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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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Stony Brook University, New York, M.A. Biological Sciences, 1987

University of California, Berkeley, B.A. Anthropology, 1981

Pamela Derish M.A. is Scientific Publications Manager and Instructor in the Department of Surgery at UCSF. Trained in both natural and behavioral science, she has 25 years of experience as a biomedical editor at UCSF, the past 15 in the Department of Surgery, where she provides a professional editing service for faculty, fellows, and residents to help them publish their research and obtain grant funding. Pamela has coauthored publications that describe these efforts and is consulted by other institutions interested in offering similar programs to support their faculty and trainees.

Before becoming a scientific editor in 1992, Pamela worked as a statistician-research associate for the Association for Women's AIDS Research and Education (AWARE), co-founded by the late Connie Wofsy MD at San Francisco General Hospital, a pioneer in studying the impact of the epidemic on women. Subsequently, as an editor in the UCSF Department of Medicine, Pamela continued to work in the HIV-AIDS field, editing textbooks for clinicians. Then, as Principal Editor in the UCSF Department of Neurological Surgery, she edited journal articles and grant applications pertaining to clinical and experimental neurosurgery and developed and co-taught a course for residents and fellows on writing and publishing the results of biomedical research.

Pamela has trained scores of researchers within the Department of Surgery and the wider UCSF community on how to write publishable scientific papers and fundable grant proposals, having taught an intensive scientific writing course annually since 2004 . She is also Instructor, with Dr. Hobart Harris and Dr. Michael Matthay, for the Department of Surgery's NIH training grant course, How to Give Effective Scientific Talks.

Pamela regularly teaches courses and workshops for several UCSF departments and programs, including the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, Cancer Center, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Internal Medicine, Radiology, Pediatrics, Center for the Health Professions, Breast Care Center, Diabetes Center, Office of Career and Professional Development, and Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. Her biannual workshops for the Scientific Manuscript Writing Program for UCSF Global Health Sciences' International Training Program in AIDS Prevention Studies have been "exported" to train learners in the Middle East and Africa. Pamela has also taught for the University of Chicago Department of Surgery, Genentech, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, and the Kenyan Medical Research Institute. Since 2012, she has given an annual writing course for faculty and postdocs in the Institute of Medicine at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Her many years of experience as an author's editor and scientific writing instructor position Pamela to recognize common problems that investigators face in writing about their research, regardless of their subfield of science. To address these problems in a lasting way that augments her regular teaching, as well as to reach a wider audience, Pamela has coauthored manuscripts and book chapters about specific issues in scientific writing.

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  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. View All Publications
  1. Cohen JB, Derish PA, Dorfman LE. AWARE: A Community-Based Research and Peer Intervention Program for Women. In: Community-Based Research. AIDS Prevention and Services. Van Vugt, JP (ed). Praeger Press, 1993.


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