UCSF

2009 News

Structural model of the active site of procaspase-3
Research directed by senior author James Wells, PhD, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF School of Pharmacy, has opened the door to a new way of studying and better understanding the processes of cell death (apoptosis), blood clotting, and other biochemical pathways. Insights could lead to the development of novel therapeutics for diseases such as cancers that are characterized by uncontrolled cell growth.
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A computational method developed in the UCSF School of Pharmacy under the direction of faculty member Brian Shoichet, PhD, has the potential to predict new target diseases for existing drugs as well as unexpected side effects of approved drugs.
The University of California, San Francisco-operated California Poison Control System (CPCS), which had already sent layoff notices to its employees January 15, 2010, has secured funding to rescind the notices and continue to care for Californians, through June 2010, via its free and immediate 24 hour per day, 7 days per week advice and referral telephone action line.
The Scientist has cited a UCSF innovation among its top 10 list of tools to hit the life sciences in 2009. In the spotlight is a paper that reveals how to import plant "light switches" into mammalian cells to control complex regulatory processes. The paper appeared in the October 15, 2009 issue of Nature.
Helene Levens Lipton, PhD, faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, presents data in support of including pharmacists in the medical home model of health care. Her editorial appears in the November 23, 2009 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Press Release: Team-Based Care and Medical Homes May Improve Chronic Disease Management Reprinted from JAMA/Archives, press release, November 23, 2009.
Craik
Takeda San Francisco, Inc., announced September 21, 2009 that it has entered into a sponsored collaboration with UCSF to support antibody-related research in the laboratory of Charles S. Craik, PhD, faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF School of Pharmacy. Craik will be the principal investigator of the project, which will focus on therapeutic antibody discovery and development to an undisclosed target.
UCSF researcher Deanna Kroetz, PhD, discusses the impact of genetic differences on how an individual responds to drugs in a KQED Quest radio interview that aired September 14, 2009. Fellow members of the interview panel were UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, and UCSF breast cancer surgeon Laura Esserman, MD, MBA.
Breast cancer patients might not be getting full advantage from a genetic screening test for the protein known as HER2 to help determine if the use of trastuzumab (marketed as Herceptin) is the best course of treatment for them. For patients whose breast cancer cells produce excessive amounts of HER2, trastuzumab can be highly effective.
Arkin and Wells
Scientists from the UCSF School of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry have been selected to lead a new federal initiative aimed at developing new classes of drugs to target cancer.
UCSF School of Pharmacy researchers and colleagues have successfully created a mathematical model that genetically programs bacteria and causes the bacteria to "trace" images projected onto them in a petri dish. The bacteria sense and display the area of the projection where light meets dark by producing a visible black pigment. The result is the "tracing" of a projected picture, from the profile of Alfred Hitchcock to the outline of a five-pointed star.
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UCSF School of Pharmacy researcher Lisa Bero, PhD, served with UCSF School of Medicine colleagues Bernard Lo, MD, and Deborah Grady, MD, MPH, on an Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee that in spring 2009 published its findings on conflict of interest in medical research, education, and practice.
Mitra Assemi, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy associate professor of clinical pharmacy, has been named the School's assistant dean for accreditation and quality, effective September 1, 2009.
Donald Kishi, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy health sciences clinical professor of pharmacy, has been named the School's associate dean of student and curricular affairs by Dean Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD. The appointment was effective September 1, 2009.
UCSF researchers have identified the two key circuits, compared to hundreds as previously thought, that control a cell's ability to adapt to changes in its environment. These circuits are key to a cell's ability to reset itself after responding to a stimulus.
A team of scientists from UCSF and colleagues have identified a new potential drug target for the herpes virus that causes Kaposi’s sarcoma. Their research reopens the possibility of using a class of drugs called protease inhibitors, against diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer's Disease. This research was published online in Nature Chemical Biology, July 26, 2009. The lead author is Tina Shahian, UCSF Graduate Group in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Koda-Kimble
New chancellor: Desmond-Hellman; budget update: 4% to 10% salary cuts via furloughs, possibly to be renewed; risk of poison control system closure; new Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences; faculty honors and awards: Burchard, Peck, Desai, Roy, Bero, MacDougall, Hessol, Phillips, Tsourounis, Apollonio, Wells, Fujimori. Appointments: Babbitt, Sali, Wells, Benowitz.
Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, shares her life story, passion for clinical pharmacy, and leadership philosophy in this July 29, 2009 video. Watch: [Voices - Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD][link defunct as of November 27, 2012]
A new medication management service in Fresno, California is now scheduling patient appointments to begin September 1, 2009. The UCSF [Medication Management Service][link defunct], Fresno helps California Central Valley health care providers select the best medications for their patients' needs and circumstances and helps patients increase their ability to access and manage their medications.
Synthetic biologist and UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Christopher Voigt, PhD, and Jeffrey Tabor, a postdoctoral scholar in Voigt's laboratory, discuss the field and promise of synthetic biology in this July 21, 2009 KQED television segment. Video: Video of Decoding Synthetic Biology - KQED QUEST QUEST on KQED Public Media. Source: QUEST: Decoding Synthetic Biology
Tejal Desai, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy and Medicine faculty member, was chosen in January 2009 as a 2009 Emerging Scholar in Physiology by Diverse Issues in Higher Education, which is a news source, founded in 1984, that gathers and shares information to promote the higher education of people of color and underrepresented minority groups. Desai is an bioengineer who focuses on the design, fabrication, and use of advanced micro/nano biosystems.
Dorie Apollonio, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and political science and health policy expert, received, with co-authors, the inaugural Best Article prize for 2007-2008 from the journal Regulation & Governance. In their report, the authors test and then counter the widely held expectation that regulators can more effectively target serious violations when they have a broader array of sanctioning options in their enforcement arsenal.
UCSF scientists from the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences and UCSF School of Pharmacy Dean Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, spoke on June 23, 2009 about how their research is aiming to make therapeutics sophisticated, highly effective, and tailored to the different needs of individuals. The audience for their luncheon presentation in downtown San Francisco included advisers to clients engaged in making gift decisions related to estate planning.
William Soller, PhD, UCSF faculty member and expert on food and drug law and regulations comments on the June 30, 2009 vote of a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee to lower the US maximum over-the-counter dose of acetaminophen and make the current maximum single dose of the drug be available by prescription only. Soller's research on acetaminophen was included as part of the advisory committee's deliberations.
Poison experts nationally are tracking the fate of the California Poison Control System, as California state legislators work to pass an already overdue budget. Operation of the System is dependent upon sufficient state funding, the prospects for which remain bleak. Full story Poison Control Centers May Be Budget Victims
Layoff notices are predicted by mid-July 2009 for California Poison Control System employees unless adequate funding for the System is both included in a new California state budget and a new budget is soon passed by the state legislature. Full story California Poison Control System Faces Layoffs, Closure
As California legislators continued to wrangle over the details of a state budget bill, National Public Radio's Kelley Weiss covered the impact of potential cuts on the California Poison Control System. June 24, 2009 Morning Edition guests included Stuart Heard, PharmD, FCSHP, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and executive director of the system, which the School administers for California.
UCSF School of Pharmacy Dean Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD (image left), and Marilyn Speedie, PhD (image right), dean of the College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, are advocating for immediate changes in how doctor of pharmacy programs are accredited in the United States. If these changes are not made, they call for the formation of a new accrediting body. Their editorial appeared in Pharmacotherapy, Volume 29, Issue 5, 2009.
Candy Tsourounis, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy clinical faculty member and expert on integrative and complementary therapies, was chosen to participate in an international practicum on dietary supplement research. The June 1-5, 2009 course was attended by 80 university faculty members and graduate students and held in Bethesda, Maryland.   Reprint June 5, 2009 National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements
Thomas Yi, 4th-year student pharmacist in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, was honored by UCSF on June 10, 2009 with one of three Chancellor's Awards for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and/or Transgender Leadership. Yi has been active in eliminating GLBT health disparities, improving GLBT awareness within the pharmacy school curriculum, and recruiting GLBT applications for the School's doctor of pharmacy degree program.
Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH, was elected in spring 2009 to the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI). Established in 1908, the ASCI is one of the oldest medical honor societies in the US. More than 2,800 physician-scientists from all medical specialties are elected members of the Society based upon their records of achievement in biomedical research.
Nancy Hessol, MSPH, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member, was honored on June 10, 2009 by the City and County of San Francisco with two awards for her service to the San Francisco Public Health Foundation.
Brodsky
A team of scientists, who were led by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Frances Brodsky, DPhil, have found in humans a protein responsible for glucose metabolism that is not present in mice. Since mice are often used as models when studying diabetes and other diseases, the often unknown differences between mice and humans can create obstacles to direct translation of research.
San Francisco, CA (May 20, 2009) -- Funding for poison control services has been completely eliminated from the California state budget. Beginning in September of 2009, California will become the only state in the nation without any emergency poison control services for residents or medical professionals.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, pioneering cancer researcher and biotechnology industry executive who most recently served as president of product development for the biotechnology company, Genentech, Inc., was named chancellor of UCSF on May 7, 2009 by the University of California Board of Regents and on the recommendation of UC President Mark G. Yudof, LLB. The appointment takes effect August 3, 2009. “Dr.
Heather Hertema, third-year UCSF School of Pharmacy student pharmacist, is the 2009 student recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Public Service. The award recognizes members of the UCSF community who have served the public exceptionally well beyond the scope of their normal UCSF job duties, research, or training. Hertema receive the award on May 1, 2009 from UCSF Chancellor J.
Ashish Patel, a 4th-year University of California, San Francisco student pharmacist, is one of the next generation of pharmacists choosing to apply his training and expertise globally in new ways.
Research under way at UCSF's Margaret Hart Surbeck Laboratory for Advanced Imaging applies powerful, non-invasive equipment to better understand disease and improve disease treatments. "Our overall focus is to develop new imaging techniques and apply basic engineering to biology- and disease-oriented research.
The UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, which is UCSF's first department administered jointly by two schools, was announced today to the campus community by UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, MD. "Creation of this joint department was a notable achievement in the history of UCSF, and a tribute to the collaborative spirit that we value so highly," stated Bishop.
research team
A chemical precursor molecule of gasoline can be produced from biomass and salt, according to research by UCSF School of Pharmacy's Christopher Voigt, PhD, and UCSF colleagues. In this case, the precursor is methyl halide, and the gasoline derived from it through catalytic conversion is chemically indistinguishable from that produced from petroleum and would not require new vehicle engines, according to Voigt.
Andrej Sali, PhD, faculty member and vice chair, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), UCSF Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy has been appointed director of the UCSF arm of the University of California's California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), according to a UCSF announcement made April 9, 2009.
Conan MacDougall, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member, will be honored April 8, 2009 with a 2008 - 2009 UCSF Academic Senate Distinction in Teaching Award. MacDougall will receive the Category 1 award, which is reserved for faculty members who have been at UCSF for five years or less. The awards ceremony will take place at 12 noon in Cole Hall on the UCSF Parnassus campus.
Lisa Bero, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member, is the recipient of two inaugural UCSF awards for outstanding mentorship. She is the first recipient of the Harold S. Luft Award for Mentoring in Health Services and Health Policy Research and the 2008-2009 UCSF Academic Senate Distinction in Mentoring Award, Category 2 for faculty members at the rank of full professor.
Kathy Giacomini, PhD, and Carl Peck, MD, faculty members in the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), received awards from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT) at the society's annual meeting held in National Harbor, Maryland, USA, March 18-21, 2009.
The UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty and its UCSF faculty colleagues are being aided by the campus in their requests for funds provided to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The act, which was signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009, allocates US$10.4 billion to the NIH of the total US$787 billion in federal economic stimulus funding.
Koda-Kimble
Dire financial times, budget tightens. San Diego satellite program to end. Honors and Awards: Benet, Giacomini, Kroetz, Winter, Day, Yokoyama, Soller, Vogt, Wang, Saraiya, Elmore, Clemens, Rocklin, Heller. New associate deans Santi and Kayser. New faculty: Gartner, Roy. Pharmacogenomics: Phillips, Ikediobi, Shin. UCSF Medical Center collaborations, Paulson. In the news: Bero, Rising, Bacchetti, Wells, Woolley. Ranked #1 again by U.S. News and World Report.
Michael E. Winter, PharmD, emeritus professor of clinical pharmacy, UCSF School of Pharmacy, has been selected as the 2009 recipient of the UCSF Pharmacy Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award. In announcing the award, UCSF Alumni Association President Cooky Quandt, PharmD, noted that "Dr. Winter was an extraordinary candidate and received a unanimous vote of the Board of Governors."
Two new associate dean positions have been created in the UCSF School of Pharmacy to expand the School's partnerships with industry and extend its work globally. This work now will be coordinated by Daniel Santi, MD, PhD, associate dean for external scientific affairs and Steven Kayser, PharmD, associate dean for global affairs. The appointments took effect January 1, 2009.
The UCSF School of Pharmacy was a key collaborator in the early January 2009 launch of a course in China that ultimately hopes to contribute to the improved quality and broader acceptance of Chinese pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical exports.
Pharmacogenomics research at the UCSF School of Pharmacy extends from a better understanding of information derived from the Human Genome Project to research on specific genetic differences in humans and how they might affect an individual's response to a medication. It covers clinical research that evaluates the real-life differences in patient response.
Ashish Patel
In his academic journey at UCSF and nationally as a student pharmacist leader, Ashish Patel, creates lasting connections between his peers and the underserved, while paving the way for greater diversity within the profession. In his wake: