Joanne Whitney and the DPSL, and more news

Who is Joanne Whitney, and how did she get here from there?

Joanne Whitney, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, is director of the Drug Product Services Laboratory (DPSL). DPSL is a long-established facility operated by the Department of Clinical Pharmacy which compounds sterile products as well as oral and topical preparations in the liquid, semi-solid, and solid dosage forms. These products are formulated for individual patients, clinical applications, research studies, and veterinary medicine. DPSL also conducts a compounding course for pharmacy students. Under Joanne’s leadership since 1995, DPSL has expanded its market-base. DPSL is totally self-sufficient. Only through selling their products do they continue to operate and teach. More info: Drug Product Services Laboratory.

Joanne began her career in zoology, receiving a PhD from Duke University in 1967 for her work on cholesterol synthesis in invertebrates: crabs and barnacles. She came to the UCSF medicine and pediatrics departments where she worked on vitamin D and bile salt metabolism in children and analytical chemistry, such as gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry. Joanne subsequently became an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. She was put on the admissions committee when she changed from medicine to pharmaceutical chemistry and became intrigued with the idea of clinical pharmacy. “I had had a good run at research and wanted to give back by helping patients directly,” she said.

Joanne received her PharmD from UC in 1989. She worked in the UCSF Infusion Center for five years before becoming director of DPSL. She loved it. “It was hard work, incredibly long hours, visiting patients sometimes in the middle of the night to adjust medications, but very rewarding and exciting,” she said. Joanne continues to give back to the community, not only through her work at UC, but in talks to local and national audiences concerning steroid use in athletes and drugs of abuse. She edits Miraloma Life, a monthly newspaper for San Francisco’s Miraloma Park residents. Joanne is growing nearly 2,000 orchids and is a judge for the American Orchid Society.

Joanne is very proud of the people she works with. Student interns and selective-elective students pass through DPSL and often remark on the expertise, caring and ability to teach exhibited by the staff. “We have the best possible staff of pharmacists and technicians one can imagine. They are simply exceptional,” she said.

School retreat

The School of Pharmacy retreat was held September 14–15 at the Hayes Valley Conference Center in San Jose. It was a difficult decision to hold the retreat as planned, so soon after the September 11 tragedy, but faculty members showed up, ready to work hard. Dean Mary Anne Koda-Kimble opened the session with a moment of silence and asked that we all be aware of one another and take the time to treat people with patience and kindness.

Barbara Sauer, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, explained the self-study process necessary to prepare for a reaccreditation site survey visit next February. The School has been working on the document required for this visit, and the main purpose of the retreat was to get faculty input into issues facing the school. Barbara said, “We want to take advantage of this opportunity to produce a document that talks about who we are and the complexity, diversity, and depth of our school of pharmacy.”

Mary Anne then gave a state of the school address, including:

It was when I became dean I really began to appreciate and understand how big and how diverse this school community is. We’re not just a research and teaching institution, we’re not a set of departments. We are programs and special units. We have research facilities that the campus and, in fact, the whole country uses. And all of us function in multiple spheres within the school as well as on the campus.

Mary Anne then discussed the progress in the school over the last few years, including changing to a new PharmD curriculum and adding new graduate programs. She also reminded the group that the school is #1 in the country with $14 million in NIH grants. Mary Anne praised the work of the department heads and the faculty for keeping the school on a firm footing while seeking new opportunities.

Faculty members then met in breakout groups to discuss particular issues. The groups reported their conclusions at the end of the first day and the morning of the final day of the retreat.

Strategic plan update: faculty members assigned to UCSF Mission Bay

UCSF’s new Mission Bay campus reached another milestone with the recent announcement of the first wave of scientists who will move to the site. The roster includes 15 faculty members from the School of Pharmacy Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences and Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

  • Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences: Kathy Giacomini, Su Guo, Deanna Kroetz.

  • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry: Charles Craik, Ken Dill, Volker Doetsch, Pam England, Tom Ferrin, Kip Guy, Tom James, Irwin (Tack) Kuntz, Susan Miller, Paul Ortiz de Montellano, Tom Scanlan and C.C. Wang.

Phase 1 of Mission Bay construction now underway includes five buildings: three for research programs, a campus community center and campus housing. Phase 1 is targeted for completion in 2005. The first wave of scientists will move in groups as buildings become ready for occupancy, with the first move expected in 2003.

Koda-Kimble elected USP board chairperson

Mary Anne Koda-Kimble was elected chairperson of the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) Board of Trustees for 2001–2002. The board is one of three USP governing bodies that includes the USP Convention Membership (policy body) and the Council of Experts (scientific body). The 11-member board—three officers and eight trustees—are elected every five years. The board defines USP’s strategic direction through key policy, operational, and financial decisions. Mary Anne was elected to the USP Board of Trustees in 2000 as a trustee representing the pharmaceutical sciences.

Alldredge appointed associate dean for academic affairs

Brian Alldredge will serve as associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Pharmacy. Over the past several years, Brian has been very active in the Academic Senate and most recently as the Chairman of the Committee on Academic Personnel. In his new position, Brian will meet regularly with his counterparts from other schools and Vice Chancellor Dorothy F. Bainton. He is also available to department chairs and faculty members who seek advice and counsel on academic personnel matters.

Staff goes to the movies

Support staff took off work and went to the movies on August 28. The annual staff appreciation event was held in Cole Hall this year. Staff were greeted by Valerie Starling, Georgia Hansen, and an actress impersonating Marilyn Monroe. She had only the vaguest resemblance to Marilyn, but made up for it with her humor and charm. After everyone arrived and box lunches were consumed, Mary Anne Koda-Kimble presented service awards and gifts to the following employees:

  • 25 years: Joyce Garabedian August, Gloria Dela Cruz, Peggy Kaplan.

  • 20 years: Patricia Lizak, Julie Ransom, Hubert Sylvester.

  • 15 years: Richard Bonderud, Michael Grafton, Terry Plume, Eric Pettersen.

  • 10 years: Christina Chen, Matt Denny, Kathy Johnson, Rodney Yun.

Finally, everyone settled in their seats with bags of popcorn and enjoyed the classic comedy Some Like it Hot.

Lee saves the day in Spain

Pharmacy student Kirby Lee, who works with Lisa Bero, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, attended the recent International Congress on Peer Review in Barcelona, Spain to present a talk called Journal Quality Indicators. Lisa was on her way to Barcelona on September 11 but did not reach her destination. Kirby stepped in and gave Lisa’s presentation, Structured Reporting of Journal Peer Review. Kirby also set up and responded to questions concerning Lisa’s poster on Equity and Accountability: Successful Use of the Contributorship Concept in a Multi-site Study. Lisa received many emails telling her that Kirby did an outstanding job. We are very proud of him.

Students receive Palm computers

The School recently received a grant of 150 PalmIIIc devices from Palm, Inc. The 8 MB Palms were distributed to 2nd- and 3rd-year pharmacy students who agreed to participate in the Academy of Students of Pharmacy (ASP) Palm Project. They are researching how second-year and third-year pharmacy students acquire, use, and update Palm OS prescription-drug databases and other applications. Using a website, students will be surveyed to determine how they use a variety of Palm OS medical software during the sequence of the students’ didactic and clinical experiences.

Ahn and Cullander in South Korean documentary

Sunyoung Ahn, PharmD ’03, who uses a wheelchair, was contacted by the South Korean equivalent of CBS and asked to participate in a documentary which would include information about the policies and accommodations made for disabled people at UCSF, and what the School of Pharmacy has done for her in particular. Sunyoung contacted Chris Cullander to enlist his participation in the documentary. Chris worked with Public Affairs to arrange a video shoot at one of the ASP Palm Project orientations he was giving.

Web-based faculty development for clinical faculty

A Kalmanovitz Library instructional grant was received by Barbara Sauer, clinical professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Lloyd Young, professor and chair, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, and Christopher Cullander, assistant dean, Dean’s Office, Office of Student and Curricular Affairs. They will design, implement, and evaluate a web-based faculty development program for the school’s more than 600 clinical volunteer faculty members based throughout the state.

PubMed​@​UCSF: UCSF Moves to PubMed for Searching MEDLINE

The University of California health sciences libraries and the California Digital Library (CDL) are changing the UC-wide MEDLINE search interface. The CDL MEDLINE system will be discontinued on December 19, 2001.

In order to take advantage of UCSF-only enhancements, UCSF personnel must access pubMed at [link defunct]. The UCSF Library is offering several options to assist users in the transition.

Online help guides and the class schedule for free one-hour introductions to PubMed​@​UCSF are available at [link defunct]. Additionally, you may schedule a personal consultation with an information services librarian by emailing [email protected] or calling 415-476-2337. This is a project of the UCSF Digital Library Renovation.

In the news: Koda-Kimble on pharmacist shortage

Mary Anne Koda-Kimble was quoted in an August 26 New York Times article, Unfilled Jobs in Pharmacies Raise Fears of Drug Error. As demand for prescription drugs rises, pharmacies in the United States face a shortage of trained professionals, increasing the risk of medication error. The shortage has been caused largely by an increasing demand for prescription drugs in the last decade or so as the population has aged and health care plans offering prescription drug coverage have expanded. “The pharmacist shortage is a prescription for increasing medication errors,” said Mary Anne. The shortage of pharmacists also hinders their ability to catch errors made by others. “The pharmacist often represents the last safety net,” she said. Congress has taken notice of the pharmacist shortage. Legislation has been introduced in the House to help broaden enrollment at the 83 pharmacy schools, but many feel that more needs to be done. “Major systematic changes will be needed, or the pharmacist shortage is likely to become more acute.”

Alldredge on benzodiazepines administered by paramedics

Brian Alldredge is the first author of an important new study, A Comparison of Lorazepam, Diazepam, and Placebo for the Treatment of Out-of-Hospital Status Epilepticus, which was published as the lead article in the August 30th NEJM. The study shows that benzodiazepines are safe and effective when administered by paramedics for out-of-hospital status epilepticus in adults. Brian was also quoted in the September 9 SF Chronicle: “This study will reassure many EMS systems that treatment with benzodiazepines is both safe and effective. It suggests, too, that lorazepam is likely to be a better choice than diazepam.” Brian and his study group have made a major contribution to public health with this publication.

Pharmacy fact: What is the difference between drug development and drug discovery?

Drug discovery is the research process that identifies molecules with desired biological effects in animal models, and thus have promise as new therapeutic agents.

Drug development follows drug discovery by taking molecules with desired biological effects in animal models and preparing them as drugs that can be used in humans.


  • Sadée, Szoka, and Lem Honored by AAPS: UCSF swept the stage at the awards ceremony at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting in Denver, October 21.
    • Wolfgang Sadée, Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, received the AAPS Distinguished Pharmaceutical Scientist Award for his contributions to advances in analytical chemistry, biotechnology, molecular pharmacology, drug addiction, and the emerging field of pharmacogenomics. The AAPS Distinguished Pharmaceutical Scientist Award recognizes the accomplishments of an individual's work in the pharmaceutical sciences whose impact has stimulated research investigations by others.

    • Francis C. Szoka, Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, received the AAPS Research Achievement Award in Biotechnology. Szoka, through his research has translated fundamental concepts concerning the biophysics of phospholipid bilayers into practical technologies for manufacturing liposome drug carriers of defined size.

    • Kenneth Lem, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, received a special Presidential Citation for “his selfless dedication, valuable contributions and unswerving commitment to AAPS for 15 years of service.”

  • Jane Aikman, Department of Pharmaceutical Services, was awarded the Nursing Colleague of the Year award. Jane Hirsch, Director of Nursing and Patient Care Services, presented the award, which is given to a non-nursing colleague who exemplifies a collaborative patient-centered practice with nursing.

  • Leslie Benet, Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, received the following honors:

    • Distinguished Lecturer, 34th Annual Higuchi Research Seminar

    • PPSI Distinguished Person of the Year, Pharmacists Planning Service

    • Kenneth L. Waters Lecturer, University of Georgia College of Pharmacy

    • Distinguished Lecturer, University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, 2001

    • Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award, UCSF Graduate Division

    • Host-Madsen Medal 2001, International Pharmaceutical Federation, Singapore.

  • Lisa Bero, and co-investigator Elizabeth Boyd, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, received a NIH grant for $200,000 to study management decisions for financial conflicts of interest in research.

  • Jennifer Cocohoba, Department of Clinical Pharmacy practice resident, won the National Association of Chain Drugstores Essay Contest, 2001. Her essay, Community Pharmacists: A Starring Role in the Trend Towards Self-care, was submitted last year when Jennifer was a UCSF pharmacy student. Candy Tsourounis was her faculty mentor.

  • Fred Cohen, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and co-investigator Joe DeRisi, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, received the Burroughs-Wellcome New Initiatives in Malaria Award 2001. The grant is designed to study gene expression in malaria when the parasite is under stress in an effort to identify new targets for drug discovery.

  • Christopher Cullander, Dean’s Office, Office of Student and Curricular Affairs, was chair of the 2001 Gordon Research Conference on Barrier Function of Mammalian Skin, at Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island.

  • Cathi Dennehy and Candy Tsourounis, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, were selected to receive the California Society of Health System Pharmacist's (CSHP) Practitioner Recognition Award. They were recognized at Seminar 2001, the Society’s Annual Meeting.

  • Betty Dong and Don Kishi, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, were honored at the CSHP Seminar 2001. Betty was recognized as the Pharmacist of the Year and Don received the Distinguished Service Award.

  • Tom Ferrin, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, was appointed by the Acting Director of NIH to a five-year term on the National Library of Medicine's Board of Scientific Councilors.

  • Patrick Finley, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, was invited to participate in a Consensus Conference in Dallas this January entitled Integrating Psychotherapy into Medication Algorithms for Major Depressive Disorder. As the designated PharmD on the panel, Patrick has been asked to present The Pharmacist’s Role in Disease Management from an evidence-based perspective.

  • Helene Levens Lipton, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, was recently appointed a member of a National Expert Advisory Panel to provide oversight and direction in the conduct of a major RAND study to develop standards for assessing the impact of electronic prescribing systems on quality, costs, and patient safety. The goal of the study is to produce standards for electronic prescribing systems that can ensure their integrity in supporting evidence-based practices and patient safety.

  • Gary McCart, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, was recently appointed to one of the new positions of Research Subject Advocates (RSA) in the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC). The GCRC is a NIH-funded specialized research unit (inpatient and outpatient) designed to treat patients who are in clinical studies requiring skilled medical and nursing care, monitoring, and control. He will be working with Julie Hambleton, MD, who has accepted the other RSA position.

  • Kathryn Phillips, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, is the Chair of the Abstract Review Committee for the 7th Annual ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research) meeting to be held in Washington D.C. May 1922, 2002.

  • Wolfgang Sadée, Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, was selected as the Avis Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Tennessee and The Nagai Foundation Tokyo, Distinguished Lectureship. He will be delivering the main keynote plenary lecture at the upcoming annual meeting of the Deutsche Pharmazeutische Gesellschaft, in Halle, Germany: Unlocking the Human Genome: A New Paradigm for Medicine and Pharmacy. He will be also be a Lecturer in Frontiers in Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio: Pharmacogenomics: At the Interface of Chemistry and Genetics.

  • Sharon Youmans, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, was invited to present an International Course of Antibiotic Therapy this past June in La Paz, Bolivia at the medical school Universidad Mayor de San Andres. The lecture series was for physicians, nurses, medical students and other health professionals.

Upcoming events

  • The Pharmacogenetics Journal Club, November 1, S-214, 5:00 to 6:30 pm. Esteban Burchard, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. The Effect of Common Polymorphisms of the B2-adrenergic Receptor on Agonistmediated Vascular Desensitization, NEJM 2001; 345(14):1030-5.
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics (PSPG) postgraduate students make presentations every Wednesday from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. in S214. PSPG is a graduate program in the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences.
  • Inaugural White Coat Ceremony for first-year PharmD students, November 3, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Cole Hall.
  • Homecoming canceled. Since the recent world events have influenced people’s decision to travel, this year’s homecoming celebration has been canceled.


School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, PharmD Degree Program

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.