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Update from the Dean - February 2006
By Mary Anne Koda-Kimble / Wed Feb 1, 2006
Dear UCSF School of Pharmacy Family and Friends:
I wrote to you last with a self-assessment of the School during my first 5 years as dean. I report back today that I will continue as dean into the next cycle. The School is on the move intellectually, physically, and strategically. I am optimistic that the years ahead will be just as stimulating and challenging as those in the past. I look forward to them all.
Clinical Pharmacy ChairI begin by introducing B. Joseph Guglielmo, who will become chair of the department of clinical pharmacy effective March 20, 2006 following a highly competitive national search. As department chair, Joe will hold the Thomas A. Oliver Endowed Chair in Clinical Pharmacy. Joe is currently professor of clinical pharmacy in the department and a national leader regarding the safe, effective use of antimicrobials, as well as the pharmacoepidemiology of infectious diseases. More than 20 years ago, he developed the Antimicrobial Management Program at the UCSF Medical Center. The program is a national model for antimicrobial use policy, as well as the role of clinical pharmacists in the control of antimicrobial resistance. As an award-winning educator, Joe teaches UCSF pharmacy and medical students, residents, and fellows. His leadership record includes vice chair of scholarship in the department of clinical pharmacy, service on many high-profile national and campuswide committees, and presentations at national and international professional meetings. I welcome Joe as chair and look forward to working with him as he takes the department into a time when industry, government, and the public need the leadership of pharmacists more than ever before.
I take this opportunity as well to highlight the department of clinical pharmacy’s accomplishments under Lloyd Young, who is stepping down as chair. As an alumnus and former faculty member of the School, Lloyd came back to us in 2000 after exceptional work at the University of Texas El Paso and Austin, and Washington State University. One of his primary goals at UCSF was to see the department of clinical pharmacy become a national leader in the development of new and effective models of pharmacy care in the community. Lloyd’s legacy here includes new community pharmacy partners, new practice models, and new interest from our students in becoming community clinicians. Under Lloyd’s guidance, a new doctor of pharmacy curriculum was implemented, and a new practice site for our doctor of pharmacy students emerged in Fresno. Underrepresented students in California’s Central Valley can now more easily consider pharmacy as a career because of new and successful outreach programs pushed forward by Lloyd. In addition, Lloyd supported the expansion of our efforts internationally. I wish Lloyd continued success as he leaves the chair’s position and thank him for his positive impact on the department, the School, and the profession.
As I have written before, our School faculty is aging. More than 40% of the faculty is now 55 or older. This means we will continue to have many opportunities to recruit new scientists and clinicians as we replace those who retire.
The faculty members who have joined us over the past year or so are simply exceptional. See the Who’s Who sidebar for their photos with the briefest descriptions of their backgrounds and work. They are: Elizabeth Boyd, Esteban González Burchard, Tim Cutler, Andrew Krutchinsky, Kirby Lee, Conan MacDougall, Nancy Nkansah, Kathleen Orrico, Chao Tang, and Jim Wells.
It is an exciting time for all of our basic scientists in the departments of biopharmaceutical sciences and pharmaceutical chemistry, whose work is beginning to gel directly around more effective and efficient underpinnings of drug discovery and development. The exceptional recruitment of Jim Wells this past summer into the department of pharmaceutical chemistry is a case in point. Jim is a member of the National Academy of Sciences; co-founder of Sunesis, a South San Francisco pharmaceutical company; and leader in the development of new technologies to aid drug discovery and protein engineering. Jim is fast developing a Small Molecule Discovery Center within the UC Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3). He holds the first of two distinguished professorships in pharmaceutical sciences funded by the generosity and foresight of Harry Wm. and Diana V. Hind.
This November, Chris Voigt, department of pharmaceutical chemistry, made quite an impact on the media, which picked up a study published in Nature by Chris and a group of doctoral students. By genetically engineering microbes to act like biological camera film, they demonstrated the potential of yet another new field, synthetic biology, to create useful tools for medicine and technology.
Lisa Bero, department of clinical pharmacy, published a provocative paper with her colleagues in the summer issue of the American Journal of Public Health. Their study suggests that the legal scrutiny for research funded by industry should be equivalent to that applied to research funded by the United States government.
Honors and Awards
Here is a small sample of the caliber of honors and awards received since my last regular letter.
Robert Langridge, professor emeritus of our School, was highlighted as one of 35 Innovators of Our Time by the editors of Smithsonian Magazine in its November 2005 issue. Bob pioneered the field of computer graphics and joined such luminaries on the Smithsonian list as Yo Yo Ma, Maya Angelou, David Attenborough, Frank Gehry, and Sally Ride.
Kathy Giacomini, chair of the department of biopharmaceutical sciences, received the 2005 Paul Dawson Biotechnology Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). The award recognizes exceptional teaching and research in biotechnology.
Toby Herfindal was honored by the UCSF Pharmacy Alumni Association with the 2006 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Toby left UCSF a decade ago to succeed in business after helping create the patient care role for pharmacists we know today, contributing important research on the impact of the clinical pharmacist on physician prescribing behavior, authoring one of the first two textbooks on clinical pharmacy, and leading what was then the division of clinical pharmacy.
Robert Gibson, alumnus and former associate dean of our School, is the 2006 recipient of the Remington Honor Medal. This is the highest honor bestowed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Honored as the 2006 Linwood F. Tice Friend of APhA-ASP (Academy of Student Pharmacists) Award is Robert Day, associate dean. This special award is given by students to an individual whose long-term services benefit APhA-ASP and ultimately benefit pharmacy students nationwide. Joining Bob and Bob with APhA accolades this year is student pharmacist, Chris Nguyen, the 2005-2006 president of UCSF’s APhA-ASP chapter. Chris has been named recipient of one of four APhA Student Leadership Awards, which recognize outstanding academic achievement and leadership ability in APhA-ASP students who are currently in their next to the last year of pharmacy school. Student pharmacist Dan Zlott assumes the APhA-ASP national presidency for 2006-2007. And, student pharmacists Troy Drysdale and Curt Allday were selected as members of the 2006-2007 national APhA-ASP policy and education committees, respectively. We will have a prominent presence and much to celebrate in March at the APhA Annual Meeting, which will be held here in San Francisco.
UCSF is the recipient of a $1 million, 3-year grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to create a new and radical PhD program to train systems biologists. Graduates will apply mathematics, physics, and engineering to biological questions. Like all PhD programs at UCSF, this new "Integrative Program in Complex Biological Systems" (ipCBS) is strictly interdisciplinary. Nonetheless, I am thrilled that almost half of the UCSF faculty members who designed or will be teaching in this new program are from the School of Pharmacy.
Postgraduate education continues to be a priority for our pharmacy school graduates: 53% of the students in the class of 2005 are now completing residencies, and 4% accepted fellowships. In the 2005 survey we conducted of recent graduates we are beginning to see possible trends emerging related to where graduates believe they will seek employment after graduation or post-graduate work. From 2003 to 2005, the percent of graduating seniors who indicated they would seek employment in hospitals and in the pharmaceutical industry increased. During this same 3-year span, the percent who indicated they would seek employment in retail settings decreased. It is a trend we need to watch and explore in more detail as we work to expand the breadth of practice models in the community.
Homecoming was a great success this year. More than 340 alumni, students, and faculty members attended thanks to the tremendous time and effort put in by reunion class coordinators. Next year’s reunion will be held on November 4, 2006. Please reserve this date on your calendars now—especially those of you whose graduation years end in 4 and 6, for you will be gathering for special reunions during next year’s homecoming.
Marie Parfitt Pattie now directs both the School’s alumni and fundraising activities. Marie joined the School in 2000 after serving as director of development for the International School of the Penninsula in Palo Alto, California. Prior to this, Marie was president of the Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in Toronto, Ontario, Canada where she raised $50 million for a new hospital. Marie is an asset to our School and a great advisor to me.
I continue to be impressed by the global reach of our faculty and students. Here are a few examples. During his short tenure here in the department of biopharmaceutical sciences, Chao Tang has developed a joint research program in the field of systems biology between Peking University and UC’s Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3), which is headquartered at our Mission Bay campus. The signing ceremony to initiate the program was held in Beijing, China and led by a delegation that included the United States Senator from California Dianne Feinstein and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Chao signed the agreement on behalf of QB3. In Chao’s words, "The old approach (to drug discovery) looked at single potential drug targets. The new, systems biology approach considers potential drug targets holistically by looking at several targets at the same time. By asking health questions from the joint perspectives of the biological sciences and the hard sciences—such as physics, engineering, and computation—we ask questions in ways that more closely resemble how biological processes actually work."
Uganda and Guatemala
Fourth-year student pharmacist Bryan McGee, who is in the pharmaceutical sciences curricular pathway, traveled to Uganda in October as the recipient of a Fulbright Student Fellowship to study both the optimum dosage and bio-equivalency of antiretroviral generics as well as optimum dosages of antimalarial drugs in children. Bryan’s 4th-year classmate, Brooke Ramay, finished a self-funded elective rotation in an HIV/AIDS hospice in San Lucas, Guatemala in August, and Suzannah Patterson, another 4th-year student, is there now. Here’s an excerpt from their proposal to work in Guatemala: "Hospicio San Jose treats HIV-infected children, adults, and patients from surrounding pueblos. There is a live-in orphanage for HIV-infected children, as well as a regular HIV clinic that runs 2 half-days per week. Patients who are seen there are often illiterate. Hospitals in big Guatemalan cities may intimidate them; however, a hospice setting in the country allows them to be more comfortable seeking health care. The focus of the elective is to educate illiterate patients (in Spanish) and to monitor their HIV care."
Together with department of clinical pharmacy faculty members Bill Soller and Steve Kayser, I traveled back to Vietnam in November 2005 to participate in the signing of a partnership agreement among 6 Vietnamese pharmacy and medical schools, our School, UCSF Global Health Sciences, and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). The agreement was endorsed by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health. This trip was a direct result of an earlier October 2004 pharmacy conference in Hanoi. One of the first joint projects, pending full funding, is to develop a pilot drug information network. Thanks to Bill for leading these efforts. Our ongoing and decade-long relationship with Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science (TUPLS) has been professionally and culturally rewarding to our clinical faculty members, who continue twice yearly visits to TUPLS to lecture and advise on curriculum development. TUPLS master’s degree students visit here once each year for advanced clinical education. The pharmacy degree program in Japan is evolving to a 6-year, post-high school program. We have been pleased to contribute advice and expertise to several institutions that are revising their courses of pharmacy study in Japan. Social scientist Helene Levens Lipton, a faculty member in the department of clinical pharmacy, returned this academic year from a one-year sabbatical with the Institute for One World Health, the nation’s first nonprofit drug company, which was founded by our noble alumna Victoria Hale. Helene developed a number of policy analyses including one on the ethical issues in the conduct of clinical drug trials in developing countries. She also lectured and co-authored an article on the potential of non-profit drug companies to deliver drugs to the developing world. I am thrilled that Vicki will be the commencement speaker at this year’s PharmD graduation ceremony.
I reported in my last correspondence to you that the School would have a new, 5-year plan by spring 2005. However, I have extended this deadline in view of the dramatic changes and new possibilities that have arisen since we began the process.
- New, young faculty members with new ideas joined the School this past year.
- The mass move of many of our basic science faculty members to Mission Bay spawned new opportunities to work with faculty members across campus and among UC campuses in new ways.
- Changes in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding criteria, which now concentrate on multidisciplinary research, have caused us to rethink the approach to our submissions and opened new possibilities for research partnerships.
- A report by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was published about a year ago, describes the urgent need to modernize the development of drugs and other medical products in ways that make the drug development process more predictable and less costly. This "Critical Path" report clearly calls for universities, the industry, and government to work together.
- The NIH has announced an exciting new program that will help institutions "forge a uniquely transformative, novel, and integrative academic home for clinical and translational science." These awards would bring the existing clinical research centers and training programs under one umbrella, define new synergies, and add new resources. We are working campuswide to develop a strong awards application.
- The confusion over the Medicare Part D drug benefit, the soaring cost and choice of medications, the lack of a national health plan, and rising numbers of uninsured have all helped shed public light on the need for pharmacy expertise—in the community, health plans, industry, and government. These changes have redoubled our need for evidence-based research on the effectiveness of pharmacist interventions and on developing new ways to share our knowledge.
- UCSF has launched a first-ever, campuswide strategic planning process.
We need to be synchronized with these changes. Hence, we are rethinking the next 5 years and our direction. I look forward to sharing our plans with you as soon as possible.
The School has again done well in national rankings. For the 26th consecutive year our School received more research funding from the NIH than any other pharmacy school in the United States (2005 data released in 2006).
For the 2nd consecutive year, UCSF topped all United States universities and colleges in both total and federally financed spending for chemistry research and development (latest data 2003, National Science Foundation). The ranking reflects directly the caliber of UCSF’s chemistry research, which is led by faculty members in our department of pharmaceutical chemistry.
During 2005, UCSF opened 3 new buildings at the Mission Bay Campus:
- a community center;
- a research building as headquarters for QB3, the partnership research program among UCSF, UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Cruz;
- and a much-needed housing complex.
I hope to have specific information for you in my next Dean’s Update about construction plans for both UCSF Medical Center and San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center facilities.
A special dinner was held at the Mission Bay community center this fall to mark the end of the 7-year $1.4 billion Campaign for UCSF, which ultimately raised $1.7 billion in private gifts and pledges. My personal thanks go to the School of Pharmacy’s campaign co-chairs Toby Herfindal and George Scangos. With their guidance, we completed the Campaign for the School of Pharmacy, which raised more than $29,500,000—18% over our goal.
Once again…thank you for your generosity during the campaign period. Our students especially benefit from your gifts.
We are at one of those rare periods in UCSF history that signals great change—much like UCSF in the 1950s. This was a time when faculty members and administrators on Parnassus discussed the merits of bringing back to Parnassus the science departments, which had moved across the Bay to Berkeley after the 1906 earthquake. They believed that pairing the science and clinical departments would create "biological inspiration." They were right. Now, as a result of our tremendous success, our faculty members are flung across many buildings and sites in San Francisco and the Bay Area. We must find new ways to sustain the benefits that result when our scientifically and clinically diverse and brilliant community interacts and collaborates in unexpected ways. I can’t say what impact today’s changes at UCSF and within the School will have, but I am optimistic.
Please continue to send me letters and emails—your viewpoints, ideas, and observations are invaluable to me.
Wishing you a successful and healthy new year, and with warm regards until I am in touch with you again…
Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD
Professor and Dean
Thomas J. Long Chair in Community Pharmacy Practice
School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, PharmD Degree Program, Dean's Office, Chemistry and Chemical Biology Graduate Program (CCB), UCSF - UC Berkeley Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering, Biophysics Graduate Program (BP), Bioinformatics (Biological and Medical Informatics Graduate Program), Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics Graduate Program (PSPG), CCB, Biophysics, PSPG, Bioinformatics
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.