UCSF medal to be awarded to four recipients at May 3 event

By Kristen Bole

UCSF will honor four individuals with its highest honor - the UCSF Medal - at a special event on Thursday, May 3.

The medal is the University’s most prestigious award, given annually to individuals who have made outstanding personal contributions in areas associated with UCSF’s mission, goal and values. Initiated in 1975, the award replaces the granting of honorary degrees.

UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, MD, will present the medals at the Founders Day Banquet at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in San Francisco. He also will present the University’s top research and teaching awards to UCSF faculty at the event.

The 2007 medal recipients are:

* Brook Byers, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB)

* Robert Derzon, senior vice president emeritus, Lewin and Associates

* Wendy Kopp, founder and president, Teach for America

* Mamphela Ramphele, chair, Circle Capital Ventures

BROOK BYERS - A leading venture capital investor, Byers has used his knowledge of medicine and biotechnology to help build innovative new health science companies during the past 30 years. He formed venture capital’s first life science specialty practice group 25 years ago to formalize KPCB’s commitment to healthcare innovation. He has been personally involved with more than 60 new biomedical companies that have pioneered the fields of monoclonal antibodies, protein therapeutics, DNA sequencing and other fields, producing more than 100 Food and Drug Administration-approved products to improve patient care. He was also the founding chief executive office of four biotech companies. As a philanthropist, Byers has used this same expertise to champion path-breaking medical research and life saving programs at UCSF and elsewhere. He served as a co-chair of the Campaign for UCSF (1998-2005) and as a cabinet member of the Strength to Strength Capital Campaign (1990-1996). He has been active with the UCSF Foundation since 1987 and has served as chairman of the UCSF That Man May See Vision Foundation, on the QB3 Industrial Advisory Board and on many other philanthropic boards and initiatives.

ROBERT DERZON - Derzon has been a dominant leader in American health care for almost 50 years. He served as director of the UCSF Hospitals and Clinics (1970-1977) until called to Washington by the Carter Administration. There, he reorganized Medicare and Medicaid into a single federal agency, known as the Healthcare Financing Administration, which is now called the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He was associate administrator of the NYU Medical Center (1960-1966) and was first deputy commissioner of New York City’s 17 Municipal Hospitals (1966-1970). In 1982, Derzon embarked on a career as a consultant with Lewin and Associates. Since retiring, he has been an effective advocate for accessible and affordable care for seniors, the disabled and low-income populations in the Bay Area. He serves on the board of the Marin Center for Independent Living and is a major sponsor of the Marin Community Clinic.

WENDY KOPP - In her senior thesis as an undergraduate student at Princeton University, Kopp outlined a plan to recruit outstanding recent college graduates to teach in America’s neediest schools. Upon graduation, she founded Teach for America, a national corps that has had a radical impact on the nation’s education system, making a dent in the lingering problem of educational inequality. Today, 4,400 Teach for America members reach approximately 375,000 disadvantaged students across the country. In December 1994, “Time” magazine recognized Kopp as one of the 40 most promising leaders under 40, and in 2003, she was appointed to the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. In 2006, “US News and World Report” named her one of “America’s Best Leaders” - a designation for 20 of the nation’s foremost individuals who embody and define leadership today.

MAMPHELA RAMPHELE - Born in South Africa, Ramphele is a physician, community development worker, civil rights activist and international leader for education and human development issues. After graduating from the University of Natal Medical School in 1972, she became a leading public health advocate, courageously continuing this work after being banished for her anti-apartheid activism to the township of Lenyenye in the Northern Province (since renamed Limpopo Province). She served as an enormously effective head of the University of Cape Town and as the managing director of the World Bank, focusing on education, science and other aspects of human development. Ramphele has received numerous awards for her humanitarian work, including honorary doctorates from Yale, Harvard, Cambridge and Princeton. Her books include “Across Boundaries: The Journey of a South African Woman Leader” and “A Bed Called Home.”

The banquet also will honor recipients of the foremost awards bestowed each year by the UCSF Academic Senate for distinguished research and teaching.

This year’s honorees are:

Peter Walter, PhD - faculty research lecturer award in honor of outstanding scientific achievement. Professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the UCSF School of Medicine, Walter is renowned for his research into the structural mechanisms and response to unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum - inner membranes deep within the cell that serve as a site for protein production. The folding and unfolding of proteins is critical to the normal function of cells; certain diseases are thought to be due to errors in this process.

Michael Matthay, MD - distinguished clinical research lecturer award in honor of outstanding work in clinical research. A professor in the departments of Medicine and of Anesthesia, and associate director of Adult Intensive Care at UCSF Medical Center, Matthay is renowned for his pioneering research and clinical advances in acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Gurpreet Dhaliwal, MD, and George Sawaya, MD - distinction in teaching award. Dhaliwal is Health Sciences assistant clinical professor in the Department of Medicine, School of Medicine; Sawaya is associate professor in the departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine. Both were selected for the award by students and faculty.

UCSF is a leading university that advances health worldwide by conducting advanced biomedical research, educating graduate students in the life sciences and health professions, and providing complex patient care.