2016 News

Renslo Lab develops new type of targeted chemotherapy that proves effective in mice

Research in the lab of UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Adam Renslo, PhD, has developed a new way of selectively targeting cancer cells with drugs. In experiments with mice, the new approach allowed for the delivery of fifty times higher doses of chemotherapy to tumors while avoiding toxic effects on healthy cells.

Prien and MacWilliam bequests establish new endowed professorships

The UCSF School of Pharmacy has established new endowed faculty positions to be held by the chairs of two School departments.

Shoichet receives DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences

Brian Shoichet, PhD, faculty member in the School’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, has been named the 2017 recipient of the DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences.

FDA Funds UCSF-Stanford CERSI

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has awarded the UCSF-Stanford Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (UCSF-Stanford CERSI) a five-year grant with up to $25 million in funding.

Three generations reflect shifts in nation, pharmacy profession

When Megan Lau donned her white coat with fellow student pharmacists in the incoming class of 2020 last week, it was more than your standard rite of professional passage.

Class of 2020 student pharmacists don their white coats

The 126 students of the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s class of 2020 donned their white coats for the first time on October 14, 2016, in an afternoon ceremony that symbolized their entry into the profession.

The first-year student pharmacists were joined at Cole Hall on the Parnassus campus by a packed house of family and friends, as well as by distinguished School partners, alumni, and faculty,who served as “coaters” on stage.

Gartner to co-direct new UCSF-based Center for Cellular Construction

UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Zev Gartner, PhD, will be co-director of a new multi-institution UCSF-administered Center for Cellular Construction, which has been awarded a five-year $24 million grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Bourdet named to Academy of Medical Educators

Sharya Bourdet, PharmD, BCPS, a volunteer faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Clinical Pharmacy, has been named a new member of the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators (AME). She will be inducted, along with 14 UCSF colleagues, at a welcoming ceremony on September 19, 2016 on the UCSF Parnassus campus.

Aweeka study details impact of HIV drugs on malaria treatment in children

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to a billion people and to overlapping health burdens, including the world’s highest rates of both malaria and HIV infection.

Shoichet co-led research develops safer, potentially less addictive painkiller

Research co-led by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Brian Shoichet, PhD, has developed a new opioid drug candidate that blocks pain as effectively as morphine in mice, without triggering dangerous side effects, and also apparently without the addictive properties of current prescription painkillers.

UCSF student pharmacists win division in Clinical Skills Competition

UCSF student pharmacists Stephanie Golahi and Michelle Fang, both class of 2019, took first place in Division I of the 2016 Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA)/Kroger Clinical Skills Competition held in Atlanta in late July.

David Adler: Expanding and enhancing pharmacy education and practice

It was fortuitous that David Adler, PharmD ’70, began his studies at the UCSF School of Pharmacy in the fall of 1966, precisely when UCSF Medical Center’s Ninth Floor Project went into action. That project’s unprecedented placement of pharmacists on a UCSF hospital ward—providing their drug expertise directly to physicians, nurses, and patients—pioneered a radically new clinical role.

Giacomini co-led study finds gene variant affecting response to leading diabetes drug

Metformin is the most widely used initial medication for controlling blood sugar (glucose) in type 2 diabetes, a disease affecting 350 million people worldwide. The drug helps reduce their risk of complications leading to heart, eye, and kidney disease.

But there are major differences in metformin response and more than a third of patients fail to achieve acceptable blood glucose control from the drug.

Celebrating the 100th birthday of Edward Leong Way

Edward (Eddie) Leong Way, BS, MS, PhD, celebrated his 100th birthday on July 1, 2016, with more than 70 colleagues, friends, and family at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center.

Vogt teaches stress relief and resiliency medicine to S.F. employees

Over the past five years, School of Pharmacy faculty member Eleanor Vogt, PhD, RPh, has co-developed and implemented a program for hundreds of employees of the city and county of San Francisco that imparts tools to reduce stress and increase resiliency.

White paper demonstrates the value of Comprehensive Medication Management

A growing body of evidence is showing that comprehensive medication management (CMM) can be an important component in reaching the so-called triple aim of health care reform:

Fulton receives Innovation in Education Award

The 2016 Dean’s Innovation in Education Award was presented to Tracy Fulton, PhD, on Thursday during the School of Pharmacy faculty meeting on the Parnassus campus.

Burchard leads call for diversity in research workforce

The photograph of Martin Luther King Jr. hanging on the wall of the Asthma Collaboratory lab in UC San Francisco’s Rock Hall serves a reminder to all who toil there, purifying DNA samples or analyzing genetic, social or environmental data that their research is also part of a dream of equality and scientific excellence.

Update from the Dean - Spring/Summer 2016

Education: Evolving PharmD curriculum, Daniels Curriculum Awards; Collaborations and partnerships: pharmacy residency, UCSF/Haas MD/PhD startup marketplace; Patient care: SB 493 update; Faculty honors: Benet, Abate, Craik, Wells, Kroon, Corelli, Hudmon, Bourdet, Fischbach; Research publications: genetic testing, pharmacogenomics, cancer, computational tools & modeling (Phillips, Shin, Altschuler and Wu, Sali, Savic); Research funding: Top in NIH funding, protein design, specialty drugs (Kortemme, Stebbins, Cocohoba), QBI (Nevan Krogan), Koda-Kimble Seed Awards; Inclusion: Inequality in health research (Burchard), Black Heritage Month Gala, Post-Baccalaureate program; Alumni: UCSF Alumni Weekend, Distinguished Alumni of the Year (Adler); International: malaria, oncology residency (Chamankha, Yee); Appointments: LeJeune; Media: Desai, Apollonio, Gestwicki; Campus News: Gifts to neuroscience: Dolby Family Fund, Oberndorf Foundation, Weil Family Foundation and Joan and Sanford I. “Sandy” Weill; White House Precision Medicine Summit (Giacomini, Burchard); Cancer Moonshot visit from Vice President Joe Biden (Gartner); Cool Campus Challenge (Beck).

Classroom pharmacogenetics, post-hospital medications, and post-brain-surgery drugs take top honors

Studies of pharmacogenetics testing of pharmacy students as a teaching tool, an improved system to resolve medication issues after patients go home from the hospital, and the prophylactic use of an antiseizure drug for brain surgery patients took top honors at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy 18th Annual Spring Research Seminar.

Stebbins, Cocohoba leading specialty drug study with Walgreens

So-called specialty drugs can represent lifesaving advances in the treatment of serious complex conditions, such as cancers, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease. They can turn once routinely lethal diseases such as HIV and cystic fibrosis into manageable chronic conditions. They can address rare genetic conditions, such as hemophilia, or suppress immune rejection after organ transplants.

Burchard Lab study finds most asthma research may not apply to African American children

Results from the largest single study of the genetic and environmental causes of asthma in African American children suggest that only a tiny fraction of known genetic risk factors for the disease apply to this population.

Health care spending drops quickly with reduced smoking

A new study lead-authored by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member James Lightwood, PhD, has found that reducing smoking cuts health care spending, not just in the long- or immediate-term, but the very next year.

For example, the analysis found that a 10 percent decline in smoking in the United States would be followed by an expected $63 billion reduction (in 2012 U.S. dollars) in national health care spending the following year.

UCSF School of Pharmacy celebrates Commencement 2016

The UCSF School of Pharmacy held its 2016 commencement ceremony on May 5 at Louise Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, conferring the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree on each of the 115 members of the graduating class.

2016 Awards Dinner honors student achievements

The annual UCSF School of Pharmacy Student Awards and Recognition Dinner, hosted by Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, and sponsored by Ralph’s Inc., was held on Friday, April 29, 2016, at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus.

The event honored dozens of students whose excellence and leadership were recognized with scholarships and awards at the campus, state, and national levels. The following is a brief selection from the evening’s presentations.

Research: pediatric meningitis dosing; cancer drug resistance; gene-testing economics

Computer models provide optimal dosing for pediatric TB meningitis

Chemicals used to turn skin cells into heart and brain cells

In a major breakthrough, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes, led by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Sheng Ding, PhD, have transformed skin cells into heart and brain cells using combinations of chemicals.

National awards recognize pharmacy educators

Three UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty members have received national honors for health sciences education this spring.

Guglielmo comments on pharmacy education

Learning how to solve problems and think critically—using course content as the vehicle to apply these skills—is one evolving goal of the UCSF School of Pharmacy doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum, according to the School’s dean, B. Joseph Guglielmo PharmD, in an interview posted April 12, 2016, in Pharmacy Times.

UCSF School of Pharmacy leads in NIH funding for 36th year in a row

For the 36th consecutive year, the UCSF School of Pharmacy has received more funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than any other pharmacy school in the United States.

Ahituv Lab research finds how bats grow wings, with implications for human limb development

Researchers in the laboratory of UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Nadav Ahituv, PhD, study the roles of gene regulatory elements—DNA segments that tell genes when, where, and to what extent to turn on and off—including in human conditions ranging from limb malformations to epilepsy and autism.

Fragment-based discovery: using smaller molecules to solve larger challenges

To discover new drugs and chemical probes, researchers have traditionally screened small molecules—small enough by weight to pass through cell membranes. Their goal is typically to find compounds that selectively bind to a much larger protein molecule (often an enzyme) at a chemically reactive pocket known as the active site, inhibiting its activity to treat a disease or to better understand a biological process.

UC San Francisco establishes Quantitative Biosciences Institute

UC San Francisco today announced the establishment of the Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI). The mission of QBI, located in Byers Hall on the UCSF Mission Bay campus, is to drive forward the application of computation, mathematics, and statistics toward a deeper understanding of complex problems in biology, with the ultimate goal of developing new treatments for disease.

UCSF PharmD program ranked among the nation’s best

The UCSF School of Pharmacy’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program is among the top-ranked programs in the 2017 U.S. News and World Report survey of accredited PharmD programs released on March 15, 2016.

Craik receives Protein Society’s Emil Thomas Kaiser Award

Charles S. Craik, PhD, faculty member in the School’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, has been named the 2016 recipient of the Protein Society’s Emil Thomas Kaiser Award.

Troy C. Daniels Awards support curricular transformations

The Troy C. Daniels Curricular Innovation Awards provide funds in 2016 to support the evolution of the UCSF School of Pharmacy doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum to prepare leaders for a changing health care marketplace.

Koda-Kimble Seed Award funds innovative projects

The Mary Anne Koda-Kimble Seed Award for Innovation funds “truly innovative projects” by faculty, staff, and students that “have the potential to move forward the mission of the UCSF School of Pharmacy in new ways.”

Abate honored by White House with Presidential Early Career Award

UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Adam Abate, PhD, has been named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Abate and 104 fellow recipients of the White House honor will formally receive their awards at a Washington, DC, ceremony this spring.

Kroon named Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association

Lisa Kroon, PharmD, chair of the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Clinical Pharmacy, has been named a Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management (APhA-APPM).

Benet receives Remington Honor Medal, highest award in pharmacy

UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Leslie Benet, PhD, has been named the 2016 recipient of the Remington Honor Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). He will be officially recognized during the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Baltimore, MD, March 4–7, 2016.

Youmans among honorees at Office of Diversity and Outreach anniversary celebration

The UCSF Office of Diversity and Outreach (ODO) celebrated its five-year anniversary on Friday, January 15, 2016 with a ceremony at the Millberry Union Event & Meeting Center on the Parnassus campus, honoring six campus leaders who were instrumental in the development of the office.

Insulin-producing pancreatic cells created from human skin cells

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes, the Diabetes Center at UCSF, and the UCSF School of Pharmacy have converted human skin cells into fully functional pancreatic cells that produce insulin in response to changes in glucose levels. Transplanted into mice, the cells protected the animals from developing a mouse model of diabetes.