2006 News

Medicare Part D Outreach Funded by Amgen Foundation

The UCSF School of Pharmacy has received a US$3.7 million grant from the Amgen Foundation to train student pharmacists in all 7 California schools of pharmacy with the skills they need to help the underserved elderly make the best Medicare Part D choices.

Calls About the Abuse of Cold Medicines Increase Tenfold in California

Calls to the California Poison Control System (CPCS) about abuse, primarily in adolescents, of over-the-counter medications containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan, increased tenfold from 1999 to 2004, according to a retrospective review published in the December 2006 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Lee Appointed New Director of CDDS

Howard Lee, MD, PhD, is the new director of the Center for Drug Development Science (CDDS), the Washington, DC-based program administered by the UCSF School of Pharmacy's department of biopharmaceutical sciences.

Tang Talks About a Turning Point in Science

By understanding the complicated systems that make up biology, we will understand more about the individual parts, how they work together, communicate, and mobilize into action, according to Chao Tang, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member.

Wells Looks for New Ways to Fill the Drug Discovery Pipeline

UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member James Wells, PhD, director of the Small Molecule Discovery Center, describes his approach, which uses precise, sophisticated matchmaking techniques, to improving the success rate of finding chemical compounds with the potential to become drugs.

Dill Speaks to Science Funding and Approach

Science could benefit from funding for deep innovation and time to dream, says Ken Dill, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and associate dean for research.

UCSF School of Pharmacy #1 Among Peers

The UCSF School of Pharmacy maintains its ranking as the best doctor of pharmacy degree program in the United States, according to a 2005 survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report. Results were published in America's Best Graduate Schools, 2007 Edition.

Funding Scarce for Deep Innovation in Science

Today's science lacks funding for truly deep innovation, says Ken Dill, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and associate dean for research.

Full Story

Science Cafe, Bring Back the Ivory Tower, Part 1 of 2

Giacomini Elected to IOM

Kathy M. Giacomini, PhD, chair of the UCSF School of Pharmacy department of biopharmaceutical sciences, has been elected a member of the Institute of Medicine based upon her research achievements and commitment to service. Giacomini is an international leader in the field of membrane transporters and pharmacogenetics.

Li Foundation Funds Chinese Scholars to Study Systems Biology at UCSF

The New York-based Li Foundation, which for more than 15 years has been supporting Chinese scientists to study at UCSF, is now targeting its support to scholars from Peking University's Center for Theoretical Biology to study at the University of California's (UC's) California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3), which is headquartered at UCSF.

School #1 in NIH Funding, 26th Year

But shrinking research dollars jeopardize public well-being

Guo Research Key to Nobel Prize

School of Pharmacy faculty member Su Guo, PhD, is credited by Andrew Fire, PhD, Stanford University scientist and 2006 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine for her early work on RNA as a graduate student at Cornell University.

Doetsch Reflects on International Science

Science works best when it is international, says Volker Doetsch, PhD, professor and leader of the Institute of Biophysical Chemistry at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt and adjunct professor in the department of pharmaceutical chemistry at the UCSF School of Pharmacy.

Gibson Receives Chauncey I. Cooper Award

Robert D. Gibson, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy alumnus and former associate dean, has been honored with the Chauncey I. Cooper Award by the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA) in recognition of his sustained and distinguished service to the profession of pharmacy.

Hale Named MacArthur Fellow

Victoria Hale, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy PhD alumnus in pharmaceutical chemistry, and founder and CEO of the Institute for OneWorld Health is one of 25 prestigious 2006 MacArthur Fellows, as announced September 19, 2006, by the John D. and Catherine T.

Dill Named for Distinguished Service by Biophysical Society

Ken A. Dill, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member, associate dean for research, and expert in protein folding has been named winner of the 2007 Distinguished Service Award by the Biophysical Society. Dill has served as president of the society from 1998 to 1999 and currently co-chairs the public affairs committee.

Update from the Dean - Spring/Summer 2006

Seeking new funding sources for PhD programs. Thank you for alumni contributions. Meeting with PharmD alumni in industry. Faculty honors and awards: Ortiz de Montellano, Voigt, Wells, England, Hunt, Bero, Day. Global activity: McGee and Drysdale (Uganda), Nguyen (Ho Chi Minh City), Guglielmo, Gwaza, Monera, Benet, Wolfe, and UCSF ranked 9th among the top 100 global universities by Newsweek International. Li Foundation becomes partner in systems biology research (Peng, Tang). Helping seniors understand Medicare Part D (Stebbins, Cutler, Levens Lipton). Center for Consumer Self Care contributions: ClearRx Study, breast and prostate cancer screening, new residency program, telepharmacy service. Louie awarded Chancellor's Award for Public Service. Preparing for 2008 accreditation review. 40th Anniversary of clinical pharmacy.

Marletta Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Michael Marletta, PhD, who completed his PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry at UCSF in 1977, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences on April 25, 2006 at the Academy's 143rd annual meeting in Washington, DC.

UCSF Ranks 9th Among Top Global Universities

Using standards that measure a university's openness and diversity, as well as distinction in research, Newsweek International ranked UCSF 9th among the top 100 global universities as reported in the publication's August 13, 2006 online issue.

Communication Is Key to Medication Adherence

Patients benefit best from medications when they take the right medicines at the right dose and at the right time.

Genotyping Could Lead to Stereotyping

While tailoring medications to a group's genetic ancestry can be important, scientists warn that these generalizations might also be misleading. UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and pharmacogenetics and asthma researcher Esteban Burchard, MD, comments at the Genomics, Race, and Health Disparities Conference held in Oakland, California on August 18 and 19, 2006.

Medicare Part D Coverage Gap Can Be a Black Hole for Some Seniors

In the new United States Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, most people are responsible for 100% of their drug costs after their annual drug expenses exceed US$2,250 and until their expenses reach US$5,100.

England Receives McKnight Endowment Award

Pamela M. England, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and expert in the areas of neuroscience and memory formation, will receive one of four Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Awards for 2006-2008. The award is from The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience.

Inaba Named First Fellow of Haight Ashbury Free Clinics

Darryl Inaba, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy 1971 alumnus, a substance abuse expert and former CEO of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc., was honored on August 7, 2006 as the clinics' first fellow.

Research Bias Shown to Be Complicated

Research studies can be designed to influence the results, comments Lisa Bero, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and expert on industry sponsorship of research and conflict of interest.

Part D Insurers Eye the Bottom Line

Helene Levens Lipton, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member and health policy expert, comments that insurers will remain in the Medicare Part D marketplace as long as they benefit.

Know Your Cholesterol Numbers When Considering a Drug

Candy Tsourounis, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy clinical faculty member and expert on herbals and dietary supplements, warns that depending upon your blood cholesterol levels, a cholesterol-lowering dietary supplement might not be enough for you. Listen to National Public Radio Morning Edition, August 3, 2006.

Plan B Under Review Again by the FDA

In light of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) July 31, 2006 announcement that it is proceeding to work toward making emergency contraception, known as Plan B, a non-prescription product for women ages 18 and older, two UCSF School of Pharmacy clinical faculty members answer questions about the contraceptive and surrounding policy issues.

Voigt Pioneers Field of Synthetic Biology

Christopher A. Voigt, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy scientist, and colleagues are engineering bacteria to target tumors and create images. This work is part of the emerging field of synthetic biology, which aims to create new biological parts, systems, and tools, and redesign existing biological systems for useful purposes, including:

Ortiz de Montellano, Voigt, and Wells Recognized for Their Science

Three UCSF School of Pharmacy scientists, Paul R. Ortiz de Montellano, PhD; Christopher A. Voigt, PhD; and James A. Wells, PhD have been recognized for their outstanding research.

Pharmacists Are Key to Medicare Part D Education and Outreach

Medicare Part D decisions are confusing and complex, especially to underprivileged and underserved seniors and disabled applicants. Pharmacists have the expertise to solve this problem if they were named by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as the primary educators for the Part D benefit and appropriately funded, according to B.

Medicare Part D Could Work if Pharmacists Recognized and Reimbursed

Pharmacists are essential to the successful implementation of Medicare Part D, according to Helene Levens Lipton, PhD, professor of health policy in the department of clinical pharmacy, UCSF School of Pharmacy and UCSF Institute for Health Policy Studies.

Medicare Part D Explained on Spanish-language TV

UCSF Doctor of Pharmacy students advised viewers in Spanish about Medicare Part D at the call center for Univision, Channel 14 San Francisco on Friday, May 5, 2006. "The experience was great for student pharmacists and callers alike," said Kirby Lee, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty mentor for the session.

UCSF Pharmacy Students Explain Medicare Part D To Seniors in 5 Languages

UCSF doctor of pharmacy students explained Medicare Part D in Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Russian, and English at a Saturday, April 29 workshop in San Francisco. The event was hosted by Mission Creek Community Mercy Housing California and the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Medication Safety Could Improve with Changes to Pharmacy Education

Small changes in pharmacy school curricula could ultimately lead to safer health care environments for patients. These changes were proposed by Brian Alldredge, PharmD, professor of clinical pharmacy, and Mary-Anne Koda Kimble, PharmD, dean, UCSF School of Pharmacy.

Pharmacy Students Win National Award for Medicare Part D Outreach

Doctor of pharmacy students at the UCSF School of Pharmacy were recognized March 17, 2006 with a national Medicare Student Outreach Competition award for their success in educating the public about the new federal Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage program, known as Medicare Part D.

Day and Gibson Receive APhA Honors at 2006 Annual Meeting

Robert L. Day, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy associate dean and Robert D. Gibson, PharmD, alumnus and former associate dean, were honored by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) at its 2006 annual meeting held in San Francisco, March 17 to 21, 2006.

Pharmacists Fear Threat to Business Posed by Medicare Part D

Helene Levens Lipton, PhD, UCSF School of Pharmacy professor and health policy expert explores the impact of Medicare Part D on pharmacy business.

• Full story: Pharmacists Fear Threat to Business Posed by Medicare Part D.

Pharmacists Can Clarify Medicare Part D Confusion, Expert Says

Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD, a clinical professor in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, is urging seniors to ask their pharmacists for help in clarifying new Medicare Part D drug benefit choices and in dealing with the government bureaucracy the benefit has spawned.

Soller Receives Golden Thinker Award

R. William Soller, PhD, executive director, UCSF School of Pharmacy Center for Consumer Self Care, is the co-recipient of the Golden Thinker Award from the North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS). The award marks record-level radio and newspaper coverage of the It's Your Life breast and prostate cancer communications campaigns.

Update from the Dean - February 2006

Guglielmo named new department of clinical pharmacy chair. New faculty members: Boyd, Burchard, Cutler, Lee, MacDougall, Nkansah, Orrico, Tang, and Wells. Parfitt Pattie now oversees alumni relations in addition to fundraising. Research highlights. Honors and awards: Langridge, Giacomini, Herfindal, Gibson, Day, Nguyen, Zlott, Drysdale, and Allday. New PhD training program in systems biology. Postgraduate education of PharmD students. Employment trends of PharmD graduates. Homecoming scheduled for November 4, 2006. School at work in China, Vietnam, Japan, Uganda, and Guatemala. Lipton finishes sabbatical at One World Health. Victoria Hale to deliver commencement address to 2006 PharmD graduates. Strategic planning delayed by multiple factors. For 25th consecutive year, School tops other pharmacy schools in research funding from the National Institutes of Health. For second consecutive year, UCSF receives more federal funding for chemical research and development than any US peer. School exceeds campaign fundraising goal by 18%.

Guglielmo Named Chair of Clinical Pharmacy Department

B. Joseph Guglielmo Jr., PharmD, has been named chair of the department of clinical pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco. The appointment is effective March 20, 2006.

Guglielmo is a clinical pharmacist, researcher, and national leader on the best use of drugs to control infections.

Problems with Medicare Part D Rollout Explained

Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy clinical professor and drug benefit expert, explains the problems as of January 2006 with the rollout of the Medicare Part D drug benefit. She advises seniors on how to get the medication coverage that best meets their needs.

National Quality Coordination Board Supported by Koda-Kimble and UC Colleagues

A new public board is needed to standardize, measure, and ultimately improve the quality of health care in the United States, according to UCSF School of Pharmacy Dean Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, and University of California colleagues Stephen M. Shortell, PhD, MPH, and

GHB Use Down Overall

Reports to the California Poison Control System of the use of the drug gamma hydroxybutate (GHB) have declined overall from 1999 to 2003. These findings were reported on December 29, 2005 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Gibson Awarded Remington Medal

Robert D. Gibson, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy alumnus and former associate dean, is the 2006 recipient of the Remington Honor Medal. This is the highest honor bestowed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

Memory-making Molecules Now Better Understood

Through better understanding of where and how the brain gets, or "traffics," fresh supplies of particular receptors needed to carry chemical signals between nerve cells, researchers hope to better understand how we learn, remember, and possibly forget.