State of the University 2013 Transcript

[Start of recorded material]

Barbara French:  Good afternoon, everyone. If you could find your seats. Thank you. My name is Barbara French. And I'm vice chancellor for University Relations. And I have the honor of introducing our chancellor this morning. First, I want to welcome you all to the [fourth] annual State of the University address and also note that this is being streamed live to a wider audience at our locations throughout the city and elsewhere.

So welcome to you online as well. And as you know, during the course of this, people will be tweeting us questions and stuff. So it's a very interactive presentation. Thank you to our pianist, Daniel Glover.

State of the University 2013

Read UCSF coverage of the address.

Watch highlights of the address.


So our chancellor, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, is a recognized leader on issues of higher education, public health and precision medicine. She became chancellor of UC San Francisco in August 2009.

And she is the first woman and ninth chancellor to lead our university. Prior to taking the helm at UCSF, she spent 14 years as a leader at the biotech giant Genentech as the company became the nation's number-one producer of anti-cancer drug treatments.

She serves on a number of boards including those that Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, California Academy of Sciences and, most recently, Facebook. And she has won numerous awards and honors. Our chancellor completed her training here at UCSF where she served as chief resident and, as she is fond to say, met her husband.

She is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. As one of seven children, she grew up in Reno, Nevada where she earned a medical degree, and she earned a masters degree in public health also from UC Berkeley across the bay.

Without further ado, please join me in welcoming our chancellor, Susan Desmond-Hellmann.


Susan Desmond-Hellmann: Thank you, Barbara. And welcome everyone who is here in Cole Hall, and welcome everyone who is watching this on the webcast. It's wonderful to see so many familiar faces here and new ones too.

And I'd like to particularly welcome some of our special guests including Dr. Sally Rockey from the National Institutes of Health who is visiting campus today. This gathering is an opportunity for all of us at UC San Francisco to celebrate our accomplishments and reflect on our challenges.

It's also a time to rededicate ourselves to our collective mission of transforming health in the region, in our underserved communities, and worldwide. So we're broadcasting live from Cole Hall. And there are many who are joining us. And I want to tell everybody here and who is connected that we'll have time for Q&A.

So please feel free to ask questions or submit them through Twitter. Now, I'm going to approach this year's State of the University a little differently than in the past. We have a wonderful three-year plan in place with goals and accomplishments.

And it's online at But instead of talking about every goal and accomplishment in our strategic plan, I’m going to frame my remarks around some headlines. For the past year, we've had a lot of headlines.

I'm going to talk about some highlights and challenges and what we're doing to address them. And I also want to highlight some of the people of UCSF who make my job great.

So first, some good news. There is some wonderful news in basic science. One of UCSF's great strengths is the breadth of our biomedical enterprise. We all know that fundamental research is the key to unlocking the mysteries of disease, and our scientists are world leaders in those discoveries.

But as we look ahead, it's clear that we cannot rely on the state or on federal grants to fully support our most promising young scientists. These are the ones who take big risks, who ask new questions and ultimately will deliver future breakthroughs.

Now, we've been fortunate at UCSF to have a handful of wonderful friends of that fundamental research, including Herb and Marion Sandler, who have backed innovative science here for more than 15 years.

Today marks a tremendously exciting shift for UCSF in an area that is a top priority for me as chancellor because it will enable us to maintain the caliber of that research for years to come.

I am delighted to announce that two new champions of basic science have stepped forward to support our PhD students: Sir Michael Moritz and his wife, Harriet Heyman. Michael became a Silicon Valley legend as a member of Sequoia Capital, one of the original VC investors in Google, Yahoo, PayPal and YouTube. 

His wife, Harriet, is an author and former editor at The New York Times who has written for Life, the LA Times, Sports Illustrated and the Financial Times of London. She also serves as a volunteer in the lab of Allan Basbaum, at Mission Bay.

Now, I'm grateful to Allan for introducing me to Michael and Harriet, who today are making a visionary investment in tomorrow’s scientific leaders. Thanks to their generosity, we are creating the UCSF Discovery Fellows Program, the largest endowed PhD program in the history of the University of California.


Michael and Harriet have made an unprecedented $30 million commitment, which UCSF has matched with $25 million of institutional funds and a commitment to raise an additional $5 million from at least 500 participating donors by the end of 2015.

That's a total endowment of $60 million. This is a phenomenal contribution and one you’ll be hearing more about as friends and supporters help us meet the Moritz-Heyman challenge. I hope you will all join me in acknowledging Harriet Heyman, who is with us today.

Michael is traveling, but I know he shares our enthusiasm for this exciting moment. Thank you, Harriet.


I want all of you to know that I see this as the beginning of a larger effort across UCSF to secure significant resources to sustain and strengthen our basic sciences.

It’s also important to note that last year was the second most productive fundraising year in UCSF’s history. In fiscal year 2012, we raised $364 million in private gifts and grants. In contrast, we received $185 million in state funds.

My leadership team and so many of our faculty, staff and even our trainees work hard to raise money to support our students, faculty and our mission at UCSF.

Now, two weeks ago, I asked all of you to play a game with us to help set the vision for UCSF. Led by [Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost] Jeff Bluestone and [UCSF Medical Center CEO] Mark Laret, our goal was to tap into a novel way to brainstorm about the future.

We wanted each of you to step outside your comfort zone, to think beyond your everyday jobs and generate bold ideas from new perspectives about the challenges and opportunities we face. So this was a risk.

UCSF was the first university to attempt this kind of a game on this scale, and it was a resounding success. Over the course of 36 hours, more than 2,600 people or teams played the game, not just with one comment, but with streams of thoughts throughout the two days, generating new ideas, building on others and growing the conversation.

Altogether, we generated nearly 25,000 ideas, surpassing records for both participation and speed of play in a game like this. And you know, it'’s competitive -- so a little data.

I want to honor that competitive spirit and call out two groups in particular, Team Aging and Team Procurement.


You know, the game is over, you guys.


But in fact, there is more to come.

These teams really stepped forward. And it was great to see that kind of collaboration. Over the next few months, we'll be honing the ideas from the game through a series of workshops across the campus to help craft the vision for what we're calling UCSF 2.0.

As with the game, we're counting on you. Join us in this process. And keep an eye out for updates on So it's been a truly remarkable year here at UCSF even in the face of some significant obstacles.

And for that, this is a great time for me to recognize so many outstanding people, all of you who made that happen. Now, over the past year, we've been thinking a lot about how do we tell the UCSF story.

How do we convey the richness here, the boldness, the urgency to make a difference and the collective efforts across the campus that have led to lasting impacts on science and health. So why does that matter? Why do we need to brand ourselves?

Well, having a collective story, a simple, common way of describing who we are and what we do allows us to most efficiently talk about what we do. When we describe UCSF, it's like the story of the blind man and the elephant.

We each think of our one piece and miss the animal. We forget that the greater whole is not only what makes us so strong independently, but what distinguishes us. UCSF is the world's leading university exclusively focused on health.

Together, we share a set of core values that unites us with the same sense of intensity and innovation that marks the city we live in. We're driven by the idea that, when the best research, the best education and the best patient care converge, great breakthroughs are achieved.

UCSF are known for our culture of collaboration that leads to greater and faster breakthroughs along with our public mission. So we want to tap into that boldness that’s here at UCSF and cause revolutions in health in large and small ways.

So we’ve had many accomplishments over the past year. And this was the year that we launched precision medicine. I want you to know that I see precision medicine as a very large tent that so many people at UCSF fit into.

It’s a huge vision for the way we conduct and share research, the way we can incorporate vast amounts of data, genetic, environmental and health data into more precise care for every person around the world.

If we could tap into that power of that data and contribute to it with each and every new patient, just imagine what the future of health could look like. Each of you are already contributing to that future whether you’re a pharmacist studying drug side effects based on genetics or a nurse in the ICU using technology to monitor warning signals for your patients.

Whether you study cell propulsion or new forms of imaging, lead population-based research or guide genomic health policy, you contribute to precision medicine. So now, we’re not only ones working on this or wondering how to make it happen.

But what UCSF does really well is convene, bring together the best minds to tackle tough problems. So this year, we convened the OME Precision Medicine Summit. In May, we brought together 170 leaders in health, science, technology and government to lay the roadmap for precision medicine.

Francis Collins, the head of the NIH, not only participated. He even wrote us a song.


Peggy Hamburg, who leads the FDA, was there and Harvey Feinberg from the Institute of Medicine.  It’s really rare to have both Governor Brown and Mark Zuckerberg show up at the same event, [Laughter] but it happened here at UCSF.

It was an experiment in hosting a national, externally faced event. And one of our goals was to bring people to the table who aren't normally here. Already, the summit has let to potentially powerful new alliances to achieve this work.

Here at UCSF, we've launched a Precision Medicine steering committee to help define UCSF's unique role in precision medicine. We've created a team to develop business plans for initiatives that range from basic discovery, digital health, computational health sciences and many more aspects of precision medicine.

This year was also a year of milestones and launches. There is not enough room on this slide or time in this presentation to tell you about all of them but just a few highlights.

We raised a toast last October to Shinya Yamanaka of UCSF, Gladstone and Kyoto University, who won the Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology for his work on stem cells, becoming the fifth UCSF professor to receive a Nobel.

Shinya also was among the first 11 recipients of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, launched here at UCSF at Mission Bay in February. We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of our campus at Mission Bay and broke ground at Mission Hall, the new Global Health and Clinical Sciences building across the street from the three new hospitals that are taking shape at Mission Bay.

Our Global Health team partnered with TedX for a day devoted to a world of “7 Billion Well.” We hosted the first Sharecase Expo, showcasing the best of information technology at UCSF. And we'll host that again in November.

We also hosted the second annual Bay Area Science Festival, which featured more than 50 events around the Bay and attracted more than 30,000 active participants, all focused on science. That, again, will happen in November.

We launched the Center for Digital Health Innovation, led by Michael Blum, to lead the transformation of health care delivery in the digital age and formed a new center to focus on the legal and ethical issues of genetic health, led by Barbara Koenig in the School of Nursing, with colleagues at Kaiser Permanente.

In April, we launched a new focus on the Third Pillar of Therapeutics, led by Wendell Lim, Michael Fischbach, and Jeff Bluestone, to assess whether cell-based therapies could create a new industry alongside big pharma and biotech.

And just last month, we reached a key milestone in our relationship with Children's Hospital Oakland in creating a premier medical institution to serve children locally and nationwide.

We’ve been forging collaborations overseas and at home to help us remain at the forefront of innovations in health. This year, our Office of Innovation Technology and Alliances, led by Erik Lium, completed nearly 2,400 agreements, including new research partnerships with Pfizer, Onyx, and General Electric. They managed 226 new inventions and licensed 12 startup companies based on UCSF technologies.

So all these are just but a few of many wonderful examples of UCSF's leadership.

But what I find most exciting every day at UCSF is stories about individuals here who really make a difference. I'd like to share some of the accomplishments in research, education, and patient care here on campus. In each area, I want to highlight somebody you should know, an individual who personifies our driving force and principles in that area.

What do these people have in common? A wealth of innovation and passion for their work. They dive in and tackle tough problems. They take smart and bold risks to make an impact. And they count on collaboration and teamwork to make the advances that change lives.

So I'll start with basic science. We’ve had an incredible year in research. In the face of extremely tight funding, all four of our schools rank first or second nationwide in grants from NIH. The School of Pharmacy ranked first for the 33rd consecutive year. Dentistry was first for the 19th year. And the School of Medicine held the distinction of receiving more research funding than any other school in the nation. Each of those grants faced intense competition. So that’s a real feather in our collective cap.

What's impressive to me is the impact of that research. Our scientists are among the most prolific, producing 4,500 scientific papers every year, documenting literally thousands of advances in our understanding of biology and disease.

These include researchers like Ophir Klein in [the School of] Dentistry, whose team showed this year that a central control switch in stem cells could help scientists develop tissues to replace damaged organs, and to Tejal Desai in [the School of] Pharmacy, who's using bioengineering to create smart pills that will deliver biotech medications directly where they’re needed.

Now, let me tell you about one of those researchers to just give you a sense of some of your colleagues. Hana El-Samad is a mechanical engineer who came to UCSF as one of our Sandler Fellows, the rising stars of science who received grants to start their own labs right out of graduate school.

As an engineer, Hana was fascinated by control theory, how systems like robots and a car’s cruise control function in changing environments. Halfway through her doctorate, she said it struck her that the most challenging environment possible was biology. She realized that with the mapping of the human genome and powerful new tools available to study cells, we were getting really good at studying the network between cells, the equivalent of telephone wires that share communications. But no one was looking at how cells make the decision to send a certain message along that network. So don't think small problems. Think big problems.

One thing I love about Hana's work is the collaboration that goes into it. Because of her own background, she naturally takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding cellular decisionmaking. She personifies collaboration at UCSF. Here’s one example. She submitted a paper in March on which almost everyone on the fourth floor of Byers Hall was a coauthor. This is someone who, when facing the toughest challenges, walks out of her office and intentionally seeks insights from people who think differently than she does. That’s how great breakthroughs are made.

Now, Hana grew up in Lebanon and says there was never a question that she and her sisters would become scientists. My kind of gal. She’s also a member of the UCSF diversity committee, applying that public mission at UCSF to encourage other women to pursue scientific careers.

Thank you, Hana, for your contributions to this community and to the future of science.


It’s also been a stellar year in patient care. UCSF Medical Center and the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital ranked once again this year among the best in the nation, committed to saving lives every day. Our doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals provide some of the highest quality and safest care, using the latest research and technologies, much of which originates here.

We also know that quality care includes patients' satisfaction. Last year, the medical center launched several initiatives, including Living PRIDE, to improve the patient experience at UCSF and increase employee and physician engagement. That effort starts at the top, with physician leadership in each clinical department conducting rounds with staff, ensuring we're looking at the patient experience as well as their care. Faculty and staff are being trained to improve communication with patients. And our initial data indicate that patients perceive their care more positively as a result.

We’re maintaining our focus on patient safety, including hand hygiene, which is one of the most important measures for preventing healthcare-associated infections and reducing the spread of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. For the 13th consecutive month, the Med Center achieved at least 90 percent compliance with this program, with a 92 percent rate in August.

So the second person I'd like to share with you is Jeff Olgin. Jeff Olgin is a renowned cardiologist who's been a leader in incorporating new technologies into his patient care. This is a guy who loves gadgets. Throughout his career, he's found ways to incorporate gadgets into his work.

He’s also been fascinated by the Framingham Study that started in 1948. That study of 5,000 people in one small town in Massachusetts taught us so much about risk factors for heart disease, smoking, drinking, diet, exercise. Now, Jeff wanted to expand that study. But think of it today. He was frustrated with the difficulty and cost of recruiting the large numbers of patients we would need.

So Jeff teamed up with Mark Pletcher in Epidemiology and cardiologist Greg Marcus. And together they said, “Why can't we use mobile technology for this?” They met with companies and entrepreneurs to find gadgets to make it work.

In March, they launched the eHeart study, aiming to enroll a million volunteers and use smart-phone EKGs and Bluetooth blood-pressure cuffs to follow people's hearts and lifestyles around the clock for decades to come.

This is Framingham to the power of 10. This will be an incredible study, and when it progresses over time, help us worldwide to understand cardiac disease. And it fits perfectly with our efforts to expand data-driven precision medicine.

So far, 4,000 people have signed up, representing every state and every area of the world. So I can't wait to see this study progress.

The final highlight I’d like to share with you is in our education enterprise, which, like the rest of UCSF, has received a claim in national standings this year in all of our schools in the graduate division. Those national standings reflect our outstanding faculty and staff, who are constantly innovating to provide the best education for extraordinarily talented and diverse students.

Now, let me give you a sense of those students’ backgrounds. This fall's entering class at UCSF includes 845 professional and graduate students, hailing from 38 states and 54 countries. Their birthplaces range from Argentina to Zimbabwe, and they originate from every continent except Antarctica. I guess we have work to do. Two-thirds of these students are women, and roughly half are the first person in their family to seek a graduate degree.

These students will bring those diverse cultural perspectives to our classrooms and laboratories. And afterward, they’ll take the education we provide to every geographical region in the world, including our most needy areas in California.

Now, I want to take a moment to give you a sense of one of the people who’s leading our extraordinary educational enterprise. Elizabeth Watkins has served as dean of the graduate division for the past year and has led it with a focus on teamwork. This year, she has also taken on the role of vice-chancellor of student academic affairs. It is a real honor to have someone of such high caliber and integrity serve in this dual role, and it’s fantastic for our students.

Liz is passionate about education, and she’s passionate about the history of science, in which she received her PhD from Harvard. Liz came to UCSF in 2004 as director of graduate studies for the History of Health Sciences program. In the past nine years, she has shown that she cares deeply about students and is committed to UCSF.

In her first year as dean, she improved graduate-student funding opportunities, including securing gifts for several annual fellowships. She created childcare grants for doctoral students and polled graduating students to find ways to constantly improve our education. Liz and her staff also conducted a comprehensive career-outcome study of all PhD graduates since 1997 to improve career planning for students and post docs.

Liz personifies the dive-in-and-do-it approach at UCSF. But as a historian, she also brings a unique perspective to leading a health-sciences student body, not just by simply proving we actually do history UCSF.

As a social scientist, Liz has adeptly worked with researchers across multiple disciplines with diverse audiences. And that will be invaluable as she brings together the graduate division and academic affairs under one watch, helping us to truly integrate our professional education.

As Liz has said, we all need to know where we came from. When we're preparing students to lead the future, we also need to give them context in which they're working so that when they go out into the world, their leadership in science or health or policy will be grounded in that scholarship. So thank you, Liz, for that reminder and your passion.


So you all know I’m an optimist, but I can’t give a speech like this without some challenges. So it’s been an amazing year, but there are many things we have to keep on our radar. Our particular focus on science, health, and education places us at the junction of three fields that are undergoing perhaps some of the greatest challenges right now. That is acutely obvious in the world of basic research.

I'm very proud that UCSF is the number-one publicly funded NIH recipient, but we're also feeling the impacts of sequestration that went into effect March 1. Universities across the nation are being hit by this and we’re not immune.

This summer, we surveyed 440 UCSF faculty members about the impact of sequestration on their work. The results were sobering. Half had delayed or canceled research as a result. More than 60 percent said they had seen budget cuts on grants they’ve already received, and more than one in five said they had laid off staff or post-doctoral scholars. They’re spending increasing amounts of time writing grants, rather than conducting research.

We pride ourselves at UCSF on having a culture in which researchers focus on the most important science, the big risks and the big ideas, not the conservative ones that we think will get funded. And we’re not going to compromise that. That’s why the Moritz-Heyman Cornerstone Endowment couldn't have come at a better time.

So here’s what we’re doing. We’re working hard to educate congressional leaders on the importance of basic science. This year, we opened up a UCSF office in Washington, DC, to help conduct -- connect to our elected leaders to -- between our best basic scientists and researchers and these leaders.

That office has served as a conduit for more than 90 meetings with White House officials, members of Congress, and their staff this year, ranging from our leaders in technology transfer to basic scientists, sharing the value of their work with congressional leaders. This is critically important, not just for us, but also for the hundreds of scientists in research laboratories across the country that rely on this funding as we do.

To that end, Keith Yamamoto, who's been instrumental in working with the NIH to fund innovative science for decades, has increased his extensive efforts in Washington, both at NIH and Congress, and is actively working with our faculty to expand that reach.

We're seeking new opportunities to gain support to augment shrinking federal dollars on campus, such as Michael and Harriet's commitment you heard about today.

And most importantly, we’re working hard to foster an environment in which our researchers can continue to conduct the transformational science that keeps us highly competitive for funding.

I’ve already mentioned the issues surrounding graduate science education, but let me take a moment to give some context for that within the challenges we face for all our students.

The first significant challenge is state and federal funding for education. There’s been extensive publicity around this subject in the last few years. For the University of California overall, roughly half of the funds that support education come from the state. And in the first decade of this century, the state’s contributions dropped by 54 percent on a per-student basis.

Within that context, UCSF receives less than 5 percent of our total budget from the state, which covers only one-third of what we spend on education. And those costs are rising rapidly. Providing a top-quality education in health science professions requires far greater resources than educating liberal arts or law students.

As an example, our integrated teaching centers, such as the Teaching and Learning Center, Dental Simulation Lab, Anatomy Lab and the modular teaching lab at Mission Bay, are transforming the way we train future leaders in health and science with hands-on, team-based education using the latest technology.

But all of these learning opportunities are expensive. But we think they play a critical role in educating our students. The second issue is rising tuition costs.

As any parent of a college student knows, the cost of tuition in this country for both undergrad and graduate education is becoming increasingly difficult to meet. So this is an issue every university is facing.

As a state school, our tuition is lower than the top-tier private schools with which we compete for students. But unfortunately, those private schools often have endowments that enable them to provide large scholarships.

So it can be less expensive for students to make that choice as compared to UCSF. Today’s news in the graduate student funding area is really important. And we're likewise focused on funding for our professional students.

The third challenge is preparing lifelong learners.          

Let me give some context for that. Many of the students entering UCSF this year won't get their first job for 10 years. How will the world of healthcare and biomedical science look in 2025?

What technology will they need to be able to use? How will they work together? In addition to helping students afford UCSF and providing the infrastructure they need to learn the latest skills, we have to focus our students to learn for their entire lives and be flexible enough to adjust to the rapidly changing health care landscape.

Here’s what we’re doing. We're innovating to prepare a community of health professionals who will work to solve the nation’s most challenging health care problems. The School of Medicine has launched the planning phase of the Bridges Curriculum, a visionary curriculum putting teamwork and systems improvement at the core of learning.

The School of Medicine was awarded one of 11 transforming medical education grants from the AMA. We're using technology to enhance our students' learning experience. Among other projects, we've teamed with Bandwidth Publishing to develop the UCSF NeuroExam Tutor, a new tablet app for our students and residents to improve their skills at diagnosis.

And we're entering into online education. This is a new field, and there's lots of uncertainty, but we’re diving in learning. Faculty from the schools of nursing, dentistry and medicine offered highly successful courses on Coursera’s MOOC platform, reaching more than 160,000 students from across the world.

And in January 2015, the School of Nursing will launch the online Masters of Science in Health Care Administration and Interprofessional Leadership, MSHAIL program, an interprofessional program that is degree granting.

We’re also training students for the huge changes they’ll face in the world of genomic medicine, including an educational project that Esteban Burchard piloted this year to offer pharmacy students real-life experience in pharmacogenomics by sequencing their genomes, so they understand the value it offers for patients.

And as you heard today, we’re reaching out to potential partners to help us invest in the future of education and the future of health leaders at UCSF. 

Hospitals are facing uncertain times as reimbursements shrink, patient numbers increase and expectations on quality and safety rise. Patient care is facing perhaps the greatest challenges of all.

Academic medical centers are especially under duress, partly because of our tri-fold mission of patient care, education and research and also because of the specialized care that we provide.

Beginning next week – it’s here – Obamacare will be launched. And the public can start signing up for Covered California, which will make health coverage available to more than five million Californians who are uninsured or don't receive health insurance at work. That will have a tremendous impact on our hospitals, clinics and communities.

Meanwhile, we’re under enormous pressure to contain healthcare costs. Finally, health care is facing increasing regulatory pressure with ever-greater requirements for data and measurement in assessing patient outcomes.

For medical centers like UCSF that care for the sickest patients, this is especially challenging. So instead of waiting for change to affect us, we’re taking bold steps to shape it. We are updating our clinical strategic plan.

The School of Medicine and the Medical Center are actively engaged in a strategic planning process to envision the future of our clinical enterprise. Serving patients better is at the center of every decision.

Among its key components are smoothly coordinating the multiple levels of care we provide, processing referrals faster for our patients and streamlining and simplifying financial interactions. We are clarifying roles for all clinical providers.

As health reform takes effect, our faculty in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy and nursing are leading the way in both shaping health sciences education and public policy but also redefining roles -- team-based roles that will enable healthcare professionals to work to the full extent of their training.

We’re creating a UCSF Accountable Care Organization not only committed to delivering the highest quality, safest care but in a way that consumers can reduce their costs and have better health outcomes. 

Our new model of care that does just that, called an accountable care organization, has already reduced health care costs for 26,000 city employees in San Francisco. We now want to share the benefits of this model with thousands more patients.

And we're reaching out to other health care providers throughout Northern California to create our own ACO. And we're leading the initiatives to develop high-value care. Consumers are looking for value, the combination of cost and quality in health care.

So we’re tackling this challenge through a combination of research, education and patient care. And we’ve created a Center for Health Care Value through our Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute to help us improve patient outcomes while lowering costs.

These clinical innovations that we’re known for, with the integration of high-value care and our research and training programs, is a way forward for the future of our academic medical center. As an institution, we're facing every one of those challenges.

But we also have both an opportunity and, in fact, a responsibility to sustain a university that equals the caliber of our research, education and patient care. Our strategic plan for 2014-15 maps out a number of goals to make us a world-class institution.

To do that, we must focus on people, hiring the best and the brightest, whether they're molecular biologists or accountants. And as many of you have heard me say before, everyone deserves a great manager.

Five years ago, we launched a leadership development initiative to provide an opportunity for our most talented staff to develop their skills as leaders and create a diverse pipeline for future senior leaders.

So many people across UCSF are focused on leadership and developing talent. And that makes a big difference. We’re also focused on succession planning. And we’ve implemented a strategic program in succession planning across the campus for development and retention of some of our most talented leaders.

Over the next three years, 30 percent of our managers are expected to retire. To remain a world-class institution, we have to ensure that their places are filled by a diverse group of leaders with the skills to grow UCSF into the future.

So we'll be actively identifying high-potential employees and preparing them for these roles and to meet the challenges of tomorrow's workplace. We are incorporating diversity into all aspects of what we do, from students to faculty and staff.

And we're looking hard at our financial situation both for the campus and Medical Center. Now, the Medical Center has traditionally had long-term planning. But under the leadership of John Plotts, we now have five- and 10-year business plans across our entire campus.

This makes a big difference, so that we have a line of sight to our future. And I'd like to give you a quick update on our new National Leadership Council. Last year, I asked the UC Board of Regents to allow me to engage an advisory team to help us identify our opportunities and be strategic in meeting our challenges.

So our National Leadership Council had its first meeting this summer. This [council includes] renowned leaders across health care, biomedical sciences and technology. And they will help us to ensure that we have a strong strategy to preserve both our financial health and continued excellence in the future.

Now, I know I've told you a lot today. I feel like I’m speed talking.


Maybe I am. But I want to leave you with two more examples of what makes UCSF so strong.

Now, think back on where you were July 6th. That was a Saturday, so I had just gotten off my bike when I read that there had been a plane crash in San Francisco at SFO. So when you think about a plane crash, you immediately think about first responders.

And I will tell you the first responders to that crash were truly heroes saving 305 of the 308 people on board. But with 180 people injured in the crash, the ambulances started heading to San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the only level-one trauma center for San Francisco and Northern San Mateo and UCSF's partner in public health since 1873.

This was the single biggest disaster San Francisco General has ever dealt with but also where our trauma and emergency response team had a chance to shine. UCSF medical teams cared for 67 patients that day, some with life-threatening injuries from the crash.

They worked around the clock to treat the victims. So I want to call out some of those folks for special recognition. So standing here with our own Sue Carlisle are Chief of Surgery Peggy Knudsen, Geoff Manley, Chris Barton and Andre Campbell, all on this slide.

Let’s give them a round of applause.


So this event shows what happens when you put the top people in their fields, train them as a team and prepare them to bring their best talents to the work they do every day. That personifies my vision for what we all can aspire to.

Now, finally, I want to leave you with a video from the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital ad campaign that reflects the difference we're making for one family at a time.

[Video plays]

And that is just one of tens of thousands of patients for whom we’re making a profound difference here at UCSF. It just reminds me that I couldn't be a pediatrician, or I'd have to carry a hankie every day. [Laughs] Truly leading revolutions in health on a personal basis.

So today, I took a little bit of a risk calling out people who you work with. The risk is I couldn’t call out 23,000 people. All of you make a huge difference every day at UCSF. All of our stories are what make up the great institution that we all work at, learn at and care for patients at.

I expect all of you will continue to make great things happen. And I expect to be proud of you every day. And I expect all of you to go out there and tell your story and our story to the world about the changes, the transformations and the revolutions in health that happen every day at UCSF.

So thank you for listening. And thank you for all you do.



Moderator:  Okay, Sue. We have one from social media that came in yesterday from Anne O'Leary-Cohen. I know that our Mission Bay Hospital facility has earthquake-safe building technology. But I’ve never seen any press or analysis regarding the surrounding throughways. Aren't many of the surrounding roads built on landfill?


Susan Desmond-Hellmann:  That’s a great question. [Laughter]

So one of the unique aspects -- and if there are newcomers to San Francisco,  you have to get used to it. One of the unique aspects of where we work and live and learn in Northern California is that we live in a seismically challenging area.

When Mission Bay was sited, that is one of the aspects of the plan that was very much top of mind in everyone's world view. So we’ve worked very hard to make sure that all of the surroundings for Mission Bay for not just where the hospital is but for all the buildings there have very high seismic standards.

I can't say that about all of San Francisco. So I certainly don't want to reassure people about all of the roads. But I think the bridge is now better.


But I will just add one thing.

It’s not the question, but I want all of you to know that one of the things we've done now in our long-term planning as part of those 10-year plans is we've incorporated in our capital planning seismic upgrades across the campus.

We do have some seismically poor buildings. And that’s an important part of what we now have in our business plan for the campus. We [understand we have to] put money aside for seismic upgrades.

So I am not going to reassure you on the roads. But where we work, within the next five to 10 years, I will feel much better than I do today. And I already feel much better than I did four years ago on our seismic plan.

Audience member: What will the discovery endowment go towards? Will it go towards the student scholarships or towards the labs?

Susan Desmond-Hellmann:  So the question is about the UCSF Discovery Fellows Fund. So I will tell you two things. The focus is on graduate student funding. And typically, the funding for these graduate students comes from the labs, from the grants that support the work in the labs.

So this funding will allow more of the graduate students to be covered from central funding. So it’s the equivalent of a scholarship. Dean Watkins will be working with the basic science community to outline all the ways in which this money will best be used.

But the vision is, particularly for the first few years, the students who are seeking PhDs in basic science will have their fees covered.

Audience Member:  Chancellor, as technology continues to improve and as it becomes an integral part of how we provide patient care, are you concerned that maybe we're too connected, that we’re maybe losing face-to-face interaction?

Susan Desmond-Hellmann:  So I think the question about technology is a good one. I know there are some of our faculty members who have taught us that multi-tasking is actually maybe not such a great idea. We all think we can do many things at once.

I saw a picture in the Journal of the American Medical Association that showed a family and their young children at the pediatrician. And the pediatrician’s back was to the mom and to the child. And he was typing into the electronic health record.

And it was that kind of evidence of what our face looks like to a patient if we're constantly on our technology. And it really struck me to see that view. I think you could say the same thing in meetings if your colleagues are bent down over their cell phones or their devices.

So I do think there are side effects of technology. On the other hand, I also think there are real opportunities for us in what we do at UCSF with technology. And one of the things I like about our community is there's a lot of people who are pretty bold to give you a heads up if they think you are too immersed in your technology.

So I think we owe it to each other to ask the question, is technology taking over? Is it taking away from care, compassion, communication?

Audience Member:  It was good to hear about follow-on collaborations and projects coming out of the OME. And I was wondering if you envision particular areas of precision medicine in which UCSF might distinguish itself nationally.

Susan Desmond-Hellmann:  So time is too short for me to tell you all of those areas. But I think that some of the aspects that we've looked at, for example, in digital health is a really hot area at UCSF. I think, for me, one of the most exciting things is to bring some of the basic discoveries very quickly to improving how we do clinical research.

So one of the things that I saw in the time I spent in biotech is the world of clinical research and the world of clinical care are two different universes.

So given our expertise in research and clinical care at UCSF, I'd like to see precision medicine bring breakthroughs in research to the bedside so that it's engaged in the normal course of clinical care.

I also think our excellence in policy and population health makes us a very different partner in precision health at looking at impacts of some of these new technologies on populations and on the globe, not just down the hill.

Audience Member:  Chancellor, why is UCSF Medical Center partnering with Children's Hospital of Oakland?

Susan Desmond-Hellmann:           So Children’s Hospital of Oakland has been a private hospital in the East Bay. And there are a couple reasons why it makes perfect sense. First of all, our missions are incredibly unified, having that public vision that we're going to do great things for kids and their families.

But also, the combination of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital of Oakland gives us scale. So that combination done well gives us the opportunity to be one of the most important children's hospitals in the nation.

That’s really exciting. And that opportunity drove us to that collaboration.

Moderator:  Okay. I have another one from a nursing student who writes, both our tuition and professional degree supplemental tuition, PDST, were raised this year.

The Regent’s policy on PDST references a number of requirements for a proposed increase including why specifically the money is necessary, what it will be used for and how the school plans to make sure it won’t unduly harm student access. Can you address this issue?

Susan Desmond-Hellmann:   So the nursing fees were brought to the regents this year. And a three-year plan was put forward to the regents for nursing fee increases specifically with the number-one factor in place, which is driving excellence in the School of Nursing.

With changes in federal and state funding, several of the sources of funding for our school of nursing have gone away or diminished. And the dean, Dean [David] Vlahov, and colleagues felt that we really needed to have that source of funding to continue excellence in the school of nursing.

All of us recognize that those fees are tough on the students. And access and affordability is important. But in fact, keeping our accreditation and the faculty-student ratio that's required drove us to increase the fees.

I will say that the amount of the fee increase was decreased after feedback. And we continue to look very much at how we can fund the school of nursing, trying to avoid fee increases because we understand the impact it has on students.

Moderator:  Okay. Another one from [Katie Murphy]. She writes, what were the major points of vision for UCSF2025 that came out of the game? How is UCSF going to use the results?

Susan Desmond-Hellmann:  So I don’t want to pick out any of the nearly 25,000 great ideas because I really respect the process of getting this really broad net and then bringing it in. Although, I went online and there were some fantastic ideas. There were some really great things.

So the processes that we’re working with the Institute for the Future and trying to put those into some orderly approach -- because you can't deal with nearly 25,000 ideas. And then, a series of town halls and meetings with a lot of chance for involvement will take place across the campus.

So as I mentioned in my talk, look at for next steps because everyone across the campus and in the community will have a chance to be involved. But there will be a winnowing, a categorization of the ideas and looking at some of the ideas that really resonate for some of our thought leaders across the campus.

Anyone want the last question? If not, I will thank all of you for coming. And enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you.


[End of recorded material]