Giacomini and Peck honored with ASCPT awards

Kathy Giacomini, PhD, and Carl Peck, MD, faculty members in the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), received awards from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT) at the society's annual meeting held in National Harbor, Maryland, USA, March 18-21, 2009. Giacomini was honored with the 2009 Rawls-Palmer Progress in Medicine Award, and Peck received the 2009 Henry W. Elliott Distinguished Service Award.

Giacomini Receives Rawls-Palmer Award

Giacomini, who co-chairs the BTS department, is the first woman to receive the Rawls-Palmer Award. She follows in the path of other noted clinical pharmacologists and Rawls-Palmer Award recipients from UCSF, including Neal Benowitz, MD; Leslie Benet, PhD; and Lewis Sheiner, MD.

The goal of the Rawls-Palmer Progress in Medicine Award is to incorporate the efforts of modern research in patient care and to help bridge the gap between the results of research and its application in patient care. The prize goes to an investigator who has demonstrated high-quality clinical pharmacology research.

Giacomini's main research emphasis is on the study of membrane transporters. These proteins facilitate the flux of drugs and important natural compounds into and out of cells. Giacomini aims to determine the roles of these transporters in drug absorption and disposition. In addition, she is a pioneer in the investigation of how individual genetic variations in membrane transporter genes affect clinically important responses to current drugs. Her research also seeks to identify ways in which particular structural aspects of membrane transporters determine their specific functions.

She has received recognition across the United States for her discoveries, including the Paul Dawson Biotechnology Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Distinguished Scientist in Drug Metabolism from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, and the Research Achievement Award from the International Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress.

Her Rawls-Palmer Progress in Medicine Award Lecture, entitled "Transporters in Drug Induced Ototoxicity and Nephrotoxicity," was presented to an overflow audience of ASCPT meeting attendees.

The Rawls-Palmer Progress in Medicine Award was established in 1978 by the late William B. Rawls, MD, a New York physician and the father of the modern organizational structure of ASCPT, to recognize midcareer clinical pharmacologists who make an outstanding contribution to improved patient care through drug research.

Peck Honored with Henry W. Elliott Award

The Henry W. Elliott Distinguished Service Award, which was received by adjunct department professor Peck, was established in 1979 to recognize an ASCPT member who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to the organization. The award acknowledges outstanding efforts on behalf of the organization by an individual member and in doing so, encourages other ASCPT members to contribute their time and talent to the Society.

Peck has a long history of service to ASCPT and to the field of science and medicine it represents, including service as ASCPT president from 1999 to 2000. Upon receiving the award, Peck acknowledged the crucial role that his clinical pharmacology research training at UCSF played in inspiring his career-long devotion to research, teaching, and public service in this field.

Peck retired in 1993 as director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, after 26 years of serving the federal government, to continue research and teaching at Georgetown University and UCSF. While at the FDA he was recognized widely for his leadership in advancing drug and regulatory science. He has received numerous honors, including an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Uppsala, the Distinguished FDA Alumnus award, and the Outstanding Service and Distinguished Service Medals of the Public Health Service.

He has taught in U.S. and international universities, directed research in areas related to clinical and preclinical drug research, experimental design, data analysis, pharmacometrics and transdermal chemical migration. And, he has authored more than 100 publications.

In 1994 Peck founded the Center for Drug Development Science (CDDS), which is now a research center within the UCSF School of Pharmacy and located in Washington D.C. The CDDS focuses on advancing the science, strategic planning, and management processes of drug development and establishing clinical drug development science as a rigorous academic discipline. With his UCSF faculty colleagues and others, he has recently co-founded the American Course on Drug Development and Regulatory Science, which is offered in both San Francisco, and Washington D.C., and the Chinese Course on Drug Development and Regulatory Science, which is held in Beijing, China.


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