Research in the lab of UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Adam Renslo, PhD, has developed a new way of selectively targeting cancer cells with drugs. In experiments with mice, the new approach allowed for the delivery of fifty times higher doses of chemotherapy to tumors while avoiding toxic effects on healthy cells.
Brian Shoichet, PhD, faculty member in the School’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, has been named the 2017 recipient of the DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences.
Given annually by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), the DeLano Award honors a scientist “for the most accessible and innovative development or application of computer technology to enhance research in the life sciences at the molecular level.”
Kathy Giacomini, PhD, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Henry W. Elliott Distinguished Service Award from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT).
Founded in 1900, ASCPT comprises more than 2,200 members whose primary interest is to advance the science and practice of clinical pharmacology and translational medicine.
The 126 students of the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s class of 2020 donned their white coats for the first time on October 14, 2016, in an afternoon ceremony that symbolized their entry into the profession.
The first-year student pharmacists were joined at Cole Hall on the Parnassus campus by a packed house of family and friends, as well as by distinguished School partners, alumni, and faculty,who served as “coaters” on stage.
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Zev Gartner, PhD, will be co-director of a new multi-institution UCSF-administered Center for Cellular Construction, which has been awarded a five-year $24 million grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Sharya Bourdet, PharmD, BCPS, a volunteer faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Clinical Pharmacy, has been named a new member of the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators (AME). She will be inducted, along with 14 UCSF colleagues, at a welcoming ceremony on September 19, 2016 on the UCSF Parnassus campus.
Research co-led by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Brian Shoichet, PhD, has developed a new opioid drug candidate that blocks pain as effectively as morphine in mice, without triggering dangerous side effects, and also apparently without the addictive properties of current prescription painkillers.
UCSF student pharmacists Stephanie Golahi and Michelle Fang, both class of 2019, took first place in Division I of the 2016 Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA)/Kroger Clinical Skills Competition held in Atlanta in late July.
It was fortuitous that David Adler, PharmD ’70, began his studies at the UCSF School of Pharmacy in the fall of 1966, precisely when UCSF Medical Center’s Ninth Floor Project went into action. That project’s unprecedented placement of pharmacists on a UCSF hospital ward—providing their drug expertise directly to physicians, nurses, and patients—pioneered a radically new clinical role.
Metformin is the most widely used initial medication for controlling blood sugar (glucose) in type 2 diabetes, a disease affecting 350 million people worldwide. The drug helps reduce their risk of complications leading to heart, eye, and kidney disease.
But there are major differences in metformin response and more than a third of patients fail to achieve acceptable blood glucose control from the drug.
Over the past five years, School of Pharmacy faculty member Eleanor Vogt, PhD, RPh, has co-developed and implemented a program for hundreds of employees of the city and county of San Francisco that imparts tools to reduce stress and increase resiliency.
The collaboration with the city started with workshops for municipal transportation and public utility workers, and has since expanded to include public health, human resources, arts, and library employees.
The Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS) was pleased to present Certificates of Completion to Tsinghua University students who completed our Collaborative Education and Research Program.
To mark the occasion, BTS hosted an informal ceremony and reception on July 7, 2016. Kathy Giacomini, PhD presided over the festivities.
The 2016 Dean’s Innovation in Education Award was presented to Tracy Fulton, PhD, on Thursday during the School of Pharmacy faculty meeting on the Parnassus campus.
A faculty member of the UCSF School of Medicine, Fulton was recognized for her excellence in bringing new educational approaches to the PharmD program’s first-year biochemistry course, which she teaches. The class focuses on human metabolism, its regulation, and how it goes awry in common metabolic diseases.
The photograph of Martin Luther King Jr. hanging on the wall of the Asthma Collaboratory lab in UC San Francisco’s Rock Hall serves a reminder to all who toil there, purifying DNA samples or analyzing genetic, social or environmental data that their research is also part of a dream of equality and scientific excellence.
Studies of pharmacogenetics testing of pharmacy students as a teaching tool, an improved system to resolve medication issues after patients go home from the hospital, and the prophylactic use of an antiseizure drug for brain surgery patients took top honors at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy 18th Annual Spring Research Seminar.
So-called specialty drugs can represent lifesaving advances in the treatment of serious complex conditions, such as cancers, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease. They can turn once routinely lethal diseases such as HIV and cystic fibrosis into manageable chronic conditions. They can address rare genetic conditions, such as hemophilia, or suppress immune rejection after organ transplants.
Betty J. Dong, PharmD, FCCP, FASHP, AAHIVP, FAPhA, professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the UCSF School of Pharmacy, has been honored with the 2016 PPSI/Stan Hartman Distinguished Person of the Year Award by Pharmacists Planning Service, Inc.
Results from the largest single study of the genetic and environmental causes of asthma in African American children suggest that only a tiny fraction of known genetic risk factors for the disease apply to this population.
A new study lead-authored by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member James Lightwood, PhD, has found that reducing smoking cuts health care spending, not just in the long- or immediate-term, but the very next year.
For example, the analysis found that a 10 percent decline in smoking in the United States would be followed by an expected $63 billion reduction (in 2012 U.S. dollars) in national health care spending the following year.
The UCSF School of Pharmacy held its 2016 commencement ceremony on May 5 at Louise Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, conferring the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree on each of the 115 members of the graduating class.
Predicting difficult-to-detect drug binding sites
Most drugs are comprised of small molecules that pass through cell membranes and are designed to bind to much larger protein molecules at exposed concave pockets. But in many disease-associated proteins, these binding sites are difficult to detect. Concave pockets may form only in the immediate presence of small molecules that bind to them (natural ligands or drugs) or are open only for brief periods during protein shape-shifting.
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, April 29, 2016, at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus.
The event honored dozens of students whose excellence and leadership were recognized with scholarships and awards at the campus, state, and national levels. The following is a brief selection from the evening’s presentations.
Leon Levy & Family Scholarship
In a major breakthrough, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes, led by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Sheng Ding, PhD, have transformed skin cells into heart and brain cells using combinations of chemicals.
All previous work on cellular reprogramming required adding external genes to the cells, making this accomplishment an unprecedented feat. The research lays the groundwork for potentially being able to regenerate lost or damaged cells via pharmaceuticals.
Learning how to solve problems and think critically—using course content as the vehicle to apply these skills—is one evolving goal of the UCSF School of Pharmacy doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum, according to the School’s dean, B. Joseph Guglielmo PharmD, in an interview posted April 12, 2016, in Pharmacy Times.
For the 36th 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 $27 million during NIH’s 2015 fiscal year, from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015. Rankings of schools are compiled by the independent Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research based on the most current NIH data.
Researchers in the laboratory of UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Nadav Ahituv, PhD, study the roles of gene regulatory elements—DNA segments that tell genes when, where, and to what extent to turn on and off—including in human conditions ranging from limb malformations to epilepsy and autism.
To discover new drugs and chemical probes, researchers have traditionally screened small molecules—small enough by weight to pass through cell membranes. Their goal is typically to find compounds that selectively bind to a much larger protein molecule (often an enzyme) at a chemically reactive pocket known as the active site, inhibiting its activity to treat a disease or to better understand a biological process.
UC San Francisco today announced the establishment of the Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI). The mission of QBI, located in Byers Hall on the UCSF Mission Bay campus, is to drive forward the application of computation, mathematics, and statistics toward a deeper understanding of complex problems in biology, with the ultimate goal of developing new treatments for disease.
The UCSF School of Pharmacy’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program is among the top-ranked programs in the 2017 U.S. News and World Report survey of accredited PharmD programs released on March 15, 2016.
The Troy C. Daniels Curricular Innovation Awards provide funds in 2016 to support the evolution of the UCSF School of Pharmacy doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum to prepare leaders for a changing health care marketplace.
The award and its endowment honor Troy C. Daniels, PhD, who served as dean of the School from 1944 to 1967. Dean Daniels led bold revisions of the pharmacy curriculum during his tenure and was committed to continuous curriculum improvement.
The Mary Anne Koda-Kimble Seed Award for Innovation funds “truly innovative projects” by faculty, staff, and students that “have the potential to move forward the mission of the UCSF School of Pharmacy in new ways.”
The award was established in 2012 to honor Dean Emeritus Koda-Kimble upon her retirement and to reflect her support for new directions in science, education, and patient care.
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Adam Abate, PhD, has been named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Abate and 104 fellow recipients of the White House honor will formally receive their awards at a Washington, DC, ceremony this spring.
Lisa Kroon, PharmD, chair of the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Clinical Pharmacy, has been named a Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management (APhA-APPM).
The selection honors APhA Academy members for exemplary professional achievements and service to the profession through activities with APhA and other organizations. Kroon will be officially recognized at the APhA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD, March 4–7, 2016.
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Leslie Benet, PhD, has been named the 2016 recipient of the Remington Honor Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). He will be officially recognized during the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Baltimore, MD, March 4–7, 2016.
The UCSF Office of Diversity and Outreach (ODO) celebrated its five-year anniversary on Friday, January 15, 2016 with a ceremony at the Millberry Union Event & Meeting Center on the Parnassus campus, honoring six campus leaders who were instrumental in the development of the office.
Included among those ODO champions was UCSF School of Pharmacy Vice Dean Sharon Youmans, PharmD, MPH, who oversees the School’s education and diversity initiatives.
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes, the Diabetes Center at UCSF, and the UCSF School of Pharmacy have converted human skin cells into fully functional pancreatic cells that produce insulin in response to changes in glucose levels. Transplanted into mice, the cells protected the animals from developing a mouse model of diabetes.
The new study, co-senior-authored by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Sheng Ding, PhD, was published in Nature Communications on January 6, 2016.