Join Us in 2021

Monday, January 11, 2021

Synapse is thrilled to welcome Victoria Turner as our new co-Editor in Chief. She will be sharing the role with our current leader, Jihee Yoon.

Now that we have closed out 2020, I’m sure many of us hoped we would somehow return to our previous lives. So far, the world has given us record levels of COVID-19 infections and a bizarrely successful invasion of the US Capitol. Still, there are other parts of the year to look forward to.

A vaccination campaign against COVID-19 is already underway, and there is some possibility that the 2020 Olympic Games will finally take place after a year’s delay.

Three UCSF faculty have been named to the Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board to work with President-elect Biden on planning a national response program.

Ongoing activism from trainees, faculty, and staff is fueling the growth of diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism work at UCSF, including new courses in 2021 such as Racism in Science for first-year basic science PhD students and a leadership course from the Graduate Division Dean’s Office where students will plan and receive funding to complete service projects in the community.

I invite you to find something to look forward to this year, and to try and hold it in your mind’s eye as clearly as you can.

Now, I ask you to imagine something that will help you get to that moment. Whether it is taking care of yourself or others, trying something new, overcoming a fear, or just holding on during a desperately careening period of history, hold onto that plan of action. It is yours.

I hope that in 2021, Synapse can stand as a symbol of community at UCSF. I hope this newspaper serves as a record for student experiences and reflections during the pandemic, the presidential transition, and whatever else comes for us.

This coming year will be part of an inflection point in history, especially for science, medicine, and public health. I also hope we still can make room to laugh.

For a quick shot of absurdism, I highly recommend this piece by Janice Goh which ran in Synapse last November.

If you are interested in submitting to Synapse, please send us a message at

We welcome your perspectives on world events, scientific commentary, humor, photography, and more.

I would be more than happy to answer any questions about the editorial process here and how we can shape your writing for publication.

We also welcome submissions at our Humans of UCSF column, which you can submit to here. These posts, in the style of Humans of New York, give us a verbal and photographic snapshot of you or another UCSF colleague.

Finally, if you are interested in joining Synapse, please email us for a link to one of our virtual meetings. We meet every two weeks to pitch ideas for articles, plan events or series, and just catch up. Hope to see you soon!