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The Neurosciences Initiative

Human Resources Bulletin

Continuity Planning

News and Coming Events

Communication Tools

Talking with Jennifer Kellen

The south side of the Neurosciences Research Building, with Rock Hall visible to the right.

Neurosciences Initiative: Now Underway at Mission Bay This is an absolutely unique initiative. It will bring together the basic and clinical neurosciences to develop new therapies for important diseases, identify predictive biomarkers, and improve patient care. Stephen L. Hauser, MD

The Neurosciences Initiative is the fulfillment of a long-held dream to bring together the scientists, physicianscientists and patients who share the goal of eradicating neurological disease. Under one roof, they will discover and implement novel treatments, preventions and cures for these illnesses. To support this initiative, UCSF is constructing the Neurosciences Research Building on Nelson Rising Lane, just west of Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Hall at our Mission Bay Campus. The 5-story building willl house about 100 principal investigators from the Department of Neurology, the Memory and Aging Center (MAC), the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (IND), and the W.M. Keck Foundation Center for Integrative Neuroscience.

The construction is made possible by an innovative partnership between UCSF and the developer, McCarthy, Cook & Co. In this partnership, McCarthy, Cook & Co. will build and own the building, offering UCSF a 32-40 year lease, after which ownership will revert to UCSF. This will cost up to 20 percent less than similar facilities developed and built by the University. Space In 2012 the Neurosciences Research Building will expand our laboratory facilities, office and conference space by 230,000 square feet. This will give everyone a bit of breathing room and allow our neuroscience teams to interact and engage in discussions and new partnerships. It will also have a 180-seat auditorium for lectures and presentations.


Construction Camera The construction company has put a camera on Genetech Hall facing the construction site, and you can go online to watch the new building taking shape (or just check out the weather at Mission Bay). They’re on the second floor already. Click the link on the home page of the Neurology website, or type this into your browser: clarkconstruction/ucsf19a The site has a a time-lapse feature and zoom tool. You can peer right into Rock Hall, or check the microclimate before getting on the shuttle between campuses.

The Science It’s become clear to me that, if we could cure one of these diseases, any one of them, it would provide a road map to the others. Stanley Prusiner, MD When the Neurosciences Research Building opens in 2012, the push for breakthroughs will intensify. Department of Neurology faculty are committed to solving problems as diverse as addiction, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), schizophrenia, stroke and neurovascular diseases. Clinician scientists from the Memory and Aging Center (MAC), directed by Bruce Miller, MD, will lead the clinical research effort to improve the diagnosis of, find the biomarkers for and study the safety and effectiveness of new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Huntington’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The Neuroscience Imaging Center (NIC), led by Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD will move from its Parnassus location to the new building, as well.

The Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (IND) led by Nobel laureate Stanley Prusiner, MD, will be studying how normal proteins within the brain sometimes fold themselves into abnormal shapes that cause degenerative brain disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. They hope to find ways to stop these misfolding proteins from propagating; they will also focus on developing cures for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and frontotemporal dementias. A team of medical chemists will work to design better drugs.

in the Keck Center will provide the foundation for understanding neurological disorders at the level of brain systems, and will lead to new approaches to disorders ranging from tremor to learning disabilities.

Scientists from the W.M. Keck Foundation Center for Integrative Neuroscience, directed by Stephen Lisberger, PhD will focus on questions of how the nerve cells work together to generate human behaviors. By understanding how the brain works and learns when it is working, researchers

Breakthroughs are likely in a collaborative atmosphere where ideas can flow freely between scientists from different fields of study. The Neurosciences Initiative sets the stage for these interactions with the culture and the core technologies required for success.

One in every five people in the United States suffers from a neurological disorder. Stroke is the the third leading cause of death, 200 Americans every week are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease affects four million more.

Natural daylight, glass-walled conference rooms and informal gathering places are designed to foster collegiality and collaboration among scientists within the building; easy flow-through from nearby buildings at Mission Bay will add a sense of connectedness.


Human Resources Brief Bulletin

• In November, the Campus will implement a Vacation Leave Assessment program in which vacation liability will be tracked in real time to the fund source on which it was accrued. HBS will be the tool for reporting leave usage online in order to facilitate the Vacation Leave Assessment program. All faculty and staff are now online with HBS. • The Advance Faculty Information System continues to move forward. This is a campus-wide system designed to provide the faculty with greater transparency of the advancement process at UCSF. Full functionality of the system will roll out in Spring 2011. Meanwhile, faculty have the ability to log on through My Access and view the tracking of any advancement actions currently in process for them. • There are open faculty searches in the Department for: a Pediatric Epileptologist, a Neuroscientist specializing in electrophysiology at the Gallo Center, an Investigator with expertise in imaging biology and the Clinical Director of the Headache Center.

New Calendar of Limited Submission Opportunities The Limited Submission Program (LSP) has announced a new calendar of recurring limited submission opportunities. Investigators may use this calendar to identify opportunities they are interested in applying for throughout the year and plan accordingly. When possible, the LSP will announce opportunities campus-wide via the LSP listserv three months before the agency’s due date. If you’d like to sign up for that listserv, please contact Gail Fisher, LSP Coordinator, at 415-502-5213 or This is the LSP site: We will also link to it from the Department site: If you are pursuing a funding opportunity that requires a letter of nomination or support from the department chair, please notify Dr. Hauser as early as possible.


Recently Appointed Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases Joel Gever, PhD, appointed Assistant Adjunct Professor, August 2009 Jeffrey Tsai, MD, appointed HS Clinical Instructor, July 2009 Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease Dena Dubal, MD, appointed Assistant Adjunct Professor, July 2009 Ken Nakamura, MD, appointed Assistant Professor in Residence, September 2010 Memory and Aging Center Judy Pa, PhD, appointed Adjunct Instructor, July 2009 Lea Grinberg, PhD, appointed Adjunct Instructor, October 2010 Katherine Possin, PhD, appointed Assistant Adjunct Professor, July 2010 San Francisco Veterans Administration Hospital Nicholas Galifianakis, MD, appointed HS Assistant Clinical Professor, July 2009 Nina Garga, MD, appointed HS Assistant Clinical Professor, August 2009 Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center Elyssa Margolis, PhD, appointed Assistant Adjunct Professor, July 2010 Child Neurology Maria Cilio, MD, PhD, appointed Associate Adjunct Professor, August 2009 Xiangning Jiang, MD, PhD, appointed Assistant Adjunct Professor, July 2010 Sabine Mueller, MD, PhD, appointed Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, July 2010 Neurovascular Sharon Poisson, MD, appointed HS Clinical Instructor, July 2009 Stroke Sciences J. Donald Easton, MD, appointed HS Clinical Professor, January 2010 Epilepsy Brianna Paul, PhD, appointed HS Assistant Clinical Professor, October 2009 Susannah B. Cornes, MD, appointed Assistant Professor, July 2010 Multiple Sclerosis Ellen Mowry, MD, appointed HS Assistant Clinical Professor, July 2009 Jonah Chan, PhD, appointed Associate Professor in Residence, June 2010 General Neurology Vanja Douglas, MD, appointed HS Assistant Clinical Professor, July 2009

Online Faculty Bios and UCSF Profiles We will continue to host faculty bios on the Department website for those who want them, but you are now encouraged to take advantage of UCSF Profiles, a system that offers you much more power and flexibility. UCSF Profiles are automatically updated with direct feeds from PubMed and the Campus Locator System. You can edit your Profile anytime and use it to form networks with colleagues and co-authors. To learn more about UCSF Profiles and see them in action, visit this page and look up your friends: If you don’t have a faculty bio and would like one, or if you would like to use your Profile instead of an existing bio, please contact Sarah Corr at


Business Continuity Planning

Get ready for the day after a major disaster Business Continuity Planning is now underway at several UC campuses and is spreading like — forgive me — wildfire. Or the flu. We’re catching it here, and you may be contacted to help draft a plan for your office or laboratory. The Homeland Security & Emergency Management Division of the UC Police has given us a tool called UC Ready, an award-winning business continuity plannning tool developed at UC Berkeley. It is a simple, intiutive online form that requires no special training to use. UC Ready will help you identify the critical functions performed by your group and list the things you need to continue those functions. When your plan is complete, our emergency management professionals will have a road map showing how they can help you. The next disaster might not be the earthquake that we expect. It might be a fire, pandemic, terrorism or a sudden infestation of mean bats. You will need to resume your work somehow, even if your hard drive is toast and the building is under armed guard. Doing our best to prepare for the worst This is a plan, not a guarantee. When a very bad thing happens, most of us will be disorganized and distracted for many days. We probably won’t be able to resume business as usual for a very long time. But if even a few parts of each plan are effective, our most essential work will continue. If you are not contacted soon by a planner and would like to get started on a busines continuity plan for your group, please contact the Business Continuity Program Manager, Esther Silver, at 415-476-6887 or elsilver@


We evacuated in time. But my database didn’t make it. What do I do now?

Speaking of safety Ergonomics training is available online for laboratory workers as well as office workers. Please take this training if you haven’t already done so:


Coming Events Aird Professorship November 9-10, 2010 Yves Agid, MD Centre D'Investigation Clinique Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière Paris, France

Professor Agid has spent most of his medical career at the Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital in Paris where he is Professor of Experimental Medicine and Cell Biology. He has a long and distinguished career and has held many high profile positions including Director of INSERM U289 laboratory, Chairman of the Institute of Neurosciences, Chairman of the Institute of Neurology at Salpêtrière, President of the French Society of Neurology and President of the Scientific Council of Foundation pour la Recherche Médicale. Professor Agid has published more than 600 articles. He is the most cited French neuroscientist in the last twenty years and is the second most cited author among all French scientists. His primary research interests are in developing a better understanding of the causes and mechanisms of cell death in neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Agid will give two lectures: November 9, 2010 San Francisco Neurological Society Dinner at the Hyatt Regency, 5 Embarcadero Center “Myths in Parkinson’s Disease” UCSF Neurology faculty, postoctoral scholars, fellows and residents are invited to attend. Please contact Sarah Corr to RSVP at November 10, 2010 UCSF Neurology Grand Rounds, Parnassus Campus, N-217 “Subconsciousness and basal ganglia” No RSVP required. Dr. Agid will also do professor rounds and clinical rounds, attend one clinical conference, and meet with faculty and residents during his visit. If you would like to meet with Dr. Agid or take him on a tour of your laboratory, please contact Sarah Corr to be added to his itinerary.

Staff Appreciation

October 28, 2010, noon-4pm at the UCSF Alumni House, 745 Parnassus

Faculty Retreat

December 10, 2010, noon-4pm at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio of San Francisco

Faculty & Staff Holiday Party

December 10, 2010, 4-6pm at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio of San Francisco Please RSVP for these events to Wolf Beatty,


News & Notes Engstrom recognized for outstanding leadership John W. Engstrom, MD has been awarded the 2010 Consortium of Neurology Program Directors Recognition Award from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). The award recognizes his innovative approach to teaching, outstanding leadership and dedication to the program, competence and goodwill. Under his superb leadership, our neurology residency program has become one of the finest in the country and is recognized for its exceptionally high educational standards and success in fostering the career development of trainees. It is rare to see such talent and such humility in the same person, and we are extremely fortunate to have him leading our residency program. Dr. Engstrom has also been selected to receive the Distinguished Neurology Teacher Award given by the American Neurological Association.

The San Francisco General Hospital Richard Price, MD has stepped down as Chief of Service for SFGH as of July 1. Claude Hemphill, MD, has agreed to serve as interim chief while a formal search is conducted. The SFGH-UCSF HIV Neurology Research Program, for which Dr. Price is the program director, has a new trainee, Marie Grill, MD. This program is funded by a newly awarded training grant from NIH for three years. The most recent trainee, Dr. Emily Ho, has accepted a position in Seattle. Serena Spudich is headed for Yale, where she will continue her HIV research. Ernest Gallo Clinic & Research Center Antonello Bonci, MD, professor in residence in the Department of Neurology and holder of the Howard J. Weinberg Endowed Chair in Addiction Research, has been appointed the Scientific Director of National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) Intramural Research Program (IRP) in Baltimore. NIDA is part of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Bonci began his new position at the NIDA IRP on August 29, 2010, though he will retain a faculty appointment in the Department of Neurology. Neurohospitalist News S. Andrew “Andy” Josephson, MD and Vanja Douglas, MD have founded a journal, The Neurohospitalist, for which Dr. Douglas is serving as Editor-in-Chief. Their first issue will come out in January 2011, and they will focus on healthcare quality, safety, systems, and outcomes pertinent to inpatient neurology. The Neurohospitalist, a Sage journal, will be of interest to neurohospitalists, neurologists, neurointensivists, vascular neurologists, intensivists, emergency physicians, internal medicine hospitalists and other physicians with interest in inpatient neurological care. For more information, check out their website, Dr. Josephson is also editing a textbook, Neurohospitalist Medicine, that will be published in 2011 by Cambridge Press.


New book by Michael Aminoff In October 2010, Oxford University Press will release Brown-Séquard: An Improbable Genius Who Transformed Medicine, by Michael J. Aminoff, MD, MD, DSc, FRCP. “Aminoff goes beyond the public – and private – life of this enigmatic man to illuminate the world of academia and medicine at its modern dawn. It is a brilliant and engaging tale of an impactful and quixotic life, opening a window into the foundations of modern science and medicine.” - Stephen L. Hauser, MD. At the national level Our chairman, Stephen Hauser, MD, has been appointed to serve on the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. The Commission met for the first time on July 8-9 in Washington, DC to discuss synthetic biology. Bookmark this page to read archived transcripts of meetings and learn more about the Commission, www. UCSF Headache Group Honored Peter Goadsby’s paper, “A potential nitrergic mechanism of action for indomethacin, but not of other COX inhibitors - relevance to indomethacin-sensitive headaches,” has been awarded the Enrico Greppi Award 2010 from the The Italian Society for the Study of Headaches; the paper will be published in the Journal of Headache and Pain this fall. The Harold G. Wolff Lecture Award, given annually for the best original paper on headache or head pain, was presented last year to Dr. Simon Akerman in recognition of the UCSF Headache Group’s paper, “Oxygen inhibits neuronal activation in the trigeminocervical complex after stimulation of trigeminal autonomic reflex, but not during direct dural activation of trigeminal afferents,” (Headache 2009). The paper describes the first ever bench-based experimental model of the action of oxygen in headache, and this work complemented Dr. Goadsby’s 2009 paper in JAMA, “High flow oxygen for treatment of cluster headache: A randomized trial,” which demonstrated for the first time in a large, well controlled trial that oxygen is effective for cluster headache. More recently, Dr. Goadsby has been making national headlines for a study of high-dose IV aspirin in severe headache and migraine.

Daniel Lowenstein shares a laugh with S. Andrew (Andy) Josephson at the recognition ceremony for Andy’s Academic Senate Distinction in Teaching Award. Dr. Lowenstein gave a memorable introduction before the award was presented.


Communication Tools Get your message across

Use the Department website Our home page is devoted to news of interest to the Department and the general public. Please send tips, press releases and URLs to Sarah Corr, The turnaround time is typically 24 hours, with new items pushed to the live site at 10 o’clock every weekday morning. Learn to love your listservs If you are not a member of any listervs, you are missing important messages. The neurofaculty, neurofellows and neuroadmin listservs are managed by Jessica Tillman ( and Michelle Promes (michelle. Send your messages to either of them for same-day distribution. The neurores listserv, aimed at residents, is managed by Michelle Promes; Carol Piunti ( can also send out messages to the neurores group. If you would like to join these Department listservs, please contact Jessica or Michelle. Electronic display kiosk To reach a broader audience, you are invited to post a message on the electronic display kiosk owned by the School of Pharmacy. It’s in the 9th floor elevator lobby of Medical Sciences, and they have made it available to us free of charge for full-color, graphically rich announcements. Each announcement in the pool is displayed for 25 seconds at a time on their 32-inch electronic display. Foot traffic in that area is quiet varied – not just School of Pharmacy people. The Department of Medicine has offices just around the corner, and people in HSW 9 and HSE 9 also come through that elevator lobby.

Your message here

To post an announcement on this electronic kiosk, visit If you’re interested in setting up something similar in your area and need advice, contact Frank Farm, the Web & Data Services Manager in the UCSF School of Pharmacy: Blast email news bulletins Our UCSF Regional Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center published a print newsletter this year, then followed up with a shorter email news blast. The colorful HTML email contained headlines and images with links to full stories on individual web pages. They sent this to a select group of professionals in the western states; a second version was sent to patients and families dealing with pediatric MS. If you’d like to know more about doing something like this, please contact Janace Hart, 415-353-3939 or Use the News The UCSF News Service has produced over 250 articles in the last five years featuring, inteviewing or quoting faculty from the Department of Neurology. In addition, our faculty are routinely sought for comments and quotes in the regular news media. UCSF Neurology faculty have been mentioned or quoted in print, radio and television pieces at least 50 times (that we know of) within the last 12 months. If you have a major discovery or a forthcoming paper of interest to the public, contact Sarah Corr,, or Lauren Hammit, Senior Public Information Representative, at Video Conferencing, Webinars, Virtual Meetings UCSF Educational Technology Services offers a wide range of services to connect people in different locations for meetings, seminars or lectures. Options include Windows Live Messenger, Yugma, WebHuddle, GoToMeeting, Adobe Acrobat Connect and WebEx Meet Me Now. They also offer a high definition videoconferencing service in some locations — it’s the next best thing to being there. CTSI has an information page that will help you compare these tools: To get started, contact Educational Technology Services:, or 415-476-4310.


Talking with Jennifer Kellen

Neurology Clinical Research Administrator Dr. Wade Smith and Jane Czech developed a business plan for a robust clinical research administrative engine for the Department. Five research groups “invested” in a new position and Jennifer Kellen was hired. Jennifer was asked to describe her goals and her approach to this exciting new venture. JK: As the new Clinical Research Administrator for the Department of Neurology, I have been charged with creating an operational structure for clinical research administration that is knowledgeable, efficient, paperless, financially stable, and policy-compliant and will facilitate the acquisition and execution of clinical research contracts and grants. I believe that we can make the process of initiating and completing clinical research within the Department nearly seamless by providing this service to the Department, and by doing so will increase the amount of clinical research performed, improve our reputation to industry, and achieve financial neutrality so that our financial risks are minimized. I believe that we can set the Department standard to initiate a clinical trial (i.e. enroll the first patient) within 90 days of first contact with an industry sponsor. Five research groups invested in my position in April 2010 to give me support while establishing this administrative unit. My first quarter goals were to meet department PIs, listen to concerns in clinical research, identify special projects for each group, reform preaward policy and procedures, revise payment processing procedures, improve paperless documentation and communication, and establish training materials and reference resources.

Jennifer Kellen

Initially, I focused on improving the preaward process by alleviating some forces driving overdrafts in postaward, such as not properly identifying and budgeting for clinical research expenses, not providing sufficient trial documentation to guide departmental postaward management, inconsistencies in contracting practice among divisions, and an uneven distribution of clinical research information and knowledge. I created an Excel template that captures all real and anticipated fees in such projects, including administrative overhead. This template has proved essential in contract negotiations. So far, feedback from neurology principal investigators, clinical research coordinators, and industry sponsors has been very positive. Currently, I am exploring different ways of recovering expenses produced from vetting protocols. Each protocol needs to be examined for feasibility but not every protocol will be opened at UCSF At the current time, effort applied is not consistently recovered. In time, I will establish a clinical research dashboard for electronic communication to ease the management of a principal investigator’s clinical research portfolio. The department needs improvements in invoicing and financial forecasting. A challenge has been the University’s use of databases that don’t communicate and are cumbersome. EBI financial reports have been introduced in the Department, so I am discussing ideas for improvements to expand the capabilities of EBI clinical trial account reporting. Many of the challenges that we face in Neurology are problems of the University as a whole. We are connecting the Department with global initiatives being introduced by CTSI, the Vice Chancellor for Research, and others. JK: The Neurology Clinical Research Administration (NCRA) meets once a quarter with Principal Investigators interested in how this project proceeds. Anyone interested in hearing more, or providing feedback regarding this exciting process, please contact me directly at 415-728-8307 or


University of California, San Francisco Department of Neurology - 0114 San Francisco, CA 94143-0114

NeuroNews University of California, San Francisco Department of Neurology Department Chair Stephen L. Hauser, MD Robert A. Fishman Distinguished Professor Director of Administration Jane Czech Writer & Editor Sarah Corr

Neurology News & Notes, fall 2010  
Neurology News & Notes, fall 2010  

Newsletter for faculty, fellows, residents and staff of UCSF's Department of Neurology.