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Pamela Derish, M.A.

Pamela Derish, M.A.

Scientific Publications Manager
UCSF Department of Surgery

Contact Information

(415) 885-7686
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Pamela Derish the Scientific Publications Manager and Scientific Writing Instructor for the Department of Surgery at UCSF.  She teaches an intensive scientific writing course and provides a professional editing service for Department faculty, fellows and residents, to help them publish their research and obtain grant funding.  She has over 20 years of experience as a biomedical editor at UCSF, having previously worked in the Departments of Neurological Surgery and Medicine.

In her editing capacity, Pamela evaluates scientific publications and grant proposals (for NIH, CIRM, and other agencies) to identify main ideas and ensures those ideas are logically organized and rationally developed and that all information is relevant and complete. She evaluates text for clarity, accuracy, precision, brevity, consistency, effective style, and suitability for the intended audience. She also ensures that materials conform to requirements of specific journals, publishers, and funding agencies. Authors can also ask for editorial assistance with responding to peer review and composing letters of reply to editors and funding agencies.

Pamela works closely with the Department of Surgery's residents to help them learn how to write grant proposals to fund their research years. This includes writing workshops, individual consultations, editorial review, guidance about how to navigate the pre-award process, and a repository of web-based resources for finding funding opportunities and developing a strong grant proposal.  She maintains ongoing outreach to residents for editorial review of manuscripts and proposals, resources for preparing research talks for the Department's Annual Resident Research Day, and notification of campus events that may be of interest (e.g., preparing an NIH NRSA proposal, preparing research and teaching statements for job applications).

The intensive scientific writing course that Pamela developed and has taught twice a year for the past 13 years was designed for the faculty and trainees in the UCSF Department of Surgery, but regularly attracts participants from all four schools at UCSF.  Pamela has also taught scientific writing courses for the Department of Radiology at UCSF, the Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago, Genentech, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Blood Systems Research Institute, the Sahlgrenska Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research in Sweden, and the Kenyan Medical Research Institute.  She leads an annual writing retreat for early-career faculty in the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at UCSF and gives an annual workshop series for trainees (Summer) and mentors (Winter) in UCSF Global Health Sciences' International Training Program in AIDS Prevention Studies. 

Pamela has given workshops on scientific writing for several other departments and programs at UCSF, including Integrative Medicine, Internal Medicine, Molecular Medicine, the Office of Career and Professional Development, and Community Health Nursing.  She has been an invited speaker for the American Society of Transplant Surgeons Professional Development Symposium and the Association for Academic Surgery's Fundamentals of Scientific Research Course. Her own research and publications primarily concern scientific writing, authorship issues, and improving the quality of reporting of clinical research. 

  1. Derish PA, Annesley TM. How to write a rave review. Clin Chem. 2011 Mar; 57(3):388-91. View in PubMed
  2. Derish PA, Annesley TM. If an IRDAM journal is what you choose, then sequential results are what you use. Clin Chem. 2010 Aug; 56(8):1226-8. View in PubMed
  3. Derish P, Eastwood S. A clarity clinic for surgical writing. J Surg Res. 2008 Jun 01; 147(1):50-8. View in PubMed
  4. Derish PA, Maa J, Ascher NL, Harris HW. Enhancing the mission of academic surgery by promoting scientific writing skills. J Surg Res. 2007 Jun 15; 140(2):177-83. View in PubMed
  5. Derish P, Ascher NL. The Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco. Arch Surg. 2005 Dec; 140(12):1143-8. View in PubMed
  6. Eastwood S, Derish PA, Berger MS. Biomedical publication for neurosurgery residents: a program and guide. Neurosurgery. 2000 Sep; 47(3):739-48; discussion 748-9. View in PubMed
  7. Eastwood S, Derish P, Leash E, Ordway S. Ethical issues in biomedical research: perceptions and practices of postdoctoral research fellows responding to a survey. Sci Eng Ethics. 1996 Jan; 2(1):89-114. View in PubMed
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