David A. Brenner, M.D.
Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences
Dean, School of Medicine
Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences
Dean, School of Medicine
I am thrilled to return to UC San Diego as Vice Chancellor and Dean of the School of Medicine at this exciting time. As a fellow and then faculty member at UC San Diego from 1985 to1992, I developed first-hand an appreciation for the brilliance of the faculty, the incredible synergy between our clinical and research missions, the energy of the San Diego community, and the important partnerships that have helped this campus achieve international acclaim in its relatively brief history. And I can also testify to the superb clinical care provided in our hospitals and physician practices; in fact, my son was born at UCSD Medical Center 22 years ago.
This is a critical time in our evolution as we focus on expanding and developing new clinical, research and educational programs, and constructing modern new facilities to appropriately support the innovative work of our faculty, staff and students. This is exemplified by the acclaimed Moores UCSD Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the region.
As San Diego’s only academic medical center, we provide several clinical programs that are important regional centers of excellence, delivering leading edge care not only for San Diego patients but for those who travel here seeking care from UC San Diego specialists. Leading edge clinical care is best delivered in modern, state-of-the-art facilities. We are in the process improving our clinical facilities, and planning for further expansion and modernization of our Hillcrest and East Campus medical complexes.
With respect to our educational mission, we have tremendous opportunities to explore new teaching models with our outstanding School of Medicine and our new Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The opportunities to extend the learning experience in the classrooms and laboratories of colleagues through the UCSD campus and San Diego’s thriving research community are unlimited. And our students and trainees can find opportunities to learn the art as well as the science of medical and pharmaceutical practice through a number of community-based programs.
To better serve our students, we are planning a new medical education building where, along with our brand new pharmacy school building, we can take full advantage of new technologies like telemedicine, and other new teaching tools, to provide our students a 21st century learning experience. An example is simulation, which provides students greater hands-on experience with clinical care at an earlier stage in their education.
This University has always had world-class research, and in that area we have only gotten stronger. Not only do we have exceptional scientific talent at the medical and pharmacy schools, we have the tremendous strengths of UC San Diego’s engineering programs, marine sciences, biological and physical sciences and information technologies through Calit2. The prestigious Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute further enrich our academic programs. And our campus is in the center of one of the nation’s most concentrated research hubs.
We are committed to more effectively harnessing these programs to our outstanding clinical enterprise. More effective integration of our clinical and research efforts is absolutely essential to fully support translational research, leading to new treatments and technologies that benefit patients. Bridging discovery and patient care is critical if we want to truly improve the way we care for our patients, and UC San Diego is uniquely positioned to excel in this area, with the support of the local biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. By building upon our regional, national and international partnerships, we will create an explosion of discovery leading to drug and technology development that will further position San Diego as a global center for clinical innovation.
A unique strength of this University is the collaboration we enjoy with our community colleagues. This includes the research community on the Torrey Pines Mesa, with the latest example being the San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine which unites UC San Diego with the Salk Institute, The Scripps Research Institute and the Burnham Institute in a united effort to position San Diego as a leading center for stem cell research.
In addition we have important partnerships with our Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, with the Rady Childrens Hospital and Health Center, and with other hospitals throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties. We also have strong relationships with San Diego’s community clinics, which care for underserved patients throughout the region. We enjoy partnerships with international colleagues, and are greatly enriched by our proximity to Mexico, with many collaborative clinical, training and research efforts in Tijuana.
These relationships benefit our patients, our students, and our community. We are fortifying those connections quite literally through the linkages now possible through information technologies, and we are the site of the new Southern California Telemedicine Learning Center, which will further strengthen these efforts.
The commitment of UC San Diego Health Sciences today and in the future is to improve the health of patients by providing top quality clinical, research and educational programs; recruiting the best and brightest faculty, students and staff; and creating an environment that promotes discovery, innovation and excellence. We will continue to serve as a training ground for future physicians, pharmacists, and scientific leaders who not only deliver superb care, but who shape and advance the way care is delivered.
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