TAG: "Awards & honors"

5 UC campuses rank among top 10 U.S. public universities


UC performs well in U.S. News & World Report, other rankings.

University of California campuses led the way in the U.S. News & World Report’s list of the top public national universities, released today (Sept. 9).

UC Berkeley and UCLA were first and second on the list, respectively, with UC San Diego, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara also ranked in the top 10, followed by UC Irvine at number 11. The ranking of public national universities was part of the magazine’s annual ranking of American colleges and universities.

UC campuses consistently perform well in such rankings. In August, Washington Monthly ranked UC San Diego first on its list, which is based on how well colleges and universities serve the public interest, with UC Riverside ranked second. Also among the top five schools were UC Berkeley in third place and UCLA in the fifth spot.

The top 100 also included UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and UC Irvine. UCSF has no undergraduates and was not ranked.

In a new list of “affordable elites,” Washington Monthly ranked UCLA first, ahead of Harvard, Williams College and Dartmouth; UC’s Berkeley, Irvine and San Diego campuses also were in the top 10.

“All Californians should be proud of their university. The excellent showing of our campuses in annual college rankings reflects the hard work and commitment to excellence of our faculty, students and staff,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “Ultimately, the University of California measures itself by how well we are fulfilling our core missions: teaching, research and public service. By those critical measures, we continue to excel and serve the public interest.”

Also this August, nine UC campuses placed among the top 150 universities in the world in rankings produced by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which focus on the quality of research and faculty. UC Berkeley came in first among public universities followed closely by UCLA, UC San Diego and UC San Francisco.

In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2013-14, two UC campuses placed in the top 25, and eight in the top 200. Those rankings look at world-class universities across several of their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

Seven UC campuses were in the top 100 of the U.S. News & World Report rankings of best national universities, public and private, and eight were in the top 150. The rankings focus not only on academic reputation, but also on financial resources and selectivity — factors that favor private and more established public universities. In this year’s rankings, the top 10 are made up entirely of private institutions.

College and university rankings are just one measure of higher education institutions. UC’s commitment to maintaining access and affordability, and educating underserved communities, is reflected in other metrics:

  • In 2012-13, 42 percent of UC undergraduates qualified for Pell Grants, compared with 23 percent at public universities and 17 percent at private institutions in the Association of American Universities. Pell Grants are awarded to students from very low-income families.
  • 45 percent of UC graduates leave the university with no debt. Those who do graduate with student debt carry an average of $20,500. The national average is $25,704.

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UCSF professor wins Lasker Award


Peter Walter unveiled key cellular quality-control system, potential roles in disease.

Peter Walter, UC San Francisco

Peter Walter, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UC San Francisco, has received the 2014 Lasker Basic Medical Research Award.

Popularly known as the “American Nobels,” the Lasker Awards are among the most prestigious honors in science and medicine.

Walter, 59, was honored for his groundbreaking work on a cellular quality-control system known as the unfolded protein response, or UPR. Found in organisms ranging from yeast to humans, the UPR is crucial to life, and disruptions in its workings are believed to play a role in neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, diabetes and other illnesses. Walter, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator since 1997, shares the award with Kazutoshi Mori, Ph.D., a leading UPR researcher at Kyoto University in Japan.

This year’s other recipients included Mary-Claire King, a University of Washington professor who was a professor at UC Berkeley from 1976 to 1995 and completed her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley and postdoctoral training at UCSF. She won the Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science for discovering the BRCA1 gene locus that causes hereditary breast cancer and deploying DNA strategies that reunite missing persons or their remains with their families.

Walter is the 12th UCSF faculty member to receive either a Basic Medical Research Award or a Clinical Medical Research Award from the Lasker Foundation.

“This is an exciting day for UCSF and for the world of science,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, M.B.B.S. “Peter Walter has received widespread acclaim for his discoveries on how the cell ensures that proteins are properly constructed, especially when the cell’s quality control systems are overwhelmed. We now know that when these basic systems malfunction, serious diseases can result. His work is a perfect example of the importance of basic biomedical research, its impact on health, and its importance for society.”

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UC Davis nursing school welcomes its newest grad students


School honors University of Washington nurse scientist with annual leadership award.

(From left) Heather Young, dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, presents nurse scientist Brenda K. Zierler with the 2014 Excellence in Leadership Award.

Nutrition, nursing and public health are just some of the fields represented by the 63 new students entering the four graduate programs at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. The students make up is more than professionally diverse, though, said Dean Heather M. Young, as she formally welcomed the group at the annual Welcoming Ceremony on Tuesday evening (Sept. 23).

“You range in age from 23 to 53. Some of you work for local health systems, some of you work in care centers. Others of you work in public health or provide care in our state prisons.” Young said. “Each of you is here because of what you bring to this school. You came here to be transformed as health care leaders, but at the same time, you also transform each other and all of us at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and UC Davis.”

The incoming fall 2014 classes include eight doctoral students, 20 physician assistant students, 25 master’s degree leadership students and 10 nurse practitioner students — moving the school’s total enrollment to 135.

The Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Group prepares nurse leaders, primary care providers, researchers and faculty in a unique interdisciplinary and interprofessional environment. As with other graduate groups at UC Davis, this program engages faculty from across the campus with expertise in nursing, medicine, health informatics, nutrition, biostatistics, public health and other fields. Currently, the graduate group includes more than 45 faculty.

Brenda K. Zierler, a University of Washington nurse scientist, was honored with the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis 2014 Excellence in Leadership Award. The award is annual highlight at the Welcoming Ceremony.

Nationally recognized for her work examining education systems for health professionals, Zierler’s research explores the relationships between the delivery of health care and outcomes — at both the patient and system levels.

Young said she was thrilled to name Zierler to the award, not only for her national work in interprofessional education, but for her partnership with UC Davis as well.

“Dr. Zierler has worked with both the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine to help us identify how we can improve our curriculum so that students are exposed to more interprofessional opportunities throughout their education,” Young said.

Her primary appointment is in the School of Nursing at the University of Washington, but Zierler also serves in three adjunct appointments at UW — two in the School of Medicine and one in the School of Public Health. Currently, she is a co-primary investigator on a Josiah-Macy-funded grant with physician Leslie Hall to develop a national train-the-trainer faculty development program for interprofessional education and collaborative practice. She also leads two HRSA training grants — one focusing on technology-enhanced interprofessional education for advanced-practice students and the second focused on interprofessional collaborative practice for advanced heart failure patients at UW’s Regional Heart Center.

“I am interested in improving the quality and safety of health care delivery for all,” Zierler said. “Interprofessional education and collaborative practice are a means to meet these goals. Improving communication, coordination and collaboration of care can improve the quality and safety of care.”

Zierler said the future is bright for students of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

“This is a true learning organization with excellent faculty leadership that takes a student-centered approach to education and a patient-population-centered approach to providing care,” Zierler said. “This school is the model for the future in nursing.”

The school recently opened applications for fall 2015 master’s-degree leadership and doctoral programs. For more information, visit the school’s website at nursing.ucdavis.edu.

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UCSF researcher wins Burkitt Medal


John Ziegler recognized for his “integrity, compassion and dedication.”

Paul Browne, Trinity College Dublin’s dean of the School of Medicine, left, congratulates John Ziegler for winning the 2014 Burkitt Medal. (Photo courtesy of Trinity College Dublin)

UC San Francisco’s John Ziegler, M.D., M.Sc., has won the 2014 Burkitt Medal, an award given by Trinity College Dublin to recognize people who embody “integrity, compassion and dedication,” similar to characteristics of Denis Burkitt, a Trinity alumnus.

“Dr. Ziegler has made significant contributions to the fields of medical oncology and to global health,” said Owen Smith, professor of medicine and hematology at Trinity College Dublin. “Continuing the legacy of Denis Burkitt, (Ziegler) directed a highly productive research team in Uganda that made dramatic progress to cure a particularly lethal form of childhood cancer. Ziegler’s career amply exemplifies Burkitt’s curiosity, leadership and humanity.”

The Burkitt Medal was presented at a celebratory dinner on Sept. 17 as part of the Ninth International Cancer Conference at Trinity College Dublin.

“I was delighted to be selected for this prestigious award from one of the oldest universities in Europe,” said Ziegler, founding director of Global Health Sciences Graduates Programs Education & Training at UCSF. “Denis Burkitt was my mentor in the early years of my medical career in Uganda. Receiving the Burkitt medal is a great honor.”

Burkitt discovered a cancer of the lymphatic system in 1956 among children in Africa. The disease starts in immune cells called B-cells and is one of the fastest growing human tumors. It can be fatal if left untreated.

“His discovery of Burkitt’s lymphoma opened many doors in cancer research: viral oncogenesis, tumor immunity and, most importantly, the potential for cure with chemotherapy,” Ziegler said. “Burkitt went on to advocate the importance of dietary fiber in health. He was one of my heroes in medicine.”

Leaders at Trinity praise Ziegler and his contributions to the field of cancer research.

“Burkitt’s legacy, celebrated at this event, is continued by Dr. John Ziegler,” said Paul Browne, Trinity College Dublin’s dean of the School of Medicine. “Ziegler’s work on cancer, especially in connection with developing countries, is tremendous.”

Guests from Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Malta, Malaysia and Ireland who were participating in the International Cancer Conference attended the event.

Ziegler received his bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Amherst College, in Amherst, Massachusetts, and his M.D. from Cornell University Medical School in New York City. Following medical house staff training at Bellevue Hospital in New York, he joined the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1966, beginning a life-long career in cancer research and care. In 1967 he was assigned to begin a long collaboration with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, studying Burkitt’s lymphoma and other indigenous cancers. Together with Ugandan counterparts, he developed curative therapies for lymphoma and established a cancer institute that today has expanded to a major center of excellence in sub Saharan Africa.

After five years Ziegler returned to NCI to head clinical oncology, and in 1981 moved to UCSF. The AIDS pandemic made its first appearance in San Francisco, heralded by opportunistic infections and two malignancies: Kaposi’s sarcoma and non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Ziegler and colleagues made important contributions to this field both in California and back in Uganda. In his later career, earning an M.Sc. in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Ziegler headed a cancer genetics clinic at UCSF, and most recently was founding director of a global health master’s degree.

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UC Davis pediatrician named Quality Improvement Project Leader


Ulfat Shaikh to lead project for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ulfat Shaikh, UC Davis

Ulfat Shaikh, director for healthcare quality at UC Davis School of Medicine and pediatrician at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, has been named the Quality Improvement Project Leader for the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Council on Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (COQIPS).

She will be leading a project on behalf of the AAP to improve the care of children and adolescents by utilizing clear communication strategies in clinical settings. This project will be the first of its kind to incorporate Maintenance of Certification Part 4 credits into a council program at the AAP National Conference and Exhibition, the academy’s largest gathering of members.

Through its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 4 program, the American Board of Medical Specialities requires physicians seeking board certification to participate in quality improvement programs in their practice where they regularly assess their patients’ outcomes, identify areas for improvement, implement evidence-based changes to their practice and track their results. Clinicians participating in this AAP pilot project will submit baseline data for their own patients using the AAP Quality Improvement Data Aggregator system, attend a learning session at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition, submit data during the action period, participate in webinars to learn about health literacy and quality improvement methods, review their performance improvement data using run charts and implement improvement cycles based on learnings from their performance data.

As project leader, Shaikh’s responsibilities will include providing leadership to the COQIPS project planning group in accomplishing its goals, establishing the framework of the project, overseeing and approving a system to track and monitor physician participation, facilitating meetings and webinars, conducting day-to-day oversight and management of the project and developing project materials.

“It is an honor to partner with the AAP, an organization highly respected for its advocacy of children and their families, to create a new model that involves front-line clinicians in quality improvement activities,” said Shaikh. ”Just like my other colleagues, I have been trying to select MOC opportunities that not only allow me to complete my board recertification requirements, but that also help me provide better care to my patients. Improving health literacy and provider-patient communication is a national health priority and is a great focus area for this project.”

This project will serve as a model and a replicable standard for how other AAP councils and sections can provide MOC Part 4 opportunities to their members.

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UCSF’s residency training programs rank at the top in national survey


UCLA programs also ranked by Doximity.

A resident consults with George Sawaya, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, in the women's health clinic at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. (Photo by Susan Merrell, UC San Francisco)

UC San Francisco ranked at the top in a national evaluation of residency training programs by the online physician network Doximity, along with U.S. News & World Report.

A total of 15 UCSF programs ranked in the top 10, including three that topped the list. Also, five UCLA programs ranked in the top 10.

Doximity ranked 3,691 residency programs across the country, based on a survey of its physician network (view methodology).

UCSF’s residency training programs ranked No. 1 in anesthesiology, neurological surgery and radiology; No, 2 in dermatology, obstetrics & gynecology, and neurology; No. 3 in internal medicine; No. 4 in radiation oncology; and No. 5 in surgery and urology.

UCSF residency training programs were also ranked in the top 10 in family practice, pathology, pediatrics, plastic surgery (integrated) and psychiatry.

UCSF’s associate dean for graduate and continuing medical education, Bobby Baron, M.D., said that while the survey methodology wasn’t scientific, it reflects just how good UCSF’s training programs are.

“Our residency programs are, in fact, very strong,” he said.

“Measuring success by almost any outcome, including accreditation data, resident match results, resident and faculty surveys, opportunities to care for a terrific population of patients, faculty quality, careers of our graduates, or by reputation of student deans and program directors would place our programs in the very top tier.”

Meanwhile, UCLA’s residency training programs ranked No. 4 in psychiatry and in urology; No. 5 in nuclear medicine; No. 8 in neurology; and No. 9 in plastic surgery (integrated).

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Professor receives Champalimaud Award for role in eye disease therapy


Research led to drug for wet macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Napoleone Ferrara, UC San Diego

Napoleone Ferrara, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and senior deputy director for basic sciences at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, was named today as one of seven recipients of the António Champalimaud Vision Award in Lisbon, Portugal.

The 2014 António Champalimaud Vision Award was bestowed for the development of anti-angiogenic therapy for retinal disease. Anti-angiogenic therapy is used to treat age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, which are the leading causes of blindness in high- and middle-income countries. Both are rising in prevalence due to an aging population and increased obesity rates.

Ferrara was recognized for the discovery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), for exposing the role of this molecule in promoting angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels), his co-discovery of the role of VEGF in retinal disease and the development of the monoclonal antibody drug ranibizumab (marketed as Lucentis), which treats wet age-related macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease and other related disorders.

Ferrara shared the award with six researchers from Harvard Medical School: Joan W. Miller, MD, and Evangelos S. Gragoudas, M.D., both of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School; Patricia A. D’Amore, Ph.D., of the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear; Anthony P. Adamis, M.D., of Genentech; and George L. King, M.D., and Lloyd Paul Aiello, M.D., Ph.D., both of Joslin Diabetes Center.

The work of this year’s awardees begins with the identification of VEGF by Ferrara, to the collaborative revelation of its role in retinal-vascular disease, to the experimental evaluation of VEGF inhibition in animal models and its final application with a pharmacologic intervention that significantly improves the vision of patients affected by these often devastating retinal conditions.

The award, presented by the Champalimaud Foundation, is given alternately between contributions to overall vision research (even numbered years) and contributions to the alleviation of visual problems, primarily in developing countries (odd numbered years). The honor comes with a $1.3 million prize, the largest such award given in vision and ophthalmology research. It will be shared among the seven recipients.

Earlier this year, Ferrara was one of eight recipients of the Canada Gairdner Awards, among the most esteemed honors in medical research, for his work identifying the role of VEGF. In 2013, Ferrara was named one of 11 recipients of the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He has also won numerous other awards, including the General Motors Cancer Research Award (2006), the ASCO Science of Oncology Award (2007), the Pezcoller Foundation/AACR International Award (2009), the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award (2010), the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research (2011), and The Economist’s Innovation Award for bioscience in 2012.

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UC campuses rank among world’s best universities


ARWU global rankings place four UC campuses in top 20, nine in top 150.

Nine University of California campuses placed among the top 150 universities in the world in rankings that focus on the quality of research and faculty released today (Aug. 15) by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

American universities dominated the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities, with UC Berkeley coming in first among public universities, followed closely by UCLA, UC San Diego and UC San Francisco.

UC campuses also did very well in the overall rankings:

  • UC Berkeley, fourth
  • UCLA, 12th
  • UC San Diego, 14th
  • UC San Francisco, 18th
  • UC Santa Barbara, 41st
  • UC Irvine, 47th
  • UC Davis, 55th
  • UC Santa Cruz, 93rd
  • UC Riverside, 101-150th grouping

UC Berkeley has been in the top four of the rankings since they began in 2003. For the first time this year, UC Santa Cruz broke into the top 100.

The rankings also rated the top 200 universities in five broad academic areas and five subject areas.

UC rankings in broad academic areas:

Natural sciences and mathematics

1. UC Berkeley
9. UCLA
18. UC Santa Barbara
26. UC San Diego
31. UC Irvine
51-75. UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz
76-100. UC Riverside

Engineering-technology and computer sciences

3. UC Berkeley
7. UC Santa Barbara
18. UC San Diego
26. UCLA
50-75. UC Davis, UC Irvine

Life and agricultural sciences

5. UC San Francisco
8. UC Berkeley
11. UC San Diego
15. UCLA
23. UC Davis
51-75. UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz
101-150. UC Riverside

Clinical medicine and pharmacy

2. UC San Francisco
9. UCLA
22. UC San Diego
28. UC Berkeley
51-75. UC Davis
101-150. UC Irvine

Social science

4. UC Berkeley
16. UCLA
23. UC San Diego
42. UC Irvine
51-75. UC Davis, UC Irvine
151-200. UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz

UC subject rankings:

Mathematics

3. UC Berkeley
9. UCLA
22. UC San Diego
51-75. UC Davis
76-100. UC Irvine
101-150. UC Santa Barbara

Physics

1. UC Berkeley
12. UC Santa Barbara
22. UCLA
33. UC Santa Cruz
45. UC Irvine
51-75. UC San Diego
101-150. UC Davis
151-200. UC Riverside

Chemistry

1. UC Berkeley
7. UCLA
13. UC Santa Barbara
18. UC San Diego
26. UC Irvine
47. UC Riverside
51-75. UC Davis

Computer science

3. UC Berkeley
9. UCLA
11. UC San Diego
24. UC Davis
29. UC Irvine
51-75. UC Santa Barbara

Economics

4. UC Berkeley
15. UCLA
18. UC San Diego
48. UC Irvine
51-75. UC Santa Barbara
76-100. UC Davis

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Primary care practices receive prestigious recognition


UC Davis clinics recognized by National Committee for Quality Assurance.

All 18 UC Davis Medical Group primary care clinics received recognition in July from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as Patient-Centered Medical Homes, a designation that rewards primary care providers for efficiency, quality and innovation in primary care.

The Patient Centered Medical Home concept is an innovative approach to primary care that relies on multidisciplinary teams to provide care centered on patient needs and preferences. Care teams use technology and health-management tools to offer patient-specific options and to engage patients as active partners in their care.

Other national leaders in integrated care that have achieved this designation include the Mayo Clinic and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

“Achieving the Patient-Centered Medical Home designation reflects the many ways that UC Davis emphasizes the primacy of our patients in the delivery of primary care,” said Thomas Balsbaugh, medical director for the Patient-Centered Medical Home and care coordination at UC Davis. “We provide a multidisciplinary team to patients and families, and offer culturally relevant, proactive care.”

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Nursing dean to receive national gerontological research award


UC Davis’ Heather Young honored for contribution to gerontological nursing research.

Heather Young, UC Davis

The founding dean for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, Heather M. Young, was recently named the 2014 recipient of the Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award by the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — the Gerontological Society of America (GSA).

The honor, presented by GSA’s Health Sciences Section, is bestowed upon a member of the society in recognition of outstanding and sustained contribution to gerontological nursing research.

“This honor means a great deal to me because GSA is the first major research organization I joined as a doctoral student in 1986,” Young said. “GSA has offered me a foundational perspective on gerontology and research because it is so interdisciplinary. I am able to understand the field from so many perspectives beyond the clinical, including policy, urban planning, the arts and humanities, as well as basic sciences.”

Young has attended more than 20 of the annual meetings and is a regular presenter and convener.
“Through this organization I have established a strong network of collaborators and colleagues in gerontology — experts who have helped shape my research and provided advice and mentorship over the years. I also had the opportunity to meet and mentor many up and coming scholars and learn from them about their priories and perspectives in this field,” she said. “In large part, due to GSA, the field of gerontology has grown and flourished. It is exciting to be part of this development over almost three decades.”

In addition to serving as the founding dean for the 5-year-old nursing school at UC Davis, Young also serves as associate vice chancellor for nursing and a member of the executive leadership team for UC Davis Health System. She is a nationally recognized expert in gerontological nursing and rural health care. Her research and clinical interest is the promotion of healthy aging with a particular focus on the interface between family and formal health care systems.

Her systems research focused on medication management and safety in rural, assisted-living settings and technological approaches to promoting medication safety in rural hospitals, as well as the use of telehealth and community-based strategies to promote health for rural older adults. Young leads an interprofessional team of UC Davis researchers on a recently approved $2.1 million Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute study looking to improve health for individuals with diabetes. Young is also a collaborator of the Initiative for Wireless Health and Wellness at UC Davis and the Center for Information Technology Research for the Interest of Society, initiatives bringing together nursing, medicine, engineering and computer science to address compelling health issues. She is co-director of the Latino Aging Research Resource Center, a National Aging-funded Research Center for Minority Aging Research.

She is active in the implementation of the recommendations of the landmark Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” serving on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Strategic Advisory Committee that guides the national campaign as well as the California Action Coalition executive committee, which leads activities at the state level. She recently served as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Working Group on Systems Engineering for Healthcare. Earlier in her career, Young practiced as a geriatric nurse practitioner in community-based long-term care and served as chief operations officer for a company designing and managing retirement communities.

The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 67th annual Scientific Meeting, which is set for Nov. 5-9 in Washington, D.C. The conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process.

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Patient-centered research projects receive funding

 

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UC announces winners of information technology awards


Sautter Award winners include health-related projects.

Ten projects at seven locations won the University of California’s 2014 Larry L. Sautter Award for using information technology to make university operations more effective and efficient to better serve faculty, staff, students and patients.

Chief Information Officer Tom Andriola from UCOP announced the winners today (Aug. 5) at the UC Computing Services Conference in San Francisco.

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

The 2014 award winners and honorable mentions are:

Golden Awards
•    Building a Service-Oriented Culture (UC Davis) is a multipronged initiative aimed at improving customer service and increasing efficiency through a virtual support service desk, self-service tools, standardized information and user-friendly resources. Among its many features, customers need to remember just one email address to get IT help (compared to the previous 70 email addresses available), and they can track the status of their request online.
•    Connected Central Coast (UC Santa Cruz): UC Santa Cruz partnered with private industry to win a $10.6 million state grant to build a 91-mile fiber optic network that enables high quality network connectivity on campus and along the Central Coast. By providing good broadband services in unserved and underserved areas, the project team hopes to help promote economic growth, job creation and other benefits.
•    New MyUCLA (UCLA) is an integrated student services portal with an improved user-friendly interface that allows students to more easily search for classes, enroll, track financial aid, access their calendars and perform other tasks, without having to open multiple browser windows.

Silver Awards
•    Business Intelligence Competency Center (UC San Diego) gives departments a powerful tool to create dashboards and reports that better inform and improve their decision-making, and encourages campus cross-functional collaboration in sharing tools, tips and techniques.
•    Environmental Health and Safety Enterprise Risk Management Technology (UC Davis) is a suite of six projects aimed at ensuring a safe research environment. These tools, for example, help facilitate the proper handling of chemicals, identify potential hazards, screen employees and coordinate safety inspections.

Honorable Mentions
•    Virtual Advising System (UC San Diego) securely stores student records so academic counselors can easily find all the student information they need to deliver accurate, holistic academic counseling. In addition, students can use the system to get general advising information, ask a counselor a question, see their academic notices and review notes from an advising session.
•    Careweb Messenger (UCSF) carries, transmits, records and makes searchable through a secure web portal the thousands of electronic messages that UCSF Medical Center staff sends and receives, ultimately improving coordination of patient care.
•    Nursing Performance Improvement Business Intelligence Solution (UCSF) enables digital collection of patient care data (replacing the previous paper method for collecting data, then manually entering the data into an Excel spreadsheet to generate reports and graphs) and safely stores information from multiple sources so that it can be easily accessed when needed.
•    Graduate Enrolled Student System (UC Riverside) is a repository of records that delivers a comprehensive view of graduate students’ financial support. This enables more efficient management and processing of graduate students’ awards.
•    Practice Improvement Using Virtual Online Training – PIVOT (UCSF and UC Berkeley) is an interactive computer-based simulation game that allows students, fellows, physicians and other health care experts to assess and manage virtual patients with lupus.

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

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

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

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Hall of Fame inventor cooks up projects to serve the neediest


Berkeley Lab’s Ashok Gadgil puts engineering to work for humanity.

Ashok Gadgil demonstrates use of the Darfur stove to Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab)

By Kate Rix

When Ashok Gadgil arrived in Washington this spring to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, a quote on the back of the event program spoke directly to his own personal philosophy.

It was from Abraham Lincoln: “The patent system added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.”

“This is the first time the body made a decision not just to recognize patents which have led to improvements in the developed world, but also began to say, what do invention and patent do for the bottom 3 billion people?” Gadgil says of his induction, seated in his office above the UC Berkeley campus. “It signals to those of us who work on problems not because they’ll lead to corporate profit or a better weapons system, that this is another important role of creativity.”

Gadgil was one of 15 inventors admitted into the Hall of Fame this year. He was inducted specifically for UV Waterworks, a disinfecting device that uses ultra violet light to generate the electricity needed to kill pathogens in water. The technology provides safe drinking water for 5 million people every day in deep rural communities of India, the Philippines and Ghana.

Gadgil (pronounced GOD-gill) directs the Energy and Environmental Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His other inventions include a fuel-efficient cookstove and a method to remove arsenic from groundwater. Overall, his body of work has helped millions of others, in the spirit of what Lincoln called “the fuel of interest” combined with humanitarianism.

Safe water for mere pennies

UV Waterworks systems provide safe drinking water a cost of about 2 cents for 12 liters.

“My goal was to see what people could pay if they make $1 or $2 a day,” Gadgil says. “We are asking for 2 cents for 10 liters, so they can avoid getting diarrhea several times a year.”

UV Waterworks has saved an estimated 1,000 children’s lives, Gadgil said. “That’s not too bad, though the number could be 10 or 50 times larger.”

While Gadgil invented the system, the UC Regents hold the patent and the publicly traded corporation WaterHealth International lined up investors, including Johnson & Johnson and Dow Chemical.

Fuel-efficient stove lessens women’s risks

Also making an impact is the Berkeley Darfur Stove, which replaces the traditional “three stone” cooking fire for Darfuri refugees in western Sudan. The old method of cooking required women to walk — for up to seven hours, five times a week — outside the safety of the camps to collect wood. Encounters with armed militia during those treks almost certainly result in rape.

In 2005 Gadgil led a fact-finding mission to Darfur, interviewing women and observing how they cook. He realized he could design a stove that uses 75 percent less fuel to cook the same amount of food in the same pot, reducing the number of firewood collection trips.

The stoves were designed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab but are manufactured in a factory in Darfur and sold for $20 each, generating income for factory workers. Some 15,000 cookstoves are in use in Darfuri camps, plus additional stoves modified for use in Ethiopia.

Gadgil’s team continues to refine the cookstove technology, in pursuit of even cleaner ways to use biomass fuel. Another project, however, hearkens back to clean drinking water. Gadgil and his lab developed a method to remove naturally occurring arsenic from groundwater in Bangladesh and India, binding iron to microscopic arsenic molecules so they become large enough to be captured by a filter. The technology recently was licensed to an Indian business with a plan to install filtration plants in villages where the water will be sold.

The existence of a business model is core to Gadgil’s guiding principles as an inventor. While some of his colleagues in science turn their nose at the idea of making a profit from research, Gadgil — who applied to business school before engineering graduate studies — sees sustainability and potential in financial gain.

‘A model where everybody prospers’

“You cannot go to scale and help a billion or 2 billion people without everybody along the way making a dime,” he says. “Charity is critical to filling cracks in the system, but there is not enough charity to go around. If you want to lift people from an existence we consider beneath human dignity, you have to have a model where everybody prospers.”

Gadgil was not always so focused on using his skills to help people in the developing world. As a student at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur he worked hard, did well in school and that was enough.

In 1971 Gadgil had an acceptance letter from every university to which he had applied, except Berkeley. He was about to start courses at CalTech when the letter came from Berkeley to say that they had secured funding to offer him a spot in the graduate civil engineering program.

“A friend of mine told me that Berkeley is a deep and vast ocean and that I would not experience the intellectual depth anywhere else,” he recalls. “He was right. I took courses in everything under the sun. I could sit in the back of the room and take classes in political economy of development.”

He recalls a lesson from one of his professor, former Cal physicist Arthur Rosenfeld: A good scientist takes in the bigger picture of how the real world works.

“I was just very, very good at physics,” he says. “Being here doing my Ph.D. changed my thinking. I credit that to the Berkeley experience.”

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