Hinds Establish Pharmacy’s First Distinguished Professorship

The UCSF School of Pharmacy will establish its first distinguished professorship following a gift from one of its most illustrious alums. Harry Wm. Hind—inventor of both the Lidoderm® patch and the wetting solution that helped bring contact lenses into widespread use—and his wife, Diana V. Hind, have given US$2.65 million to establish the Harry Wm. and Diana V. Hind Distinguished Professorship in Pharmaceutical Science.

While still a student in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, Hind impressed faculty by devising a means of accurately gauging the pH value of eye tissues and secretions and developing buffered eye drops that are less irritating to the eye than previous ophthalmic solutions. Hind’s findings drew widespread attention, and UCSF physicians quickly put his buffered solutions to use.

After graduating in 1939, Hind opened a laboratory near Union Square that ultimately became the highly successful Barnes-Hind Corporation. Initially, the lab produced ophthalmic solutions for local physicians, but the business soon expanded to include a full range of pharmaceutical products and the marketing of Hind’s solutions on a national level.

A lens manufacturer asked Hind to develop a product that would allow contact lenses to be worn in comfort for extended periods. He succeeded, and his wetting solution revolutionized the contact lens industry.

Hind’s inventive nature—and his love for his wife—led him to another important innovation: the Lidoderm patch. When Diana developed shingles, he used an anesthetic gel in a plastic wrap to relieve her discomfort. The treatment proved surprisingly effective for a variety of painful ailments. Hind worked with UCSF faculty to conduct clinical tests, then patented the idea and licensed it for distribution. Now, several million Lidoderm patches are sold each year.

Hind has long felt grateful for the role UCSF played in his success. He has served as a trustee of the UCSF Foundation, and the Hinds have contributed generously to various University programs over the past 5 decades.

“As an alumnus, I’ve always supported the School and taken pride in its reputation as the finest School of Pharmacy in the country,” says Hind. “Now, I’m happy to be able to provide this distinguished professorship and help continue UCSF’s tradition of excellence in the pharmaceutical sciences.”

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.