University of California, San Diego


July 19, 2001


SUBJECT:  Managing Future Growth of UCSD's Health Sciences Division

Dear Colleagues:

Our series of internal communiqués on campus growth issues continues with this message from Dr. Edward Holmes, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine. Our Health Sciences Division exemplifies how UCSD has achieved greatness throughout its 40-year history by integrating its missions of education, research, and clinical and community service. We will follow that formula in this decade of unprecedented growth by building on our bench-to-bedside strengths. Our goal is to keep pace with the newest developments in medical research, medical education, and clinical care. And we will constantly strive to improve our services to our patients and their families. In this message, Dr. Holmes describes an array of plans for Health Sciences' future.

                                                Robert C. Dynes



July 19, 2001

I am delighted to have this opportunity to update you on the Health Sciences, which encompasses the School of Medicine, UCSD Healthcare and the new UCSD School of Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Our mission is to conduct research to advance medical knowledge and patient care, to train the next generation of leaders who will be the practitioners and medical investigators of the future, and to bring leading edge health care to our community.

By capitalizing on the incredible breadth and depth of scientific and scholarly expertise across campus and in the neighboring community, the Division of Health Sciences is uniquely positioned to meet this mission. Our medical faculty, ranked second in the nation in federal research funding per faculty member, routinely team with colleagues from biology, chemistry, physical sciences, engineering, social sciences and marine sciences, advancing knowledge and technology to improve and sustain health.

We are building on this foundation by creating an exciting new framework for collaboration. Tentatively called the "Collegium of Integrated Life Systems," or COILS, this initiative will serve as a focal point to coalesce basic and clinical multidisciplinary research related to human health; it will include scholars across UCSD and extending to the Torrey Pines Mesa. COILS will allow us to weave together and build upon new knowledge and technologies emerging from distinct but related fields, and speed the translation of fundamental discoveries to new preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic interventions benefiting our patients and society at large. COILS will also support innovative new programs to enhance cross-disciplinary medical education taking full advantage of the expertise throughout UCSD and across the mesa.

This overarching approach to health and disease is a formula for success. An example: The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has given the UCSD Cancer Center a resounding endorsement, awarding nearly $19 million over five years, the maximum grant period allowed. The Cancer Center, with members from nearly two dozen departments spanning mathematics to family medicine, has held this NCI designation continuously for 22 years, reflecting that the program meets the nation's highest standards for research and clinical care incorporating the latest advances in the field. We are well into the planning phase of a new cancer facility near Thornton Hospital to consolidate research and clinical programs leading to improved methods of preventing, diagnosing and treating malignancy.

The same collaborative model applies to the Institute for Molecular Medicine (IMM) and the Cardiovascular Center, also developing plans for future buildings to house their multidisciplinary programs dedicated to prevention, treatment and cure of disease. The IMM is also developing a new model to partner with the private sector to ensure that discovery leads to the development of new drugs and devices that in turn improve human health.

Post-graduate education is integral to our mission, for clinicians and scientists alike. Working with the general campus, we offer a variety of advanced training opportunities besides the M.D., leading to advanced degrees in multiple disciplines, and we plan to substantially expand our physician-scientist training programs, as well as other dual-degree programs, through the COILS initiative.

We will add "Pharm.D." to the list of degrees we offer with the first class of our new School of Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences entering in fall 2002. We will train pharmacists to practice in hospitals, medical centers, community pharmacy settings, academia, government, and the pharmaceutical industry. We also will train pharmaceutical scientists to work in drug discovery and development. The emerging fields of bioinformatics and pharmacogenomics - individually designed treatment regimens based on a patient's genetic profile - will have a profound influence on the future practice of medicine and pharmacy, and our graduates will be in an excellent position to bring these advances to the patient care setting. Curriculum design and faculty recruitment are actively under way, as we take advantage of the tremendous opportunity to create a thoroughly modern pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences program. A new pharmacy school building, slated to open by 2005 on the School of Medicine campus, will provide new teaching and research space for faculty and post-graduate trainees. At steady state, enrollment will be 240 Pharm.D. students, 60 Ph.D. students and 30 pharmacy residents.

Construction is progressing rapidly on the new functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) facility behind the School of Medicine Dean's Office. This facility, with four powerful magnets dedicated to studies of the brain, heart and other organs, will be one of the largest such facilities in the Western United States, and will be a resource for scientists throughout campus and the San Diego region.

We are excited about participating in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Cal(IT)2) Program. Among the Cal(IT)2 initiatives is a new program in post-genomic, digitally enabled, and individualized medicine - a program that will combine state-of-the-art molecular and preventive medicine with an advanced, real-time electronic medical record.

UCSD Healthcare is financially strong, serving a diverse range of patients throughout the region with primary to subspecialty care. We are developing plans for meeting the state's seismic requirements by either retrofitting or replacing our Hillcrest facility, and we are planning on expanding capacity at Thornton Hospital to accommodate increased patient volumes at our La Jolla facilities.

We recently concluded affiliation discussions with Children's Hospital, and on August 1 will begin the transition of most pediatric programs to Children's Kearny Mesa facility. This union will be good for children, good for the community, and good for our academic and research programs.

Among some of our other initiatives: We are planning construction of a new research building on the School of Medicine campus, and the Shiley Eye Center is adding space to support its world-class glaucoma and retina programs. We are actively recruiting new Chairs for our Departments of Medicine and Radiology and a Dean for our School of Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences.

UCSD has become one of the premier academic institutions in the country in a very short period of time, and the future for this campus as a leading research university is outstanding. The Health Sciences look forward to collaborating with our colleagues across campus to ensure this university realizes its full potential for knowledge generation, knowledge dissemination, and service to our community.


                                                Edward W. Holmes, M.D.
                                                Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences