A decade after opening its first research building at San Francisco’s Mission Bay, UCSF has far surpassed its ambitious vision for a campus that today is an epicenter for science, health and hope.
This year, UCSF celebrates a decade of discovery at Mission Bay – a milestone that represents both a scientific renaissance and a significant revitalization of a once-blighted area in San Francisco’s southeast sector.
Since breaking ground in 1999, the development of the $3 billion Mission Bay campus is considered the single most important endeavor that UCSF has undertaken in its nearly 150-year history.
It is a spectacular success story in San Francisco, the “city that knows how” to get things done. It is the largest development in the city, second only to the construction of Golden Gate Park. And it is one of the nation’s largest university expansions.
UCSF Mission Bay exemplifies the University’s ongoing quest to explore, examine and ultimately answer some of the most awe-inspiring and vexing questions of human health.
Name: Elizabeth Turner Title: UCLA director of bedside ultrasound, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine; previously UC Irvine assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care, director of the medical intensive care unit and director of bedside ultrasound for the Department of Medicine Education: M.D., M.S., Wake Forest University Project: Implementation and assessment of a formal curriculum for bedside ultrasound training
Ultrasound isn’t just for pregnant women. The portable device, best known for giving expectant parents a first glimpse of their babies, has spread to critical care. Dr. Elizabeth Turner is helping lead the charge.
Turner received a grant from the UC Center for Health Quality and Innovation to develop a curriculum for bedside ultrasound training. She began the project while at UC Irvine and now plans to expand her efforts at UCLA, where she just joined as director of bedside ultrasound in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
“This is quality improvement for patient care,” Turner said. “You can get the right therapy to the patient early. You can make the decision appropriately. Their outcomes are going to be better. There are direct cost savings. And patient satisfaction will improve if we can implement this as part of our practice.”
Bedside ultrasound involves portable ultrasound exams – which use sound waves to see inside the body – performed and interpreted by the physician at the point of care. Turner emphasizes that ultrasound is not meant to replace the work of cardiologists or radiologists. Instead, it’s about trying to identify quickly the appropriate test from the appropriate person.
“We’re not trying to take anyone’s business,” Turner said. “We’re just trying to give the business to the right person.”
A former ballet dancer, Turner got a late start in medicine, applying to medical school at age 25. With a dancer’s focus and dedication, she leapt forward as a physician, following medical school at Wake Forest University with a residency at UC San Francisco and a critical care fellowship at Stanford University, where she first received training in ultrasound.
A powerful tool
“It just made so much sense, especially in critical care where minutes make a big difference in a patient’s life,” Turner said. “I realized what a powerful tool it was and got excited about it.”
It’s estimated that every $1 spent on ultrasound saves $3 in patient care. For example, the typical legal settlement on a collapsed lung is about $150,000, but using ultrasound dramatically reduces the risk of a patient suffering that problem. “One lawsuit will pay for three ultrasound machines,” Turner said.
But standardized training in point-of-care ultrasonography is lacking. Enter Turner’s innovation center project.
She tested her training (which combined e-learning and hands-on supervision) on critical care and cardiology fellows at UC Irvine. It turned out to be a quick and efficient method – the fellows gained knowledge and confidence equal or superior to that of experts and apprentice-based learners. And they did so in less than four months, compared with other training pathways that can take two to four years.
Under Turner’s direction, UC Irvine increased its use of bedside ultrasound; a preliminary assessment of trends shows that length of stay in the intensive care unit has declined by approximately a day while patient satisfaction has improved. “They like that the doctors are hands on,” Turner said. “Hands on means we’re at the bedside scanning them.”
Here to stay
Turner now is working to expand bedside ultrasound at UCLA and hopes to scale up training to spread its use across UC. Also, she has had abstracts about the project accepted to two national conventions.
“The national societies feel this is a relevant topic,” Turner said. “Bedside ultrasound is here to stay. We need to do it properly.”
For example, one afternoon, Turner gave a team of UC Irvine residents an hourlong training session on using bedside ultrasound to look at the heart. That night, one of those residents used the machine to examine a patient with low blood pressure and found a huge sac of fluid around the heart. “If he hadn’t picked that up, the patient could have died,” Turner said. “That was after a one-hour lesson. Imagine what you could do after an organized program.”
Yoga at the UCLA Family Commons (click image for larger view)
From babies to high school students, University of California Health has outreach programs for all types of youths.
A block from the Santa Monica Promenade, the UCLA Family Commons offers family-centric programming such as family coaching, parent seminars, martial arts and baby-and-me music and yoga. The wellness center, welcoming clients with its bright colors and convenient location, was developed by researchers from UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. It has expanded to include a satellite site at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Koreatown. “Everything we do is for parents and children,” Director Kelle Taylor said.
At UC Davis, outreach efforts for high schoolers include a medical student anatomy lab, mini medical school and summer scrubs academic preparation program. UC Davis’ Veterinary Student Outreach Club hosts a yearly Future Day for high school students to encourage interest in veterinary medicine through hands-on labs and engaging talks. The next one is scheduled for April 28.
UC Irvine has an outreach program that invites 20 students from each of Orange County’s high schools to participate in hands-on instruction using the latest in minimally invasive surgical equipment. A two-week summer premed program is for high school students interested in a career in medicine. Meanwhile, the ultrasound in medical education program offers middle school, high school and undergraduate students the opportunity to see how ultrasound technology is used in medicine and learn more about health care careers.
Through a grant from the Desert Healthcare District, the UC Riverside School of Medicine will partner with existing Coachella Valley initiatives to support students aspiring to careers in health care. This will include student outreach and enrichment programs that inspire students to pursue health care careers and enhance their competitiveness for professional health training programs such as medical school.
At UC San Diego, the HERE Initiative is a far-reaching outreach program designed to engage with historically underserved communities in the southern and southeastern regions of San Diego County. The initiative includes the Medical Pathway Program, which involves UC-approved science courses at various high schools.
In San Francisco, public school students are getting a double dose of service from UC campuses. At John O’Connell High, Emily Ozer encourages students to teach their teachers to be more effective, one of five such youth-led participatory programs in San Francisco high schools. Ozer, a UC Berkeley School of Public Health associate professor, said the programs show promise in improving the mental health and well-being of teens.
UCSF graduate student Charlie Morgan works with a student at Mission High in San Francisco. (Click image for larger view)
At Mission High, when UCSF graduate student Charlie Morgan first visited the campus dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, students told him he didn’t look like a scientist. That’s the point. UCSF is helping change the face of science through its award-winning Science and Health Education Partnership, which works with San Francisco public schools to support quality science education for K-12 students. At Mission, Morgan and UCSF postdoctoral fellow Norma Velazquez Ulloa teamed with teacher Becky Fulop’s biology class to engage in hands-on experiments with real-world relevance.
“I really appreciate the students having access to scientists who don’t look like what they may think the typical scientist looks like — young people, people of different ethnicities, people who look more like them,” Fulop said. “I want them to see the way science is really performed.”
New gift will provide four-year financial support for up to 33 M.D. students.
Entertainment executive and philanthropist David Geffen has established an unprecedented $100 million scholarship fund that will cover the entire cost of education for the very best medical students attending the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (DGSOM). The school was named in his honor after his $200 million unrestricted gift in 2002. With this recent gift, Geffen’s total philanthropic support to UCLA exceeds $300 million, making him the largest individual donor to UCLA and to any single UC campus.
The David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund, conceived by Geffen and announced today (Dec. 13) by Dr. A. Eugene Washington, vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the medical school, ensures that DGSOM will have students who graduate from medical school debt-free, allowing them to pursue lifesaving research and patient care without the economic burdens that restrict the choices of many young physicians and scientists.
“The cost of a world-class medical education should not deter our future innovators, doctors and scientists from the path they hope to pursue,” Geffen said. “We need the students at this world-class institution to be driven by determination and the desire to do their best work and not by the fear of crushing debt. I hope in doing this that others will be inspired to do the same.”
“With this game-changing gift, Mr. Geffen has invested in the medical education and training of some of the world’s brightest and most talented young people, influencing medical research and patient care for generations to come,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “We are inspired by his vision and grateful for his generosity, which places UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine at the forefront in the competitive marketplace for top medical school applicants and enhances health care and biomedical research for generations.”
“Once again, David Geffen has made a transformative gift — in this case, one that shifts how we think about support for our medical students,” Washington said. “The David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund is an extraordinary investment in a public institution that will enhance UCLA’s ability to create world leaders in health and science. Recipients of this prestigious award will proudly carry the David Geffen Medical Scholar designation with them throughout their careers as they create an enduring legacy of excellence and impact in 21st-century patient care, medical education and research.”
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), 86 percent of medical school graduates had educational debt in 2012 — with an average debt of $170,000. Studies have shown that debt has a significant impact on what field medical school graduates pursue and where they develop their professional careers. Reducing that debt burden promises to allow talented students to make career decisions based on where their passions lie.
The annual cost of tuition, fees and health insurance for a UCLA medical student in 2012–13 is approximately $38,000. When factoring in room and board, books and supplies, and other miscellaneous costs, the total tab is $67,000. With these costs continuing to rise, the projected four-year cost for students entering the school in 2013–14 is more than $300,000.
The $100 million David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund will provide four-year financial support — covering 100 percent of tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses — for up to 33 M.D. students (representing 20 percent of the available spots), starting with the entering class of 2013–14. Included in this group will be those students pursuing an eight-year M.D.–Ph.D. educational track as part of UCLA’s renowned Medical Scientist Training Program. All the David Geffen Medical Scholarships will be awarded based on merit.
Assistance for such students is designed to draw more outstanding young people to the medical profession. The AAMC estimates that the nation will face a shortage of more than 90,000 physicians by 2020. Adding to the urgency is the aging U.S. population — approximately 10,000 people a day will turn 65 for the next two decades — and the estimated 32 million people who will be added to the ranks of the insured in 2014 as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law signed in 2010.
UCLA’s medical school receives less than 10 percent of its funding from the state. The school relies on funding from research grants, patient care revenue and philanthropic donations to fulfill its four-part mission of research, education, community engagement and patient care.
Each year, more than 7,500 candidates apply for the school’s 163 coveted first-year positions. The David Geffen Medical Scholarships will ensure significantly higher rates of acceptance and enrollment at UCLA among the nation’s most competitively recruited medical school applicants.
Name: Rebecca Smith-Bindman Title: UC San Francisco professor in the departments of radiology and biomedical imaging, epidemiology and biostatistics, and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences Education: M.D., UC San Francisco Project: Standardization and Optimization of Computed Tomography Patient Radiation Dose Across the University of California Medical Centers (UC DOSE)
She leads a project funded by the UC Center for Health Quality and Innovation to standardize and optimize computed tomography radiation doses for patients across UC medical centers.
Computed tomography (CT) exams have become increasingly common, quadrupling nationwide between 1994 and 2007. About 1 in 5 patients receives a CT scan each year. While an important medical advance, CT exams also deliver much more radiation than conventional X-rays. It’s estimated that 2 percent of cancers may be caused by CT radiation exposure. And without standards for CT radiation amounts, Smith-Bindman has found that doses vary widely.
“The doses are way higher than they need to be,” she said.
A critical eye
Smith-Bindman nurtured her critical eye on exams early in her career. After studying architecture and structural engineering at Princeton University, she conducted osteoporosis research at UCSF, but realized the test she was using to measure backbones and osteoporosis didn’t work well. “It was like flipping a coin in terms of accuracy,” she said. So she developed a better way of defining osteoporosis, a better test.
After attending medical school at UCSF and becoming a doctor, she realized how many tests patients were receiving. Excessive testing can cause multiple problems such as high-dose radiation exposure, false positives that lead to further testing and overdiagnosis that leads to unnecessary treatment. There’s also an emotional toll – something Smith-Bindman witnessed with a sister who died of a brain tumor. Before her sister would take a test, “the amount of anxiety was indescribable,” she said. And it’s costly: Medical imaging is a $100 billion-a-year business in the United States.
Smith-Bindman’s innovation center project seeks to standardize and reduce the doses used for CT at UC medical centers. The amount of radiation is affected by how often an area is scanned and the size of the area scanned. Evidence suggests the radiation dose from each CT scan could be reduced by 50 percent or more without reducing diagnostic accuracy. UCSF has successfully lowered its CT doses by 40 percent in the past two years, Smith-Bindman said, improving patient safety and the quality of care.
Smith-Bindman’s grant has enabled her to work with colleagues across UC to make a bigger impact.
“It’s really worthwhile,” Smith-Bindman said. “We have amazing faculty across UC medical centers and this grant has allowed us to take the time to collaborate and bring together our expertise.”
The group created a single server where all systemwide CT dose data can be collected and analyzed. It’s already helping UC comply with SB 1237, California’s first-in-the-nation requirement to report radiation doses.
Spreading the word
The project also could help set benchmarks and standards for others to follow. “Our plan is to make what we learn from this collaboration widely available outside the UCs,” Smith-Bindman said.
Smith-Bindman and her UC colleagues are organizing a large virtual symposium in May to help educate the public, referring physicians, technologists, physicists and radiologists across the country on strategies for assessing and then lowering the radiation doses to which patients are exposed. As part of this meeting, facilities will be able to upload their actual CT data and receive audits of how they are doing with respect to the doses they are using for CT.
“CT scanning overall has more benefit than harm, and in the right clinical settings can improve health care quality and patient outcomes,” Smith-Bindman said, noting that her project focuses on reducing the potential harm from radiation. “The goal of my work is not to make people afraid of imaging, but to raise awareness that everything we do in health care has risks and benefits, and to help reduce the risks by lowering the doses used. Whenever a test is ordered, you need to ask yourself and your doctor, ‘Do I really need this?’ If the answer is yes, then the risk is small and shouldn’t dissuade you from necessary imaging.”
These partnerships span across California. For example, UC administers three statewide helplines. One is for poison control (UCSF School of Pharmacy). Another is for healthy pregnancies (UC San Diego School of Medicine). A third is for quitting smoking (UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center).
In Southern California, the Venice Family Clinic started as a small storefront operation in 1970. It has grown into the nation’s largest free clinic, serving 25,000 patients, nearly two-thirds uninsured. Affiliated with UCLA, the clinic relies on 2,250 volunteers – more than half from UCLA, including 1,100 students – and a staff of 225 with 20 physicians and two dentists from UCLA.
UCLA pediatrician Wendy Slusser and pediatric dentist Francisco Ramos-Gomez with Sam at the Venice Family Clinic.
The clinic is special not only for its size but also its soul: People like UCLA pediatrician Wendy Slusser and pediatric dentist Francisco Ramos-Gomez. They have designed programs to prevent childhood obesity and cavities so patients such as Sam (pictured) will maintain a healthy weight and healthy teeth. They also have developed training tracks so UCLA medical residents learn the ins and outs of community health.
They know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – or in Sam’s case, 38 pounds.
Experimental technology could transform field of lung transplantation.
First there was the “heart in a box,” a revolutionary experimental technology that allows donor hearts to be delivered to transplant recipients warm and beating rather than frozen in an ice cooler.
Now that same technology is being used to deliver “breathing lungs.”
The lung transplant team at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical successfully performed the nation’s first “breathing lung” transplant in mid-November. The patient, a 57-year-old who suffered from pulmonary fibrosis — a disease in which the air sacs of the lungs are gradually replaced by scar tissue — received two new lungs and is recuperating from the seven-hour surgery.
TransMedics OCS lung transport device
The groundbreaking transplant involved an experimental organ-preservation device known as the Organ Care System (OCS), which keeps donor lungs functioning and “breathing” in a near-physiologic state outside the body during transport. The current standard involves transporting donor lungs in a non-functioning, non-breathing state inside an icebox.
With the OCS, the lungs are removed from a donor’s body and are placed in a high-tech OCS box, where they are immediately revived to a warm, breathing state and perfused with oxygen and a special solution supplemented with packed red-blood cells. The device also features monitors that display how the lungs are functioning during transport.
“Organs were never meant to be frozen on ice,” said Dr. Abbas Ardehali, a professor of cardiothoracic surgery and director of the heart and lung transplantation program at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. “Lungs are very sensitive and can easily be damaged during the donation process. The cold storage method does not allow for reconditioning of the lungs before transplantation, but this promising ‘breathing lung’ technology enables us to potentially improve the function of the donor lungs before they are placed in the recipient.”
UCLA is currently leading the U.S. arm of the international, multicenter phase 2 clinical INSPIRE study of the OCS, developed by medical device company TransMedics; Ardehali is the principal investigator for UCLA. The purpose of the trial is to compare donor lungs transported using the OCS technology with the standard icebox method. The INSPIRE trial is also underway at lung transplant centers in Europe, Australia and Canada and will enroll a total of 264 randomized patients.
According to Ardehali, in addition to potentially improving donor-lung function, the technology could help transplant teams better assess donor lungs, since the organs can be tested in the device, over a longer period of time.
In addition, it could help expand the donor pool by allowing donor lungs to be safely transported across longer distances.
New public-private partnership launched between university and health insurer.
Anthem Blue Cross and University of California Health — UC’s medical centers and health professional schools — announced today the launch of a groundbreaking alliance aimed at addressing some of the most critical issues facing the state’s health care delivery system.
Under this new agreement, Anthem and UC Health will focus on care innovation and California health policy development with the purpose of improving access to affordable, quality health care for California residents. The parties have named this joint venture the California Health Alliance. Both expect an enduring and productive association that will benefit the people of California.
With all five of the world-class UC academic health centers in Anthem’s network, both organizations have a long-standing history of serving residents throughout the state and are uniquely positioned to understand the health care needs of Californians. And, as the state prepares to expand health care through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), both organizations believe that today, more than ever, a collaboration of this type can effectively address the impact expected on the state’s health delivery system as more residents prepare to access medical services.
Among some of the initial areas of focus of this alliance will be the development of accountable care models to better manage costly chronic conditions and the expansion of alternate delivery systems, such as telemedicine to encourage wellness and prevention and to provide access to health care for residents in rural areas. In addition, this new alliance is expected to provide opportunities for research, analysis, literature development and policy recommendations.
“We know that residents of the state look to a future that includes access to quality health care that is affordable,” said Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross. “By teaming with the University of California Health, we are bringing together some of the most innovative minds to help us achieve a common goal: to improve the health and wellness of California residents.”
“As two of the state’s leading organizations, this new affiliation has the ability to revolutionize California’s health care delivery system,” said Dr. John Stobo, senior vice president for UC Health. “By coming together, we know we can develop meaningful research, policy and best practices that can be leveraged on a broader scale to help improve the state’s health care system and the health of the population at large.”
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About Anthem Blue Cross: Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross name and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.
About UC Health: University of California Health includes five academic health centers — UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC San Francisco — with 10 hospitals and 18 health professional schools and programs on seven UC campuses. For more information, visit http://health.universityofcalifornia.edu.
Name: Lisa Gibbs Title: UC Irvine clinical professor of family medicine, associate director of the Program in Geriatrics, medical director of the SeniorHealth Center Education: M.D., Stanford University Project: Transformation of the Primary Care Practice to the Patient-Centered Medical Home Model
It’s not easy growing old. The golden years can be challenged by a myriad of conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and memory loss that often overlap and are increasingly costly to treat.
UC Irvine’s Dr. Lisa Gibbs has seen the toll that time can take on the health of older adults and their caregivers – and she has dedicated her career to improving geriatric care.
Gibbs became interested in working with older adults during medical school at Stanford, where she became involved in research on Alzheimer’s disease. She nurtured that interest at UC Davis, where she completed her residency in family medicine and then a fellowship in geriatric medicine. “I realized how vulnerable this population is,” Gibbs said.
She pointed to a couple married for 50 years. The wife had dementia, but then her caregiver husband developed prostate cancer. “His care was probably delayed because he was so focused on caring for her,” Gibbs said. “Caregivers also need our care and attention.”
Gibbs leads a team dedicated to providing the best in geriatric care as medical director of the UC Irvine SeniorHealth Center and clinical professor for the Program in Geriatrics. She was granted a UC Center for Health Quality and Innovation fellowship to enhance that care by turning the center into the UC system’s first patient-centered medical home (PCMH) for seniors.
A patient-centered medical home is a physician-led team approach to providing comprehensive primary care. Unlike traditional primary care, the PCMH model proactively manages all levels of care for an entire patient population, rather than focusing only on patients when they seek care for illness or injury.
“We’re hoping that with an interdisciplinary team approach and improved care coordination that we’ll be able to increase the quality of care, improve patient satisfaction and reduce overall health care costs,” Gibbs said.
The SeniorHealth Center already places the patient and family at the center of care, coordinating in teams with geriatricians, psychologists, pharmacists, nurses and social workers, Gibbs said. The fellowship will help lead the center to enhance its services by adding key features:
Open access to care, leaving time slots available for same-day appointments. “This should reduce visits to the emergency room,” Gibbs said. “Patients will be able to be seen right away by physicians who know them instead of going to urgent or emergency room care.”
Electronic medical records to help track patient outcomes and population data.
Self-care support and resources.
Care management, including individualized care plans.
Referral tracking and follow up.
Continuous quality improvement.
UC Irvine plans to apply next year for National Committee for Quality Assurance certification as a patient-centered medical home. Then educators will develop related curriculum for medical students, residents and fellows to learn how to optimally care for older adults and share its findings throughout UC Health.
“UC is a leader in developing innovations,” Gibbs said. “We’re willing to look at different models and newly developed models of health care because we truly do care about delivering the best care and service.”
View Lisa Gibbs’ talk at the UC Center for Health Quality and Innovation colloquium (begins at 8:46)
UC San Diego has a two-year waiting list for its cuddler program, where volunteers such as Roger Whistler hold, rock, feed and change babies when their parents can't be there.
From answering phones to assisting women giving birth, more than 6,000 volunteers lend their services to the UC Health system.
There are burn center survivors like Chris Wilkins, treated at UC Irvine for a rare condition where he lost nearly all his skin, who return to provide support to new burn victims. “It’s a very scary thing to go through,” said Wilkins of Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which affects about 1 in 1 million people. “It’s been a good thing to be able to help as much as I can.”
There are cancer survivors like Suzanne Mink who coach newly diagnosed cancer patients at UC Davis. “We don’t try to fix, we simply understand,” said Mink, a peer navigator.
There are celebrities such as pop star Justin Bieber, whose visits to Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA have brought smiles to sick children, and Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, who has volunteered at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to offer patients music as medicine.
UC Health volunteers can help with patient care, companionship and even pet therapy.
There are four-legged providers of pet therapy and two-legged providers of art therapy, all generously giving their time to improve patient care.
Roger Whistler embodies this good Samaritan spirit. The retired building inspector has volunteered for 18 years in UC San Diego’s neonatal intensive care unit as a cuddler. He holds premature babies when their parents can’t be there, freeing the nurses to do other tasks. The tender touch of this grandfather of 12 and great-grandfather of nine has calmed thousands of newborns.
“Each baby is a little different,” Whistler said. “You have to adapt yourself to what makes them feel most comfortable.”
Gladstone and UCSF scientist recognized for stem cell discovery.
Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D., a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes— which is affiliated with UC San Francisco — has won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his 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.
The prize was awarded for the scientists’ “discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.”
“Dr. Yamanaka’s story is a thrilling tale of creative genius, focused dedication and successful cross-disciplinary science,” said R. Sanders Williams, M.D., president of Gladstone, a leading and independent biomedical-research organization. “These traits, nurtured during Dr. Yamanaka’s postdoctoral training at Gladstone, have led to a breakthrough that has helped propel the San Francisco Bay Area to the forefront of stem cell research. Dozens of labs — often supported by organizations such as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and the Roddenberry Foundation – have adopted his technology. Altogether, hundreds of scientists around the world are employing the ‘Yamanaka factors’ and related techniques to search for solutions to a host of relentless illnesses — including those on which Gladstone focuses: diseases of the heart, diseases of the brain and diseases caused by deadly viruses.”
A total of 59 faculty and researchers affiliated with the University of California have won 60 Nobel Prizes, including 12 in medicine.
Liaison Committee on Medical Education grants “preliminary accreditation.”
The University of California, Riverside, today (Oct. 2) received notification that its planned medical school has received “preliminary accreditation” from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the national accrediting body for educational programs leading to the M.D. degree in U.S. and Canadian medical schools.
The UC Riverside School of Medicine Research Building.
The UCR School of Medicine will immediately begin recruiting students for its charter class entering in August 2013.
“This is a momentous decision for Inland Southern California and for UC Riverside,” said UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White. “This medical school is critically needed to address our region’s physician shortage and stimulate the local economy. Our community has been superb in its support of this project and on so many occasions community members have come together on this transformative and challenging effort. We simply could not have reached this point without that support.”
An informal community and campus celebration of the accreditation milestone is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, at Rivera Plaza adjacent to Hinderaker Hall. All interested members of the community are invited to attend, and free parking will be available in Lot 1.
Dr. G. Richard Olds, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the medical school, said the positive decision by the LCME is a testament to the determination of local elected officials, community supporters, University of California and UCR leadership, donors and faculty and staff of the medical school to develop a new medical school with a public mission during an economic recession that hit California particularly hard.
“Working together, the community and the UCR campus simply persevered because expanding access to healthcare is one of the most pressing issues for Inland Southern California,” Olds said. “This milestone enables us to open the doors of the medical school and begin expanding and diversifying our region’s physician workforce.”