UCSF ranks second in the annual ranking of world universities in clinical medicine and pharmacy by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).
The ARWU was first published in June 2003 by the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which has been focusing on the study of world-class universities for many years.
ARWU uses objective indicators to rank the world’s best universities, including the number of faculty winning Nobel Prizes, the number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science and per capita performance with respect to the size of an institution.
More than 1,000 universities are actually ranked by ARWU every year and the best 500 are published on the web.
All but one of the world’s top universities are located in the United States. The University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom was ranked eighth, according to the ARWU survey. UCSF’s sister campus, UCLA, was ranked in seventh place.
UCSF has long been recognized as world-renowned health sciences university. Its four professional schools – dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy – and the Graduate Division all rank among the nation’s most prestigious advanced study programs in the health sciences. Their academic missions reflect UCSF’s innovative spirit by emphasizing health care advocacy, patient care excellence and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Five faculty at UCSF are recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine:
- J. Michael Bishop, MD, and Harold Varmus, MD, received the prize in 1989 for discovery of proto-oncogenes, showing that normal cellular genes can be converted to cancer genes.
- Stanley Prusiner, MD, was lauded in 1997 for discovery of prions, an entirely new biological principle of infection and disease. Prions cause degenerative brain disorders, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in people and mad cow disease.
- Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, was honored in 2009 for discovery of an enzyme that plays a key role in normal cell function as well as in cell aging and most cancers. The enzyme, called telomerase, produces tiny units of DNA that seal off the ends of chromosomes, which contain the body’s genes. She shared the award with Carol W. Greider of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Jack W. Szostak of Harvard Medical School.
- Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes— which is affiliated with UCSF, won the prize in 2012 for discovery of how to transform ordinary adult skin cells into cells that, like embryonic stem cells, are capable of developing into any cell in the human body. Yamanaka shares the prize with John B. Gurdon of the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, England.