Bartley, Pennington named 2019 Watson Faculty Scholars

By Nicholas Roznovsky

Christopher Bartley, MD, PhD, and David L. Pennington, PhD, both members of the UC San Francisco Department of Psychiatry, have been named as 2019 John A. Watson Faculty Scholars and recipients of the UCSF School of Medicine Dean's Diversity Funds Award. Their selection for the honor, along with six additional faculty members in other departments, was announced earlier today by School of Medicine Dean Talmadge E. King, Jr., MD.

Bartley is a fourth-year resident physician who will transition into a faculty role at a later date. While completing his psychiatric residency training at UCSF, Bartley has also worked closely with mentors Samuel Pleasure, MD, PhD, and Michael R. Wilson, MD, to conduct research on autoantibody discovery in neuropsychiatric behavioral syndromes. Earlier this year, he was also selected to receive an A.P. Giannini Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and Career Development Award and UC President's Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Pennington is an adjunct assistant professor and research psychologist based at the San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS). His research focuses on investigating neurobiological correlates and implementing new treatment approaches for complex patients with comorbid substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury. He is also the assistant director of the SFVAHCS Addiction Research Program and a previous recipient of the UCSF Resource Allocation Program Under-Represented Faculty in Clinical and Translational Research Award.

The UCSF School of Medicine Dean’s Diversity Fund was established in 2015 to support the recruitment and retention of faculty who share the university’s commitment to diversity and its belief that we have the responsibility to care for underserved and vulnerable populations. The awards provide faculty with $75,000 per year support for three years to develop their academic interests, as well as pursue activities that contribute to the community. This fund was initiated by the dean and implemented by the Chairs and Directors Council on Diversity (CD2).

The awards are named after John A. Watson, PhD, a pioneer for diversity, an inspiring mentor, and a tenacious scientist whose service to the UCSF School of Medicine spanned forty-six years. During his tenure as dean of admissions in the 1970s, he rapidly increased the number of women and minority students in the entering medical school classes.

Bartley and Pennington are the third and fourth department members to be selected for the honor, following in the footsteps of Christina Mangurian, MD, MAS (2015) and Tara Collins, MD, MPH (2018).

About UCSF Psychiatry

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry, UCSF Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics, and the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute are among the nation's foremost resources in the fields of child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric mental health. Together they constitute one of the largest departments in the UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, with a mission focused on research (basic, translational, clinical), teaching, patient care, and public service.

UCSF Psychiatry conducts its clinical, educational and research efforts at a variety of locations in Northern California, including UCSF campuses at Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay and Laurel Heights, UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the San Francisco VA Health Care System, and UCSF Fresno.

About the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, established by the extraordinary generosity of Joan and Sanford I. "Sandy" Weill, brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain.

The UCSF Weill Institute leverages UCSF’s unrivaled bench-to-bedside excellence in the neurosciences. It unites three UCSF departments—Neurology, Psychiatry, and Neurological Surgery—that are highly esteemed for both patient care and research, as well as the Neuroscience Graduate Program, a cross-disciplinary alliance of nearly 100 UCSF faculty members from 15 basic-science departments, as well as the UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, a multidisciplinary research center focused on finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

About UCSF

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise.

It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises three top-ranked hospitals – UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland – as well as Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics, UCSF Benioff Children’s Physicians, and the UCSF Faculty Practice. UCSF Health has affiliations with hospitals and health organizations throughout the Bay Area. UCSF faculty also provide all physician care at the public Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, and the San Francisco VA Medical Center. The UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program is a major branch of the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine.