2011 News

William Soller defines the roadmap for Rx-to-OTC switches

If you are a pharmaceutical company seeking to switch your prescription medication to one sold directly to consumers—as an over-the-counter or OTC drug—William Soller, PhD, has your road map.

Computer models to predict drug clearance by liver cells show promise

A holy grail of drug discovery is to answer key questions about potential new drugs less by experiments in petri dishes and lab animals and more by faster, cheaper engineering efforts using predictive computer models.

UCSF Robotic Pharmacy ranked “Best of What’s New” 2011 by Popular Science

The robotic pharmacy at the UCSF Medical Center is the recipient of a 2011 Best of What’s New designation by Popular Science. Each year since 1987, the publication reviews thousands of innovations and chooses the top 100 winners that represent significant steps forward.

Consortium inventing medical devices for children gets new funding

A two-year-old, cross-disciplinary effort to invent new medical devices for children, co-founded by bioengineer Shuvo Roy, PhD, has received a two-year $1 million grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expand its work.

Lisa Bero heads new WHO center studying, promoting global access to vital drugs

The office of Lisa Bero, PhD, on UCSF’s Laurel Heights campus has long been a key portal between the School of Pharmacy and the world at large, including countries where billions of people cannot get even the most vital life-saving drugs.

Drugs screened for effects on key transporters, risk of dangerous interactions

To reduce the risk of toxic drug interactions, UCSF's Kathy Giacomini, PhD, and colleagues are screening thousands of prescription drugs, testing how much they inhibit key proteins in kidney and liver cells that help clear medications from the body.

Michael Nordberg becomes associate dean, finance and administration

Michael Nordberg, MPA/HSA, is the newly appointed associate dean of administration and finance for the UCSF School of Pharmacy. He served the position as interim associate dean from July 1, 2009 to September 26, 2011 when he accepted the position full time at the completion of a comprehensive recruitment for the job.

In-flight programming features bioartificial kidney

 Passengers who travel on American Airlines from September through October 2011 will learn about the surgically implantable bioartificial kidney being developed at UCSF as a permanent solution to end stage renal disease.

Michael Fischbach receives Packard Fellowship

Michael Fischbach, PhD, who studies drug-like molecules produced by human gut bacteria, has been awarded one the 16 prestigious 2011 Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering.

The fellowship, which supports “highly creative professors early in their careers,” provides an unrestricted research grant of $875,000 over five years.

Bo Huang receives NIH New Innovator Award

Bo Huang, PhD, a faculty member of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, has been named a recipient of a 2011 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award.

Kathy Giacomini cites increasing impact of quantitative pharmacology

Pharmaceutical companies will increasingly apply the predictive modeling of quantitative pharmacology to do more efficient drug development, says Kathy Giacomini, PhD, co-chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Me

UCSF chancellor presents renewed mission, three-year goals

UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellman, MD, MPH, delivered her State of the University address at Cole Hall on the Parnassus campus on October 4, 2011.

Adam Abate aided by QB3’s Startup in a Box program

Adam Abate, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, is a prime trial candidate for QB3’s Startup in a Box.

UCSF study: Drug information resources may miss parts of boxed warnings

An analysis by UCSF faculty members from the Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine has found that the half-dozen most reputable electronic drug information resources—tools commonly used by clinicians to make prescription and patient monitoring decisions—may not provide key elements of some medications’ black box warnings.

UCSF Center for Quantitative Pharmacology kicks off with 2-day Mission Bay symposium

The new UCSF Center for Quantitative Pharmacology housed within the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), a joint department of the Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, will be inaugurated next week with a wide-ranging, 2-day conference, September 22 and 23, 2011 at William J. Rutter Center on UCSF’s Mission Bay campus.

Louis Cantilena new ACDRS course director

Louis R. Cantilena, Jr., MD, PhD, is the newly appointed course director of the American Course on Drug Development and Regulatory Sciences (ACDRS) effective summer 2011.

Xiaokun Shu awarded funding for infrared fluorescent protein research

Xiaokun Shu, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, has been awarded $165,000 in first-year funding under the UCSF Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research (PBBR) effective October 1, 2011.

Asthma genetics study finds new gene

A novel gene associated with the asthma susceptibility in African Americans was revealed by a U.S. consortium of asthma genetics researchers, including Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.

Michael Williams named to lead UCSF School of Pharmacy IT

Michael Williams, MA, is the first executive director of academic, administrative, and research technology for the UCSF School of Pharmacy, effective August 1, 2011.

Update from the Dean - Spring/Summer 2011

Faculty awards: Cutler, Fujimori, Huang, Wells. New faculty members: Abate, VanOsdol, Rodondi. Retiring faculty members: Kahl, Shafer, Wang, Kayser, Koo. PharmD students: Campbell, Wheeler, Ho, Lam, Campbell, Loucks, Marotto, Huynh, Luu, Chua, Stephens. PhD students: Gray. New appointments: Penick Brock, Williams. Research update: Giacomini, Uskokovic, Long-Boyle, Cheng, Guglielmo, Phillips, Bero, Kayser, Dennehy, Finley, Burchard, Burlingame, Wells, Jacobson, Fujimori, Renslo, Prusiner. Retirements: Parfitt Pattie, Lee. Budget: $650 million cut from 2011-2012 fiscal year, student fees raised 9.6%. Leadership: Desmond-Hellmann, Hellmann, Rodondi. Operational Excellence continues. CTSI receives renewed funding. Vlahov is new dean of School of Nursing. Yamamoto is new vice chancellor for research. UCSF Medical Center named 7th best hospital.

School of Pharmacy biotech symposium features case histories of future pharmaceuticals

The 2nd Annual Bay Area Biotechnology Symposium, presented by the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Industry Outreach Program in coordination with the UCSF Postdoctoral Scholars Association at Mission Bay in late May 2011, fully lived up to its billing: “Pharmaceuticals of the Future: Case Histories and Challenges.”

Soller and Stebbins discuss drug savings and safety in LA Times

William Soller, PhD, and Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD, faculty members in the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Clinical Pharmacy, were sources for a July 25, 2011 Los Angeles Times feature about the safety and effe

Daniel Gray receives Krevans Award for Outstanding Dissertation

Daniel Gray, PhD, is the recipient of the 2011 Julius R. and Patricia A. Krevans Distinguished Dissertation Award.

Michael Fischbach and Tejal Desai focus on “micro” solutions to improve health with drugs

Faculty members in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, share their research on the human microbiome and microfabricated drug delivery systems and their hopes for how their science will improve the health of patients.

Shuvo Roy presents new research on artificial kidney membranes

Shuvo Roy, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, presented initial results of research into a new type of silicon-based kidney fi

Medicaid could cut costs, provide better meds, UCSF School of Pharmacy researchers find

A study by researchers with the UCSF School of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Pharmacy finds that the Medicaid program is likely paying far more than necessary for medications and not offering patients the most effective ones available.

Prioritizing drug label warnings called for by UCSF School of Pharmacy authors

In the current issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, two faculty members of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Pharmacy issue a call for prioritization in prescription labels’ increasingly long lists of adverse drug events (ADEs).

Patrick Finley provides medication therapy management to patients with depression

Psychiatric pharmacist Patrick Finley, PharmD, BCPP, spends his days not behind the pharmacy counter, but in the clinic interviewing patients with depression, determining the provisional diagnosis, selecting and prescribing medications, and working with patients over the long haul to make sure their medications are right for them.

Pharmaceutical Chemistry postdoc job fair draws crowd

A job fair to help postdoctoral fellows and final-year PhD graduate students in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF School of Pharmacy connect with private industry amid a brightening job market drew a packed house on UCSF’s Mission Bay campus on May 10, 2011.

Clinical pharmacy spring seminar celebrates wide-ranging research

The 13th annual Spring Research Seminar highlighting work by students, residents, and faculty members in the UCSF School of Pharmacy Department of Clinical Pharmacy—and featuring 48 project posters—was held May 3, 2011 on UCSF’s Parnassus campus.

Tina Brock talks about her new role as the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s associate dean of teaching and learning

Education researcher Tina Penick Brock, BSPharm, MSPH, EdD, became the UCSF School of Pharmacy associate dean of teaching and learning, effective March 11, 2011. She joined the School’s Department of Clinical Pharmacy faculty in July 2010. Her credentials include:

Hilary Campbell wins student pharmacist of the year award

Hilary Campbell, UCSF student pharmacist, has been named the 2011 Student Pharmacist of the Year by the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) at its annual meeting, held February 2011 in Palm Springs, California.

Searle Scholar awards go to UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty 2 years in a row

Danica Fujimori, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine has been named a 2011 Searle Scholar. Her UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty colleague, Bo Huang, PhD, earned the honor in 2010.

Bioartificial kidney addition wins LEGO robot design awards

In fall 2010, a team of 8 school children won multiple awards in the Wisconsin regional and state FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) 2010 Body Forward™ Challenge, an international biomedical engineering competition involving a research project and robot games.

California Poison Control System’s emergency response role triggered by tsunami in Japan

During the two weeks following Japan’s March 11, 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the California Poison Control System (CPCS) was as visible as ever, answering telephone calls on poisoning questions.

Tina Brock named UCSF School of Pharmacy’s associate dean of teaching and learning

Education researcher Tina Penick Brock, BSPharm, MSPH, EdD, has been appointed associate dean of teaching and learning in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, effective March 11, 2011. She serves as the point person for all matters in the School related to educational affairs.

Robotic pharmacy featured on CNN

The robotic pharmacy at UCSF Medical Center was featured on Cable News Network (CNN) on April 22, 2010, in the report 21st Century Pharmacy.

Drug safety is the aim of UCSF-Optivia research partnership

Pharmacogenetics expert Kathy Giacomini, PhD, co-chair of the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, is leading the UCSF arm of a research partnership in which her team will profile 2,000 prescription drugs against key molecules in the liver and kidney that are responsible for ferrying those dr

A Year in the Life of PhD Student Robin Aglitti

Robin Aglietti committed to taking one photo each day for calendar year 2010, and she succeeded. The kind of commitment needed to carry out this self-imposed photo assignment is also needed to be a scientist, she explains.

Timothy Cutler is honored by APhA for Pharmacy Leadership

Timothy Cutler, PharmD, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, is the 2011 recipient of The Albert B. Prescott / Glaxo SmithKline Pharmacy Leadership Award from the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

The annual award spotlights a young pharmacist who the association deems likely to evolve as a significant leader of the profession. Cutler received the award at the annual APhA meeting held in Seattle, Washington, March 25-28, 2011.

James Wells receives the Bristol-Myers Squibb Smissman Award

James Wells, PhD, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF School of Pharmacy, has been honored with the 2011 Bristol-Meyer Squibb Smissman Award. The Smissman Award calls attention to a senior scientist whose work has had a substantial impact on the intellectual and theoretical development of medicinal chemistry. Wells is known for the discovery and design of small molecules that trigger or modulate cellular processes.

Kathy Giacomini honored by the 2011 Scheele Award

Kathy Giacomini, PhD, co-chair, UCSFDepartment of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, has been named the recipient of the 2011 Scheele Award by the Swedish Academy of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Giacomini is recognized for her work on the pharmacogenetics of membrane transporters and how pharmacogentic differences affect variations in drug response among individuals. The Scheele award goes to prominent scientists in the field of drug research or related disciplines.

California Poison Control System reaches the public via social media and mobile devices

The California Poison Control System (CPCS) is now connecting with state residents through text messaging, Twitter updates, Facebook quizzes, online games, and even a mobile application (app), which was launched today as part of National Poison Prevention Week — March 20-29, 2011.

California Poison Control System warns against potassium iodide at this time

Taking potassium iodide in reaction to any perceived threat to California of radiation exposure from Japan is not advised for California residents at this time, according to Stuart Heard, PharmD, FCSHP, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, and the exe

Tejal Desai’s drug delivery research focus of agreement between UCSF and Zcube

Drug delivery research led by UCSF’s Tejal Desai, PhD, will now be supported by an exclusive worldwide license agreement between UCSF and Zcube s.r.l.

Robotic pharmacy aims to free the pharmacist, improve medication safety

Automated robots in a new, high-tech pharmacy now prepare medications for UCSF hospital patients with the aim of improving medication safety while freeing UCSF hospital pharmacists and nurses to spend more time caring directly for patients.

Update from the Dean - Fall/Winter 2011

US$1 billion budget gap, student fee increases likely to continue, Levens Lipton keynote address to CPhA, Nkansah and the Dr. Oz television show, Bero and The Cochrane Collaboration and the World Health Assembly, Roy unveils model of bioartificial kidney; Faculty awards: Huang, Galonić Fujimori, Gartner, Fischbach, Craik, Shoichet, Wells, Giacomini, Kayser, Lofholm; Student awards: Murphy and Bermingham, Kusaka, Campbell, Lindsay; Class of 2014 statistics; A call for summer internship positions; Desai's Masters in Translational Medicine program doubles in size; Biological and Medical Informatics reviewed, Clinical and Translational Informatics track recommended for discontinuation and separation, Bioinformatics track praised; Teaching and Learning Center opens; Ortiz de Montellano is new associate dean for research; California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences celebrates 10 years; Desai completes sponsored research agreement with Zcube s.r.l.; 31st consecutive year of top research funding from National Institutes of Health; Recent publications; New faculty: Sakowski. California Poison Control System again in danger of closing, UCSF incorporates high-tech robots into dispensing process for hospitals at new Mission Bay pharmacy facility; Openings: Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building; Navarro named first vice chancellor of diversity and outreach; Castro promoted to chancellor for student academic affairs; Hawkins promoted to associate vice chancellor for campus life, facilities, and administrative services.

CDC flu vaccination campaign awards UCSF video

For her public service announcement video entry, You vs. the Flu, UCSF student pharmacist Madalene Mandap received the grand prize in a U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) competition to encourage the public to get vaccinated for the 2010-2011 flu season.

Lisa Bero represents The Cochrane Collaboration on the World Health Assembly

Lisa Bero, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy was named to represent The Cochrane Collaboration on the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) after the Collaboration was awarded an Assembly seat on January 23, 2011.

Charles Craik recognized as an AAAS fellow

Charles Craik, PhD, a UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member, has joined the ranks of elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Michael Fischbach explains his search for antibiotic-producing bacteria in the human gut

The bacteria in the human gut that produce antibiotics are the focus of a US$1 million W. M. Keck Foundation grant being led by Michael Fischbach, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy.

Nancy Nkansah examines 5 misused over-the-counter drugs with Dr. Oz

Nancy Nkansah, PharmD, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, appears with Mehmet Oz, MD, on The Dr. Oz Show to caution consumers about 5 over-the-counter-drugs that are often misused.

Zev Gartner to lead study on the interactions of cells in breast cancer

Zev Gartner, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, will lead a US$3.2 million grant to study the interaction of different types of cells in breast cancer at its earliest stages. Research results might ultimately identify new classes of targets for anticancer drugs.

New mass spectrometer reveals human proteins in greater detail

A box just four-feet square is the latest addition to the analytical armory of the National Bio-Organic Biomedical Mass Spectrometry Resource Center, which is directed by Al Burlingame, PhD, a faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the UCSF School of Pharmacy.