Giacomini Receives Dawson Award

Giacomini Receives Dawson Award

Kathy M. Giacomini, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy scientist, received the 2005 Paul Dawson Biotechnology Award in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 10, 2005 from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). The award recognizes exceptional teaching and research in biotechnology.

Giacomini is an expert on membrane transporters, which are chemicals that control the movement of drugs and natural compounds in and out of cells. Her research focuses on the role of transporters in drug absorption and disposition and specifically on genetic variations in membrane transporters and how these relate to variations in drug disposition and response. This work is now referred to as the "pharmacogenomics of membrane transporters." Giacomini continues to pioneer this field in the School's department of biopharmaceutical sciences, and nationally as vice chair of the Pharmacogenetics Research Network. The Network is a group of scientists in the United States who are studying the effects of genes on people's responses to medicines. The Network is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

As chair of the department of biopharmaceutical sciences beginning in 1998, Giacomini expanded its research agenda to include computational biology and bioinformatics, as well as pharmacogenomics.

The Dawson Award is sponsored annually by the pharmaceutical company Amgen, Inc. in memory of Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales Paul Dawson, a staunch supporter of education in biotechnology. The award consists of an art glass double-helix sculpture and a US$10,000 cash prize.

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