UC San Diego Health Sciences: Overview


UC San Diego Health Sciences is a part
of the University of California San Diego. Health Sciences includes the
School of Medicine, the School of Pharmacy, hopefully soon, the School of Public Health, the faculty practice, and the hospitals and clinics. And, they’re
all integrated and interacting to create a great academic medical system. It
starts with patient care and a first obligation to provide outstanding
care for our patients. And, because we are an academic medical system, our
physicians are both clinicians and educators, as well as scientists. And, they
bring their students to the hospital and clinics so that the patient care is the
site for on-site learning for education. It works both from bed to bench and from
bench to bed. So, when a physician has a good idea but they are taking care of
patients, they can bring it back to lab and try to work it out. They can translate it
into patient care by having this academic medical center, and patients
benefit by this very rich environment where state-of-the-art care is always
available. The past decade has seen by far the biggest growth of UC San Diego Health Sciences. It’s been both programmatic and also facilities. The programs have
included great expansions in cancer and cardiovascular disease, in neurosciences
and pediatric health. The buildings to reflect these programs have been just
tremendous and represents an incredible interaction between the community,
philanthropic help and the support of the general campus. The most obvious and
the biggest is Jacobs Medical Center, a state-of-the-art hospital with three
pavilions within it for advanced surgery, for cancer care, and for infants and
women. And then directly across the street from it is the Koman Family Outpatient Pavilion, which provides multidisciplinary care for a wide variety of patients. It’s
one-stop shopping, very patient oriented, patient friendly in order to
extend what’s done in the hospital to the outpatients. The biggest laboratory
ever built is the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute, which
was our first laboratory that’s devoted primarily to clinical and translational
research. So, there’s a large number of what we call dry labs where people
interact in large community spaces and do things like translational
research, genomics, informatics and other types of big data analysis. What’s on the
horizon? I think there are a couple of ideas that are evolving that are going to set
the tone for the next 10 years. First is the idea of population health that we
need to understand how you take care of large populations, just as we understand
how you take care of individual patients. So, this involves concepts like
access to health care, like how do the underserved
obtain health care that’s efficient and effective? How do we do screening in a
large population officially, and how do we convert our understanding of
individual patients into general ideas about how to take care of patients?
Another big area for the future is the idea of precision medicine — that how you
can take enormous data sets on individual patients like their genome,
their gut microbiome, their gene expression profiling, the proteomics,
their metabolites, and how all that data that can possibly combine to get more
insights into diagnosis and therapy. It takes a completely different way of
handling data, for which we need our colleagues in computer science and
informatics in order to interpret this and learn from it. And the goal would be that each data set make makes you smarter, makes you
better understand your individual patient, so you can direct very precise
care for each individual patient. I think the last 10 years were the most exciting
at the UC San Diego Health Sciences, except the next 10 years. The next 10
years is going to be the best ever.

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