Mission Bay Discovery Talks

Launched just a decade ago, UC San Francisco's Mission Bay is now one of the world's leading biomedical research campuses. We invite all UCSF alumni and friends to join us in celebrating UCSF Mission Bay's 10th Anniversary -- and future promise.

The celebration will begin with the Mission Bay Block Party, featuring local food vendors, music, and entertainment for our staff, faculty, and friends. Then join us for a special set of Discovery Talks by renowned UCSF innovators, followed by a reception with the UCSF Friends of Discovery.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

12:00-2:00 pm
Mission Bay Block Party 7
Gene Friend Way

3:00-4:30 pm
Discovery Talks
Byers Auditorium, Genentech Hall
Discovery Talks seating is limited, so reserve your space now!

4:30-5:30 pm
Atrium, Genentech Hall


Discovery Talks Speakers

Kaveh Ashrafi, PhD, fat metabolism expert and geneticist, is an associate professor in the department of physiology at UCSF. Dr. Ashrafi’s lab uses the worm C. elegans—unseen by the naked eye—to gain insight into obesity and diabetes, weight gain and loss, and new drug targets. He studies the complex interplay between metabolism and brain function, central nervous system regulation of feeding behavior and fat content, and the role of environmentally pervasive endocrine disruptors in obesity.

Allan Basbaum, PhD, FRS, studies the transmission and control of pain messages, and the molecular mechanisms that underlie the development of persistent pain after tissue or nerve injury. He advocates for thinking broadly abut pain mechanisms and for the development of novel research approaches to pain therapy that are grounded in a firm understanding of the experiences of patients. Dr. Basbaum is a professor and chair of anatomy at UCSF.

Tejal Desai, PhD ’98, is a regarded researcher in the area of therapeutic micro and nanotechnology. A UCSF professor of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences, Dr. Desai studies micro and nanofabrication techniques to create new drug delivery devices, biohybrid devices for cell delivery, and templates for cell and tissue regeneration. Motivating these fundamental studies is the development of novel materials that mimic the interfacial and structural properties of natural biomaterials.

Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD, is the founding director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at UCSF, an associate professor in neurology, physiology and psychiatry, and principal investigator of a cognitive neuroscience laboratory. A major accomplishment of his research has been to expand our understanding of alterations in the aging brain that lead to cognitive decline. His most recent studies explore how we may enhance our cognitive abilities via engagement with custom designed video games, neurofeedback and transcranial stimulation.

Reg Kelly, PhD, a distinguished neuroscientist and former executive vice chancellor of UCSF, is the executive director of QB3, the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research. QB3 was established to bring together the powerful quantitative tools of the physical sciences, engineering and mathematics to tackle complex biological problems. As director, Dr. Kelly promotes academic research as a means to improve public health and drive economic growth. To accomplish this, he bridges academia with commercial industries and entrepreneurship ventures.

Frank McCormick, PhD, FRS, focuses his research on signal transduction pathways in cancer cells , specifically the Ras pathway. He currently serves as Director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Prior to joining UCSF, Dr. McCormick pursued cancer-related work with several Bay Area biotechnology firms. More recently he has taken a leadership role at the Frederick National Lab for Cancer Research, overseeing an NCI supported national effort to develop therapies against Ras-driven cancers.

Geeta Narlikar, PhD, studies basic mechanisms underlying the ability of one genome to code for diverse cell types. She uses biophysical methods to interrogate the behavior of molecular machines that control the type and extent of DNA packaging. She and her group enjoy tackling intellectually challenging mechanistic mysteries through rigorous quantitative analysis. She is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF.

Lisa Thompson, RN, FNP, MS, PhD, assistant professor in the UCSF School of Nursing and Global Health Sciences program, aims to combine her nursing and environmental health research background to reduce health disparities. She has conducted numerous epidemiological studies on the impacts of household air pollution from indoor cooking fires in Guatemala and Peru. She is currently conducting a pilot study in rural Guatemala that follows pregnant women and their infants, measuring both pre- and post-natal exposure to household air pollutants and assessing infants’ growth and neurodevelopment.

Elizabeth Watkins, PhD (moderator) is known as a prolific and versatile historian of science. She became dean of the UCSF Graduate Division in the spring of 2012 and was recently appointed Vice Chancellor of Student Academic Affairs. Dr. Watkins studies the interplay among medicine, commerce, and culture in the United States in the 20th-21st centuries and is especially interested in relationships among biomedical researchers, health care providers, lay people, drug makers, government regulators, and the media and how information flows between these groups.