Highlighting the work of Freeman Bradley, of UCSF’s Research Development Department and the Black Caucus

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By Shannon Foley, Archives & Special Collections Intern

Brought to Light wants to bring attention to remarkable former UCSF faculty member Freeman Bradley. His significant contributions to the medical community and the Black community at UCSF deserve to be recognized. Bradley grew up in Alabama, and after high school, he continued his education at Howard University in Washington D.C., where he received his bachelor’s degree in Biology. After his graduation, Bradley moved to Maryland and started working at the National Institute of Health, where he remained for four years before starting his career at UCSF. His position was with the Cardiovascular Research Institute, where he conducted research about respiratory changes associated with various anesthesias.

During his time at UCSF, Freeman Bradley worked as a technician to Dr. John Severinghaus and and Bradley’s contributions were fundamental to Severinghaus’s groundbreaking work. From 1957 to 1958, Dr. Severinghaus and Mr. Bradley combined technology created by Richard Stow and Leland Clark to create the first blood gas analysis system. Shortly after the first system was created, they were commercialized and proved revolutionary in health care. In Dr. Severinghaus’s written account of his research and the evolution of the invention of the blood gas analysis system, he emphasizes how his and Mr. Bradley’s invention changed medicine. By the 1960s they blood gas analysis systems were widely available, and and these tests provided essential information about a patient’s illness.. These systems are still used today, and in 1985 Dr. Severinghaus donated the first apparatus he and Mr. Bradley worked on at the Smithsonian Museum. In 1977 after his research with Dr. Severinghaus, Mr. Bradley was appointed Director of Development and Research. In this position, he helped progress the technology and development of medical tools. One of the other advancements he made at his time at UCSF was in the transportation technology of newborn babies or neonates. His contributions to medical advancements do not go unnoticed. 

Image taken from SYNAPSE – THE UCSF STUDENT NEWSPAPER, VOLUME 27, NUMBER 19, 24 FEBRUARY 1983, https://synapse.library.ucsf.edu/?a=d&d=ucsf19830224-01.1.3.

Freeman Bradley was not only an incredible asset to advancing medical research, but he also was an active member in UCSF’s Black Caucus. The Black Caucus is a club at UCSF whose mission statement is “The Black Caucus is a forum open to all Black-identified individuals and allies on this campus. Here they may openly express themselves regarding matters of race as they affect life on the campus and in the community. The Black Caucus serves as an instrument for the formation of a Black consensus on those racial matters that affect every person on this campus. This consensus will then be presented to the Administration for appropriate action.” One of the founding members and President of the Black Caucus, David Johnson, worked to create this community where Black members of UCSF could have their needs and concerns met. During Freeman Bradley’s time at UCSF and as an active member of the Black Caucus and used his calm temperament to make sure issues could be addressed and changes made. Mr. Bradley is quoted saying that even though he was criticized for staying diplomatic, he knew that it was the way to be more successful in the long run. In a 1983 interview of Mr. Bradley printed by Synapse, he shared his concerns with the lack of Black role models for youths in the sciences. He believes that minorities would be more likely to become a part of the medical field with more role models. Freeman Bradley is the perfect example of a role model to the youth and can be seen as an inspiration to all.

Works Cited:

“David Johnson, Freeman Bradley – Black Caucus Leaders.” Synapse, Volume 27, Number 19, 24 February 1983, synapse.library.ucsf.edu/?a=d&d=ucsf19830224-01.1.3, accessed April 21, 2021.

Severinghaus, John W. “The Invention and Development of Blood Gas Analysis Apparatus.” Anesthesiology, vol. 97, no. 1, 2002, pp. 253–256., doi:10.1097/00000542-200207000-00031, accessed April 21, 2021.

New Archives Intern – Shannon Foley

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Please join us in welcoming our new intern, Shannon Foley. She’ll be working with us on writing and researching blog posts, as well as working on part 2 of our legacy finding aid project.

“Hello, My name is Shannon Foley. I am incredibly excited to be interning at UCSF’s
Archives & Special Collections this semester. I am currently in my last semester at the University of
San Francisco and will be graduating with a degree in Art History and Museum Studies.
Last semester I interned at the University of San Francisco’s Thacher Gallery. I helped
with their online exhibitions, a great experience learning how to navigate fully online
exhibitions.
At the University of San Francisco, the Art History and Museum Studies program offers
a diverse range of skills and experiences that I am excited to bring these skills to this
internship.
I grew up just an hour north of San Francisco in Sonoma County but have enjoyed
living in San Francisco for the past few years. When I am not in a class, I love to cook
and bake for my friends and family. I have also played tennis for the past ten years and
have enjoyed playing more during the pandemic. I am very passionate about traveling
and visiting museums abroad and locally.
On any given day, I can be seen walking my dog Louie and reading a good book.”

New Archives Intern: Ganzolboo Ayurzana

Today’s post is an introduction from Ganzolboo Ayurzana, one of our current interns here in the Archives. Ganzolboo has actually been working with us for several months now, and he is helping us inventory born-digital collections materials which are currently stored with physical collections so that we can capture the data off of them before they become unreadable.


Hello, my name is Ganzolboo Ayurzana. I am a senior year student at San Francisco State University. I am currently pursuing a double major of computer and math. I am from Mongolia, and I came to this country in pursuit of greater knowledge and career. One thing interesting about me is that I am able to converse in 5 different languages — Mongolian, Korean, English, Japanese, and Russian. Ever since I was young I had a talent for picking up new languages faster than my peers. In my free time I like to play basketball, hang out with my friends, and write computer code. I am also a huge Marvel movie fan, and every movie that came out in theaters I would go watch at least twice; sometimes even thrice. I also love Harry Potter, and I have read the book and watched the movie enough times to know about it all inside out.

I am very much looking forward to getting to know this excellent group of people and learning more about what librarians do.