UCSF

2015 News

Youmans
Sharon Youmans, PharmD, MPH, and UCSF School of Pharmacy vice dean, is the newly elected Council of Deans Secretary, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).  The council includes a select number of the nation’s leaders in academic pharmacy. Council activities focus on educational policies, professional program administration within academic institutions, and the ties between academic pharmacy and the community.
Nadav Ahituv in lab
Research in the lab of UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Nadav Ahituv, PhD, in collaboration with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and others, has identified variations at four locations in the genome underlying risk for the most common type of abdominal hernia.
MacDougall
Sepsis occurs when the body responds to an infection with a mix of tissue-damaging inflammation and anti-inflammatory responses. This biological storm can lead to acute organ dysfunction (severe sepsis) and dropping blood pressure that does not respond to intravenous fluids (septic shock).
Wells
James Wells, PhD, whose pioneering innovations in protein engineering and technologies to identify small molecules to aid in drug discovery have yielded more than 60 patents, launched three companies, and created two UCSF technology centers, has been elected as a fellow to the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).
Altschuler and Wu
How do you discover new drugs against diseases such as cancer?
Burchard
Despite Congressional mandates aimed at diversifying clinical research, little has changed in the last 30 years in both the numbers of studies that include minorities and the diversity of scientists being funded, according to a new analysis by researchers at UC San Francisco.
Janel Boyle and young cancer patient
Reprinted courtesy of UCSF Magazine. In the pediatric bone marrow transplant clinic, pharmacist Janel Boyle’s past and present collide. She drifts past young patients—many of them infants and toddlers—and notes their beaming smiles and balding heads. Her gaze shifts to the parents, their expressions tense but hopeful.
Abate
Our faculty member Adam Abate, PhD, was selected by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as one of 45 exceptional Young Scientists—all under the age of 40—each of whom has contributed to advancing the frontiers of science, engineering, or technology in areas of high societal impact. Abate attended the World Economic Forum’s Ninth Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, People’s Republic of China, where the Young Scientists were honored in early September.
Gestwicki
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide, the leading cause of vision loss in the United States, and cases are increasing with an aging population. Currently the condition can be treated with surgery—an expensive intervention that leaves most patients blinded in developing countries untreated.
Shoichet
More than a quarter of all drugs work by targeting one of a large family of proteins called G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Hundreds of different GPCRs are embedded in cell membranes, converting stimuli from the outside world—neurotransmitters, hormones, even light—into intracellular signals that can change cell behavior.
illustration of patient with diabetes
In people with type 2 diabetes, the body is less able to use the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar. The disease affects 350 million patients globally—including 29 million in the United States, where it is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, and non-accident-related amputations.
Guglielmo
Strategic planning; Recently received research funding: cancer, Alzheimer's, HIV, type 2 diabetes (Kroetz, Keiser, Gross, Roy); Recent faculty publications: fibrosis, biofilms, gout (DeGrado, Yang, Giacomini); Collaborations and partnerships; Patient care: SB 493, scope of practice for California pharmacists; Education: Precision Medicine Student Alliance; New PharmD curriculum development; Faculty honors: Abate, Benet, Burchard, Desai, MacDougall, Wells, Yokoyama; Alumni honors: Levin, Schweitz
artificial kidney prototype
The research journey toward building a fully functioning, surgically implantable artificial kidney as an alternative to kidney transplant and dialysis just took another step forward with the announcement of a $6 million grant to The Kidney Project, headquartered at the UCSF School of Pharmacy. The funding comes from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Burchard
Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH, has been featured in Newsweek for his work studying genetic variation in asthma among minority populations. The article, titled “The Racial Discrimination Embedded in Modern Medicine,” was published online on October 20. It addresses issues such as racial health disparities, precision medicine, and the importance of including minorities in clinical research.
microscopic biofilm
Nearly every human bacterial infection—including some of the most serious, life threatening, and costly to treat—can take the form of a biofilm, in which bacteria aggregate into structured communities that enclose themselves within a secreted slime.
Tejal Desai
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Tejal Desai, PhD, has been newly elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), formerly known as the Institute of Medicine (IOM). NAM membership is considered one of the highest honors in health and medicine. Elected by current members, the membership recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.
Fischbach
Bacteria generate small molecules to fend off their fellow microbes. They also produce molecules that affect the response of host organisms—including humans—to their presence. Such molecules have been a major source of antibiotics, immunosuppressants, anti-cancer agents, and other drugs. But their discovery has not been systematic and the products of bacteria living in our bodies have only recently drawn scientific notice.
Gartner
The next frontier in developing therapies for cancer and other diseases could come through studying organ development or tumor growth in living humans. Problem is, there’s no ethical way of doing that using current technology. Zev Gartner, PhD, has focused on the next best thing: His lab is building fully functioning 3-D human tissue, cell by cell.
Benet
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Leslie Benet, PhD, has been named the 2015 recipient of the North American Scientific Achievement Award, presented by the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX).
James Wells, PhD
A new collaboration between Celgene Corp. and the Recombinant Antibody Network (RAN) will support the development of next-generation, antibody-based cancer therapies. The RAN is a consortium comprising researchers from the UCSF School of Pharmacy (UCSF Antibiome Center), the University of Chicago, and the University of Toronto.
silicon nanopore membranes
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Shuvo Roy, PhD, has received a three-year $1 million grant to create surgically implantable capsules of donor pancreas cells to free type 1 diabetes patients from daily insulin injections and the disease’s potentially life-threatening complications. The work is being funded by JDRF, the largest charitable supporter of type 1 diabetes research.
MacDougall
Conan MacDougall, PharmD, MAS, BCPS, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Clinical Pharmacy, and an award-winning teacher in the School’s doctor of pharmacy degree program, has been named a new member of the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators. He will be inducted, along with 18 colleagues, in a ceremony on September 28, 2015, on the UCSF Parnassus campus.
Matt Jacobson
Renowned researcher and educator Matthew Jacobson, PhD, has been named the new chair of the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. His appointment by Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, will be effective January 15, 2016. Jacobson will become the department’s 10th chair since its formation in 1958. He succeeds James Wells, PhD, who is stepping down from the post after leading the department since 2008.
Clinard
Valerie Clinard, PharmD, has joined the UCSF School of Pharmacy as director of experiential education and as an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy. She comes to us from Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in North Carolina, where she served on the faculty for over 10 years in the Department of Pharmacy Practice.
Student pharmacists at the UCSF School of Pharmacy and a student at the Stanford Graduate School of Business are teaming with a UCSF School of Pharmacy health economics professor to understand the rapidly evolving virtual health care world and how it is impacting the efficiency, effectiveness, and cost of care.
Kroetz
Taxanes are a class of drugs widely used to treat a variety of cancers, including breast, ovarian, lung, gastric, and head and neck. But dosages are often limited by toxic side effects—most commonly damage to the body’s peripheral nerves, causing numbness, pain, and/or hyper-sensitivity—that can require reduced or suspended treatment and which can linger for years in disease survivors.
crystals
Allopurinol, the first-choice medication for treating gout—an excruciatingly painful condition that is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, afflicts more than eight million Americans, and is on the rise worldwide—is not fully effective in more than half of patients.
Sali
Andrej Sali, PhD, has been appointed associate dean of research of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, effective July 1, 2015. The appointment is in addition to Sali’s full professorship in the School’s Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences. As he continues with his own research, Sali will advise Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, and School leaders on pertinent research issues and opportunities and will represent the School in critical campus research decisions.
graphic of fly eye
How does brain circuitry organize itself during development? In at least one case—the seemingly complex visual system of the fruit fly, which connects its 800-facet compound eyes to its brain—the answer lies in just three simple rules.
Schweitzer
The 2015 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year is Rear Admiral Pamela Schweitzer, PharmD ’87. The recognition by the Pharmacy Alumni Association is given to the School graduate who has made outstanding contributions to the profession of pharmacy, to society, and/or to UCSF.
Guglielmo
We are rapidly moving forward to develop a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum that will prepare pharmacists to excel in a changing health care marketplace. A recent interview with Sharon Youmans, PharmD, MPH, our vice dean, lays out our plans. What will be the impact of the new curriculum? Most importantly, how will it affect patients? As we consider the future of pharmacy education and practice, here is a scenario we are working to realize.
Jacobson and Youmans
The UCSF School of Pharmacy’s top-ranked doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum is in the initial stages of its most significant transformation in two decades. Named the UCSF Bridges Pharmacy Curriculum Project, the effort is led by Vice Dean Sharon Youmans, PharmD, MPH, and is currently targeted to launch fully with students entering the program in 2017.
Rice
Concluding a year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of UC San Francisco, the School of Pharmacy presented its own “Making History” event in Byers Auditorium on the Mission Bay campus on May 30, 2015.
winners
Studies of pharmacist interventions during comprehensive medication reviews, the impact of new tools to aid drug selection from a hospital formulary, and a project ensuring that hospital patients receiving anti-clotting drugs are properly educated upon discharge took top honors at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy 17th Annual Spring Research Seminar.
Schweitzer with banner
The UCSF School of Pharmacy held its 2015 commencement ceremony on May 8 at Louise Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, conferring doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degrees on a 125-member graduating class.
Salvadora, Dow, Lee
The annual UCSF School of Pharmacy Student Awards and Recognition Dinner, hosted by Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, and sponsored by Ralph’s Inc., was held on Friday, May 1, 2015, at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus. The event honored dozens of students whose excellence and leadership were recognized at the campus, state, and national levels with scholarships and awards. The following is a brief selection from the evening’s presentations.
Wells
James Wells, PhD, chair of the School’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, has been elected as a member of the 2015 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Burchard in lab
School faculty member Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH, has been appointed to an expert panel advising the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on how to develop President Barack Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. The $215 million initiative, announced by Obama earlier this year, aims to gather and analyze vast amounts of genetic and other patient data to develop more targeted, personalized therapies for treating disease.
Guglielmo
Strategic planning; Top NIH funding; Recently received research funding (Craik, Gartner, Abate, Cole, Aweeka); Recent faculty publications (DeGrado, Ahituv, Cutler, Pon, Branch, Chuang, Huynh); Education (Youmans): UCSF Bridges Pharmacy Curriculum Project, DRIVE Team; new staff (Nguyen, Miller); Honors (Corelli, Dong, Craik, DeGrado, Ferrone, Shin, Jacobson, Yokoyama); New faculty member (Wang); Web launch; Alumni Weekend: Making History event, Distinguished Alumnus of the Year (Schweitzer); Rec
Ferrone
Marcus Ferrone, PharmD, JD, a faculty member in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, has been named the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) 2015 Innovative Pharmacist of the Year. The award, from the largest state association representing pharmacists, recognizes a member pharmacist for achievements such as significantly improving patient care, adding to the scope of practice, and inventing a new chemical composition.
Malaria parasite
Francesca Aweeka, PharmD, a faculty member in the School’s Department of Clinical Pharmacy, will co-lead a new five-year, $3.4 million study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address one of the world’s most vexing health problems—preventing malaria, especially in the most vulnerable populations, pregnant women and young children in Africa.
Mugridge
For the 35th consecutive year, the UCSF School of Pharmacy has received more funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than any other pharmacy school in the United States. School researchers were awarded $31.8 million during the 2014 fiscal year, from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014.
Gibson
School of Pharmacy alumnus Robert Gibson, PharmD '58, has been a tireless advocate for equality in education and in the profession of pharmacy, and is still active as a board member of the California Pharmacists Association Education Foundation.
DeGrado
William DeGrado, PhD, faculty member in the School’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, has been named the 2015 recipient of The Protein Society’s Stein and Moore Award. The award is given annually by the international society “to recognize eminent leaders in protein science who have made sustained high-impact research contributions to the field.” His impact on the field of protein science can hardly be overestimated. —The Protein Society
Nguyen
Celeste Nguyen, EdD, will be the Curriculum Design and Implementation Manager for the Bridges Pharmacy Curriculum.
Miller
Rebecca Miller, MS, has been hired as director of the Office of Education and Instructional Support in the UCSF School of Pharmacy. Miller joins the School after nine years at University of California, Berkeley where she held a variety of positions, most recently managing the development of a new academic advising structure on the Berkeley campus and serving as a project manager and change consultant for a campuswide Student Information Systems replacement project.
glass apple
The inaugural presentation of the Dean’s Innovation in Education Awards took place during the School of Pharmacy faculty meeting at Mission Hall on the Mission Bay campus on January 6, 2015. Honorees receiving the award’s engraved glass apple and $1,000 were Jaekyu Shin, PharmD, and Marcus Ferrone, PharmD, JD, faculty members in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy; and Matt Jacobson, PhD, faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.