UCSF Insights

At UCSF, we have front row seats to discoveries when they make the leap from the lab to our lives as new treatments or key skills for healthy living. In the UCSF Insights Lab to Life series, our experts share the latest in translational research and how it can be applied to our lives right now. These advances can take many forms – therapies, devices, or vital data that informs lifesaving behavioral changes.  This year’s series explores information as innovation. 

Science Fiction to Science Fact

Truth is stranger than fiction – nowhere is this more salient than in modern science. The cutting-edge work done at UCSF can seem, at first blush, beyond possibility. Until, of course, it becomes a reality for our scientists, physicians, and patients. Our experts share the treatments and technologies that they’ve pulled out of the realm of science fiction.

December 12, 2017


  • Jeffrey Lotz, PhD, Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Director of the Orthopaedic Bioengineering Laboratory
  • Dena Dubal, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, David A. Coulter Endowed Chair in Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease
  • Wendell Lim, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, Director of  UCSF Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology

Twisting Fate – The Art of Playing Your Genetic Hand

Using astonishing advances in DNA sequencing and Big Data analyses, our scientists have created the UCSF 500, a one-of-a-kind compilation of the most likely genetic suspects marking cancer. Insights attendees learned about the ethical complexities of accessing genetic information and the work our counselors do to help patients navigate the implications of genetic testing. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 


  • W. Michael Korn, MD, Professor of Medicine, Divisions of Gastroenterology and Medical Oncology; Leader, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Molecular Oncology Initiative
  • Aime M. Blanco, MS, CGC, Director, UCSF Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program
  • Barbara Koenig, PhD, Professor, UCSF School of Nursing, Professor, Medical Anthropology & Bioethics Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences

The 21st Century’s Triple Threat

Sugar, obesity, and diabetes – this is today’s cruel trajectory of chronic disease.  Insights attendees learned about how UCSF scientists uncovered the sugar industry’s role in the scourge, which ethnicities are most at risk, and our partnership with minority poets to empower youth with health literacy.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 


  • Cristin E. Kearns, DDS, MBA, Postdoctoral Fellow, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF School of Dentistry
  • Suneil K. Koliwad, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Gerold Grodsky, PhD/JAB, Chair in Diabetes Research, Diabetes Center at UCSF
  • Dean Schillinger, MD, Director, Health Communications Program, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital

For More Info

Laura Andersen