UCSF Profiles Wins UC Technology Award

Online Tool Makes Finding Experts, Mentors, Collaborators Easy

Daniel Lowenstein, right meets with medical student Matthew Hudnall

UCSF epilepsy expert Daniel Lowenstein, right meets with medical student Matthew Hudnall. Lowenstein, who is a frequent user of UCSF Profiles, has remarked that this tool has transformed his experience as a mentor.

UCSF Profiles, a web application that allows people to search for researchers by expertise and experience, has won a Golden Award for information technology from the University of California.

This vital tool, managed by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), enables research networking, collaboration and faculty-student mentoring.

Screenshot of Lowenstein's page on UCSF Profiles

Lowenstein's page on UCSF Profiles

CTSI is among eight teams representing six locations that won UC’s 2013 Larry L. Sautter Award for using information technology to make university operations more efficient and better serve faculty, staff, students and patients.

“After launching UCSF Profiles in late 2010, we're thrilled that it's become a valuable tool for all,” said Leslie Yuan, director of CTSI’s Virtual Home. “With more than 6,000 researchers and their 110,000-plus associated publications, plus their videos, awards, co-authors and interests, we've heard that UCSF Profiles has helped with finding mentors, partners and has also improved administrative efficiency across campus. We're continuing to innovate and expand the platform, so stay tuned!”

UCSF Professor Daniel Lowenstein, MD, vice chair of the Department of Neurology and member of the CTS Board of Directors, was among the visionaries of UCSF Profiles. He is among the growing numbers of researchers on campus and around the world who are using the tool.

“Even in the era of the Internet, it's challenging for researchers to learn about expertise in research fields outside their own,” Lowenstein said when the online tool was launched. “What we needed was a formal strategy that allowed anyone to learn about the current stage of research and expertise as it exists at UCSF.”

Mark Cianca, interim chief information officer for the UC system, announced the winners Aug. 6 at the UC Computing Services Conference in Irvine.

The annual award, which is sponsored by the UC Information Technology Leadership Council, recognizes innovations in IT that advance the university’s missions of teaching, research, public service and patient care, or that improve the effectiveness of university processes. The award encourages sharing these solutions across the UC system.

Other 2013 Larry L. Sautter Award winners

Golden Awards

  • UCPATH Data Dissemination Operational Data Store (UC Office of the President) culls human resources and payroll data from a complex software package containing 20,000 tables, analyzes that data and securely relays consistent information to campuses and medical centers.
  • Tethered Meta Registry (UC Davis Health System) consolidates more than 2.1 million patient records and provides a central data source for research and projects aimed at improving services. Faculty, researchers, administrators and other staff no longer have to manage their own separate spreadsheets and databases.

Silver Awards

  • Privacy and Protected Health Information Surveillance Technologies (UC Davis Health System) improved the medical center's ability to manage the privacy and security of more than 2 million patient records and thousands of people who access health records.
  • Risk Assessment Determinations in Clinical Academic Laboratories (RADiCAL) (UC Davis) promotes laboratory safety by identifying the risks involved with a project and the oversight required based on specific information the researcher provides, such as what chemical components they plan to use.

Honorable Mention

  • Google Apps @UCSC (UC Santa Cruz) allowed migration of all campus email and calendar data to Google. The project not only resulted in better, more reliable email and calendar services, but also allowed faculty, staff and students to communicate, connect and contribute in ways that were not available to them before.
  • The Cancer Genomics Hub (UC Santa Cruz) is a large data repository and user portal for the National Cancer Institute’s cancer genome research programs. It provides cancer researchers with efficient access to a rapidly growing store of valuable biomedical data.
  • UCLA Events Online 2.0 (UCLA) is the official application for producing and communicating extracurricular campus activities. It consolidates all event reservations into a central database and features a user-friendly interface that coaches event organizers with key event planning instructions, “to do” lists and required administrative approvals. It also facilitates communication between various departments.

To read the full nomination applications, visit the Sautter Award Program website.

To be eligible, projects must be active and operational at a campus.

The award was established in 2000 and is named after Larry L. Sautter, a UC Riverside associate vice chancellor for computing and communications who died in 1999. Under his leadership, a modern data network, client server computing and improved technical support services were developed and implemented at Riverside.

Photo by Susan Merrell