Policy reducing the health burden associated with tobacco

Created and adopted a faculty-approved policy aimed at reducing tobacco’s public health burden.

Impact: This policy not only opposes tobacco sales in pharmacies and stores with pharmacies, but also endorses evidence-based strategies, regulations, and legislation that help to prevent smoking initiation among youth, increase the likelihood of quitting among current smokers, and reduce exposure to second-hand smoke. UCSF was one of two schools of pharmacy in the nation to adopt such a policy.

Principal faculty:

  • B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD
  • Robin Corelli, PharmD
  • Lisa Kroon, PharmD
  • Karen Hudmon, DrPH, RPh (volunteer faculty)

Smart Diaphragm

Invented a simple diaphragm-like sensor to detect pre-term labor using wireless connections to alert medical caregivers.

Impact: The Smart Diaphragm may drastically reduce the leading cause of infant mortality (15 million premature births globally) and decrease the societal cost of $26 million worldwide.

Principal faculty:

  • Shuvo Roy, PhD, with PhD student Mozziyar Etemadi


Global landscape of HIV human-protein complexes

Discovered and validated new human HIV protein interactions essential for viral replication and infectivity.

Impact: Knowing the “parts list” for HIV-human complexes allowed reconstitution of key events in the HIV viral life cycle. This research paved the way for structure determination of critical but recalcitrant HIV-host complexes which can be utilized for next-generation antiretroviral drug discovery that is less prone to resistance.

Principal faculty:

  • Alma Burlingame, PhD
  • Nevan Krogan, PhD (Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology)

Partners in E

Developed and implemented an innovative modular online course to provide instruction in numerous informatics topics, including electronic health records and electronic prescribing.

Impact: Faculty and staff members from the Department of Clinical Pharmacy developed the Introduction to Pharmacy Informatics course, which was implemented in all eight accredited California schools of pharmacy. By 2013, a total of 948 California pharmacy students were trained using the Partners in E curriculum. As a result of its success, UCSF’s Partners in E teamed up with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, the California Healthcare Foundation, and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy to fill the widely recognized nationwide gap in informatics curricula.

Principal faculty:

  • Elisa Ashton, PharmD
  • Timothy Cutler, PharmD
  • Bret Brodowy, PharmD
  • Sokkim Lim, PharmD
  • Marco Gonzales, PharmD
  • Amanda Fingado, MPH
  • Genevieve Stevens (program manager)


Nanotechnology for macular degeneration therapy

Created advanced micro- and nano-biosystems in the design and fabrication of a tiny, flexible, implantable film that delivers conventional medicine and complex antibody-based drugs for retinal disease therapies.

Impact: Ocular disease treatments may require painful monthly eye injections. The application of nanotechology can reduce injections and lower patients’ financial burdens while maximizing the therapeutic effect of drugs.

Principal faculty:

  • Tejal Desai, PhD

High-throughput BioLab

Developed microfluidic systems for performing biological experiments with microdroplets.

Impact: Microfluidic methods can reduce the speed and size of experimental components (“test tube” containers) needed for processing large numbers of reactions, thus lowering the cost and time required for screening drug candidate molecules.

Principal faculty:

  • Adam Abate, PhD


Biopharmaceutics Drug Disposition Classification System (BDDCS)

Created a roadmap for predicting enzyme and transporter interactions for different classes of new molecular entities.

Impact: Predicts drug absorption and disposition as well as potential drug-drug interactions not tested in the drug approval process; identifies previously unexplained effects of accumulation of substances in renal failure; provides a new tool for screening and predicting drug side effects.

Principal faculty:

  • Leslie Benet, PhD

Individualized dosing for medications in pediatric bone marrow transplant patients

Established an inpatient pharmacy service for advanced clinical pharmacology consults and therapeutic drug monitoring for pediatric bone marrow transplant patients. Medications such as busulfan, fludarabine, and mycophenolate currently lack standard dosing guidelines in the pediatric population. Through novel clinical pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics clinical research, Dr. Long-Boyle is able to develop dosing strategies for small children.

Impact: Personalized dosing strategies are have improved the efficacy and reducing the toxicity in drug therapy in pediatric populations.

Principal faculty:

  • Janel Long-Boyle, PharmD, PhD


Computational drug design: PLOP and SEA

Introduced new computational methods to accurately model proteins and complexes (Protein Local Optimization Program, PLOP) and to predict new drug activities via statistical analyses of chemical structures (Similarity Ensemble Approach, SEA).

Impact: These methods are allowing pharmaceutical researchers to model how existing drugs function, where else they might also be useful, and how to address the causes of their side effects.

Principal faculty:

  • Brian Shoichet, PhD (SEA; also DOCK 3.5 derivatives)
  • Matt Jacobson, PhD (PLOP)
  • Michael Keiser, PhD (SEA)


Structure Function Linkage Database (SFLD)

Built the first catalogue of complete protein sequences, their structures, related functions, and similarity networks, including the classification of superfamily members into subgroups and families.

Impact: Provides researchers with a database to search for specific enzymes, to browse reactions, and to identify potential misannotations of enzyme functions—all leading to a better understanding of biological systems and therapeutic targets.

Principal faculty:

  • Patricia Babbitt, PhD


Systems pharmacology

Helped define the new field of quantitative systems pharmacology, which models drug activity across multiple biological scales.

Impact: New tools and methods are being used across academia and industry to understand and predict drug activity, side effects, transport, clearance, and pathways.

Principal faculty:

  • Michael Keiser, PhD
  • Brian Shoichet, PhD
  • Kathy Giacomini, PhD


Ban on San Francisco pharmacies selling cigarettes

Promoted a ban on the sale of cigarettes in pharmacies in San Francisco (July 2008).

Impact: San Francisco was one of the first cities in the United States to prohibit the sale of cigarettes in pharmacies. The ban not only promotes better health, it also highlights the role of pharmacies and pharmacists in promoting health, not enabling disease. This effort helped lead to the announcement by CVS Corporation in 2014 that they would stop selling tobacco in all their pharmacies.

Principal faculty:

  • Lisa Bero, PhD
  • Robin Corelli, PharmD
  • Mary Ann Koda-Kimble, PharmD
  • Lisa Kroon, PharmD

Pharmacogenomics Research Network and Center for Genomic Medicine (PGRN-CGM)

Advanced a collaborative effort of the NIH Pharmacogenomics Research Network and Japan’s RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine, seeking to identify genetic variants that contribute to individual response to medicines using genome-wide approaches. This program was first known as Global Alliance for Pharmacogenomics, Japan (GAP-J).

Impact: Helps clinicians to optimize the safety and effectiveness of drugs for each patient and consolidates the push toward personalized medicine on a global level.

Principal faculty:

  • Kathy Giacomini, PhD

UCSF Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine (TRANSPERS)

Established one of the first centers in the United States to examine the translation of personalized medicine—the use of genetics to target health care—and how it can improve quality of care and reduce health care costs.

Impact: The TRANSPERS Center has influenced health policy in personalized medicine and its translation into clinical care around the world through publications in major journals such as JAMA.

Principal faculty:

  • Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD, founder and director of the TRANSPERS Center


Infectious diseases

Pioneered identification and exploitation of therapeutic targets for infectious diseases.

Impact: Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry investigators have been instrumental to the success of the HARC Center (HIV Accessory and Regulatory Complexes: A Collaborative Research Center at UCSF and UC Berkeley), whose mission is to develop a structure-based understanding of host-HIV interactions.

Principal faculty:

  • Charles Craik, PhD
  • John Gross, PhD
  • Matt Jacobson, PhD

Medication Outcomes Center

Formed the UCSF Medication Outcomes Center (MOC) to help assess the value of medication-related health care interventions. The MOC ensures and documents that medications are used safely and appropriately in all clinical settings at the UCSF Medical Center, supported by evidence-based and value-based methodology.

Impact: Among the many activities of the MOC, the center performs cost-effectiveness analyses, supports the UCSF Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, supports medication safety initiatives, and performs drug-use evaluations. The Center is also leading the collaboration with other UC hospitals in formulary and medication management.

Principal faculty:

  • B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD
  • Candy Tsourounis, PharmD
  • Bret Brodowy, PharmD
  • Sheri VanOsdol, PharmD


Partners in D Project

Created an innovative statewide peer-to-peer model to assist Medicare-eligible patients with enrollment in the Medicare drug plan (Part D) that best meets their needs.

Impact: Partners in D—a collaboration among seven pharmacy schools in California—assisted Medicare beneficiaries in navigating the complex Part D program by utilizing the expertise of Doctor of Pharmacy students. A total of 3,680 student pharmacists were trained and deployed as a new workforce of highly skilled patient advocates, which ultimately increased appropriate medication access among underserved Medicare patients. The project expanded beyond California, reaching people in Massachusetts, New York, Chicago, and Washington State.

Principal faculty:

  • Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD
  • Helene Levens Lipton, PhD
  • Timothy Cutler, PharmD


Ethnicity, genetic ancestry, and asthma origins

Developed the largest and most ethnically diverse asthma study in the United States.

Impact: Understanding the role of genetics, ancestry, and the environment in asthma patients’ therapeutic responses allows the medical practitioner to adapt dosages for improved outcomes and to address asthma health disparities. The study also established the role of genetics in drug response.

Principal faculty:

  • Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH

Protein homeostasis

Advanced scientific understanding of how imbalances in protein homeostasis contribute to a wide range of disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Impact: Healthy tissues maintain a delicate balance of protein homeostasis, in which protein folding and turnover are tightly regulated. In many diseases, proteins adopt pathological conformations to avoid normal protein quality control. Work by Jason Gestwicki and team illuminated how proteins’ misfolding and protective factors—such as molecular chaperones—operate to counteract this process.

Principal faculty:

  • Jason Gestwicki, PhD


Computational tools for small-molecule molecular modeling: the Surflex Platform

Developed methods for small molecule docking, molecular similarity, and binding affinity prediction that rely upon ideas from computer science and robotics, including representation of deformable objects, multiple-instance learning, and heuristic non-linear optimization. These methods are widely used in industry and academia for rational drug design.

Principal faculty:

  • Ajay Jain, PhD


Recombinant, renewable antibodies for conformational states of proteins

Using the technology of bacteriophage display, identified engineered antibodies that recognize key conformational states of proteins and, in particular, enzymes.

Impact: These engineered antibodies provide valuable reagents for non-invasive imaging of cancer cells for stratification of patient populations, monitoring drug therapy, and identifying targets for therapeutic intervention. Proteins are constantly fluctuating among their different conformational states in the same way that a person does not stay fixed in one position throughout the day. Using recombinant antibodies to trap the different states of these proteins provides insight into the functional states of the proteins and the cells that produce them.

Principal faculty:

  • James Wells, PhD
  • Charles Craik, PhD


Computational tools for comparative protein structure modeling: MODELLER, ModBase, IMP

Developed a powerful suite of computational tools for constructing comparative protein structures using statistical models to fill in the gaps created by unknown loop structures. These tools include:

  • MODELLER: used for homology (comparative modeling of three-dimensional protein structures)
  • ModBase: database of comparative protein structure models
  • IMP (Integrative Modeling Platform): software for hybrid determination of macromolecular assembly structures

Impact: Assists in prediction of protein-protein interactions and the functional annotation of genes, allowing the identification of specific proteins as therapeutic targets.

Principal Faculty:

  • Andrej Sali, PhD


Pharmacist Review to Increase Cost-Effectiveness (PRICE) Clinic

Developed an effective clinic model to assist patients in reviewing their medication lists, working with primary health care providers to ensure patients are able to afford and can continue taking their medicines.

Impact: In 2001, when the largest Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) eliminated brand name drug coverage, the Department of Clinical Pharmacy collaborated with Mercy Medical Group to create the Pharmacist Review to Increase Cost-Effectiveness (PRICE) Clinic as a way to ensure that patients could obtain the prescription drugs they needed—at an average savings of $1,500 per year—with the help of pharmacists, pharmacy students, and residents. Since that time, numerous other California pharmacy schools have adopted the PRICE clinic model.

Principal faculty:

  • Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD
  • Timothy Cutler, PharmD


Expanding the “druggable genome”

Created chemical screening and informatics approaches to identify sites and compounds for targets that have been considered undruggable, and for which there are no adequate chemical starting points to initiate the drug discovery process, including protein-protein interfaces and allosteric sites.

Impact: Tremendous progress has been made to approach challenging targets formerly considered undruggable. Focusing on prediction of allosteric sites, investigators will find new ways to turn proteins off or on. Projects include: inhibitors of caspases (Michelle Arkin, Adam Renslo, and James Wells), disruption of protein dimerization (Charles Craik), and inhibitors of protein-protein interactions (Michelle Arkin, Jason Gestwicki, Adam Renslo, and James Wells).

Principal faculty:

  • Michelle Arkin, PhD
  • Charles Craik, PhD
  • William DeGrado, PhD
  • Jason Gestwicki, PhD
  • Matt Jacobson, PhD
  • Andrej Sali, PhD
  • Brian Shoichet, PhD
  • James Wells, PhD


Conflict of interest and research integrity

Determined that industry-sponsored research conclusions are frequently biased in favor of the sponsor.

Impact: Research led by Lisa Bero, PhD, found university policies regarding conflict of interest and growing industry sponsorship of university research are frequently imprecise, inconsistent, and inadequate to prevent bias in research. Due in part to the research conducted in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has prohibited NIH researchers from accepting consulting fees or other personal income from private industry, in an attempt to limit bias in research findings.

Principal faculty:

  • Lisa Bero, PhD
  • Elizabeth Boyd, PhD

Target dose adjustment of busulfan in pediatric patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation

Ann Bolinger and colleagues adjusted the busulfan dose to each individualized child’s needs using pharmacokinetic parameters to improve engraftment without increasing toxicity.

Impact: Children undergoing bone marrow transplants for leukemia or genetic disorders previously received the same standard dosage per body weight as adults of the drug busulfan. Adoption of the new method increased the likelihood that an expensive and intensive bone marrow transplant treatment for deadly blood diseases will be successful and lifesaving in children.

Principal faculty:

  • Ann Bolinger, PharmD
  • Abby Zangwill, PharmD
  • Morton Cowan, MD


Fragment-based lead discovery

Originated and popularized technologies for site-directed fragment discovery.

Impact: One problem with undruggable targets is finding the first small-molecule starting point. Fragment-based lead discovery breaks the problem into smaller pieces by testing compounds that are roughly half the size of a typical drug lead. Small compounds with low complexity bind to subsites within a drug-binding site, allowing the researcher to get a foothold. The disulfide trapping method known as Tethering is a site-directed method in which a native or engineered cysteine residue on the protein captures thiol-containing fragments. Tethering—originally developed by James Wells and colleagues at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals—has been further advanced at UCSF after Wells joined the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry faculty. UCSF investigators have discovered new allosteric sites with Tethering, and tethered compounds have acted as molecular chaperones for crystallography.

Principal faculty:

  • Michelle Arkin, PhD
  • Matt Jacobson, PhD
  • Adam Renslo, PhD
  • Brian Shoichet, PhD
  • James Wells, PhD


Tobacco cessation curriculum: Rx for Change, clinician-assisted tobacco cessation

Designed and implemented a comprehensive, evidence-based tobacco cessation training program, intended to be integrated into the required pharmacy school curricula. This is an open-source curriculum for all health care students and professionals, available on the UCSF website at Rx for Change.

Impact: Rx for Change has been used to train more than 150,000 health professional students and licensed clinicians throughout the United States and abroad, and has been translated into multiple languages including Spanish and Chinese. The Rx for Change website has more than 8,900 registered users from 46 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

Principal faculty:

  • Robin Corelli, PharmD
  • Karen Hudmon, DrPH, RPh (volunteer faculty)
  • Lisa Kroon, PharmD


California Poison Control System (CPCS)

Consolidated California’s six independent poison control centers into one integrated system, which is administered by the UCSF School of Pharmacy and responds to inquiries 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, via a toll-free telephone number.

Impact: The California Poison Control System (CPCS) responds to approximately 900,000 poisoning inquiries each year and saves California $70 million annually in medical treatment costs.

Principal faculty responsible for the consolidation of the CPCS:

  • Stuart Heard, PharmD, executive director, CPCS


Structure determination of proteins involved in disease

Applied sophisticated nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques to describe important protein structures in HIV-AIDS, influenza (M2 protein), Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, protease, and fatal neurodegenerative diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) which can serve as targets for the rational design of potential new and effective drugs. Based on this knowledge, department scientists designed anti-influenza compounds that address problems associated with drug resistance.

Impact: The power of NMR and other techniques to see the architecture of molecules involved in disease makes it easier to determine how to rationally design drugs that bind to, or incapacitate, those molecules.

Principal faculty:

  • John Gross, PhD
  • Thomas James, PhD
  • William DeGrado, PhD
  • Charles Craik, PhD


Protein engineering to understand and modulate signaling pathways

Developed new protein-engineered tools to probe signaling pathways involved in proteolysis, ubiquitination, phosphorylation, and cellular trafficking.

Impact: Understanding how information flows into and out of cells through signaling pathways is fundamental to modulating disease. Such signaling pathways are complex, involving multiple components and compartmentalization. These new tools are helping us to dissect these pathways and to identify key nodes for therapeutic intervention.

Principal faculty:

  • Charles Craik, PhD
  • Xiaokun Shu, PhD
  • James Wells, PhD


Protein folding pathways

Pioneered theory of protein-folding pathways as funnels within a free-energy landscape.

Impact: Introduced fundamental biophysical and statistical concepts currently used in mathematical models of protein folding.

Principal faculty:

  • Ken Dill, PhD


Drug discovery for parasitic diseases

Identified a protease target needed by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, and determined the structure of the protein-identified inhibitors. Developed several high-throughput, whole-organism assays for parasitic diseases and discovered new drug leads for major neglected diseases, including Giardia, Amoebiasis, Chagas disease, Leishmaniasis, and Schistosomiasis.

Impact: One billion people around the world are at risk for contracting parasitic diseases, with the greatest impacts in the poorest populations. School scientists have developed high-throughput screens to identify new compounds that may be used as drugs to treat these diseases. The assays themselves have led to innovations in microscopy-based screening for live organisms, including quantifying movement in a high-throughput format. Drug leads are being developed for Schistosomiasis (200 million people infected), Chagas disease (10 million people infected), and Amoebiasis.

Principal faculty:

  • Michelle Arkin, PhD
  • Charles Craik, PhD
  • Robert Fletterick, PhD (Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics)
  • James McKerrow, MD, PhD
  • Adam Renslo, PhD
  • Jack Taunton, PhD (Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology)


Molecular parasitology

Linked the purine salvage enzymes in Giardia and Trichomonas to cell cycle regulation in African trypanosomes to help identify protein targets needed by the parasite for survival.

Impact: Protozoans are a major cause of deadly and debilitating illness of humans and livestock throughout the world. School scientists established the basis for molecular parasitology that is commonly used today to produce effective species-specific molecules of medicinal importance.

Principal faculty:

  • Ching Chung “C. C.” Wang, PhD and Alice L. Wang, PhD

Viral proteases

Identified a small molecule inhibitor, as well as a "defective version" of HIV protease, that blocked the ability of the virus to process viral proteins, thereby preventing HIV from accomplishing disease-related tasks in the body.

Impact: Pioneering work led to the appreciation of HIV protease and other proteases as excellent drug candidates, thereby contributing to the development of marketed antiviral drugs.

Principal faculty:

  • Charles Craik, PhD
  • Paul Ortiz de Montellano, PhD
  • Irwin “Tack” Kuntz, PhD


Cytochrome P450s and drug metabolism

Revealed an advanced understanding of mechanism-based inhibition of cytochrome P450 enzymes and established its utility in both drug design and the avoidance of drug structures with undesirable P450 inactivation liabilities.

Impact: Because of this work, current drug design avoids substructures that cause cytochrome P450 inactivation, except for some agents for which a P450 enzyme is the drug’s specific target.

Principal faculty:

  • Paul Ortiz de Montellano, PhD


Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

Pioneered one of the first hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs in the United States—the UCSF Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at UCSF Medical Center.

Impact: The UCSF Antimicrobial Stewardship Program evolved from studies in the late 1980s, led by B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD. Results showed that hospital-based antimicrobial prescription-monitoring programs managed by clinical pharmacists and physicians specializing in infectious diseases had the potential to reduce significant adverse antimicrobial events in hospitalized patients. Guglielmo’s work predated, by two decades, the antimicrobial stewardship practice guidelines first recommended by the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) in 2007. UCSF PharmD residents who train in the program serve in leadership positions in pharmacy infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship throughout the United States.

Principal faculty:

  • B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, served as director of the Antimicrobial Management Program at UCSF and led initial research and creation/implementation of the UCSF Antimicrobial Stewardship Residency Program.

Computational drug design: DOCK and AMBER

Invented the first applications of computers to investigate questions in pharmaceutical chemistry, allowing researchers to calculate, display, and analyze molecules in three dimensions. Notable early accomplishments were the invention of software for computing protein structures (Assisted Model Building with Energy Refinement, AMBER) and for automatically docking drug molecules into their target receptors (DOCK).

Impact: Computer-based approaches speed drug development by more efficiently sorting out or screening from millions—even billions—of chemicals those compounds that have the best potential for drug development.

Principal faculty:

  • Irwin “Tack” Kuntz, PhD (DOCK)
  • Peter Kollman, PhD (AMBER)


Leading clinical pharmacy text

Created the first textbook to use a case-based approach to assist students in mastering the fundamentals of drug therapeutics, which helped revolutionize pharmacy’s role in the health care arena nationwide.

Impact: The publication of Applied Therapeutics: The Clinical Use of Drugs changed the pharmacy profession’s focus from one of “just the facts” to how facts can be used to identify and solve real clinical problems. The thinking in Applied Therapeutics helped drive forward the pharmacy profession by educating pharmacists as drug therapy experts and making them an integral part of today’s professional health care team. Now in its 10th edition, Applied Therapeutics is used in pharmacy schools throughout the world.

Principal faculty instrumental in developing the original textbook:

  • Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD
  • Lloyd Young, PharmD
  • Brian Katcher, PharmD


Expanded role of clinical pharmacists through legislation: AB 717

Endorsed and promoted the California Legislature’s approval of AB 717, a pilot project for the expanded role of pharmacists and other health professionals, which paved the way for SB 493 in 2013.

Impact: The expansion of the role of pharmacists enabled the department to train professionals who could assume more responsibility for the medication outcomes of patients. One of the first programs developed at UCSF as a result of AB 717 was the Anticoagulation Clinic, led by Steven Kayser, PharmD. (Both UCSF Clinical Pharmacy’s cutting edge pharmacy practice models and the department’s collaboration with the California legislature culminated in the passage of SB 493 in 2013, which grants limited prescribing authority to pharmacists in California, including provision for the Advanced Practice Pharmacist (APP) recognition.)

Principal faculty:

  • B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD


Satellite teaching programs

Established satellite programs throughout California to provide additional opportunities for fourth-year clerkships for UCSF student pharmacists, while allowing UCSF to expand its reach and influence—and the concepts of clinical pharmacy practice—across the state.

Impact: Establishing UCSF satellite programs for pharmacy education in Los Angeles-Orange County, North Bay, Santa Clara-South Bay, UC Davis-Sacramento, and UCSF at Fresno played a major role in expanding clinical pharmacy services throughout California.

Principal faculty involved in the original collaborative effort:

  • Theodore Tong, PharmD
  • Ronald Conte, PharmD
  • David Adler, PharmD
  • Sam Shimomura, PharmD
  • Barbara Sauer, PharmD
  • Peter Ambrose, PharmD
  • Mitra Assemi, PharmD
  • Katherine Yang, PharmD, MPH
  • Glenn Yokoyama, PharmD
  • Kristen Balano, PharmD


Development of mass spectrometry and proteomics for biology

Pioneered the development of high-resolution mass spectrometers for sensitive detection of biomolecules in complex biological samples.

Impact: The field of modern day proteomics is largely dependent on high-resolution mass spectrometry, which has been a major focus in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

Principal faculty:

  • Alma Burlingame, PhD


First clinical pharmacy competency statements

Created the first competency statements for UCSF students taking clinical pharmacy clerkships.

Impact: UCSF’s clinical pharmacy competency statements later became the California State Board of Pharmacy Professional Competency in Pharmacy statement which, one year later, was adopted by all three existing California schools of pharmacy.

Principal faculty:

  • Robert Day, PharmD
  • Sidney Riegelman, PhD

Resource for Biocomputing, Visualization, and Informatics (RBVI)

Established in 1970, the RBVI pioneered the use of computational visualization to help answer questions about biological and pharmaceutical structure and function.

Impact: The tools and technologies developed in the RBVI—such as Chimera and Cytoscape—are used worldwide to visualize and organize biological information from the atomic to the supramolecular levels.

Principal faculty:

  • Robert Langridge, PhD
  • Thomas Ferrin, PhD


Population pharmacokinetic modeling: Non-linear Mixed Effects Modeling (NONMEM)

Created the first software for population pharmacokinetic modeling, now the gold standard in the field for both the pharmaceutical industry and academia. This work allowed the prediction of drug variability—its sources and its effects in individuals—based on sparse data.

Impact: Modeling tools can drastically reduce the number of clinical trial runs needed, abbreviating drug approval times and shrinking drug development costs.

Principal faculty:

  • Stuart Beal, PhD
  • Lewis Sheiner, MD


Drug Information Analysis Service (DIAS)

Expanded the breadth of drug information provided to other health care professionals, including analyses of drug relevance to specific patients and illnesses.

Impact: In 1966, for the first time, pharmacists working in the Drug Information Analysis Service (DIAS) provided analyses of current drugs that were available for specific diseases and made recommendations about proposed drugs to ensure patients received the best and most effective medication with the fewest possible side effects. DIAS pharmacists also provided in-depth answers to complex drug information questions from UCSF providers. With the advent of online drug information databases in the 21st century, the DIAS service closed in 2007 and morphed into the UCSF Medication Outcomes Center.

Principal faculty:

  • Joseph Hirschman, PharmD
  • Donna Schroeder, PharmD
  • Candy Tsourounis, PharmD


Residency training programs

Developed and implemented one of the first pharmacy residency programs in the country, which served as a model for numerous pharmacy schools throughout the United States.

Impact: The pharmacy residency program, a collaboration of UCSF School of Pharmacy and UCSF Medical Center, has trained more than 600 residents since its inception in 1965. Areas of specialized residency training continue to grow—with new programs emerging, expansion of existing programs, and ongoing areas of specialization. Because our graduates practice across the nation, their impact on patient care, professional pharmacy leadership, and future training of pharmacists is far reaching.

Principal faculty:

  • Eric Owyang, RPh
  • Eric T. Herfindal, PharmD, MPH
  • Brian Alldredge, PharmD
  • Donald Kishi, PharmD
  • Cathi Dennehy, PharmD