Frequently asked questions

Jump to a question:  Who works at the Bixby Center?  |  What makes the Bixby Center unique?  |  How is the Bixby Center related to other parts of UCSF?  |  Where does the Bixby Center do its work?  |  How does the Bixby Center ensure its research meets the highest ethical standards?  |  Who funds the Bixby Center?  |  What is the Bixby Center's role in advocacy?  |  What is the UCSF Bixby Center's relationship with the UC Berkeley and UCLA Bixby Centers?

Who works at the Bixby Center?
Now in its 15th year, the Bixby Center is an umbrella organization that brings together UCSF investigators from a variety of disciplines and departments within the university. The Bixby Center includes about 175 faculty, investigators, fellows, associates and staff. Our members have expertise in the disciplines of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, sociology, anthropology, demography, epidemiology, law, public policy, public health and health services research.

What makes the Bixby Center unique?

  • We are multidisciplinary. The Bixby Center is an innovative academic research hub on global reproductive health. Our projects bring together cross-disciplinary teams to address the many facets of reproductive health.
  • We have clinical expertise. Our faculty includes expert clinicians in ob-gyn, family medicine, nursing and midwifery. Many Bixby Center members are trained in rigorous research methods and have applied these skills in real-world health care settings. Our partnership with San Francisco General Hospital and the New Generation Health Center ground our work in the practical, every-day experience of providing clinical care.
  • We focus on education and training. The Bixby Center trains the next generation of family planning, abortion, HIV/AIDS and maternity providers, ensuring that women, men and teenagers have access to safe and comprehensive health care.
  • We investigate the “why.” Our research aims to not only describe patterns and trends in reproductive health care, but to understand the “why” behind these trends. Our training and policy initiatives address underlying causes to make lasting change.

How is the Bixby Center related to other parts of UCSF?
The Bixby Center is the largest part of the UCSF School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences (Ob-Gyn). In turn, the UCSF Ob/Gyn department is the largest in the country. We are part of the Ob-Gyn San Francisco General Hospital division, allowing our clinician faculty to provide care and training at the hospital. Our home institution, UCSF, is the leading university exclusively focused on health.

Where does the Bixby Center do its work?
Bixby Center members are located at various UCSF campuses in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, including Laurel Heights, Mission Bay, Mount Zion, Parnassus and San Francisco General Hospital. Bixby Center projects and collaborations operate in many US states and internationally in Africa, Asia and South America:

  • Bangladesh
  • Cambodia
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Mexico
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

How does the Bixby Center ensure its research meets the highest ethical standards?
All projects conducted by the Bixby Center are formally reviewed by the UCSF Human Research Protection Program. This program operates under federal regulations, state laws and UCSF policy to ensure the ethical and equitable treatment of human subjects involved in research. The review process involves comprehensive planning to protect the rights and welfare research participants. Projects are randomly selected for audits to ensure that safeguards are in place. In addition, all UCSF employees are required to complete annual trainings on patient privacy and the principles of ethical research.

Who funds the Bixby Center?
The Bixby Center’s annual budget is approximately $50 million. The Center accomplishes its work primarily through support from private foundations, and federal and state contracts and grants. Less than 1% of our annual budget comes from pharmaceutical companies. More than 99% of our funding is dedicated to specific projects and programs. See our annual reports for additional financial details.

What is the Bixby Center’s role in advocacy?
The Bixby Center was founded by obstetricians and gynecologists with the aim of providing the best possible care in sexual and reproductive health. Because our research findings are often applicable to policy debates affecting patient care and access, we make our findings available for use by advocates and decision makers. As impartial experts, our faculty have frequently provided expert testimony.

What is the UCSF Bixby Center’s relationship with the UC Berkeley and UCLA Bixby Centers?
There are three academic Bixby Centers, all focused on reproductive health and all endowed by our namesake, the Fred H. Bixby Foundation. The Bixby Center for Population, Health, and Sustainability is located at the University of California, Berkeley, and focuses on improving maternal health and addressing the impact of population on global public health. The Bixby Center on Population and Reproductive Health is located at the University of California, Los Angeles, and focuses on reproductive health issues in developing countries and the US. Our mutual interest in population and health issues sometimes leads to collaborative projects across these centers, but there are no direct operational or organizational linkages.