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UCSF Virtual Tour: Mission Bay

A grassy courtyard sits behind two UCSF buildings with a series of benches and tables that allow people space to rest and relax

Nelson Rising Lane

Nelson Rising Lane is on the northern side of UCSF’s Mission Bay Campus and is home to two major landmarks as well as UCSF housing. From this central point within the community, you can visit attractions such as Stagecoach Greens, Parklab Community Gardens and SPARK Social. To the east lies Mission Bay Commons, a spacious, grassy park, and additional places to grab a bite to eat or a drink are to the north.   

Two UCSFers walk up the colorful sunlit staircase in the Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building
Palm trees sit in front of the mirrored angular facade of the Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building
A multicolor multifaceted sculpture resembling a cell or microbe sits in the lobby

Hotspot: Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building

Supporting UCSF’s tradition of excellence in cancer research and care, the Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building is home to scientific discovery, clinical exploration, exceptional patient care, and population research. Here, scientists and clinicians from various disciplines come together to collaborate on advancing knowledge and prevention of this disease as well as developing cures and improvements to patients’ quality of life.

A laughing researcher in a blue lab coat holds up a small thin tank of zebrafish
An engineer installing a highly sensitive high speed massive computer
A line of palm trees sits before the sharply angled and highly reflective facade of the Smith Cardiovascular Research Building

Hotspot: Smith Cardiovascular Research Building

The Smith Cardiovascular Research Building contains both the Cardiovascular Research Institute and UCSF’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. In this building, researchers investigate the causes and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, it features a landscape design that provides a grand entrance to the campus, promotes interaction between scientists and offers a safe habitat for urban wildlife.

Vegetation and stringed lights before a SPARK sign
A hand holding up a massive pile of french fries covered in barbecue sauce and other condiments
A dramatic sunset lights up picnic tables and a row of food trucks

Hotspot: Spark Social on 4th Street

Enjoy downtime or a bite between classes at Spark Social, a casual, open-air social park with ample room to sit and relax with friends or colleagues. You can experience a different dining experience every day by grabbing a meal, snack or beverage from over 150 rotating food trucks, all conveniently located right next to the UCSF Mission Bay campus.

Multiple wide brick pathways lead around the edge and through Koret Quad with trees and benches before the surrounding buildings

Koret Quad

Koret Quad is a popular spot for a respite on a busy day or a meet-up with friends or colleagues. A peaceful park at the heart of UCSF Mission Bay, it is central to numerous campus buildings, shuttle stops and parking structures. While visiting the Quad, you can enjoy a stunning sculpture, an expansive lawn, a beautiful grove of pine trees and seating options in the surrounding areas. 

The sculpture points like a compass over a grassy expanse
The dreamcatcher sculpture angles its arrow toward a blue sky
A person walks across the Quad with an impressively large Dreamcatcher in the background

Hotspot: Dreamcatcher 

A massive 50-foot tall sculpture featuring huge, gracefully balanced steel beams, “Dreamcatcher” sits at the east end of Koret Quad. Created by Mark di Suvero, a renowned Bay Area artist, the sculpture provides students, faculty and staff a point of interest and invites wonder. The installment is just one piece in UCSF’s campus enrichment and public art program, which helps shape UCSF’s unique community identity.

A student laughs with her fellow UCSFers during a meeting in Rock Hall
An overhead view across Koret Quad showing the white facade of Rock Hall beyond a grassy green
Rock Hall from above showing rows and rows of large wide windows

Hotspot: Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Hall 

Here visitors will find several research laboratories, an event space, and the Center for Brain Development. Stop in to see the atrium in the foyer, where a skylight highlights the zig-zagging staircase in an architectural design inviting social interaction.

The curving walls of the Sandler Neurosciences Building make its entrance inviting
Two colleagues sit on a sunlit upper level balcony in the Sandler Neurosciences Center
A woman wearing a white lab coat stands in her sunlit lab

Hotspot: Sandler Neurosciences Center 

Sandler Neurosciences Center houses several of the world’s leading neuroscience research programs. Together with nearby neuroscience buildings, it makes UCSF Mission Bay one of the largest neuroscience complexes in the world. The five-story building, which features wall-to-wall windows that provide well-lit and spacious work areas, is LEED Gold certified, contributing to UCSF’s commitment to sustainability.

A view of the Genentech Hall atrium from the second floor showing a bright stairwell and a hanging chandelier resembling a genome

Genentech Hall

Visitors to eye-catching Genentech Hall, the first building to be constructed on the Mission Bay Campus, encounter unique architectural spaces such as the grand staircase off of Koret Quad and a five-story atrium. Notable building features include two flexible-configuration laboratories. Laboratory research here focuses on structural, molecular and chemical biology as well as chemistry and biochemistry.

Tess Veuthey presents her 3-minute thesis at the 2018 Grad Slam with a colorful brain projected behind her
Andre Campbell speaks during a Stand Up for Science teach-in with a row of panelists
Panelists hold a Town Hall on Coronavirus in Byers Auditorium

Hotspot: Byers Auditorium

Located below the entrance of Genentech Hall is Byers Auditorium, an event space for a variety of lectures and training seminars. You’ll find a schedule of upcoming events that cover a wide range of topics, from life sciences to healthcare policy, on UCSF’s online calendar

Beakers sit before a window looking out over Koret Quad
Lina Leon, PhD, Adair Borges, a BMS graduate student, and Allyson Park, an undergraduate student and lab assistant, study microbial genetics and evolution in the Bondy-Denomy Lab
Reuben Saunders and Dian Yang laughing while Reuben holds up a pipette

Hotspot: Lab Space

Lab space is divided into two main wings that sit to the north and south of the building’s center. These laboratories are unique in their flexible and collaborative design. Given the range of research areas explored by teams in Genentech Hall, this space has  been divided into “neighborhoods,” each with its own central gathering area. Labs can easily be reconfigured to account for growing and changing research needs.

Shuvo Roy with the prototype for an artificial kidney
Jacqueline Fabius working with her Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QB3) team before a white board covered in handwritten text
Associate Professor Hana El-Samad, PhD, talks with graduate student Alain Bonny in Byers Hall

Hotspot: Byers Hall

Immediately next to Genentech Hall is Byers Hall, home to QB3 Labs and the Small Molecule Discovery Center. QB3 Labs is a collaboration between UCSF, UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Cruz that trains PhDs and encourages new biotech startups. This space also includes biology and computational laboratories, conference rooms and administrative offices. 

The lobby of the Rutter Center showing skylights far overhead and geometrical blue and orange walls

William J. Rutter Center

As a social hub at Mission Bay, the William J. Rutter Center brings together the local community and the UCSF population. The space includes the Mission Bay Conference Center, the Bakar Fitness Center, Student Services, and The Pub, all easily accessible via the nearby Community Center Garage Parking structure. Upon entering the Center, visitors are greeted by the 80-foot-tall Fisher Atrium, which brightly displays Four Large Figures, a sculpture by Stephan Balkenhol.

Kim LaPean laughing in the audience during the 2018 Communicators’ Conference
Laura Esserman speaking from the stage of the Fisher Banquet Room during the WCSJ Conference
An audience member asks a question of the speakers during the WCSJ Conference

Hotspot: Fisher Banquet Room

Part of the Mission Bay Conference Center, the Fisher Banquet Room is on the second level of the William J. Rutter Center and offers ample seating for various conferences and summits. It is a welcoming space that offers on-site catering and several audio-visual capabilities to ensure that events run smoothly. several audio-visual capabilities to ensure that events run smoothly.

A student sits in an armchair with her laptop in the FAMRI Library
Several people read books set out on a table in the FAMRI Library
Postdoc Benedetta Milanini laughs as she looks at her laptop in the FAMRI Library

Hotspot: FAMRI Library

The Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI) Library is an ideal study location for UCSF students. Located in a cozy, quiet room, it contains several tables, computers and a selection of books. You’ll find it on the first floor of the William J. Rutter Center, near the back of the building.

Tables and chairs line an outdoor patio at The Pub
A bartender laughing as he walks behind the bar at The Pub
Some diners enjoy the open air at a patio table at The Pub

Hotspot: The Pub

A favorite among locals and the UCSF population, The Pub is a casual dining destination located on the first floor of the William J. Rutter Center. Take in views of Koret Quad while eating and drinking from The Pub’s fresh, local menu.

The roof of the Rutter Center where there's a pool, a giant patch of green grass, and a climbing wall

Bakar Fitness and Recreation Center

One of two fitness centers at UCSF, the Bakar Fitness and Recreation Center is conveniently located near the center of the Mission Bay campus in the William J. Rutter Center. It features state-of-the-art equipment, a Pilates studio, an indoor pool, an outdoor rooftop pool, a climbing wall, and an NBA-sized basketball court. This architecturally stunning fitness center is open to both UCSF and the local community.

An indoor pool with windows along the side and a swimmer in the water
A swim lane in the indoor pool
A broader view of the indoor pool showing ribbons of flags above the water

Hotspot: Indoor Pool

The Bakar Fitness and Recreation Center’s indoor pool is a family-friendly destination for aquatics classes, lap swimming, aqua fitness, and family swim time. The pool is open to both UCSF and the surrounding community and has lifeguards on duty at all times. You can check the pool schedule or sign up for a class online at UCSF Campus Life Services.

A row of exercise machines meant for cardio exercise
Class participants jumping off an exercise step


Hotspot: Workout Area

To motivate you on your fitness journey, the workout area at the Bakar Fitness and Recreation Center includes two floors of cardio equipment, a weight area, group class studios, an F45 studio, and racquetball courts. Additionally, the Bakar staff offers personal training and body composition assessments. Membership, which is open to both UCSF and the surrounding community, includes this full variety of activities and services. 

An expansive play area with umbrellas, a sandpit, climbing equipment and toys

University Child Care Center at Mission Bay

As a key part of UCSF’s innovative on-site childcare program, the University Child Care Center at Mission Bay opened in 2018. The largest childcare center in San Francisco, the Center includes 18 classrooms, seven playgrounds, two art rooms, and a lactation room. Faculty, staff, and students can choose between two-, three- or five-day-a-week programs for their infants, toddlers or preschoolers. Interested parents are invited to enroll in the UCSF child care center wait pool.

A jungle gym under a shaded canopy
A rolling green with a small slide surrounded by classroom buildings
A little girl preparing to go down a slide with her dad watching

Hotspot: Play Area

The University Child Care Center at Mission Bay is operated by Bright Horizons, an early education center believing in the power of play areas to encourage both movement and exploration. Bright Horizons designed the playgrounds with grassy groundcover, slides, planter boxes, and climbing structures, all intended to support physical challenges and curiosity about nature.

A father sits with his son at a table while he plays
A rainbow colored tunnel that an infant can crawl through
A mom and her daughter laughing in a classroom

Hotspot: Classroom

Led by experienced and dedicated teachers, classes held at the University Child Care Center at Mission Bay are environments where children can grow and be inspired. In these thoughtfully designed classroom spaces, children are surrounded by warm and welcoming colors and decor and have access to high-quality educational materials. Children can enjoy activities such as reading and gardening in safe surroundings, allowing them to discover and develop their unique talents.

A broad bricked path leading through campus lined by shops and two large monoliths

Gene Friend Way

Gene Friend Way is a footpath that cuts horizontally through campus. You can use the path to access the Plaza, a popular destination with options for eating and drinking. Looking south to Illinois Street, the Office of Diversity and Outreach works to ensure that UCSF remains welcoming and supportive. You can park in the 3rd Street Garage to conveniently access these landmarks.

A woman looks at her phone while waiting for her shuttle with a bus in the background
A man looks at the shuttle schedule posted on the bus stop
A bicyclist rides along the road with a parking shuttle parked behind

Hotspot: Shuttle and Bus Stops 

This area is easily accessed without a car. Bus and light rail stops are located near the intersection of Gene Friend Way and 3rd Street. Campus shuttles, serving all major campuses, pick up on 4th Street just north of Gene Friend Way. Ride your bike to take advantage of free bike cages and bike repair stands. You can visit to plan your commute. 

A long housing tower rising above the site with a wall of windows
Two students sit in their apartment with colorful purple chairs, yellow bookshelves and big windows
Students walking toward the entrance of a housing tower on the Mission Bay campus

Hotspot: Mission Bay Housing Towers

The Mission Bay Housing Towers include four towers located on the south side of Nelson Rising Lane. Future residents can choose from various bedroom configurations, some of which feature views of the Mission Bay neighborhood or the San Francisco Bay. Additional amenities include indoor bike rooms, common laundry facilities and access to UCSF shuttles that stop frequently at the campus.

Trees sit between rows of inviting benches and tables

Mission Hall Courtyard

Right outside SF Kebab, the courtyard is a pleasant way to spend time and sits conveniently between 4th and 3rd Street. The UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay is immediately across the way, and you're a short distance from the Chase Center. SF Muni bus and light rail stops are also accessible nearby.

The angular facade during early evening as the interior lights up
Bright clouds drift behind the building during sunset


Hotspot: Wayne and Gladys Valley Center for Vision

At the UCSF Wayne and Gladys Valley Center for Vision, various disciplines related to vision and eye health come together with the shared mission to prevent vision loss. The Center houses many of UCSF’s eye care programs, as well as research and teaching facilities, and is the new home of the Koret Vision Clinics.

The Chase Center from overhead during sunset
A fluffy black and white dog named Porter sits behind the bar with a pint next to his paw
People walk along 3rd Street next to the Chase Center

Hotspot: Chase Center

In addition to being the home of the beloved Golden State Warriors basketball team, the Chase Center is an impressive venue that hosts large concerts and other noteworthy events. The surrounding area has become a bustling retail center, including food and beverage offerings and a farmers market on Fridays.

The dramatic angled facade of the Bakar Precision Cancer Medicine Building
The facade of the Bakar Precision Cancer Medicine Building from Mission Hall


Hotspot: Bakar Precision Cancer Medicine Building

Establishing a new leading model of cancer care, the Bakar Precision Cancer Medicine Building hosts top researchers, oncologists, surgeons and supportive care, all under one roof. The building was designed with patients’ comfort in mind and offers cutting-edge treatments, such as immunotherapy, molecular profiling and genetic counseling.

The interior of Mission Hall showing a large open lobby with minimalist chairs
Mission Hall facade with a bicyclist riding by
Two people sit in the Mission Hall courtyard surrounded by trees

Hotspot: Mission Hall

Mission Hall, alternatively known as the Global Health and Clinical Sciences Building, hosts the Office of the Chancellor in addition to all faculty, staff and students working on advancing global health. Its innovative design provides distinct spaces for various ways of working, such as dedicated workstations, unreserved huddle rooms and private focus rooms. Visitors can access the courtyard to relax or enjoy lunch from the nearby SF Kebab restaurant.

The expansive medical center complex with several hospitals joined together behind a single glass filled facade bordered by two towers

UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay

Built alongside the Mission Bay Campus, the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay is a state-of-the-art medical complex. It comprises dedicated hospitals for children, women and cancer patients, plus space for outpatient services. Supporting the latest technology, such as telemedicine, robotics and intra-operative imaging, this facility maintains the highest standards in patient care.

A shuttle turns in front of the medical tower at the end of the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay
The UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay from a distance


Hotspot: Parking and Transportation

You can easily access the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay via car, public transportation or shuttle. Nearby parking is available at both the UCSF Medical Center Garage and the Owens Street Garage. Take the 22 or 55 bus lines or the SF Muni T line to get there via public transportation. Additionally, there is a UCSF shuttle stop located just south of 16th Street.

A jungle gym on a playground in Mariposa Park
Giant yellow lilies in Mariposa Park with the Benioff Children's Hospital behind them
A path winds through the park with convenient bike racks to one side

Hotspot: Mariposa Park

Located next to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Mariposa Park includes an expansive lawn, paths, seating and a play area. Mariposa, which means “butterfly” in Spanish, is also the theme for the park: the lawn is in the shape of a butterfly wing, while the surrounding habitat includes butterfly-attracting plant species. The park is intended as a healing space for students, hospital staff, patients, and the community.

Wei-yuan Jar, CRNA, fills a hypodermic needle
A doctor and her pregnant patient laugh together while the doctor places her hands on the patient's stomach
A patient lies down in a hospital bed prior to surgery and chats with her nurse anesthetist

Hotspot: Betty Irene Moore Women's Hospital

At UCSF’s Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital — the Bay Area’s first dedicated women’s hospital — women in all stages of life can receive cutting-edge care from leading reproductive health and gynecological clinicians and scientists. And with light-filled private rooms and outdoor lounges, the facility provides flexible and comfortable healing environments to support the full range of each woman’s needs. For example, each room includes dedicated infant care areas so that mothers and their babies can stay together during minor tests and procedures. 

A patient room in the hospital with a large window, hospital bed, and flat screen TV
A spacious, sunlit lobby with high ceilings and low lying chairs
A state-of-the-art operating room in the Bakar Cancer Hospital

Hotspot: Bakar Cancer Hospital

Bakar Cancer Hospital maintains UCSF’s pioneering reputation in cancer care by providing advanced expertise in a facility that promotes comfort for patients and their families. To support healing, hospital rooms have bedside views, natural light and access to peaceful gardens. Here, oncologists and surgeons use the most sophisticated technologies, such as lasers and robotics, to provide every patient with exceptional care.

Bay Area-based artist Clare Rojas designed the public amphitheater in front of the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay with a mosaic of vivid, geometric shapes featuring hummingbirds
A colorful mobile made of geometric shapes hangs above the lobby of the Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building
A waiting area in the building has large windows and circular cutouts revealing rows of low seating

Hotspot: Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building

Outpatient services for the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay are located in the Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building. Women, children, and cancer patients receive a range of services here and have access to clinics for dialysis,cardiac care and other needs. This building also has San Francisco’s only regularly operating hospital helipad, which supports the  transport of acutely ill patients from remote hospitals.

Nancy Pope holds a child patient while she blows on a handheld windmill
The lobby had high windows and colorful sculptures reaching from the floor to the ceiling
A clinical nurse checks on his 15-day old patient in his basinette, placing his hand on the sleeping infant's stomach

Hotspot: Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco

Every detail of this facility was designed with young patients  in mind, from the in-room multimedia walls to the 16 custom-designed Exploratorium exhibits. With over 150 experts in 50 different specialties, children receive advanced and compassionate care. Visitors and staff can enjoy a meal at Shorenstein Family Café, which is located on the first floor.

The lobby of the Tidelands has a large bank of windows, an open staircase, and combines modern and industrial design

The Tidelands 

Just south of the Medical Center at Mission Bay, The Tidelands is a modern, sustainable housing community open to UCSF students and staff. Containing many environmentally friendly elements, The Tidelands is UCSF’s first residential building to earn LEED Gold certification and one of 22 LEED certified buildings on campus. Amenities include a fitness room, large courtyard and a game room.

A couch sits along one wall with a view of the kitchen beyond it
A spacious studio unit with a concrete ceiling, kitchen, and living area
Plants provide a nice contrast to the clean minimalist design of a studio apartment

Hotspot: Housing Unit

Featuring industrial styling and close proximity to surrounding neighborhoods, units at The Tidelands inspire a feeling of connectedness to the city. Efficiency, Studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units include industrial design accents, including a mix of concrete ceilings and walls that create a quiet and peaceful living space. Large windows allow for plenty of natural light and fresh air. Additionally, all paint, ceiling and flooring materials have low or no harmful emissions.