EVCP Expresso – March 2022

Dear Colleagues,

In January and February, I asked you to send me your Hopes for 2022. Since today marks a shift to increasing on-site density, I would like to share them with you, knowing that this transition is a hopeful one that even conjures up memories of the first day of school. Some are eager and relieved to be back within UCSF brick and mortar, and others may be feeling a bit of anxiety. If you have questions, please refer to the UCSF Return-to-Onsite Work Guidelines and make use of the wellness resources available to us.

March also brings Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (IWD). This year’s IWD theme is #BreakTheBias, and we’re asked to “imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.”

March 7 - 11, the awesome Women of UCSF Health in partnership with the UCSF Committee on the Status of Women, WIT@UCSF, and the Office of Diversity and Outreach will host a variety of panel discussions and other events delving into topics like achieving gender equity, mentorship, sponsorship, women in tech, and juggling work and family in the pandemic – as well as laughter yoga, drag bingo, corporate headshots, and spray painting a #BreakTheBias mural on a SOMA building. I encourage everyone to register and participate!

As for this month’s Expresso, the topics are:

In closing, as we witness the tragic situation in Ukraine that threatens lives and stability around the globe, I ask you to please read the Chancellor’s message and encourage each one of us to reach out with support and compassion to those in need.

How can you reach out or #BreakTheBias? Let me know at [email protected].

With my best spring wishes,


Attention UCSF Researchers: A critical reminder for investigators seeking NIH funding

Everyone involved in research – please take note. Focus has increased on the content of “Other Support” for NIH-funded investigators since the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued the Statement on Protecting the Integrity of U.S. Biomedical Research in August 2018. Recently, the UCSF Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) has seen an increase in NIH inquiries and scrutiny of “Other Support,” particularly in the overlap statement, and one of our faculty members recently lost a major grant due to their failure to accurately disclose information.

This is how it works. To ensure that there are no scientific, budgetary, or commitment overlaps, NIH Institute/Center staff review “Other Support” of project Senior/Key Personnel prior to award. Scientific overlap occurs when: 1) substantially the same research is proposed in more than one application or is submitted to two or more funding sources for review and funding consideration; or 2) a specific research objective and the research design for accomplishing the objective are the same or closely related in two or more applications or awards, regardless of the funding source. (NIH GPS 2.5.1)

All overlaps in science, budget, or commitment must be disclosed and addressed in the overlap statement of the “Other Support” form for each Senior/Key Person. The statement should identify affected projects and describe the overlap and how it will be remedied (“Other Support” Sample, Examples of Overlap Statements). Resolution of overlap normally occurs at the time of award in conjunction with applicant institution officials, the principal investigator, and awarding NIH IC staff. (“Other Support” FAQ).

If undisclosed “Other Support” information is discovered after a Just-in-Time or Research Performance Progress Report submission, it must be reported immediately to OSR staff with a revised “Other Support” form for submission to NIH. (NIH GPS 2.5.1, NOT-OD-21-073).

Want more information on this topic? Here’s a list of resources:

As everyone knows, UCSF is the nation’s top public recipient of biomedical research funding from the NIH, so this is an extremely important area of concern, and I can tell you from recent interactions with NIH leadership that they are serious about this issue and are watching us (and others) closely. Among other things, they are now using special software to look for duplicate wording across grant proposals to detect potential overlap. Failure to accurately describe all administrative, fiscal, and programmatic information (NIH GPS submitted to the NIH may lead to disallowed costs, withholding of awards, suspension, or termination (NIH GPS 8.5.2).

Bottom line – please take this responsibility seriously and be sure to reach out to the professionals in OSR for support.

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A Peek at Creating Our Future: “Experience Parnassus” and PRAB Brown Bags

If you could step into the future and see a reimagined Parnassus, would you? Now’s your chance!

I’ve used Expresso to keep readers apprised about efforts to bring our Parnassus campus into the modern era. It’s been in the planning stages for several years and is getting closer to becoming a reality.

UCSF is inviting members of the community to “Experience Parnassus” with a month-long exhibit at the Faculty Alumni House to see how plans are taking shape as the University embarks on a 30-year vision to re-imagine the historic campus. Open to the public throughout the month of March, the exhibition will feature an immersive, three-dimensional virtual reality experience. The augmented reality and special HoloLenses will immerse you in the environment, as if you are walking through a scaled model of the much anticipated new hospital at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights. The technology alone is pretty cool!

Important note: Due to limited capacity for indoor gatherings, registration is required.

The new hospital will be designed as a healing environment to meet “whole-patient” needs – from leading-edge technology and equipment to spaces that foster human connection to the surrounding nature in order to promote physical and emotional healing.

Designed by a team of architects, engineers, and builders with extensive international experience, the transformation of UCSF’s Parnassus Heights campus will:

  • create space for the latest innovations in science and care delivery,
  • increase hospital capacity to serve a growing and aging population,
  • integrate with the natural beauty of the area, expanding open spaces and offering views to enhance healing and well-being,
  • strengthen the community through ongoing investments in city priorities, and
  • incorporate the latest sustainability principles, seismic resiliency, and flexibility of spaces in the design.

The exhibit showcases UCSF’s legacy of leadership serving the city through every public health emergency and all the years in between, how research discoveries lead to improved care, and how the University is engaging and investing in the community throughout the development process.

You’ll gain insight into how UCSF has been pivotal in helping San Francisco cope with health crises from the 1906 earthquake to the AIDS epidemic to, yes, the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll witness how we’ve worked with the community and our world-class architecture and design teams to plan a stunning, state-of-the-art hospital that will be integrated into existing Moffitt and Long Hospitals.

The exhibit also highlights the progress that’s been made and hopefully gives viewers a sense of the scope and scale of the modernization of Parnassus. Once the exhibit ends, the work will still be updated and used by designers and others as they establish an Integrated Center for Design and Construction on the lower floors of the MU Garage.

And while the hospital design is further along, the Parnassus Research and Academic Building (PRAB) will be finished first. The hospital is slated to open in 2030; the PRAB is scheduled to open in 2026.

The team working on the PRAB has held more than 120 stakeholder meetings since last September and has now finished the programming phase. Thanks to these meetings and the great work of the Parnassus Research Space Task Force (led by Tamara Alliston), we have a sense of how to organize the PRAB. Instead of moving departments, as universities traditionally do, we’re thinking in terms of programs that meet certain overarching Discover Themes.

The PRAB’s primary Discovery Theme will be Infection and Inflammation, and according to Sharon Priest, a senior planner in UCSF Real Estate, the task force identified six programs – spanning across disciplines – that relate to this theme: diabetes, cancer, ImmunoX, iMicro, cell biology, and microbiome.

We also know the PRAB will contain state-of-the-art educational space, as well as administrative space for the School of Nursing, whose building will eventually come down to make room. It will feature technologies that are difficult to put into existing buildings, such as biosafety level 3 labs that deal with pathogens – which proved so important in studying COVID-19. It will be home to CoLabs, an initiative led by David Erle that will bring together expert teams with specialized instrumentation into a single facility to promote collaborative multidisciplinary research. CoLabs demonstrates one of our best strengths: UCSF’s collaborative nature.

The PRAB will also allow us to “decant” existing research space, so we can renovate and further the modernization of Parnassus within our HSW-HSE towers.

I encourage you to learn more about the PRAB and give your input at these upcoming Brown Bag sessions:

You’ll leave with a better idea of where we’ve been, what aspirations there are for the building, and what’s next.

Full transparency: while these wonderful developments serve to transform our Parnassus campus, construction will have an impact on our on-site work. We’ll experience demolitions, street and sidewalk closures, and noise and dust for a number of years – but keep your eyes on the beautiful big picture – it’s all worth it!

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UCSF COVID Town Halls: It takes a village

It’s been two years this month since the pandemic forced the first shutdowns in March 2020, and I am proud of how UCSF did its best in those early days, weeks, and months to keep us safe and as informed as possible. Our response was quick and multi-faceted, but one endeavor stands out: the COVID-19 Response Town Hall.

The idea came from Lisa Cisneros, executive director of internal communications, and the first was actually conducted in person, before the lockdown order took effect. It was in Genentech Hall at Mission Bay featuring UCSF virologist Charles Chiu and Adrienne Green, chief medical officer for UCSF Health. We quickly pivoted to a virtual platform, and the town halls became a regular fixture of our lives with thousands tuning in every Friday afternoon.

The planning team was a lean group with an aim for each town hall to address:

  • Where do we see the pandemic heading at this moment in time?
  • What does the science tell us?
  • What is the guidance coming from federal, state, and local governments?
  • How is UCSF leadership synthesizing that information, and the knowledge of our own experts, in deciding how to run our enterprise?

With Chancellor Sam Hawgood opening the town halls, we have had a regular cast of contributors that includes Josh Adler, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Peter Chin-Hong, Alicia Fernandez, Monica Gandhi, Jon Giacomi, Ralph Gonzales, Desi Kotis, George Rutherford, Gina Shuler, Susan Smith, and Mark Laret, to name a few.

Attendance peaked at more than 7,200 at that first virtual town hall on March 20, 2020, and we’ve averaged 3,000 since over the 50-plus town halls to date. The archived recordings are available online along with the upcoming 2022 schedule. The town halls have and will continue to be open to everyone.

A lot of time, effort, and thought are invested in keeping the series going. As a result, the town halls have become a great opportunity to hear directly from UCSF leaders as well as reflect the diverse backgrounds and expertise of our entire community. They’re also a chance for us to emphasize the importance of focusing on health equity, both in San Francisco and throughout the region. Members of our faculty have partnered with many community groups to ensure that Latinx, Black, Asian, and other historically under-served populations and communities have equal access to testing, vaccines, and care. That level of outreach and collaboration – both inside and outside of UCSF – continues to be a priority for us, and I am glad that we have the town halls to highlight this extraordinary work.

As we approach the third year, Lisa, George, and Ralph have become regular personalities of the town halls, which now occur every first and third Friday of the month. It’s anticipated that once the pandemic is declared over, the town halls will continue monthly, as they’ve proven to be an effective way of connecting our distributed work force and sharing important updates about the pandemic and other priorities.

And, this wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out to the behind-the-scenes production crew in IT and Educational Technology Services whose exceptional work and dedication make it all happen: Sandy Greenfield, Daniel Peterson, Clifford Sacks, and Benjamin Wallen.

I’ll close with one more name – Henri. A little rescue chihuahua and beloved member of the Hawgood household, Henri made an impromptu appearance and stole the hearts of everyone watching. It was one of those endearing moments of levity and spontaneity that reminded us that we’re all in this pandemic together.

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Dan’s Tip of the Month

black and white photo of Didion in the 1960s at a gathering in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” At the end of 2021, we lost Joan Didion, who was, in the words of Governor Gavin Newsom, “easily the best living writer in California” and one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. A fifth-generation Californian who grew up in Sacramento and graduated from UC Berkeley, Didion became an iconic, prolific, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, essayist, journalist, and cultural critic. Her star-making work began with Slouching Toward Bethlehem (1968), with her immersive and vivid reporting on Haight-Ashbury’s youth and counterculture, and continued with novels, screenplays, and essay collections. She received even greater acclaim and popularity with her memoir-nonfiction books The Year of Magical Thinking and Blue Nights, in which she explored her grief in the aftermath of the deaths of her husband and frequent collaborator, writer John Gregory Dunne, and daughter within the same year. The Netflix documentary Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, directed by her nephew Griffin Dunne, wonderfully captures her memorable life. Her brilliant clarity and candor throughout the film as she reflects on California, her expansive body of work, and personal loss as a woman in her eighties is riveting.

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