Giacomini and Benet Honored by International Peers
Kathy M. Giacomini, PhD, chair, department of biopharmaceutical sciences and Leslie Z. Benet, PhD, professor in the same department, were both honored at the Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress, held May 29 to June 4, 2004 in Kyoto, Japan.
For her exceptional presentation skills, Giacomini received, on June 1, the Distinguished Lecturer in the Pharmaceutical Sciences award from an international pool of nominees. Giacomini's research group focuses on membrane transporters. These molecules facilitate the flow of drugs and important natural compounds into and out of cells. As principal investigator of a major project funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Giacomini leads an effort to understand the implications on drug response of genetic variation in 25 membrane transporters. Ultimately, the information obtained from these studies could predict if a patient is likely to benefit from a particular drug or experience adverse effects from that drug. Because of Giacomini's work, it might be possible in the future to design drugs to better treat subsets of patients who do not respond to standard treatments.
On May 30 Benet received the Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Achievement Award for his significant, career-long contributions to the advancement of worldwide pharmaceutical sciences. Benet celebrated, on June 19, his 35-year anniversary as a member of the UCSF faculty, for which he served as the chair of the department of biopharmaceutical sciences from 1978 through 1998. At UCSF he is a recipient of the Campus Distinguished Teaching Award for 1972-1973 and the Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award in 2001. He is a co-founder of two biotechnology start-ups, AvMax Inc. and OxoN Medica, Inc. His research interests, more than 450 publications, and ten patents are in the areas of pharmacokinetics, biopharmaceutics, drug delivery and pharmacodynamics. Following the Kyoto meeting, Benet received on June 13 the Career Achievement in Oral Drug Delivery Award of the Controlled Release Society at its 31st Annual Meeting and Exposition in Honolulu, Hawaii.
About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.