Team Science Program

The TSP fosters and supports team science efforts across campus and between our campus and other partners. The program offers a variety of services aimed at stimulating multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary efforts, from producing team-building events to supporting administrative needs of new teams.


Why Team Science?


Ongoing TSP-Supported Collaboration Activities

Upcoming Events

Past Events

Event Feedback

Publications Resulting From TSP Seed Funding


Why Team Science?

Multi-disciplinary team approach to research have fast become a key element of the research enterprise portfolio for several reasons (An in-depth list of publications in the science of team science can be found on the SciTS organization website):

  1. Team science has been shown to increase research productivity by measure of the number of publications, patents and collaborations.
  2. Multi-investigator centers lead to an increase in future research funding competitiveness.
  3. Cross-discipline teamwork fosters innovative approaches and different ways of thinking.

Team Science Program Services


Team-Building Formats

  • Symposia: Large events held to kick-off significant efforts in a broad area of interest or need.
  • Collaboratory Meetups: Events in which faculty, often with diverse expertise, gather around a particular topic of broad interest. These meetings include lightning talks and networking time.
  • Speed Networking: Smaller events where potential collaborators interact in a discrete, face to face format modeled on speed dating.
  • Workshops: Small gatherings of faculty with the goal of building a cohesive research team focused on a topic of common interest.
  • Recurring Research Team Meetings: Meetings designed to build and sustain new research teams. These recurring meetings are often initiated as a result of participation in a collaboratory meetup or workshop.

Services provided to support team-building events:

  • Strategize event program and structure
  • Project manage the planning activities
  • Curate lists of potential champions, speakers, and attendees
  • Coordinate and (partially) fund logistics and details of the event
  • Coordinate with stakeholders to select appropriate date and time
    • Suggest ideal locations and reserve location once chosen
    • Produce and manage all marketing and invitation collateral
    • Manage RSVPs/attendance list
    • Liaison with event speakers, including producing slide templates when appropriate
    • Manage selection and ordering of refreshmentsoManage selection and ordering of other resources, such as tables, table clothes, waste containers, etc.
    • Produce and/or coordinate day of event, including managing vendors, setting up a live feed of the event, producing all day-of materials (eg, name tags), and supporting AV needs such as curating master slide deck.
  • Offer small seed grants for proposals resulting from interactions at the event.
    • TSP will coordinate all aspects of these competitions from writing the call to collecting the proposals, reviewing them, and selecting grantees.
  • Fund working lunches for faculty who met at a TSP event to plan a project together.
  • Produce follow-up communications where appropriate. Examples include:
    • Disseminating recordings, slides, and/or notes
    • Requesting participation in, and managing, subsequent working groups for the purpose of maintaining a collaborative team. See below for further detail.
    • Manage post-event survey dissemination and data reports
  • Maintain and report event data, such as attendance rate and attendee characteristics

Services provided to support follow-on activities:

  • Identify champions to act as a leadership group/planning committee for a desired collaborative team.
  • Strategize activities, communications, and goals for collaborative teams.
  • Support activities desired by teams in the ways described above for a limited and defined amount of time while transitioning the team into independence. Generally this support is offered for 3 meetings.
  • Suggest and implement team communication tools/strategies, such as listservs, wikis, Slack channels, websites, etc.
  • Be available to consult further at any time.


Ongoing TSP-Supported Collaboration Activities

The Team Science Program supports follow-on activities to events we produce in order to help the engaged attendees capitalize on momentum created by the events. We provide communication and other strategic advice, and short-term logistical, technical, and administrative assistance to the groups. We've described below the ongoing collaboration activities that resulted from Team Science Program events.

NeuroRecovery Research Development Group
This group aims to establish an inclusive forum for clinicians, scientists, and any other interested parties to advance research and patient care related to recovery from neurologic injury. To learn more and participate, subscribe to the NeuroRecovery Listserv.

Working Group for Research Related to Pain
The Team Science Program put forth a CALL TO ACTION to continue interactions and capitalize on the energy brought to the ‘pain’ event in December 2016. Several people stepped up to help lead this charge as a working group and have formulated a plan for moving forward. The working group will hold quarterly meetings with the goal of formulating a multimillion dollar proposal for an integrated pain research program at UCSF, using the recent (and recurring every 3 years) MacArthur 100&Change challenge as a model. The initial format of these meetings will be lunch-time get-togethers, food provided, in which two speakers will briefly present one clinical pain problem and one basic science pain problem, followed by semi-structured discussion. To learn more and participate, subscribe to the Pain Listserv

Upcoming Events

There are currently no upcoming events.

Past Events

Weill Symposium
July 18, 2019
A special neuroscience community event to celebrate findings from the Weill Award programs, followed by a look ahead at “BRAIN Initiative 2.0” federal funding opportunities, and concluded with a networking reception. Hosted by the Weill Institute in partnership with the RDO Team Science Program.

Addiction Research Networking Event
June 28, 2018
A networking event to foster interaction between faculty who focus on different aspects of addiction research and to spark new collaborations between silos. Speakers included Frederic Hopf, Margot Kushel, David Pennington, Steven Batki, and Joe Guydish.

In the Mix: Health Equity
May 07, 2019
As the first in a series focused on Health Equity, this UCSF/SFSU faculty mixer addressed the critical relationship between environmental conditions and health and how that relationship impacts health justice.

Second Annual Marcus Symposium
January 29, 2019
An event to showcase research from past Marcus Award recipients as well as foster faculty networking toward new collaborative research efforts. Focused on the bold intersections of basic science and clinical/translational science, population health, computational science, and implementation science.

In the Mix: Community-Engaged Research
January 10, 2019
This UCSF/SFSU faculty mixer featured a talk from Dr. Nina S. Roberts (Professor, SFSU) about community engaged research.

Within Your Reach: Using Implementation Science to Advance Your Team Science
December 11, 2018
A discussion and networking event focused on the intersection of clinical research and implementation science, hosted by the RDO Team Science Program, with support from the Implementation Science Program and the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies.

Immunotherapy Networking Event
October 25, 2018
A networking event to foster interaction between faculty who focus on different aspects of immunotherapy and to spark new collaborations between silos. Hosted by the RDO Team Science Program, with support from Vice Chancellor of Research Dr. Lindsey Criswell, UCSF PREMIER, and a planning committee including Drs. Zoe Quandt, Max Krummel, Vincent Chan, Kole Roybal, Mark Anderson, Elad Ziv, and Jimmy Ye.

EaRTH Center Networking Event
September 26, 2018
A networking event to nucleate collaborative environmental health project ideas so that new, preliminary work can begin, creating a foundation for full implementation of the proposal. Hosted by the PI and Core leads for the recently proposed UCSF Environmental Research and Translation for Health Center (EaRTH Center), in collaboration with the RDO Team Science Program.

Colloquium on Depression and Related Mood Research
September 24, 2018
A day-long research colloquium focused on depression and related mood research at UCSF and UC Berkeley, increasing associated collaborative research potential, and fostering innovative thinking and new approaches. Hosted by the UCSF Depression Center, in partnership with the RDO Team Science Program.

In the Mix: "Telling a Great Story"
September 06, 2018
This UCSF/SFSU faculty mixer featured a talk from prominent Bay Area-based award-winning journalist and author, Mary Ellen Hannibal, about how to tell a compelling, data-driven story. Ms. Hannibal is the author of several books and numerous articles that translate complex scientific ideas, creating compelling and engaging narratives for general readers.

In the Mix: "Broader Impacts"
May 03, 2018
This UCSF/SFSU faculty mixer welcomed representatives from the cross-institutional Center for Cellular Construction to speak about the Center’s outreach efforts and broader impacts, as well as some nuts and bolts of collaborating across our institutions.

Autoimmunity Research Networking Event
February 27, 2018
An afternoon team science event to introduce faculty who focus on different aspects of autoimmunity and autoimmune diseases to each other and spark new collaborations between silos. Hosted by the RDO Team Science Program in partnership with the Vice Chancellor of Research, Dr. Lindsey Criswell.

Marcus Mixer 2
February 21, 2018
The second annual Mixer for the Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation (MPPMI). 7 Marcus Awardees and 3 other UCSF faculty gave lightning talks. Speakers included Drs. Chloe Atreya, Stephanie Christenson, Zimu Deng, Sam Goldman, Barbara Koenig, Tung Nguyen, Sam Pleasure, Dean Sheppard, Avanthi Shah, and Claire Brindis.

In the Mix: "Finding Patterns in Big Data"
January 18, 2018
This UCSF/SFSU faculty mixer featured UCSF researcher Cristin Kearns, DDS, MBA, speaking about her work on the sugar industry papers, including her handling of the large data set and how multi-disciplinarity made the work more impactful.

NGO Founders Meetup
January 08, 2018
An event for UCSF faculty to learn about starting and running a non-profit organization. Hosted by the RDO Team Science Program, in partnership with the Global Maternal Newborn Health Research Cooperative led by Dr. Dilys Walker and Hannah Park.

Consortium on Infant Crying
August 15, 2017
The idea for this event was based on several questions: Crying is such a basic thing that babies do, but how much do we really understand about it? What makes one baby cry more than another? What are the best ways to measure how much a baby cries? How should we manage excessive infant crying (i.e. infant colic)? How can we help reduce parental frustration and minimize risk of shaken baby syndrome? We organized this event in collaboration with Dr. Amy Gelfand. Distinguished speakers from diverse backgrounds, including neurology, neonatology, nursing, and pediatrics, spoke at this event.


Event Feedback

“The connection/project from it is still early stage but has already opened some new ideas between my lab & the dept. urology. We just contributed to a U54 application of theirs on this subject in early March, in fact.”
-- Mike Keiser, PhD School of Pharmacy

“There are colleagues I had not previously met at all levels of advancement who have really interesting platforms that might intersect with my disease-focused interests in very productive ways. I was glad I went to the speed-networking event and look forward to participating in future ones!”
-- Elliott Sherr, MD, PhD Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

“Got someone an interview in her department…”
-- Pamela Paris, PhD Department of Urology

“The speed networking event is a good way for PIs to meet each other and find out areas of common interests. For me, this led to meetings between PIs outside of the networking event to discuss science and research initiatives. I met both at Parnassus and Mission Bay with other PIs and the meetings were very helpful in ideas and research direction. It was also great that both people with PhDs and MD/PhDs were able to synergize using their diverse backgrounds. In general, the research collaborations that I have had are long term and built on interests/relationships that take time to build. I think the networking efforts you have organized are a great additional step toward achieving this!”
-- Joseph Shieh, MD, PhD Department of Pediatrics

“As I headed over to Parnassus for the speed-networking event, I briefly lamented all the "to-do's" that were left behind at Mission Bay for two hours. I had no idea that I would meet and enjoy people that expanded the scope and significance of my research program. Following one such meeting with Aric Prather from Psychiatry, we wrote a proposal that combined our expertise in aging and stress. The project was seed-funded by RDO and revealed that chronic stress links to lower levels of the longevity hormone klotho. We quickly published our work and have a grant in the review process at NIA to dig deeper into the fascinating finding. This type of networking event brings the best minds together from different career stages and diverse scientific backgrounds – and enables the convergence of thoughts and ideas that make for impactful biomedical discovery.”
-- Dena Dubal, MD, PhD Memory & Aging Center

“I went into the Speed-Networking Event not knowing what to expect, but I’m certainly grateful I attended. Through the Speed-Networking event I developed an exciting and fruitful scientific collaboration with Dena Dubal, a renowned neurologist. We now collaborate on several research projects at the intersection of psychology, psychiatry, and the biology of aging. For example, we recently published a paper in Translational Psychiatry demonstrating for the first time an association between chronic psychological stress and klotho, a longevity hormone, providing a novel biological pathway through which chronic stress may contribute to premature aging. This RDO event truly reflects a critical investment in the interdisciplinary, innovative science that makes UCSF a health leader.”
-- Aric Prather, PhD Department of Psychiatry

“A great opportunity to have fun while networking with colleagues across departments. You may not really know what someone down the hall, or up the stairs, or at Laurel Heights, is doing, but you will have a chance to hear some really interesting clinical and research ideas, and something is bound to resonate with you. I was so glad I went to one of these campus events— it was amazing what we accomplished when we each had three minutes of uninterrupted time to tell someone else what was on our research wish list.”
-- Kathy Lee, RN, PhD School of Nursing

“The speed-networking event hosted by the Research Development Office allowed me to meet many interesting researchers across campus who I would never have otherwise encountered. It led to collaboration for me on a P30 application; while this application was not ultimately funded, it created a new cross-disciplinary relationship from which to build future applications.”
-- Leah Karliner, MD School of Medicine

“Even though we have not yet turned the initial support into a big grant yet, we are still working toward that. I feel that the speed-networking event is like planting a seed. It connects basic science with clinical research, and is completely worthwhile.”
-- Su Guo, PhD School of Pharmacy

Publications Resulting from TSP Seed Funding

Bruni, G., Rennekamp, A. J., Velenich, A., McCarroll, M., Gendelev, L., Fertsch, E., . . . Kokel, D. (2016). Zebrafish behavioral profiling identifies multitarget antipsychotic-like compounds. Nat Chem Biol, 12(7), 559-566. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.2097

Lorberbaum, T., Nasir, M., Keiser, M. J., Vilar, S., Hripcsak, G., & Tatonetti, N. P. (2015). Systems pharmacology augments drug safety surveillance. Clin Pharmacol Ther, 97(2), 151-158. doi: 10.1002/cpt.2

McCarroll, M. N., Gendelev, L., Keiser, M. J., & Kokel, D. (2016). Leveraging Large-scale Behavioral Profiling in Zebrafish to Explore Neuroactive Polypharmacology. ACS Chem Biol, 11(4), 842-849. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.5b00800

Prather, A. A., Epel, E. S., Arenander, J., Broestl, L., Garay, B. I., Wang, D., & Dubal, D. B. (2015). Longevity factor klotho and chronic psychological stress. Transl Psychiatry, 5, e585. doi: 10.1038/tp.2015.81


If you're interested in forming a new research team, contact [email protected] to learn how the TSP can support your specific needs.