UCSF

2010 News

Kathy Giacomini, PhD (center), co-chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, discusses research results in the lab with postdocs Sook Wah Yee (left), and Amber Dahlin (right).
Table of contents Introduction Budget significance Reasons for past success A decade of funding for bioinformatics New drug discovery directions attract support Research stalwarts draw funding for decades New directions in translational research attract support Expansion of the School’s research agenda brings support New roads to continued funding leadership Clinical department focuses on research Getting that initial grant Great science is the goal
Competition Winners
The national winners of the 2010 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Clinical Skills Competition are Jennifer Murphy and Rachelle Bermingham, student pharmacists from the UCSF School of Pharmacy.
diagram
Logic gates, similar to those that form the basis of silicon computing, can now be inserted into bacteria via genetic engineering, making it possible to manipulate bacteria to perform complicated tasks. This finding will ultimately enable cells to be programmed with more intricate functions, allowing cells to produce pharmaceuticals, materials, and industrial chemicals. The technique also has potential for application in agriculture.
The implantable bioartificial kidney is explained in this December 6, 2010, SmartPlanet video featuring Shuvo Roy, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.
Shuvo Roy, PhD
Shuvo Roy, PhD, an engineer and research scientist, is leading a U.S. project to build the world’s first bioartificial kidney to treat end stage renal disease. The goal is to surgically implant this coffee-cup-sized device in a human patient within 5 to 7 years. The bioartificial kidney both filters toxins from the blood and performs many of the metabolic functions of the healthy kidney. And, the bioartificial kidney requires no batteries or external pumps.
medications
Nancy Nkansah, PharmD, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, appears with Mehmet Oz, MD, on The Dr. Oz Show to correct 3 common medication mistakes made by consumers:
California Poison Control System (CPCS) pharmacist and toxicologist Kathryn Meier, PharmD, DABAT, cites hypertension, tachycardia, anxiety as among the symptoms seen in emergency room patients who have used synthetic cannabinoids. These products have sickened more than 1,500 people across the United States in 2010 and are almost completely unstudied, according to the November 9, 2010 report on KTVU television.
Paul Ortiz de Montellano, PhD, is the newly appointed associate dean of research in the UCSF School of Pharmacy. The associate dean of research advises the UCSF School of Pharmacy dean and leaders on research trends, issues, and opportunities and represents the School's research agenda to the campus. Ortiz de Montellano is a professor in the School's Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.
Bo Huang, PhD, a faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF School of Pharmacy, has received one of 17 prestigious 2010 Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering, which supports "unusually creative professors" early in their careers. Each fellow will receive an unrestricted research grant of $875,000 over five years.
Melissa Kusaka, a fourth-year student pharmacist at the UCSF School of Pharmacy, will join a peer from each pharmacy school in the state as she receives a 2010 Student Leadership Award from the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) at the society's annual meeting October 21-24, 2010, in San Francisco. The award recognizes pharmacy students' involvement in and contribution to CSHP and the profession of pharmacy.
In an invited commentary in the October 11, 2010, issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, entitled A Prescription for Improved Chronic Disease Management, B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, chair of the UCSF School of Pharmacy's Department of Clinical Pharmacy contends that pharmacists practicing in community pharmacies could potentially expand access to health care in the US and "function at the top of their training."
Kathy Giacomini, PhD, co-chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, will receive the 2010 Therapeutic Frontiers Lecture Award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacy on October 17, 2010, in Austin, Texas at ACCP's annual meeting. The Frontiers Lecture recognizes scientists who have made outstanding contributions to pharmacotherapeutics.
UCSF, Harvard University, and Stanford University have been ranked as the top three world universities in the broad subject fields of clinical medicine and pharmacy in the 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), which was released on August 15, 2010, by the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. UCSF has remained among the top three universities in clinical medicine and pharmacy since this ranking category was introduced by ARWU in 2007.
A national research project is under way to develop an surgically implantable bioartificial kidney using the latest advances in science and technology with the goal of both improving the health and lives of patients with end stage renal disease and saving health care dollars. The Kidney Project team is led by Shuvo Roy, PhD, in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.
Michael Fischbach, PhD, is the recipient of a 2010 NIH Director's New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health. Fischbach is a faculty member in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.
Koda-Kimble
Fresh UCSF Leadership: Desmond-Hellmann, Bluestone, Plotts, Harel, Moss, Hawgood, Featherstone; Leadership Transitions: Debas, Feachem, Dracup; UCSF Economic Impact Report; UCSF Operations and Budget Cuts: 3 campus work groups, 3 fiscal challenges, $28 million cut; UCSF Physical and Program Plans: Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research; The School in Context; New and Departing Faculty Members: Shu, Brock, Dill; Faculty H
Pharmacists have a unique opportunity to define their roles under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which became US law in March 2010, according to Helene Levens Lipton, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Pharmacy. Her views are explored within the context of 5 provisions of the law in the October 2010 edition of Pharmacotherapy.
Kathy Giacomini, PhD, co-chair of the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences and an expert in the field of pharmacogenomics, is leading two research projects funded by two grants totaling $15.1 million over the next five years to expand research into how genes affect an individual's response to medication and to strengthen a global network of researchers involved in these efforts.
Shuvo Roy, PhD
The model for a surgically implantable bioartificial kidney the size of a coffee cup has been unveiled by the national project's lead researcher, Shuvo Roy, PhD, a member of the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences. The device is intended to give patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) the health benefits of a kidney transplant while addressing the limited number of donors.
medications
An article in the August 13, 2010, issue of The New York Times, entitled “Pharmacists Take a Larger Role on Health Team,” points to the emerging role of pharmacists in the direct management of patients’ medications—a function that has been shown to improve health outcomes and decrease health care costs. Programs designed to test the effectiveness of the pharmacist-led medication management programs have long been under way at the UCSF School of Pharmacy.
For her decades of service to the pharmacy profession, Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, received the highest recognition from the California State Board of Pharmacy on July 28, 2010, during a board meeting in Sacramento, California.
Michael Fischbach, PhD, a faculty member in UCSF’s Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, is one of two recipients of the 2010 Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research. The announcement was made August 2, 2010, by The Global Products Council, which funds the program to contribute to the advancement of probiotics and gastrointestinal microbiota research in the United States.
Olga Beyn
The UCSF School of Pharmacy, along with colleagues campuswide, mourn the death of 4th-year doctor of pharmacy student, Olga Beyn, who died Saturday, July 31, 2010, as the result of a water accident on the Kings River in Fresno, California. “Olga was an exceptionally bright and shining student. We miss her dearly and have a place for her in our hearts always,” said Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, dean of the pharmacy school.
a California poppy
With the next school year only 2 months away, a UCSF School of Pharmacy program to encourage eligible high school students from the California Central Valley to pursue pharmacy careers enters its 4th year.
The launch of a new community pharmacy-based diabetes medication management pilot program for select members of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) was announced by CalPERS on July 15, 2010. The one-year Pharmacist Care for Diabetes program is based upon successful research results by the UCSF School of Pharmacy in other settings where patients with diabetes benefited from regular consultations with their community pharmacists.
George Scangos, PhD
George Scangos, PhD, a member of the UCSF School of Pharmacy Board of Advisors, has been appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of the global biotechnology company Biogen Idec, which is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Zug, Switzerland. The appointment is effective July 15, 2010. Scangos brings to the company more than 25 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
Genetic ancestry can tell more about a person's potential lung function than the self-identified racial profile commonly used to determine normal lung function reference standards, according to the results of research led by UCSF and Northwestern University. "When we force patients into an individual box, such as 'African-American' or 'Caucasian', we're missing a lot of genetic information," noted the study's senior author Esteban G.
A technology developed in the laboratory of James A. Wells, PhD, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF School of Pharmacy, will drive a new approach to cancer treatment that switches on or triggers, with small molecules, the enzymes called caspases that promote cell death. "Most drug discovery efforts are focused on identifying drugs that inhibit enzyme function," said Wells. "But, interestingly, many cellular enzymes remain dormant until activated.
two bi-planes viewed against bright clouds
They are intellectually fearless and a bit unorthodox. They form a crazy quilt of undergraduate majors, birthplaces, interests, and experiences. They work across UCSF in “wet” labs fitted with benches and large metal fume hoods and in “dry” labs amid cubicles and work surfaces topped with computers and oversized monitors. They are mentored by senior UCSF faculty scientists and work alongside PhD postdoctoral scholars and staff researchers.
Four members of the UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty have been named from among a list of 14 as key women in science research and education at UCSF. They are (pictured left-to-right):
B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, has been named the 2010 recipient of the UCSF Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award for his outstanding mentorship of residents and faculty. Guglielmo is a clinical pharmacist and well-known specialist in the management of antimicrobial medications.
It is April 9, 2010, and UCSF student pharmacists (pictured left-to-right) Meghan Frear, Wen Chiu, Maher Abdel-Sattar, and Doug Beeman are among a room full of pharmacy students from across the US at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy's (AMCP) Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. They have just learned they won AMCP's national 2010 Pharmacy and Therapeutics Competition.
Dr. Esteban González Burchard, MD, MPH
Asthma specialist and genetics researcher, Dr. Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH, joint faculty member in the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, discusses the differences in the incidence of asthma and response to asthma drugs among various subgroups within the larger Latino population. His goal is to find the underlying genetic reasons for these differences and to use this knowledge to improve asthma treatment.
For his historic contributions to what is now known about the rate at which drugs are broken down and "cleared" from the body, Leslie Benet, PhD, was honored by the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT) with the Oscar B. Hunter Memorial Award in Therapeutics. The award was presented on March 20, 2010, at the ASCPT annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
Research results published from the UCSF research laboratory of Danica Galonić Fujimori, PhD, have revealed a radical approach employed by bacteria to alter their ribosomes and thereby evade antibiotics. These findings could ultimately lead to the development of ways to block this enzymatic transformation.
Candy Tsourounis, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and expert on herbal and dietary supplements, comments on consumer products called "downer drinks" that are purportedly formulated to help people unwind and relax. Tsourounis warns that there is a dearth of research on these products and questions whether the chemicals in these drinks, such as melatonin, are in therapeutic or insignificant--'fairy dust'--amounts.
Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, has been named by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) as the 2010 recipient of the Robert K. Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award. The award will be presented during the 2010 AACP Annual Meeting and Seminars in Seattle, Washington, to be held July 10-14.
James Wells, PhD, chair of the UCSF School of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, has been named the 2010 recipient of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Merck Award for his pioneering studies in the field of protein engineering. The award has been given since 1981 and recognizes outstanding contributions to research in biochemistry and molecular biology.
Krystal Pong
Krystal Pong, third-year UCSF School of Pharmacy student pharmacist, has won the 2010 American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) National Patient Counseling Competition, which was held March 15, 2010, at the annual APhA meeting in Washington, DC. She won the California Patient Counseling Competition (February 2010), which qualified her to compete nationally.
Nancy Hessol, MSPH, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member, received one of three 2010 Lester Breslow Lifetime Achievement Awards from the UCLA School of Public Health and was inducted into the school's Alumni Hall of Fame on March 18, 2010, during a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Ken Dill, PhD, an internationally recognized expert on protein folding and UCSF School of Pharmacy associate dean for research, has been named recipient of the 53rd UCSF Academic Senate Research Lectureship for his distinguished contributions to science. Dill's work solved the longtime mystery of the physical mechanism by which proteins adopt their native structures.
A student-pharmacist-led, California statewide teaching program for physicians, medical students, and other health care providers is successfully demonstrating the importance of health policy literacy and interprofessional education at a time in the U.S. that begs for systemic reforms. "At this point, we really have no choice but to look for team-based collaborations," said Helene Levens Lipton, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member.
National Poison Prevention Week
PRODUCED BY THE CALIFORNIA POISON CONTROL SYSTEM FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Krystal Pong, third-year UCSF School of Pharmacy student pharmacist, is the winner of the 2010 California Statewide Patient Counseling Competition sponsored by the California Pharmacy Foundation. The competition was held during the February 4-7, 2010, meeting of the California Pharmacists Association, which took place this year in Long Beach, California. Pong's session involved the mock counseling of a patient who had been given the drug Vicodin ES.
Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD
UCSF School of Pharmacy Dean Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, will receive the 2010 Remington Honor Medal from the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) on March 13, 2010, at APhA’s annual meeting in Washington, DC. The medal is the profession’s highest honor.
Koda-Kimble
Research: 30th anniversary as the nation's top National Institutes of Health-funded pharmacy school, Lightwood, Mandell, Kortemme, Coutsias, Keiser, Shoichet, Irwin, Laggner, Hert, Thomas, Edwards, Voigt, Levskaya, Lim, Weiner, Craik, Darragh, Schneider, Farady, Lou, Marks, Phojanakong, Hann. Faculty honors and awards: Stebbins, Levens Lipton, Benet, Giacomini, Gazzaley, Yee, Hessol, Roy. Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences inaugural forum.
UCSF's Small Molecule Discovery Center (SMDC) announced on February 18, 2010 that it has signed its first major industry partnership agreement since the SMDC was founded in 2005. The agreement is with Genentech, Inc. to discover and develop drug candidates for neurodegenerative diseases. Genentech will provide funding and its research acumen in neuroscience and will collaborate with UCSF to identify small molecules.
Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD (image left), and Helene Levens Lipton, PhD (image right)
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty members Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD (image left), and Helene Levens Lipton, PhD (image right), received the 2010 Jane Boggess Advancement of Pharmacy Practice Award from the Pharmacy Foundation of California during the California Pharmacists Association February 4-7, 2010, meeting in Long Beach, California.
Robert Day, PharmD
Robert Day, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy associate dean and emeritus faculty member, was inducted into the California Pharmacists Association Hall of Fame during the association's February 4-7, 2010 meeting in Long Beach, California. The honor marks Day's long and distinguished history of service and professional achievements, character, altruism, and commitment to innovation.
Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD
Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD, is the first female recipient of the California Pharmacists Association Innovative Pharmacist of the Year award, which honors accomplishment, creativity, and value added to therapeutics or pharmacy practice. The award was presented during the association's February 4-7, 2010, meeting in Long Beach, California.
symposium
In the first symposium held by the newly minted UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, researchers described progress in the fields of systems biology, pharmacogenomics, and bioengineering, and how scientists in these fields are working in concert to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics to effectively and safely diagnose and treat disease.
earthquake that devastated Haiti
The call for medical teams to help the victims of the January 12, 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti should include pharmacists, according to UCSF student pharmacists Michelle Tadano and Ben Greener.
Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH
Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH, a UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member, explains the differences between race and ethnicity and the promise that greater genetic knowledge holds for addressing disease during a panel discussion on National Public Radio, Science Friday that aired January 15, 2010. Burchard is an expert on the genetics of asthma and differing responses to asthma treatment among racially diverse populations.
Medication management advice was offered free to the Fresno, California, community on January 12, 2010 by clinical pharmacists from the UCSF School of Pharmacy. The event introduced the Medication Management Service, Fresno and the expertise if its patient-centered pharmacists to the California Central Valley area.
Wired Science has cited a computational model developed in the UCSF School of Pharmacy under the direction of faculty member Brian Shoichet, PhD, and applied and tested by scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, as one of the Top Scientific Breakthroughs for 2009. The model calculates and maps new off-target effects of drugs.