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Department News

Recent News - 6/21/13

David Julius awarded 2013 Janssen Award for Biomedical Research

David Julius, PhD, who uses natural molecules found in tarantulas and hot chili peppers to study pain, has been named the winner of the 2013 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research.

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Recent News - 6/2/13

David Morgan elected to Royal Society

Professor David Morgan has made several major contributions to our knowledge of the enzymes and biochemical mechanisms that control the events of the eukaryotic cell cycle, particularly with regard to the cyclin-dependent protein kinases (Cdks). For these and related achievements, he was elected to the Royal Society.

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Recent News - 2/28/13

Loren Frank honored... twice!

Loren Frank, PhD, has received two honors in quick succession! He was awarded the 2013 Gill Center Young Investigator Award from Indiana University; this award is presented to a young investigator whose career to date shows extraordinary promise.

He was also awarded the 2013 Inspire Award in the Health and Health Sciences Category. This award, presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is to celebrate the efforts of remarkable individuals who have inspired excellence in the workplace or the community, and for embodying mentoring in everyday life.

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Recent News - 5/28/10

Julius Named to Receive Shaw Prize

David Julius, PhD, professor and chair of the UCSF Department of Physiology, has been awarded the $1 million Shaw Prize for "his seminal discoveries of molecular mechanisms by which the skin senses painful stimuli and temperature and produces pain hypersensitivity."

For the full story read "Announcement of The Shaw Laureates 2010" and "UCSF Science Café"


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Recent News - 3/11/10

Julius Named 2010 Passano Laureate

David Julius, PhD, a pioneer in sensory neurobiology, will receive the Passano Award for his groundbreaking research. Previous UCSF awardees include Nobel Prize winners Elizabeth Blackburn, J. Michael Bishop, and Harold Varmus.

For the full story read "2010 Passano Laureate & Physician Scientists"


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Recent News - 1/27/10

Roger Nicoll Receives NAS Neuroscience Award

Roger A. Nicoll, MD, professor in the Departments of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, has been announced as the recipient of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Award in the Neurosciences. Nicoll is being honored for his seminal discoveries elucidating cellular and molecular bases for synaptic plasticity in the brain. The award recognizes extraordinary contributions to progress in neuroscience and comes with a $25,000 prize.


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Recent News - 9/24/09

Dr. Erik Ullian Selected as a 2009 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Recipient

The NIH Director's New Innovator Award addresses two important goals: stimulating highly innovative research and supporting promising new investigators. As part of NIH's commitment to increasing opportunities for new scientists, it has created the NIH Director's New Innovator Award to support exceptionally creative new investigators who propose highly innovative projects that have the potential for unusually high impact.

The NIH Director's New Innovator Award program is different from traditional NIH grants in several ways. It is designed specifically to support unusually creative new investigators with highly innovative research ideas at an early stage of their career when they may lack the preliminary data required for an R01 grant. The emphasis is on innovation and creativity and the potential of the project, if successful, to have a significant impact on an important biomedical or behavioral research problem.

For the full story read "NIH Director's New Innovator Award - 2009 Award Recipients"

To see a videocast archive "Fifth Annual NIH Director's Pioneer Award Symposium"

For the press release read "NIH Announces 115 Awards to Encourage High-Risk Research and Innovation, September 24, 2009"

To read more about the NIH Director's New Innovator Award "NIH Director's New Innovator Award"


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Recent News - 5/7/09

Dr. Loren Frank to Receive 2009 Faculty Mentorship Award

The goal of this award is to recognize and show appreciation for faculty members from Basic Sciences, Nursing, Social & Behavioral Sciences or Physical Therapy who consistently provide exceptional support, both professionally and personally, to graduate students at UCSF.

Dr. Frank will receive this year's award at the Graduate Division Commencement Ceremony at the Mission Bay Community Center on May 15th.

For the full story read "The Graduate Students' Association: Faculty Mentorship Award"

To read more about the GSA Faculty Mentorship Award "About The Faculty Mentorship Award"


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Recent News - 4/28/09

Michael P. Stryker elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Election to the NAS marks significant achievement in one’s field of research and is among the the highest honors conferred on members of the scientific community, including both Americans and Foreign Associates.

This year represents something of a bumper crop for UCSF, with a total of five new NAS members, also including Doug Hanahan, John Sedat, Jonathan Weissman, and Kevan Shokat. Congratulation to all!

For the full story read "NAS Elects New Members and Foreign Associates"


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Recent News - 4/15/09

Igor Mitrovic, MD awarded Honorary Doctorate for Extrordinary Contributions

Dr. Igor Mitrovic has actively supported medical education abroad as well as here at UCSF in his role leading the Physiology professional school education programs.  On February 27th 2009, Senate of the University of Kragujevac, Republic Serbia awarded the title of Honorary Doctorate to Igor Mitrovic, MD, for his extraordinary contributions to the development of University of Kragujevac School of Medicine (USKM) as well as his scientific contributions.

Since 2005, Dr. Mitrovic has been helping UKSM (Visiting Professor since 2006) in curricular and faculty development, strategic planning and organizing and facilitating visits by UCSF faculty. UKSM is a small medical school that has, under the leadership of Dean Dr. Nebojsa Arsenijevic, made tremendous improvements in all aspects of medical education. This was the first Medical School in Serbia to be accredited under the new rules based on Bologna Declaration that ensures pan-European education standards. Dean Arsenijevic and Vice Chancellor for International Cooperation, Dr. Ljiljana Mijatovic (who is also UKSM faculty) indicate that the relationship with UCSF has been of critical importance for their success. That said, there is a lot to be done in this country devastated by the wars of the nineties that never were overcome. University of Kragujevac is headed by Chancellor Dr. Milan Djuran who, with the help of extremely dedicated people such as Dean Arsenijevic, is trying to help the recovery of this region of Serbia, known for the small car manufacturer Yugo, by making Kragujevac also known for its University.  Dr. Mitrovic’s work in Serbia goes beyond the UKSM and also includes his role as an outside reviewer for the Serbian Ministry of Education Accreditation Commission since 2007.



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Recent News - 3/5/09

We ID and LiveScan Change in Office Locations
Effective Monday, March 16, 2009

What’s Happening

Staffing cutbacks in these lean times require that we close the Mission Bay We ID and LiveScan station. We ID and LiveScan service will instead be offered by appointment only at the Mission Center Building.

What We Are Doing

Beginning on Monday, March 16, 2009, the police department will be providing We ID and LiveScan service at the Mission Center Building on an appointment-only basis on Tuesday through Thursday each week.

Parnassus Campus
UCSF Police Department
500 Parnassus Avenue
Millberry Union, Room G-18
San Francisco, CA 94143

Drop-in hours:
Monday to Friday
8:00 am to 11:30 am

By Appointment ONLY:
Monday to Friday
1:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Phone: (415) 476-2088

Mission Center Building
UCSF Police Department
1855 Folsom St., Room 112
San Francisco, CA 94143

By Appointment ONLY:
Tuesday to Thursday
12:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Phone: (415) 476-2088


What You Need to Do

For We ID, please call 476-2088 to schedule an appointment or go directly to the  Parnassus location during our drop-in hours. 

LiveScan service is provided on an appointment-only basis, by calling 476-2088.


For UCSF ID Card, electronic access control or Live Scan fingerprinting questions and assistance, please visit the UCSF Police Department We ID program website http://police.ucsf.edu/SSD%20(New%20use%20this%20one)/WE%20ID/weid-mission.htm.

You may also contact the We ID staff at 415-476-2088.



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Recent News - 9/29/08

New Course Added - Demystifying Medicine

Physiology 181 (Two units).

Course Directors: Louis Reichardt, Ph.D. and Robert Nussbaum, M.D.

“Demystifying Medicine” presents and analyzes real-life medical problems and mysteries from both a medical and a basic research perspective. Each session will introduce a disease or medical problem and describe research approaches that have promise for enhancing prevention, diagnosis or treatment. This course introduces graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to research opportunities in human health-related disorders and to introduce medical students, residents and fellows to cutting edge disease-related research.

Each session will consist of two 45-minute interactive talks, one from a clinical and one from a basic science perspective, followed by 30 minutes of informal questions and interaction with course faculty over refreshments and light food.

The course meets 4:00-6:00 p.m. Mondays in 7 sessions each quarter and may be repeated for credit. Auditors are welcome

Fall Quarter sessions will be split between Mission Bay and Parnassus campuses
Winter Quarter sessions will be at Parnassus
Spring Quarter sessions at Mission Bay

For a full course description, times and dates of the classes, please click here.

For the full story read "New UCSF Program Provides Link Between Basic and Clinical Sciences Training"


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Recent News - 9/22/08

Yuriy Kirichok, Ph.D., receives NIH Director's New Innovator Award

"New investigators are the future of science, and innovative ideas are its lifeblood."
  NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.

This special award was created in 2007 to support "a small number of new investigators of exceptional creativity who propose bold and highly innovative new research approaches that have the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important problems in biomedical and behavioral research. The Director of NIH makes the final selection of awardees based on the evaluations by the outside experts, the recommendations of The Advisory Committee to the Director, and programmatic considerations. This year 30 applications were selected for funding."

Yuriy Kirichok, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physiology, will study molecular mechanisms of cell energy production and cell death to open new avenues in treatment of age-related metabolic and degenerative diseases. Dysfunction of the mitochondrion, an intracellular organelle that produces energy and controls the lifespan of the cell, has been recently implicated as a key contributor to several devastating diseases such as neurodegeneration, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

Pharmacological interventions at the level of mitochondria could become an effective way to treat these pathological conditions; however our current knowledge of the molecular workings of mitochondria is insufficient to make this approach possible. In his lab, Dr. Kirichok will develop and apply biophysical and molecular biological methods to advance our knowledge of the key proteins underlying mitochondrial function, which will suggest pharmacological strategies for treating mitochondrial-associated disorders.

Please follow the link below see all the recipients:

NIH extends commitment to transformative research with 2008 Pioneer, New Innovator Awards: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-09/niog-nec091808.php


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Recent News - 6/9/08

Retirement party for Laszlo

Laszlo is retiring after 24 years of service in the machine shop, mostly as shop head.

All are welcome to wish Laz well.

Keck Center Conference Room and environs
2:00 PM, June 16, 2008
Brief words from a few of us at 2:30 PM

Espresso and other refreshments by Maya Catering


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Recent News - 5/9/08

Essential Core Teaching Awards Given

Please join me us in congratulating three of our colleagues, each of whom is the recipient of this year's Essential Core Teaching Awards, selected by the first year students:
Dana Rhode: Commitment to Teaching - for her amazing oversight of the Organs Block.
David Morgan: Outstanding Lecture Series - for his ten lectures on cardiovascular physiology
Igor Mitrovic: Excellence in Small Group Teaching.

Please follow the link below read the full story:


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Recent News - 4/29/08

Lisberger and Doupe Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

The Department of Physiology is pleased to learn that Steve Lisberger and Allison Doupe have been elected as fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The AAAS is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy research centers.

Professors Doupe and Lisberger join 46 other School of Medicine faculty elected to the AAAS.

Please follow the link below read the full story:


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Recent News - 4/7/08

Janet Williams Receives Chancellor's Award

Janet Williams is one of three individuals that were awarded this year's Chancellor's Award for Exceptional University Service. The award recognizes non-academic employees who have consistently performed in their university positions at a level beyond ordinary expectations. Janet has been working at UCSF for 18 years, and with Physiology for 6 years. She is our academic personnel analyst, which includes responsibilities for recruitments, promotions, payroll processing, as well as being a resource for all academic personnel regarding employment issues.

The Department of Physiology congratulates Janet on this special recognition of her contributions. UCSF will honor her and the other recipients at the UCSF Founders Day Awards Luncheon on May 2, 2008.

Please follow the link below see all the recipients:


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Recent News - 2/25/08

Memorial for Dr. William Frances Ganong, March 3

You are invited to remember the inspiring life and accomplishments of William Francis Ganong, M.D., who passed away December 23, 2007.             The memorial service will be held on Monday, March 3 at 2pm, Lange Room of the UCSF Kalmanovitz Library, 530 Parnassus Avenue.

Contributions in Dr. Ganong’s memory to support research and education in physiology may be sent to the UCSF Department of Physiology, c/o UCSF Foundation, Box 45339, San Francisco, CA 94145-0339.

We look forward to seeing many friends, family, and colleagues sharing this time together.

Please follow the link below to read the full story:


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Recent News - 6/05/07

David Julius appears on NPR’s All Things Considered to talk about his research

Dr. David Julius, Professor and Chair of the Physiology Department, talks with  NPR’s Debbie Elliot, for the NPR program All Things Considered.  During the talk Dr. Julius discusses his findings regarding the connection between taste and temperature.

Please follow the link below to listen to the full story:


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Recent News - 5/09/07

Unilever Science Prize for David Julius

Dr. David Julius has been announced as  the recipient for the Unilever Science Prize 2007.  The Unilever Science Prize is offered to an outstanding scientist whose work contributes to Unilever’s mission to add vitality to life.  Congratulations to Dr. Julius for this outstanding achivement. 

For more information, please see the following link:


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Recent News - 4/30/07

Lily Jan, Ph.D. and Yuh Nung Jan, Ph.D. inducted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences

On April 30, 2007 Physiology faculty members Dr. Lily Jan and Dr. Yuh Nung Jan were inducted as fellows into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Academy, initially founded during the American Revolution, today has become an organization of more than 4000 members drawn from the fields of science, scholarship, business, public affairs and the arts; to conduct projects and studies for the benefit of society as a whole. Dr. Lily Jan and Dr. Yuh Nung Jan, were inducted into the 2007 class of fellows, and join other members of the department and the university in the Academy's ranks.

Please click this link to the Academy's website for more information: Academy Announces 2007 Class of Fellows

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Recent News - 4/24/07

Herwig Baier holds the Annual Byers Lecture

Herwig Baier, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Physiology (UCSF), has received the 2006/2007 Byers Award in Basic Science for his work on functional analysis of the neuronal circuitry. He gave a talk to the UCSF community on "Blinding Fish with Science - Genetic Architecture of Visual Perception and Behavior".


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Recent News - 3/09/07

Igor Mitrovic & the Serbian Connection: UCSF Teaching Goes International

Dr. Igor Mitrovic, the Physiology department’s Direcor for Professional School Education, recently took part in an International outreach program with the School of Medicine at Serbia’s Kragujevac University.

UCSFtoday chronicles the trip in the following article:


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Recent News - 2/27/07

David Julius wins Scolnick Award

Dr. David Julius, Professor and Chair of the Physiology Department has been awarded the Scolnick Prize.  The Prize, given by The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at is awarded each year by the McGovern Institute to recognize an individual who has made outstanding advances in the field of neuroscience. Dr. Julius received the 2007 prize for his discovery of the molecular receptors for temperature and inflammatory pain. 

For more information please see the following link: 


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Recent News - 2/15/07

David Julius is interviewed by The Naked Scientists for their Science Podcast

Dr. David Julius, Physiology Department Chair, is interviewed by The Naked Scientists Podcast.  In this interview he reveals the molecular mechanisms of pain, and what a chilli pepper has in common with a tarantula.

For full story, see: The Naked Scientists – Science Podcast - February 2nd 2007 Via the following link:


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