UC San Diego joins forces with HHS and County partners to stop “triple-threat” of viruses

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla speaking at the Triple-threat Virus Press Conference on Nov. 3, 2022

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla speaking at the Triple-threat Virus Press Conference on Nov. 3 with Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and San Diego County Supervisor Nora Vargas.

Recently, a “triple threat” of respiratory viruses — influenza, Covid-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) — have spread across the nation and threatened San Diego County. In response, the federal and county governments and regional medical systems have mobilized several initiatives and resources. To raise awareness of this public health concern and discuss our comprehensive prevention and response efforts, I joined Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, County Supervisor Nora Vargas, CEO of UC San Diego Health Patty Maysent, County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten, and several other leaders for a press conference and roundtable discussion in San Diego.

Together, we emphasized the importance of proven public health techniques and treatments, including Covid-19 and flu vaccinations, boosters, masking and other simple health measures to keep our community safe and healthy as we approach the winter months. By implementing these disease prevention steps on an individual level, the public can reduce the spread of these respiratory illnesses and help protect our most vulnerable neighbors. We also highlighted the coordinated efforts between the federal government, regional health providers, and county and local officials to ensure the best public health outcomes in San Diego and nationwide.

As the top-ranked academic health system in the region and a research powerhouse, UC San Diego Health plays a crucial role in preventing disease, developing treatments, providing care, and distributing public health information throughout our community. We have a long history of working closely with key regional partners to improve health and education outcomes, such as Covid-19 mitigation.

UC San Diego’s robust bi-national and regional partnerships empowered us to quickly mobilize in March 2020 to keep our campus community safe. We were proud to provide the first vaccination superstation and the first mobile vaccination station. We developed wastewater testing for Covid-19 that is now being used to monitor RSV. We partnered with Google and Apple to test and help roll out CA Notify, a free exposure notification system, statewide. Our team of physicians, epidemiologists, disease modelers, researchers engineers and data scientists continued our long tradition of interdisciplinary collaboration to address global challenges. These efforts are part of our overall focus on health equity and access for all, which we will continue during this “triple-threat” of respiratory virus spread.

Chancellor Khosla, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, and UC San Diego Health CEO Patty Maysent meet to discuss strategies to keep San Diego healthy during the triple-threat viral season.

Chancellor Khosla, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, and UC San Diego Health CEO Patty Maysent meet to discuss strategies to keep San Diego healthy during the triple-threat viral season.

UC San Diego Health stands ready to expand partnerships with HHS and the County of San Diego to research, prevent and respond to emerging public health concerns. I thank Secretary Becerra, County Supervisor Vargas, and the many other participants in this effort for their leadership and partnership. We will continue to lead and collaborate to promote healthy outcomes and ensure equitable access to care throughout our community – it is our mission.

To learn how you can combat the spread of these viruses and stay healthy, read "Federal, State and Local Leaders Urge Protection Against Virus Trio" on the County News website.

Creating a Destination for Arts and Culture

A performer leaps in front of the Stuart Art Collection's Fallen Star.

Excitement in front of the Stuart Art Collection's Fallen Star embodies the best of art and science at UC San Diego.

There is a uniquely elevating alliance between the pursuits of a major public research university and the expression of art. Art and research both address the most important questions of our time with ambition and intellectual courage. Both ask important questions that propel discussion and discovery. And both respond to humanity in meaningful and impactful ways. And on a campus like UC San Diego, art and science influence each other.

For example, using hydrophones, researchers from our Scripps Institution of Oceanography captured sounds in the Arctic Ocean that no one had heard before. Upon hearing the recordings, a group of artists/scholars led by Professor Lei Liang composed Hearing Seascapes, a series of pieces that explored the origins of these sounds and why we were hearing them.

Lei Liang and co-composers explain and discuss the creation of Hearing Seascapes.

Their work evokes the realities of the impact of climate change and forces important conversations required for change to happen. It is this kind of expression and artistry that demonstrates UC San Diego’s unique distinction of being created and born as an experimental campus. It is but one of many compelling examples.

UC San Diego has always been home to trailblazing visual and performing arts. Tritons enjoy and inspire art that is bold, fresh and unafraid to explore, discover and declare. The opening of the Epstein Family Amphitheater this past weekend continues that tradition and firmly establishes UC San Diego as the region’s newest destination for arts and culture. It is the second arts venue we inaugurated this year, having opened the Guggenheim Theater at UC San Diego Park & Market in downtown earlier this summer.

The San Diego Symphony plays at the opening of the Epstein Family Amphitheater at UC San Diego

The San Diego Symphony plays at the opening of the Epstein Family Amphitheater at UC San Diego. 

The state-of-the-art Epstein Family Amphitheater joins a collection of crowd favorites on our campus, including the Conrad Prebys Music Center, the Loft, Art Power, Birch Aquarium, Mandell Weiss Center for the Performing Arts, University Art Galleries, Stuart Collection of public art, and the La Jolla Playhouse.

The convergence of dreams and expertise brought to life the new state-of-the-art Epstein Family Amphitheater at UC San Diego.

Spaces like these open minds and forge strong connections. They enrich the residents of our bi-national region. And they heighten the community’s intellectual and emotional ownership of one of its most prized public assets – its premier public university.

Spaces like these also remind us that there is so much more to UC San Diego than excellent education, impactful research, and world-class healthcare. It is a place where individuals with diverse viewpoints, experiences and expertise come together to share, explore, discover and create something for the greater good.

UC San Diego provides exceptional access to art and culture via public performances and art shows each year. The Epstein Family Amphitheater helps us expand those offerings to wider audiences. San Diegans will enjoy everything from large-scale rock concerts to classical quartets and theatrical dance. 

The Epstein Family Amphitheater confirms our commitment to provide access to arts, culture, education and entertainment to all. Made possible by the generous support of Dan, Phyllis and the entire Epstein family, San Diego has a new home to showcase the very best of our campus, our region and beyond. 

Come explore your curiosities at UC San Diego. Experience a performance in the stunning new Epstein Family Amphitheater. Catch an independent or foreign film at Media Arts’ Digital Gym Cinema at Park & Market. See and learn about Blue Penguins at the Birch Aquarium. Or take in the excitement of NCAA Division 1 sports. UC San Diego is for everyone. 

New Month-long “Postdoctoberfest” Celebrates Triton Postdoctoral Scholars

Chancellor Khosla talking with Dean James Antony and postdoc students at the the first event of UC San Diego's inaugural Postdoctoberfest

Chancellor Khosla talking with Dean James Antony and postdoc students at the the first event of UC San Diego's inaugural Postdoctoberfest.

I am always fascinated by the work of our postdoctoral scholars and researchers, so it was a rare treat to meet and learn more about many of our postdocs this morning at the kick-off event for UC San Diego’s inaugural Postdoctoberfest.

Sponsored by our Office of Postdoctoral Scholar Affairs, this new annual month-long celebration recognizes the valuable contributions postdocs make to research, to our campus, and to our greater community. More than 1,300 postdocs per year research and work at UC San Diego across all disciplines, including arts and humanities, social sciences, STEM fields, and health sciences. Postdoctoral scholars are an integral part of our highly collaborative intellectual community. 

Chancellor Khosla meeting and talking to postdoctoral scholars at inaugural Postdoctoberfest

Chancellor Khosla enjoying coffee and treats with postdoctoral scholars at UC San Diego's inaugural Postdoctoberfest.

I hope you join me in showing your support and appreciation of our postdocs. Stop by the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs office on the 4th floor of the Student Services Center to pick up a free Postdoctoberfest button to wear during the month of October. 

Details about our other Postdoctoberfest events throughout October are available online.

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