From the editor

I idolized my Uncle Gary. He was funny, smart, and handsome, and he took us kids horseback riding and fishing. He was a pioneer in veterinary echocardiography at Cornell University, where he was a professor of veterinary medicine.

A brain tumor took his life at 39, when I was just 11. In quiet moments, I sometimes remember Uncle Gary and wonder how much richer life might have been with him in it.

Cancer has touched nearly everyone. The American Cancer Society estimates that this year alone more than 1.6 million people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with the disease.

Researchers at UC Santa Cruz are at the forefront of the search for new ways to defeat this devastating disease. As you'll read in our cover story, Distinguished Professor of Biomolecular Engineering David Haussler and his team are working toward the goal of personalized cancer diagnosis and treatment, which would be an enormous advance in cancer medicine.

Other articles in this issue show how UCSC achieves its public service mission by helping supply California with qualified math and science teachers, is opening new doors of understanding to world history, and is working to bring more primary care doctors to communities with underserved populations.

UCSC alumni also entertain: One is now a TV executive involved in producing provocative hit shows including Mad Men and Weeds; another is editor-in-chief of a news magazine that examines issues from an unusual angle.

You can always get the full scoop on UCSC by subscribing to our monthly e-newsletter. Just go to and click the "Subscribe Today" button.

Have a great holiday season, and keep in touch.

—Gwen Mickelson, editor

This note appears in the fall 2011 issue of Review magazine.