TAG: "Awards & honors"

UC Davis burn center receives Beacon Award for Excellence

Caregivers recognized for improving patient outcomes, meeting high standards.

Members of the Burn Unit at UC Davis Medical Center

By David Ong, UC Davis

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently conferred a bronze-level Beacon Award for Excellence on the Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center at UC Davis Medical Center.

The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments — recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that earn this three-year, three-level award with a gold, silver or bronze designation meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

AACN President Vicki Good praised the commitment of the caregivers at the Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award for Excellence.

“These dedicated health care professionals join other members of the exceptional community of nurses who set the standard for optimal patient care,” Good said. “The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes. Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care.”

The bronze-level Beacon Award for Excellence earned by the Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center signifies success in developing, deploying and integrating unit-based performance criteria for optimal outcomes.

The Burn Center earned a bronze award by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:

  • Leadership Structures and Systems
  • Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement
  • Effective Communication, Knowledge Management, Learning and Development
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
  • Outcome Measurement

Other Beacon Award designations include silver and gold. Recipients who earn a silver-level award demonstrate continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care; gold-level awardees demonstrate excellent and sustained unit performance and patient outcomes.

The Burn Center’s Beacon Award for Excellence recipients will be published in AACN Bold Voices, the monthly award-winning member magazine distributed to more than 100,000 acute and critical care nurses nationwide. AACN also honors awardees at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families.

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UC San Diego professor recognized by pharmacology society

Pieter Dorrestein will receive the John Jacob Abel Award in Pharmacology.

Pieter Dorrestein, UC San Diego

By Heather Buschman, UC San Diego

Pieter Dorrestein, Ph.D., has been selected to receive the 2015 John Jacob Abel Award in Pharmacology by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). Dorrestein is a professor of pharmacology, chemistry and biochemistry in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UC San Diego. The John Jacob Abel Award, ASPET’s oldest and most prestigious award, is given to young investigators to stimulate fundamental research in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics. Past recipients include several Nobel laureates. As part of the award, Dorrestein will deliver a special ASPET lecture at the annual Experimental Biology meeting in March.

“This recognition is a great credit to Pieter, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and UC San Diego,” said Palmer Taylor, Ph.D., Sandra & Monroe Trout Endowed Chair in Pharmacology and dean emeritus of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy. “John Jacob Abel was a consummate pharmacologist and biochemist in the early 20th century — a time when constituent isolation and the biological assay reigned supreme. He would have been amazed to see how mass spectrometry and analytical technologies, as developed and applied by Pieter and his many collaborators, now dominate contemporary scientific endeavors.”

Dorrestein serves as director of the newly launched Collaborative Mass Spectrometry Innovation Center and co-director of the Institute for Metabolomic Medicine at UC San Diego. Dorrestein’s research team applies high resolution and laser imaging mass spectrometry expertise to help answer a broad range of medical and ecological research questions.

In one project, Dorrestein and colleagues are building 3-D molecular maps of people and their microbial communities. In another, the team is developing a crowdsourced infrastructure to allow researchers all over the world to help annotate all of the molecules they are detecting with mass spectrometry and to connect these molecules back to their genetic signatures. With these tools, researchers will be able to answer questions about drug metabolism and interactions with microbes, in both healthy and patient populations, and drive early drug discovery and development.

Dorrestein credits his success to his many fruitful collaborations with colleagues all across the UC San Diego campus, including the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Medicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Jacobs School of Engineering, and the San Diego Supercomputer Center.

“There’s also a great historical connection here — John Jacob Abel took natural substances and used them for therapeutic purposes,” Dorrestein said. “Now, 100 years later, this is what we continue to do as we work to connect genetic information to real-life molecular events, with the potential to influence the development of new therapeutics.”

John Jacob Abel founded ASPET and The Journal of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics in 1908. He also founded the American Society for Biological Chemistry and co-founded the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Abel is known for many scientific advances, including the isolation and crystallization of insulin, the identification of epinephrine as a hormone and the understanding of the action of pituitary hormones and various toxins, prior to their complete structural identification.

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UCSF neuroscientist wins Russ Prize, bioengineering’s highest honor

Michael Merzenich lauded for contributions to cochlear implants for the deaf.

Michael Merzenich, UC San Francisco

By Pete Farley, UC San Francisco

Ohio University and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced today (Jan. 7) that UC San Francisco neuroscientist Michael M. Merzenich, Ph.D., is a winner of the 2015 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize, the bioengineering profession’s highest honor. Merzenich shares the prize with four other scientists for their fundamental contributions to the development of cochlear implants, electrical devices that enable the deaf to hear.

The cochlear implant is the most-used neural prosthesis developed to date; more than 320,000 hearing-impaired people have received implants in one or both ears.

“This year’s Russ Prize recipients personify how engineering transforms the health and happiness of people across the globe,” said NAE President C.D. Mote Jr. “The creators of the cochlear implant have improved remarkably the lives of people everywhere who are hearing impaired.”

Cochlear implants are electronic devices that allow people with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss to hear sounds. In such implants, an externally worn audio processor detects sounds and encodes them into electrical signals that are transmitted to small, surgically implanted components that directly simulate the auditory nerve. The auditory nerve sends the signals to the brain, where they are interpreted as sounds.

Merzenich, professor emeritus of otolaryngology at UCSF, established some of the neurophysiological underpinnings of present cochlear implant designs beginning in the early 1970s. In collaboration with two UCSF colleagues, the late Robin P. Michelson, M.D., and Robert A. Schindler, M.D., professor emeritus of otolaryngology, Merzenich later conducted one of the first clinical trials of multichannel cochlear implants. These trials paved the way for the eventual commercialization of UCSF-designed devices in the late 1980s by Advanced Bionics, still one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cochlear implants.

Merzenich shares the Russ Prize with Blake S. Wilson, adjunct professor of biomedical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and surgery at Duke University and co-director of the Duke Hearing Center; Graeme M. Clark, Ph.D., Foundation Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Melbourne, Australia; Erwin Hochmair, DTech, professor emeritus in the Institute for Ion Physics and Applied Physics at the University of Innsbruck, Austria; and Ingeborg Hochmair-Desoyer, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering at the Technical University of Vienna, Austria.

“I am very, very pleased that the cochlear implant has been recognized as a significant advancement that contributes positively to the quality of life of those with hearing impairment,” said Dennis Irwin, Ph.D., dean of Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology. “I have had the privilege of knowing and working with several individuals with profound hearing loss throughout my early life and later career, and I witnessed the difficulty several of them faced in athletic pursuits, education and their careers.”

Created by Ohio University alumnus Fritz Russ, a 1942 electrical engineering graduate, and his wife, Dolores, the Russ Prize, which carries a $500,000 award, recognizes a bioengineering achievement that has significantly improved the human condition. Awarded biennially by the NAE, the prize recognizes bioengineering achievements worldwide that are in widespread use and have improved the human condition. Previous recipients include the inventors of the implantable heart pacemaker, kidney dialysis, the automated DNA sequencer and the technology enabling LASIK and PRK eye surgeries.

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UCSF faculty member to receive Abelson Prize

Bruce Alberts honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Bruce Alberts, UC San Francisco

Distinguished UC San Francisco research scientist and faculty member Bruce Alberts, Ph.D., has been chosen by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to receive the 2014 Philip Hauge Abelson Prize.

Alberts — president emeritus of the National Academy of Sciences and a former editor-in-chief of the journal Sciencewas honored by AAAS for advancing science in society through his “exemplary leadership and creativity in science and technology for the national welfare,” for “inspiring young people to pursue distinguished careers in the sciences,” and for “opening new frontiers in education and public policy.”

At UCSF where he has worked since 1976, Alberts serves as Chancellor’s Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education. One of the first three U.S. Science Envoys (2009-11), Alberts was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama in 2014. He is one of the original authors of the preeminent textbook, “The Molecular Biology of the Cell.” He served two six-year terms as president of the National Academy of Sciences (1993-2005), and for nine years (2000-09), he also chaired the InterAcademy Council, an organization dedicated to providing scientific advice globally, governed by the presidents of 15 national academies of sciences.

The Abelson Prize was inspired by the late Philip Hauge Abelson, long-time senior advisor to AAAS and editor of Science. Abelson, who served as president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, died Aug. 1, 2004, following more than 60 years of service to science and society. The award is given annually to either a public servant, in recognition of sustained exceptional contributions to advancing science, or to a scientist whose career has been distinguished both for scientific achievement, and for other notable services to the scientific community. Established in 1985 by the AAAS Board of Directors, the award consists of a commemorative medallion and an honorarium of $5,000.

“There are few other scientists with comparable scientific credentials who have contributed more to the exploration, mapping, promotion of, and advocacy for the importance of science education at both the pre-college and postsecondary levels in the United States than Dr. Alberts,” said Jay B. Labov, senior advisor for education and communication of the National Academies, in a nomination letter.

Citing  numerous accomplishments, including the establishment of the Center for Education within the National Research Council (NRC), and the National Academies’ Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Graduate Fellowship Program, Labov added that Alberts’ “has woven public service deeply, seamlessly, and inextricably into his work and throughout his work and life.” As an example, Labov noted that Alberts’ oversaw the preparation of the NRC’s influential National Science Education Standards for Grades K-12. He also set up the National Academies Teacher Advisory Council, which brings together master teachers in science, mathematics, and technology to help improve U.S. science education.

Alberts received his bachelor’s degree and then his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Harvard University in 1960 and 1965, respectively. He worked as a National Science Foundation (NSF) postdoctoral fellow in biophysics in 1965-66, before joining the faculty at Princeton University, where he became the Damon Pfeiffer Professor in Life Sciences in 1973. Three years later, he moved to UCSF, initially as a professor and vice chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. From March 2008 until July 2013, Alberts was editor-in-chief of Science, published by AAAS, where he helped to launch science-education initiatives such as Science in the Classroom, a collection of freely available learning exercises and annotated Science research articles. He is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the Vannevar Bush Award for public service in science and technology, bestowed by the NSF’s National Science Board. He has served on the advisory boards of more than 25 nonprofit organizations.

The Abelson Prize will be bestowed upon Alberts during the 181st AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, Feb. 12-16. A ceremony and reception will be held in Room 220C of the San Jose Convention Center on Feb. 13 at 6:15 p.m.

For more information on AAAS awards, see www.aaas.org/aboutaaas/awards.

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UC Davis professor receives Lifetime Contribution to Dermatology award

Haines Ely honored at Cosmetic Surgery Forum.

Haines Ely, UC Davis

Haines Ely, UC Davis clinical professor of dermatology, received the “Lifetime Contribution to Dermatology” award earlier this month at the 2014 Cosmetic Surgery Forum in Las Vegas.

The forum was held Dec. 2-5, and was presented in association with Practical Dermatology Magazine.

Ely, who also is chair and chief executive officer of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, has been teaching residents in the UC Davis Department of Dermatology since 1975, and performs teledermatology consultations. He does the same duties at the Veterans Administration Hospital at Mather Air Force Base.

Ely is particularly interested in dermatologic therapy and has lectured on the most recent advances in therapy all over the U.S., as well as in Europe and Australia. At the 1996 annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, he proposed using the sap of the Euphorbia peplus plant as a skin cancer remedy. It is now on the market and commercially available.

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UC president starts $10M research awards initiative

First recipients selected.

University of California President Janet Napolitano today (Dec. 10) announced the first recipients of the President’s Research Catalyst Awards, chosen from a pool of almost 200 proposals. The projects involve multicampus, multidisciplinary efforts, incorporating research, teaching and learning for undergraduate and graduate students. The awards are designed to stimulate UC research in areas that could benefit California and the world.

The President’s Research Catalyst Awards will channel $10 million over three years to fund research in areas of strategic importance, such as sustainability and climate, food and nutrition, equity and social justice, education innovation, and health care.

“The President’s Research Catalyst Awards will spur UC research and offer our faculty and students new opportunities for cross-campus, multidisciplinary collaboration,” Napolitano said. “We want to support research endeavors that have real-world impact in areas with critical needs.”

The President’s Research Catalyst Awards will strengthen UC’s research enterprise by promoting projects that take advantage of the shared facilities, expertise and economies of scale available through UC’s 10 campuses and five medical centers. Faculty will benefit from expanded research support, and students will have access to additional training opportunities.

Recipients were chosen through the highly selective Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grants process. The award recipients are:

  • Understanding how California ecosystems will be affected by climate change, led by Barry Sinervo, UC Santa Cruz ($1.9 million). UC is home to the world’s largest system of university-administered natural reserves, offering an opportunity to model how climate change will affect California ecosystems. UC’s nine undergraduate campuses will study the ecological effects of climate change, involving both graduate students and citizen scientists.
  • Helping California address the prison health care crisis, led by Brie Williams, UC San Francisco ($300,000). California, with the nation’s largest prison population, faces serious challenges in providing adequate health care to inmates, who often suffer from mental illness, addiction and other chronic diseases. The UC Consortium on Criminal Justice Healthcare will bring together experts in medicine, psychology, law, sociology, economics and public policy to develop cost-effective solutions that can also serve as a national model.
  • Advancing physics, materials science and computing through quantum emulation, led by David Weld, UC Santa Barbara ($300,000). Quantum emulation uses small collections of ultra-cold atoms, ions and molecules to understand the physical properties of the smallest matter in the universe. Through the California Institute for Quantum Emulation, UC will mobilize the theoretical and experimental expertise of early-career faculty at five campuses, enhancing California’s position as a technological leader and advancing research vital to the development of novel materials.
  • Tapping big data to inform questions of health, poverty and social justice, led by Sean Young, UCLA ($300,000). Social media offers a rich trove of data about human behavior, beliefs and actions. Experts in computer, social and health sciences from four UC campuses will study how to use this information to address public health issues, poverty and inequality.
  • Using music to better understand the human brain, led by Scott Makeig, UC San Diego ($300,000). The UC Music Experience Research Community Initiative brings together UC experts on music listening, performance, neuroscience, brain imaging and data science to understand the transformative potential of music for health and cognition.

UC faculty will be invited to apply for the next round of the President’s Research Catalyst Awards funding, with an RFP process beginning later this winter. More details will be posted here.

The awards will be funded through an existing president’s fund used to support systemwide initiatives.

Media contact:
University of California Office of the President
(510) 987-9200

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UCSF professor receives award for work in palliative care

Steven Pantilat honored by the California Hospital Association.

Steven Pantilat, UC San Francisco

UC San Francisco’s Steven Pantilat, M.D., has received the 2014 Ritz E. Heerman Memorial Award by the California Hospital Association (CHA). He is being recognized for his efforts to improve the quality of care provided by palliative care services.

The Ritz E. Heerman Memorial Award is to be granted only for a specific outstanding contribution to the improvement of patient care. This criterion could encompass the development of new equipment, new techniques, savings in cost, development in safety, or the like. The award is not given for general contributions in the health care field.

Pantilat, professor of clinical medicine in the UCSF Department of Medicine, is the Alan M. Kates and John M. Burnard Endowed Chair in Palliative Care, and the founding director of the UCSF Palliative Care Program. He is also the director of the UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center that trains teams from hospitals across the country on how to establish palliative care services. Pantilat is board certified in hospice and palliative medicine and internal medicine.

In 2007 he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar studying palliative care at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, University of Sydney, and Curtin University in Sydney, Australia. Pantilat is also a hospitalist, and is a nationally recognized expert in hospital medicine as well as in palliative medicine. He is the past president, a past member of the board of directors and the former chair of the ethics committee for the Society of Hospital Medicine.

Pantilat is a member of the Program in Medical Ethics at UCSF and serves on the UCSF Medical Center Ethics Committee. In 2011 he received a leadership award from the James Irvine Foundation in recognition of his work to improve the lives of people in California.

Pantilat, along with colleagues at UCSF, was a co-editor of a series in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) focused on improving end-of-life care titled “Perspectives on Care at the Close of Life.” That series was subsequently updated and published as a book in 2011 titled, “Care at the Close of Life” for which Pantilat served as a co-editor.

He, along with his colleague Tony Steimle, M.D., chief of cardiology for Kaiser Santa Clara, wrote the chapter on “Palliative Care for Patients with Heart Disease.” Pantilat’s extensive publications and research focus on improving care for seriously ill patients in hospitals, communication and palliative care for people with heart disease. He is currently the principal investigator of a randomized clinical trial of palliative care added to optimal medical management for improving quality of life, symptoms, and resource utilization for people with heart failure. Pantilat also is founding director of the Palliative Care Quality Network focused on improving the quality of care provided by palliative care services.

CHA awards will be presented during the CHA Board of Trustees luncheon on Dec. 11 at the Irvine Marriott Hotel in Irvine.

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UC Davis professor honored for contributions to pediatric emergency medicine

American College of Emergency Physicians to give award to Nathan Kuppermann.

Nathan Kuppermann, UC Davis

By Charles Casey, UC Davis

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has honored Nathan Kuppermann, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Emergency Medicine, with its EBSCO/PEMSoft Achievement Award. The annual award is given out in recognition of an individual emergency physician or pediatric emergency medicine physician who has contributed significantly to evidence-based medicine in pediatric emergency care.

Kuppermann is an international leader in the field, having developed and overseen a wide range of practice-changing studies in pediatric emergency medicine. He served as original chair of the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Applied Research Network (PECARN) and has published multiple scientific papers with PECARN that have helped advance critical care for pediatric patients. His recent publications have defined risk factors for cerebral edema in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis – a serious complication of diabetes – and derived clinical decision rules for the use of diagnostic imaging in cases involving children with minor head and abdominal trauma.

Kuppermann will be officially presented with the honor at the ACEP’s annual conference next March in New York City.

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Memory expert receives Grawemeyer Award for Psychology

UC Irvine founding faculty member James McGaugh honored for learning, memory research.

UC Irvine neuroscientist and founding faculty member James McGaugh stands in front of the campus building that is named after him. (Photo by Steve Zylius, UC Irvine)

UC Irvine neurobiologist James McGaugh, whose research has vastly contributed to our knowledge of the brain’s learning and memory abilities, has won the 2015 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology.

A research professor in neurobiology & behavior and a founding UCI faculty member, McGaugh is receiving the prize for discovering that stress hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol are key to why we remember some things more vividly than others.

The hormones activate the brain’s emotional center, the amygdala, which in turn regulates other brain areas that process and consolidate memories – a sequence that explains why emotional experiences are easier to recall, he found.

“His work has transformed the field,” said award director Woody Petry. “It has profound implications for helping us understand and treat memory disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder.”

McGaugh began studying the link between emotion and memory in the 1960s, when he discovered that giving stimulants to animals immediately after training fostered retention of the new skills. Later, he learned that naturally occurring stress hormones had a similar memory-enhancing effect.

Recently, McGaugh has been studying people with highly superior autobiographical memory to see if differences in brain structure may account for the trait.

“The list of previous Grawemeyer Award for Psychology recipients is remarkable,” he said. “It’s an honor to be included.”

Five Grawemeyer Award winners are being named this week. The University of Louisville presents the prizes annually for excellence in music composition, ideas improving world order, psychology and education; it confers a religion prize jointly with Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. This year’s awards are $100,000 each.

UCI’s Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor of social ecology and professor of law, received the Grawemeyer Award for Psychology in 2005.

About James McGaugh

James McGaugh’s seminal work on emotion and memory has been featured on popular television programs such as CBS’s “60 Minutes,” described in dozens of textbooks, and cited about 31,000 times in more than 15,000 professional papers.

McGaugh joined UCI in 1964, a year before classes began. Over the ensuing decades, he served as executive vice chancellor, vice chancellor of academic affairs, dean of biological sciences and department chair, in addition to founding and directing the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning & Memory.

UCI named McGaugh Hall after him in 2001 and also awarded him the UCI Medal and established a neurobiology & behavior graduate research award of excellence in his name.

Among McGaugh’s many other honors are the Association for Psychological Science’s William James Fellow Award, the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions, the American Philosophical Society’s Karl Spencer Lashley Award, the Society of Experimental Psychologists’ Norman Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s John McGovern Lecture award, and the Western Psychological Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

A former president of the Association for Psychological Science, McGaugh is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Society for Neuroscience, the International Brain Research Organization, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Society of Experimental Psychologists and the World Academy of Art & Science.

He also is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

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26 UC researchers named AAAS fellows

The association is the world’s largest scientific society.

Twenty-six University of California campus and affiliated lab researchers are among this year’s new fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They are among 401 AAAS fellows for 2014, honored for their contributions to innovation, education, and scientific leadership.

With this year’s new fellows, UC now has 842 living members of the AAAS. The association is the world’s largest scientific society. The new fellows, by campus and area of concentration, are:

UC Berkeley

  • William D. Collins (see Lawrence Berkeley Lab)
  • Cathryn Carson, History and Philosophy of Science
  • John Harte, Physics
  • Paul G. Kalas, SETI Institute, Astronomy

UC Davis

  • Andreas J. Albrecht, Astronomy
  • Xinbin Chen, Medical Sciences
  • Gino A. Cortopassi, Biological Sciences
  • Michael J. Leibowitz, Biological Sciences
  • Debbie A. Niemeier, Engineering
  • Diane E. Ullman, Agriculture, Food, and Renewable Resources

UC Irvine

  • Philip G. Collins, Physics
  • Christopher Charles William Hughes, Medical Sciences
  • Eric Mjolsness, Information, Computing, and Communication
  • Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Biological Sciences


  • Linda Gwen Baum, Geffen School of Medicine, Medical Sciences
  • Ann M. Hirsch, Agriculture, Food, and Renewable Resources
  • Michael Stephen Levine, Neuroscience
  • Pamela Munro, Linguistics and Language Sciences
  • Dwight W. Read, Anthropology

UC San Diego

  • Steven C. Cande, Geology and Geography
  • Trey Ideker, Biological Sciences
  • Mark D. Ohman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Biological Sciences

UC San Francisco

  • Ophir David Klein, Dentistry and Oral Health Sciences

UC Santa Barbara

  • David López-Carr, Geology and Geography

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

  • William D. Collins, UC Berkeley, Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences
  • Heinz M. Frei, Chemistry

Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Mary Y.P. Hockaday, Physics

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Joint Commission names UC Irvine, UCLA med centers ‘Top Performers’

Program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on key quality measures.

Medical centers at UC Irvine and UCLA have been recognized as “Top Performer” hospitals by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States.

UC Irvine and UCLA were recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measures performance in treatment for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and in surgical care.

They are among 1,224 hospitals in the United States, including 97 in California, to achieve the 2013 Top Performer distinction.

The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, stroke, venous thromboembolism and perinatal care, as well as for inpatient psychiatric services and immunizations.

“UC Irvine Health is proud to be named a Top Performer by The Joint Commission. Our community expects UC Irvine Health to provide healthcare at the highest levels of quality and patient safety,” said Terry A. Belmont, CEO of UC Irvine Medical Center. “The goal of every member of our team, from hospital leadership, to faculty physicians, nurses, therapists and support staff is to improve patients’ experience and outcomes.”

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Two UC physicians win cancer research award

Lung cancer research award encourages ‘out-of-the-box thinking.’

Jonathan Riess, UC Davis

Medical oncologists Jonathan Riess of UC Davis, Trever Bivona of UC San Francisco and Ryan Corcoran of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School are recipients of a 2014 Young Innovators Team Award for Lung Cancer Research. They will share $500,000 in funding for translational lung cancer research.

They were honored Nov. 8 by the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Van Auken Private Foundation at the Simply the Best Gala in San Francisco.

The awardees were selected based on a rigorous, multilevel peer review, as well as in-person presentation, to the foundation’s scientific review committee.

“The idea is to encourage out-of-the-box thinking and foster leadership skills among young innovators, instilling confidence in them to drive breakthrough research under a collaborative paradigm,” said Guneet Walia, director of research and medical affairs at the Addario Foundation. “We are proud to announce recipients who truly embody the multidisciplinary, translational and cross-institutional spirit of the award, and will collaboratively work on a unique biomarker and drug target in lung cancer patients.”

Trever Bivona, UC San Francisco

The three will work to evaluate a unique drug target in non-small cell lung cancer, identified in preliminary studies to be active in 20 to 30 percent of all patients with the disease, and a potential cause for resistance to therapy.

The Addario Foundation, devoted exclusively to eradicating lung cancer, has raised more than $20 million for lung cancer research and related programs. The Van Auken Private Foundation provides contributions and assistance to other charitable organizations in arts, science, medicine, education and other worthy social causes.

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