Chair's Update – Spring 2013

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Dear Faculty, Staff and Trainees,

I wanted to provide a brief update on activities during my first month as chair.

First, with regard to the leadership of the Department: I feel very fortunate to be able to announce the appointment of several key leadership positions. Ellen Haller has agreed to serve as Interim Medical Director of Langley Porter Hospital and Clinics, Allison Doupe has accepted the position of Vice Chair for Basic Science Research, and Stephen Hinshaw, the former Chair of Psychology at UC Berkeley, will have a joint appointment between UCB and UCSF and serve as Vice Chair for Psychology in our Department. These individuals will join our existing leadership team on a new Executive Committee that will meet weekly to address the major strategic and operational issues facing us. The committee includes: Nancy Adler, Marie Caffey, Bob Hendren, Erick Hung, Alicia Lieberman, Lowell Tong and Kristine Yaffe.  I believe that this group wonderfully represents the broad interests and diversity in our Department and is an outstanding team to help lead us forward.

Second, as I mentioned in LPPI grand rounds this week, I have asked Carol Mathews to lead the Grand Rounds Committee in re-evaluating our efforts in this area and to make recommendations to the Executive Committee.  I feel strongly that this series is a critical centerpiece of an academic Department of Psychiatry and should provide our entire community with access to the most exciting work in our fields, representing the broad range of topics and disciplines that we encompass.  I have asked Carol to work quickly so that we will be able to implement changes for the coming academic year and I plan on getting back to you with more information on this soon.

Third, one of my main goals early in my tenure as Chair is to work to bridge the long distances that separate the various sites that make up our Department. I have asked Carol to consider this in making recommendations regarding grand rounds. In addition, we will be searching for a full-time position as head of communications for the Department. I feel that we can make good use of weekly email blasts, a frequently updating website, and social media to help keep our community informed of what is going on in the Department and help to increase our sense of community and shared mission. In that spirit, I would like to pass along good news that I have received over the past month with regard to our faculty. I encourage all of you, in the intervening period before we have a full time communications person, to forward me (and my assistant Nancy Buenaventura) information that you would like shared with the Department.

Bibhav Acharya, MD was selected by the American Psychiatric Leadership (APL) Fellowship Selection Committee of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as one of the six 2013 APL Fellows of the APA.

Serina Deen, MD, joins our faculty as attending psychiatrist on the Langley Porter Adult Psychiatric Clinic in the summer of 2013. Serina completed medical school at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2008. She then completed her residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia) in 2012. After her residency, Serina moved to San Francisco for the UCSF/SFGH Public Psychiatry Fellowship.

James Dilley, MD, Chief of the Department of Psychiatry at SFGH , was selected to receive the Chancellor’s Award for Public Service (faculty) for his 30 years of work developing mental health services for those with HIV and those at risk. A luncheon will be held on campus on May 10th to honor all recipients.

Alicia Lieberman, PhD received this year’s John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth Award for Translational Research on Attachment, Traumatic Stress, and Early Development. The recipient of the Bowlby-Ainsworth Award, chosen by the SRCD Attachment Consortium, recognizes senior scholars who exemplified the standards of scholarship, collegiality and service that John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth shared, taught, and valued. 

Danielle Ramo, PhD was selected to receive sponsorship to the Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar.

John Rubenstein, MD, PhD  was selected to present the 56th Academic Senate Faculty Research Lecture - Basic Science and his work was highlighted at this year’s UCSF Founders Day Banquet. His lecture “Development of the Forebrain: Exploring its Genetic Architecture” may be viewed here.

Mark Von Zastrow published a fascinating paper in the journal Nature entitled  “Conformational biosensors reveal GPRC signaling from endosomes” which was also highlighted in the journal’s News and Views and featured on the UCSF website.

Kristine Yaffe, MD is the 2013 John Mackey Award recipient for Excellence in Dementia Care and Research. The John Mackey Award is administered by the Johns Hopkins Department of Geriatric Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences in recognition of individuals whose work has made substantial contributions to Dementia Care, with a national or international impact. Kristine published her first book, “Chronic Medical Diseases and Cognitive Aging: Toward a Healthy Body and Mind” and it is available through Oxford University Press starting April 2013.

Best Regards,

Matthew State, MD, PhD


Leadership in research, education, psychiatric care and public service