UC Regents Approve Plans, Funding for New Research and Academic Building at ZSFG

By Nina Bai

artist rendering of exterior of new ZSFG research building
A rendering of the new research building at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, as viewed form the 23rd Street entrance to the medical center campus.

UC San Francisco is moving forward with plans to construct a new research and academic building at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG) following approval by the UC Regents on Nov. 13.

The new building will allow UCSF’s research and education programs at ZSFG to continue to advance by providing modern research and academic facilities, including wet and dry laboratories, a Patient  Research Center, and teaching and collaboration areas.

“The vision for this building, which began over a decade ago, has been developed into a beautiful, efficient, and modern design through many hours of hard work and is now about to become a reality,” said Sue Carlisle, MD, PhD, vice dean for UCSF at ZSFG. “UCSF research and academic programs at ZSFG have produced world-class biomedical innovations, clinical improvements, and top students in their current, outmoded spaces for decades. These programs will soon thrive in a state-of-the-art facility, where they will continue to develop new research to improve the health of all of our communities worldwide. It will also allow our physician scientists to continue to provide excellent clinical care for our patients in San Francisco while advancing these studies.”

The plans will support UCSF’s robust research program at ZSFG in many areas that include HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, mental illness, and care for vulnerable populations. Advances in trauma care – including tramatic brain injury, spinal core injury and complex orthopedic injury – will also ensure that the hospital maintains its designation as a Level 1 Trauma Center, the only one in the City. Level 1 is a rank reserved by the American College of Surgeons for the highest-quality, most comprehensive trauma treatment centers and requires that certain teaching and research efforts be conducted on site. ZSFG trauma specialists treat more than 4,000 patients with critical injuries each year.

ZSFG is owned and operated by the City and County of San Francisco, which has partnered with UCSF in public health since 1873. Under an affiliation agreement, ZSFG is staffed by UCSF clinicians and researchers as well as San Francisco Department of Public Health employees, and serves as a teaching hospital for UCSF’s schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy. The ZSFG campus is home to more than 20 UCSF research centers, affiliated institutes and major laboratories that currently have over 850 active studies that bring in $150 million to $200 million per year in research funding.

The Regents Committee on Finance and Capital Strategies approved the budget, scope, external financing and design of the approximately 175,000-square-foot, five-story building, which is projected to cost $275 million.

The new building will replace UCSF offices and laboratories currently dispersed among several buildings at ZSFG that do not meet UC seismic regulations. In addition to laboratory and office space, the planned facilities will house a Patient Research Center and education space that includes a Surgical Training Facility and Biomechanics Testing Laboratory. The project will comply with the University of California Policy on Sustainable Practices and achieve a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating.

The start of construction is planned for early 2020, pending obtaining permits from the City.

The building is critical to continuing the 145-year partnership ZSFG and UCSF and its mission to carry out transformative research aimed at improving patient care for vulnerable populations in the Bay Area and worldwide.