21.  Tuition for each course is $75.

A special course on “Health Care Issues for Older Adults” will meet on Saturdays, March 11, 18, and 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon. The tuition is $50.

All classes will take place in the UCSF Medical Sciences Building at 513 Parnassus on the UCSF campus.

Online registration is available at For more information, call UCSF Public Affairs at (415) 476-2557.

Following is the course schedule:


Wednesdays: February 22-March 29

This course will present UCSF faculty who represent the very best in American medicine, describing their unique path to discovery and commitment.  How did they develop an interest in their specialty? What was the state of the field before they made their contribution?  Learn how their work made important contributions to human health and how it affects your life.

* February 22 - Lung Surfactant: The Discovery of a Life Saving Therapy

* March 1 - The UCSF Fetal Treatment Center: A Personal Perspective

* March 8 - Creating New Models to Understand and Treat Brain Tumors

* March 15 - Happy Birthday Transplantation: The UCSF Organ Transplant Experience

* March 22 - Calisthenics for the Older Brain

* March 29 - Rhythms of the Heart



Tuesdays: February 21-March 28

Genetic variants have been described that predispose individuals to a variety of common diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Human genetic variation in the immune system also underlies differential response to pathogens and infectious diseases.  Genetic variation contributes to individual differences in response to drug treatments and their side effects. Progress in all these areas will be described by some of the world’s experts in human genetics who are faculty members at UCSF.
* February 21 - Genetic Structure in the Human Population

* February 28 - Genetics of Race and Ethnicity: Lessons from Studies of Asthma

* March 7 - Human Genetics and the Brain

* March 14 - Genetics of Cancer

* March 21 - Genetics of Heart Disease

* March 28 - How Drugs May Be Tailored to Your Genetic Makeup



Saturdays: March 11, 18, 25

This course will explore health care issues commonly experienced by older adults.  Attendees will have the opportunity to learn and ask questions about their concerns related to these topics.

* March 11 - Hypertension Management in the Older Patient

* March 11 - Cancer Screening in the Older Patient: A Framework for Decision-Making

* March 18 - Spirituality and Health in Late Life

* March 18 - Practical Considerations in Preventing Falls

* March 25 - Self-Management of Health in Late Life

* March 25 - Living with Congestive Heart Failure

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UCSF is a community education program for adult learners sponsored by the UCSF Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy, the UCSF Medical Center, and the UCSF Public Affairs Department. The program is supported in part by a grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation.

University of California, San Francisco is a leading university that consistently defines health care worldwide by conducting advanced biomedical research, educating graduate students in the life sciences, and providing complex patient care.