Exceptional Alumni Honored with New Award Inspired by UCSF: The Campaign

Alumni Weekend to Kick Off Month Highlighting Alumni Stories

By Kate Vidinsky

The Alumni Association of UC San Francisco has named 12 winners of the inaugural UCSF Campaign Alumni Awards to highlight the remarkable work of some of UCSF’s most illustrious alumni.

Winners of the awards will be recognized during UCSF’s Alumni Weekend, June 1-2. This year’s event will kick off Alumni Month, which will feature stories about UCSF alumni.

“Our alumni extend and amplify everything we do at UCSF by bringing the world-class education they receive to their communities around the world,” said Mario Peraza, executive director of Alumni Relations.

The UCSF Campaign Alumni Awards are aligned with UCSF: The Campaign, the most ambitious university fundraising campaign ever to focus exclusively on driving innovation in health.

“The UCSF Campaign Alumni Awards allow us to elevate this work by showcasing their contributions to solving medical challenges, training future leaders, and healing and caring for all,” Peraza added.

Three winners were selected in each of four categories – The Audacious, The Innovators, The Compassionate, and The Dedicated – based on their distinguished service in research and education, transforming care delivery, or improving access to advance health equity.

“The UCSF Campaign Alumni Awards were established as a way to recognize alumni whose work has made an impact on a local, national and global scale,” said Biana Roykh, DDS ’06, MPH, president of the Alumni Association of UCSF. “Throughout UCSF’s history, our graduates have made immense contributions toward solving some of the world’s most intractable health challenges by tackling the toughest questions in research and health care.”

According to Roykh, the diversity of the awardees and their contributions across various fields of health care and science demonstrate both the breadth of UCSF’s reach and the ongoing potential for UCSF alumni to drive the development of new therapies, cures and improved models of care.

The 12 winners were selected from an accomplished group of 125 nominees. Nominations for the 2019 UCSF Campaign Alumni Awards will open in August 2018.

The Audacious

This award recognizes those who have achieved a single, remarkable accomplishment by setting a vision so impactful that others might have doubted it could be done.

Linda R. Bernstein, PharmD ’77

Linda R. Benstein
Linda R. Bernstein, PharmD

Bernstein has broken new ground through her work merging the fields of media and pharmacy. She is president and CEO of the medical communications company Vita Media Corp., as well as a clinical professor on the UCSF School of Pharmacy volunteer faculty.

She has served as a media spokesperson, producer, writer and host for hundreds of award-winning multimedia programs for medical professionals, patients, consumers and children promoting the safe and effective use of medicines and other key health issues.

Philip D. Darney, MD ’68

Philip D. Darney
Philip D. Darney, MD

Darney has been a tireless advocate for reproductive health and women’s rights for decades. He is the distinguished professor emeritus of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at UCSF and founding director of the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health.

Credited with transforming a stigmatized but critically important field, Darney brought academic responsibility to family planning scholarship by creating a recognized medical subspecialty. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and has received countless honors for his contributions to family planning research and training.

Kimberly Tanner, PhD ’97

Kimberly Tanner
Kimberly Tanner, PhD

Tanner is a tenured professor of biology at San Francisco State University and established SFSU’s Science and Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory. While training as a neurobiologist at UCSF, Tanner volunteered with the UCSF Science and Health Education Partnership and was instrumental in building that program into the nationally recognized entity it is today.

Her passion for improving science education across ages, ethnicities and genders has led to national and international recognition.

The Innovators

This award honors individuals whose work has led to unexpected findings or outcomes that resulted in positive changes to the science or health care communities.

Randal Tanh Pham, MD ’88

Randal Tanh Pham
Randal Tanh Pham, MD

Pham, a Silicon Valley-based oculofacial plastic surgeon, began his research to prevent blindness as a medical student at the Francis I. Proctor Foundation at UCSF.

He has since focused on the use of lasers around the eye and received the Best Clinical Science Award in 2002 from the American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery.

In 2017, he published a landmark paper that provided the first practical step toward eliminating blindness using intraocular technologies, by combining the use of lasers for treating the front of the eye with those for finding healthy retina in the back of the eye.

Andrew Plump, MD ’95, Resident Alum

Andrew Plump
Andrew Plump, MD

Plump has served as Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at Takeda since 2015. There he leads the pharmaceutical company’s global research and development organization, providing strategic direction and oversight, as well as serving as a member of the company’s board of directors. He was previously a senior vice president at Sanofi and held various roles at Merck within the Clinical Pharmacology group.

Plump’s work is driven by an unwavering focus on patients and a deep commitment to innovation and positive change within the health care industry.

Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD ’88

Marilyn Stebbins
Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD

Stebbins is a professor and vice chair in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the UCSF School of Pharmacy, where she focuses on developing innovative practice models in the physician group practice setting.

Prior to joining the UCSF faculty, she spent years developing and implementing pharmacist-run clinics at the Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Sacramento. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the need for more community-based providers, she has focused on developing innovative team-based practice models in the ambulatory and community pharmacy setting as well as in transitions of care.

The Compassionate

This award honors individuals whose work is marked by boundless empathy, understanding, and caring within health care or science.

Pamela Alston, DDS ’82

Pamela Alston
Pamela Alston, DDS

Alston has devoted her time and energy to helping those most in need. She has spent her career in the Bay Area’s safety-net sector, providing oral care to the incarcerated, refugees and immunocompromised patients.

She has held positions in dental public health at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Santa Rita and North County Jails and Central Health Center.

She currently directs the Eastmont Wellness Center, where she models for students the compassion and skills needed to effectively serve vulnerable populations.

Luisa Buada, RN ’77

Luisa Buada
Luisa Buada, RN

Buada has focused her career on caring for the underserved at community clinics and has been a champion for ensuring the availability of health care for all regardless of income and access to insurance.

She currently serves as the director of the Ravenswood Family Health Center in East Palo Alto, which sees more than 17,000 adults and children each year. Buada also founded Clínica Popular del Valle de Salinas, a specialized clinic for farm workers, as well as the Berkeley Primary Access Clinic.

She was integral in the establishment of LifeLong Medical Care and was named “Woman of the Year” for San Mateo County in 2013 and 2018.

Prerna Mona Khanna, MD, Resident Alum

Prerna Mona Khanna
Prerna Mona Khanna, MD

Mona Khanna is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, triple-board certified practicing physician, and acclaimed disaster responder and humanitarian worker.

She has a private occupational medicine and medical-legal practice and is a supervisory physician for hyperbaric oxygen services.

Over the past two decades, she has provided volunteer medical aid to hundreds of people following natural disasters both domestically and abroad in 16 countries. In 2015, Mona Khanna served as the head of occupational health and safety during Liberia’s Ebola epidemic.

The Dedicated

This award recognizes those who have devoted their careers to inspiring the next generation of scientists and health care providers.

Robert Ho, DDS ’91

Robert Ho
Robert Ho, DDS

Ho is a clinical professor in the UCSF Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, where he currently serves as a part-time faculty member while also practicing general dentistry in San Francisco.

Known for his contagious enthusiasm for dentistry and unparalleled dedication to his students, Ho is deeply passionate about inspiring the next generation of dentists to incorporate humanism along with clinical excellence into the practice of dentistry.

He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, Pierre Fauchard Academy and Academy of Dentistry International.

Mahtab Jafari, PharmD ’94

Mahtab Jafari
Mahtab Jafari, PharmD

Jafari is a professor and vice chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UC Irvine, where she developed a unique pre-pharmacy major option for undergraduate students.

A passionate teacher and mentor, Jafari currently teaches molecular pharmacology and a course entitled Life 101, which she singlehandedly developed to inspire her students to adopt healthy lifestyle choices.

Her research focuses on the impact of botanical extracts and dietary supplements on lifespan and health span through a science that she introduced as Healthspan Pharmacology.

Kimberly Topp, PhD, Postdoc Alum

Kimberly Topp
Kimberly Topp, PhD

Topp has devoted her career to educating and training future health care professionals and scientists. She is currently professor and chair of the UCSF Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and a professor in the Department of Anatomy.

In addition to teaching countless students over the last 25 years, she has served as research adviser to more than 75 physical therapy students, mentored junior faculty and early career scientists, and advocated tirelessly for equity, diversity and inclusion.

She is a fellow and the immediate past president of the American Association of Anatomists.