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Sam Hawgood


A native of Australia, Hawgood entered medical school at age 17 and graduated with First Class Honors from the University of Queensland in Brisbane with a degree in medicine and surgery (MBBS). He spent the next year working at a hospital in Hong Kong, and traveled through China, South Asian countries, and Russia. After training in pediatrics as a resident, Hawgood specialized in neonatology as a fellow. Hawgood joined UCSF as a research fellow in 1982 to work with distinguished scientists John A. Clements, MD, and William H. Tooley, MD, both pioneers in the discovery and therapeutic uses of pulmonary surfactant, which has saved millions of infant lives. As a young clinician, Hawgood witnessed the deaths of infants who suffered from respiratory distress syndrome, a developmental disease caused by the lack of a key lipoprotein called surfactant that lines healthy lungs and enables them to expand with each breath. Those clinical experiences shaped Hawgood’s interest in the proteins associated with pulmonary surfactant. His research won funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and was supported continuously through 2015, earning him an international reputation in neonatology research. Hawgood maintained an active presence in clinical medicine at UCSF for almost 30 years, including serving first as chief of the Division of Neonatology, then chair of the Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, prior to becoming dean of the UCSF School of Medicine, a role he held from 2009 to 2014 when he was appointed chancellor of UCSF. He also has served as president of the UCSF Medical Group, the faculty association that represents more than 2,000 physicians. During his tenure as dean of the medical school and vice chancellor for medical affairs, the school became the country’s top-ranked medical school in research funding from the NIH, with many of its departments also leading the nation in their fields. Hawgood and his wife, Jane, a retired social worker who focused on palliative care, met at the University of Queensland, and reside in San Francisco. They were married in 1977 and have two sons.