2007 News

Some leukemia cells supercharge cell pumps to get rid of chemotherapy. UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and pharmacogenetics researcher Deanna Kroetz, PhD, is aiming toward a simple way to identify these tumors, select the best treatment and avoid complications. Full story [Leukemia Survival and Pharmacogenetics][link defunct as of April 1, 2013]
Health economist Leslie Wilson, PhD, faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, studies the ratio of cost to benefit, the benefit alone, or the cost alone of health treatments, educational interventions, and other activities that can ultimately impact a patient's health. One of her latest research projects focuses on Chagas' disease in the California blood supply and the cost of screening blood supplies for the disease compared to the health benefit.
Esteban Burchard, MD
What began as a fascination with fish when he was a child eventually led Esteban Burchard, MD to study genetic differences behind asthma risk. Burchard, who is a physician scientist and faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, has uncovered differences in asthma risk and medication effectiveness in Latino subgroups that have profound implications for research, health care, and public policy.
Photo by Susan Merrell
UCSF student pharmacists relate science to the everyday lives of 5th-graders at San Francisco's Rosa Parks Elementary School through a special program now in its second year. The Rosa Parks Science Discovery Program was developed by student pharmacist Ashish Patel and implemented by Patel and his peers, who are members of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association of UCSF.
Leslie Z. Benet, PhD, faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy delivered the Seventh Distinguished Clinical Research Lecture to the UCSF faculty on October 17, 2007 on UCSF's Parnassus campus. The lecture is UCSF's highest recognition for excellence in clinical research.
Semliki forest virus
Tom Ferrin, PhD, faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, is an expert in the use of computation and computer-generated images and simulations of biological molecules to understand how molecules act and interact. He uses this knowledge to better understand biology and to solve biological problems such as those involved in drug design.
Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy is the 2007 recipient of the Paul F. Parker Medal for Distinguished Service to the Profession of Pharmacy. The award was given October 14, 2007 by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy at its annual meeting in Denver, Colorado. Full story Koda-Kimble to Receive 2007 Parker Award
Research by Nadav Ahituv, PhD, faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, shows that laboratory mice that had specific sequences of their DNA removed eat, grow, and reproduce normally. The stretches of DNA deleted by Ahituv are referred to as ultraconserved DNA that have been protected throughout evolution and are shared by humans. As in classic genetic research, Ahituv "took out" ultraconserved DNA sequences—one by one—to see what happened.
Nature magazine
A research paper authored by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Brian Shoichet, PhD, and colleagues appeared in the September 2007 list of The Nature Top Ten. The listing includes articles most frequently downloaded from the Nature website the preceding month. The article was also featured as Nature's cover story in its August 16, 2007 print edition.
Fresno program to boost number of pharmacists. UCSF ranks 3rd in the United States in overall faculty productivity. California Poison Control System receives IN-AWE for "Don't guess. Be sure.". Preceptors survey and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs). Drug Information Analysis Service closes. New Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) requirement. Articles of Interest. Tenure: Jacobson, England. Retirements: Hoener, Whitney, Winter.
The evaluation of large amounts of biological information can help infer the function of many enzymes in the body, but for some enzymes that are not related to proteins whose activity is already understood, bioinformatics can be unreliable. Scientists at the UCSF School of Pharmacy with colleagues in Texas and New York have found another way to discover the function of these enzymes by first assessing their structure using an established technique in a new way.
Christopher A. Voigt, PhD, faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, is studying how to engineer living systems to solve widespread problems of society, such as our dependence on petroleum-based fuels. Learn more about Voigt's perspective on the field known as synthetic biology in Science Café, a UCSF weekly column highlighting the culture, conduct, and community of science. Full story Voigt Makes Synthetic Biology Come Alive
Overuse of non-prescription topical creams that contain methyl salicylate, such as liniments used to soothe sore muscles, can be a health hazard, warns Thomas E. Kearney, PharmD, UCSF school of pharmacy faculty member, in response to the reported methyl salicylate-related death of a New York City high school track star. Full story [NY teen's overdose on muscle cream prompts call for better labels][link defunct]
The California Poison Control System (CPCS), which is administered by the UCSF School of Pharmacy, has won the 2007 International Award of Excellence from the Medical Marketing Association and the Coalition for Healthcare Communicators. The award recognizes the CPCS's consumer marketing campaign Don't Guess. Be Sure. and is the most prestigious award for marketing and communications in the area of health care.
A computer model can now give scientists clues about how different chemicals could be attracted to each other and form more complicated molecules. This information, in turn, could shed light on how the universe was formed and how life emerged. The model was developed by Ken Dill, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member, and Justin Bradford, UCSF PhD graduate student in biophysics.
Published results of drug trials sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry are more likely than trials not sponsored by the industry to favor drug over placebo, according to
Increasing resistance to antimicrobial drugs and a shortage of new antimicrobial drugs call for new ways to use them wisely. This is especially true in hospitals and medical centers where bacteria are prominent and can be easily spread. A model management program at the UCSF Medical Center, which was created by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member B.
An inaugural Legislative Day will be held in San Francisco on Friday, April 20, 2007 to fuel interest among UCSF School of Pharmacy students to become politically involved in pharmacy-related issues. Featured activities include a presentation, on the UCSF Parnassus campus, by California State Assemblyman Mark Leno and a health fair, at San Francisco City Hall, for city employees.
Mass spectrometry technology and techniques are key to knowing the structure and function of proteins and how they act in the constantly moving highways of biological systems. Alma Burlingame, PhD, faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy's department of pharmaceutical chemistry is a master of mass spectrometry and the interpretation of its results.
The odds of finding a chemical compound that can be developed into a drug are not good, says Thomas James, PhD, chair of the UCSF School of Pharmacy's department of pharmaceutical chemistry, but those odds can be improved by university scientists.
In Memory: Dean Jere Goyan. Student and staff honors and awards: Chinn, Farm, Almas, Beverage. Clinical scientist news and awards: Lee, Giacomini. Partners in D Outreach: Stebbins, Levens Lipton, Amgen. Chemistry and Chemical Biology Chemistry-Biology Interface grant renewal: Craik. American Course on Drug Development and Regulatory Sciences. Lee is new director of Center for Drug Development Sciences. New faculty: Ferrone.
The Strategic Opportunities Support Center (SOS Center) at UCSF is accepting inaugural proposals for projects that will carry forward the translation of research studies into clinical and human studies and eventually into community practice. The SOS Center is co-directed by UCSF faculty members Kathy M. Giacomini, PhD, and Paul Volberding, MD, from the School of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine, respectively.
Jere Goyan, PhD, former dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy and former commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration died on January 17, 2007 in his home in Kingwood, Texas. “Jere was a beloved colleague who had tremendous influence on pharmacy education and science. He led the transformation of pharmacy into a clinically focused profession, and … led the FDA as commissioner. Leaders like Jere are precious indeed.
A new California law, effective January 5, 2007, is designed to give pharmacists more time to work directly with patients to ensure greater medication safety by allowing specially trained technicians to assume time-consuming tasks of filling and checking prescriptions. Research led by the UCSF School of Pharmacy and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was important to the passing of the law. Full story Tech-check-tech