2006 News

Levens Lipton and Stebbins
The UCSF School of Pharmacy has received a US$3.7 million grant from the Amgen Foundation to train student pharmacists in all 7 California schools of pharmacy with the skills they need to help the underserved elderly make the best Medicare Part D choices. Co-principal investigators of the grant are department of clinical pharmacy faculty members Helene Levens Lipton, PhD and Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD.
Calls to the California Poison Control System (CPCS) about abuse, primarily in adolescents, of over-the-counter medications containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan, increased tenfold from 1999 to 2004, according to a retrospective review published in the December 2006 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. This calling trend in California to the CPCS was paralleled nationally during this same time period, the report shows.
Howard Lee, MD, PhD, is the new director of the Center for Drug Development Science (CDDS).
By understanding the complicated systems that make up biology, we will understand more about the individual parts, how they work together, communicate, and mobilize into action, according to Chao Tang, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member.
James Wells
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member James Wells, PhD, director of the Small Molecule Discovery Center, describes his approach, which uses precise, sophisticated matchmaking techniques, to improving the success rate of finding chemical compounds with the potential to become drugs. Full story Jim Wells: Helping to Fill the Drug Discovery Pipeline
Science could benefit from funding for deep innovation and time to dream, says Ken Dill, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and associate dean of research. Learn more about Dill's perspective in a two-part interview in Science Café, a UCSF weekly highlighting the culture, conduct, and community of science. Bring Back the Ivory Tower, Part 1 of 2 Bring Back the Ivory Tower, Part 2 of 2
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The UCSF School of Pharmacy maintains its ranking as the best doctor of pharmacy degree program in the United States, according to a 2005 survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report. Results were published in America's Best Graduate Schools, 2007 Edition.
Today’s science lacks funding for truly deep innovation, says Ken Dill, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and associate dean of research. Full story Science Cafe, Bring Back the Ivory Tower, Part 1 of 2
Kathy M. Giacomini, PhD, chair of the UCSF School of Pharmacy department of biopharmaceutical sciences, has been elected a member of the Institute of Medicine based upon her research achievements and commitment to service. Giacomini is an international leader in the field of membrane transporters and pharmacogenetics. She joins 3 other UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty members on the IOM membership roster:
The New York-based Li Foundation, which for more than 15 years has been supporting Chinese scientists to study at UCSF, is now targeting its support to scholars from Peking University's Center for Theoretical Biology to study at the University of California's (UC's) California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3), which is headquartered at UCSF. At QB3, Peking scientists will work in the area of systems biology.
For the 26th consecutive year, the UCSF School of Pharmacy ranks first among US pharmacy schools in contract and grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to figures for fiscal year 2005. This outstanding track record of success reflects the high caliber of the School's science, agree both Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, dean of the School and Ken Dill, PhD, School faculty member and associate dean of research.
School of Pharmacy faculty member Su Guo, PhD, is credited by Andrew Fire, PhD, Stanford University scientist and 2006 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine for her early work on RNA as a graduate student at Cornell University. Fire notes that his own RNA work, for which he is honored by a Nobel Prize, built upon that of Guo and other colleagues. Full story Nobel Winner Credits UCSF Scientist with Early Lead to Key Finding
Science works best when it is international, says Volker Doetsch, PhD, professor and leader of the Institute of Biophysical Chemistry at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt and adjunct professor in the department of pharmaceutical chemistry at the UCSF School of Pharmacy.
Robert D. Gibson, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy alumnus and former associate dean, has been honored with the Chauncey I. Cooper Award by the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA) in recognition of his sustained and distinguished service to the profession of pharmacy.
Victoria Hale, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy PhD alumnus in pharmaceutical chemistry, and founder and CEO of the Institute for OneWorld Health is one of 25 prestigious 2006 MacArthur Fellows, as announced September 19, 2006, by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Chicago, Illinois. Fellows are selected for their creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future.
Ken A. Dill, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member, associate dean of research, and expert in protein folding has been named winner of the 2007 Distinguished Service Award by the Biophysical Society. Dill has served as president of the society from 1998 to 1999 and currently co-chairs the public affairs committee.
Seeking new funding sources for PhD programs. Thank you for alumni contributions. Meeting with PharmD alumni in industry. Faculty honors and awards: Ortiz de Montellano, Voigt, Wells, England, Hunt, Bero, Day. Global activity: McGee and Drysdale (Uganda), Nguyen (Ho Chi Minh City), Guglielmo, Gwaza, Monera, Benet, Wolfe, and UCSF ranked 9th among the top 100 global universities by Newsweek International. Li Foundation becomes partner in systems biology research (Peng, Tang).
Michael Marletta, PhD, who completed his PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry at UCSF in 1977, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences on April 25, 2006 at the Academy's 143rd annual meeting in Washington, DC. While a PhD graduate student at UCSF, Marletta worked under research advisor George Kenyon, PhD.
Using standards that measure a university's openness and diversity, as well as distinction in research, Newsweek International ranked UCSF 9th among the top 100 global universities as reported in the publication's August 13, 2006 online issue. "The public we now serve is increasingly a global public, and this ranking is one measure of our success," comments UCSF School of Pharmacy Dean Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD.
Patients benefit best from medications when they take the right medicines at the right dose and at the right time. Learn more about medication adherence and how to achieve it from UCSF School of Pharmacy clinical faculty members Andrew Leeds, PharmD and Jennifer Cocohoba, PharmD during an August 20, 2006 radio interview with Andrew Schorr, host of Patient Power, a weekly radio program on [Health Radio Network] [link defunct].
While tailoring medications to a group's genetic ancestry can be important, scientists warn that these generalizations might also be misleading. UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and pharmacogenetics and asthma researcher Esteban Burchard, MD, comments at the Genomics, Race, and Health Disparities Conference held in Oakland, California on August 18 and 19, 2006.
In the new United States Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, most people are responsible for 100% of their drug costs after their annual drug expenses exceed US$2,250 and until their expenses reach US$5,100. This coverage gap is known as the "donut hole." UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD, comments on the Medicare Part D coverage gap and its impact on seniors once they are in it.
Pamela M. England, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and expert in the areas of neuroscience and memory formation, will receive one of four Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Awards for 2006-2008. The award is from The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience.
Darryl Inaba, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy 1971 alumnus, a substance abuse expert and former CEO of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc., was honored on August 7, 2006 as the clinics' first fellow. Full story: [Darryl Inaba Named First Fellow of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc.][link defunct as of October 28, 2011] More information: [Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc. Fellow][link defunct as of January 9, 2012]
Research studies can be designed to influence the results, comments Lisa Bero, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and expert on industry sponsorship of research and conflict of interest. Full story:Simply Disclosing Funds Behind Study May Not Erase Bias 
Helene Levens Lipton, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and health policy expert, comments that insurers will remain in the Medicare Part D marketplace as long as they benefit. Full story Medicare Drug Plan is Prescribing Profits, Business Gains Could Diminish as Program Evolves  More [Pharmacists Clarify the Medicare Part D Fog] [link defunct]
Candy Tsourounis, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy clinical faculty member and expert on herbals and dietary supplements, warns that depending upon your blood cholesterol levels, a cholesterol-lowering dietary supplement might not be enough for you. Listen to National Public Radio Morning Edition, August 3, 2006. Full story and audio:Not All Cholesterol-reducing Supplements Are Equal
Rice and El-Ibiary
In light of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) July 31, 2006 announcement that it is proceeding to work toward making emergency contraception, known as Plan B, a non-prescription product for women ages 18 and older, two UCSF School of Pharmacy clinical faculty members answer questions about the contraceptive and surrounding policy issues.
Chris Voigt
Christopher A. Voigt, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy scientist, and colleagues are engineering bacteria to target tumors and create images. This work is part of the emerging field of synthetic biology, which aims to create new biological parts, systems, and tools, and redesign existing biological systems for useful purposes, including:
Three UCSF School of Pharmacy scientists, Paul R. Ortiz de Montellano, PhD; Christopher A. Voigt, PhD; and James A. Wells, PhD have been recognized for their outstanding research.
Medicare Part D decisions are confusing and complex, especially to underprivileged and underserved seniors and disabled applicants. Pharmacists have the expertise to solve this problem if they were named by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as the primary educators for the Part D benefit and appropriately funded, according to B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, chair; Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD, clinical professor; and Timothy W.
Pharmacists are essential to the successful implementation of Medicare Part D, according to Helene Levens Lipton, PhD, professor of health policy in the department of clinical pharmacy, UCSF School of Pharmacy and UCSF Institute for Health Policy Studies. If policymakers would recognize and reimburse pharmacists for their rational approach to prescribing medications, patients would be better served and drug costs would be better controlled.
UCSF Doctor of Pharmacy students advised viewers in Spanish about Medicare Part D at the call center for Univision, Channel 14 San Francisco on Friday, May 5, 2006. "The experience was great for student pharmacists and callers alike," said Kirby Lee, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty mentor for the session. "For the first time, our student pharmacists shared their Part D knowledge on live television.
UCSF doctor of pharmacy students explained Medicare Part D in Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Russian, and English at a Saturday, April 29 workshop in San Francisco. The event was hosted by Mission Creek Community Mercy Housing California and the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. More than 15 UCSF student pharmacists worked with more than 30 Mission Creek senior residents to clarify residents' Part D options and identify drug benefit plans.
Small changes in pharmacy school curricula could ultimately lead to safer health care environments for patients. These changes were proposed by Brian Alldredge, PharmD, professor of clinical pharmacy, and Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, dean, UCSF School of Pharmacy. Full story Count and Be Counted: Preparing Future Pharmacists to Promote a Culture of Safety
Chung, Drysdale, Smith
Doctor of pharmacy students at the UCSF School of Pharmacy were recognized March 17, 2006 with a national Medicare Student Outreach Competition award for their success in educating the public about the new federal Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage program, known as Medicare Part D. UCSF student pharmacist organizations received a US$500 prize from the National Council of State Pharmacy Association Executives (NCSPAE) for continued Medicare Part D programming.
Robert L. Day, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy associate dean and Robert D. Gibson, PharmD, alumnus and former associate dean, were honored by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) at its 2006 annual meeting held in San Francisco, March 17 to 21, 2006. Day received the Linwood F. Tice Friend of the APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Award. Gibson received the Remington Honor Medal.
Helene Levens Lipton, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy professor and health policy expert explores the impact of Medicare Part D on pharmacy business. • Full story: Pharmacists Fear Threat to Business Posed by Medicare Part D.
R. William Soller
R. William Soller, PhD, executive director, UCSF School of Pharmacy Center for Consumer Self Care, is the co-recipient of the Golden Thinker Award from the North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS). The award marks record-level radio and newspaper coverage of the It's Your Life breast and prostate cancer communications campaigns. • Full story: [It's Your Life Campaigns with Golden Thinker Award and Certificate of Excellence] [link defunct].
Guglielmo named new department of clinical pharmacy chair. New faculty members: Boyd, Burchard, Cutler, Lee, MacDougall, Nkansah, Orrico, Tang, and Wells. Parfitt Pattie now oversees alumni relations in addition to fundraising. Research highlights. Honors and awards: Langridge, Giacomini, Herfindal, Gibson, Day, Nguyen, Zlott, Drysdale, and Allday. New PhD training program in systems biology. Postgraduate education of PharmD students. Employment trends of PharmD graduates.
B. Joseph Guglielmo, Jr.
B. Joseph Guglielmo Jr., PharmD, has been named chair of the department of clinical pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco. The appointment is effective March 20, 2006. Guglielmo is a clinical pharmacist, researcher, and national leader on the best use of drugs to control infections.
Marilyn Stebbins
Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy clinical professor and drug benefit expert, explains the problems as of January 2006 with the rollout of the Medicare Part D drug benefit. She advises seniors on how to get the medication coverage that best meets their needs. • Full story: Confused by Medicare Part D? UCSF Expert Offers Advice.
A new public board is needed to standardize, measure, and ultimately improve the quality of health care in the United States, according to UCSF School of Pharmacy Dean Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, and University of California colleagues Stephen M. Shortell, PhD, MPH, and Steven A. Schroeder, MD, in a January 8, 2005 San Francisco Chronicle opinion article.
man offering a cocktail
Reports to the California Poison Control System of the use of the drug gamma hydroxybutate (GHB) have declined overall from 1999 to 2003. These findings were reported on December 29, 2005 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. The lead study author is Ilene Anderson, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and clinical pharmacist with the California Poison Control System, which is administered by the UCSF School of Pharmacy.
Robert D. Gibson
Robert D. Gibson, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy alumnus and former associate dean, is the 2006 recipient of the Remington Honor Medal. This is the highest honor bestowed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Full story [San Francisco Pharmacist Receives Industry's Highest Honor] [link defunct] (PDF, 2 pages, 78 KB)
memory-making neuron
Through better understanding of where and how the brain gets, or "traffics," fresh supplies of particular receptors needed to carry chemical signals between nerve cells, researchers hope to better understand how we learn, remember, and possibly forget. Studies of the receptor known as AMPA are being led by Pamela England, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy assistant professor, and UCSF colleagues.