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Update from the Dean - Fall/Winter 2010
By Mary Anne Koda-Kimble / Mon Mar 1, 2010
Dear UCSF School of Pharmacy Family and Friends:
In this letter, I share so much good news about the School that it is hard to believe we remain under siege with California's unprecedented budget crisis. This shows that with the right people, excellence prevails even in the worst of times, and that should hearten us all.
Please continue to send me your letters and emails.
Although precious California state general funds are shrinking, I am pleased to report that once again the UCSF School of Pharmacy is the recipient of more National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding than any other pharmacy school in the United States. The 2009 figures were recently posted, marking our 30th anniversary as the nation's top NIH-funded pharmacy school.
Equally impressive from my point of view is the way in which this year's NIH funding spreads across the School. Each of our 3 departments is credited with 2 each of the 6 largest NIH allocations we received in 2009. This demonstrates that our basic, translational, and clinical sciences are all thriving. In particular, the clinical sciences are gearing up as Department of Clinical Pharmacy Chair Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, raises the bar on scholarship as the key to improved pharmaceutical care of patients. In fact, the total number of published research papers from the Department of Clinical Pharmacy in calendar year 2009 was 87.
One of these papers, on which James Lightwood, PhD, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, was an author, demonstrates the diversity of research interests among our clinical faculty. The paper concluded that modest reductions in dietary salt could substantially reduce cardiovascular events and medical costs and should be a public health target. Jim, who is an expert in health economics, mathematical modeling, and statistics, played a technical role on the paper by estimating disease and treatment costs, consulting on forecasting procedures, and helping adapt an existing computer simulation model to include dietary risk factors. The paper was first published online in the New England Journal of Medicine on January 20, 2010.
Rather than shining all of the light on the research of our accomplished faculty, I turn this time to our graduate students. They are remarkable. The 4 examples I cite here are from an extensive list and illustrate the collaborative nature of research across departments, schools, and fields at UCSF.
Bioinformatics graduate student Daniel Mandell was the first author on a paper from the lab of faculty member Tanja Kortemme, PhD, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences. The paper came out in Nature Methods in August 2009. The work borrows mathematical methods from robotics to dramatically enhance the accuracy with which we can model proteins, and these advances open the possibility of reshaping proteins into highly specific biosensors or therapeutics. Evangelos Coutsias, PhD, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of New Mexico, co-authored the paper with Tanja and Dan. Another bioinformatics student, Michael Keiser, was the first author on a paper from the lab of faculty member Brian Shoichet, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. The paper demonstrates the power of a computational method that has the potential to predict new targets—and thus new diseases—for existing drugs, as well as unexpected side effects of approved drugs. Wired Science cited the model as one of the Top Scientific Breakthroughs for 2009. The paper was published online in Nature on November 1, 2009. In addition to Mike and Brian, UCSF authors were John Irwin, PhD, Christian Laggner, PhD, Jerome Hert, PhD—all in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry—and 2 student pharmacists—Kelan Thomas and Douglas Edwards. There were numerous University of North Carolina contributors as well.
The Scientist cited a UCSF innovation among its Top 10 Tools to Hit the Life Sciences in 2009. In the spotlight was a paper from the lab of faculty member Christopher Voigt, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, which reveals how to import plant "light switches" into mammalian cells to control complex regulatory processes. The paper appeared in the October 15, 2009 issue of Nature. First author on the paper was Anselm Levskaya, a biophysics graduate student in Chris' lab. Co-authors with Anselm and Chris were Wendell Lim, PhD, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, UCSF School of Medicine, and Orion Weiner, PhD, UCSF Cardiovascular Research Institute.
An interesting paper was just published in Cancer Research, February 15, 2010 from the lab of Charles S. Craik, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. The first author was another graduate student, Molly Darragh, who is in the biophysics graduate program and a Chih scholar. The paper looked at a specific enzyme, known as a protease, which shows increased activity on the surface of epithelial cancer cells. The protease—called MT-SP1/Matriptase—was found to be highly active in cancer cells. It could serve as a potential target for tumor detection as well as a useful biomarker to visualize epithelial cells in vivo using a non-invasive antibody-based technique. In addition to Molly and Charly, fellow authors from the Craik lab were postdoctoral fellow Eric Schneider, PhD, and fellow graduate student Christopher J. Farady, also in the biophysics graduate program. Other authors were Jianlong Lou, MD, PhD, and James Marks, MD, PhD, Department of Anesthesia, UCSF School of Medicine; and Paul Phojanakong, and Byron Hann, MD, PhD, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Faculty honors and awards
It has been a bountiful 6 months for faculty honors and awards.
Marilyn Stebbins, PharmD, and Helene Levens Lipton, PhD, both in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, received the 2010 Jane Boggess Advancement of Pharmacy Practice Award from the Pharmacy Foundation of California. The award recognizes broad adoption of one or more non-traditional pharmacy services that improve public health. The duo created Partners in D, which is a program to help seniors get the most out of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. 7 pharmacy schools in California are involved in the program's direct patient counseling of underserved seniors and peer-to-peer teaching of physicians and medical students about Part D. According to one of the physicians who attended a Part D lecture, "This talk should be given to all residents."
Marilyn is also the first female recipient of the California Pharmacists Association Innovative Pharmacist of the Year award, which honors accomplishment, creativity, and value added to therapeutics or pharmacy practice. Marilyn specializes in primary and managed care pharmacy, and she always looks for ways to do things better. At the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Sacramento, California, she developed ambulatory care clinics for the pharmacy department, and at a medical group in Sacramento, she developed a system to promote cost-effective medication use. As one student put it, "Dr. Stebbins' tireless effort, boundless enthusiasm, and willingness to go above and beyond, is what makes her such an amazing teacher, mentor and friend." …And I would add, "clinician."
Leslie Benet, PhD, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, is the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Oscar B. Hunter Memorial Award in Therapeutics from the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. The award honors individual scientists for outstanding contributions to clinical pharmacology and therapeutics over the individual's professional life. Les' impact on the use of pharmacokinetics in understanding and predicting drug disposition in patients has transformed the way human clinical pharmacology is practiced throughout the world.
Kathy Giacomini, PhD, co-chair, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, has received the 5th Annual UCSF Postdoctoral Scholar Association Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award for 2009 with Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD, director of the Neurosciences Imaging Center at UCSF. In the words of award nominator and postdoctoral scholar, Sook Wah Yee, PhD: "What makes her (Kathy) very different from many other mentors is that she constantly provides positive feedback and constructive criticism on my projects. With her…support…I have successfully established collaborations and have initiated pharmacogenomics research with faculty members at UCSF and other universities…This allows me the vast opportunity to use the collected samples and data to design clinical pharmacogenomics and personalized medicines that I dream about."
Nancy Hessol, MSPH, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, received the 2010 Lester Breslow Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the UCLA School of Public Health Alumni Hall of Fame. Recipients embody innovation, entrepreneurship, and community service. Over her career, Nancy has studied the health effects of ionizing radiation on workers and the community and investigated the epidemiology of HIV infection. Currently, Nancy's "short" list of research interests include HIVdisease progression and mortality, HIV-related malignancies, human papillomavirus infection, recruitment and retention of women and minorities in research studies, and disparities in health care.
An image of a bone scaffold developed by Shuvo Roy, PhD, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, and an international team of colleagues, was selected by the journal Biomaterials as one of the 12 best images of the publication's 2009 volume and incorporated into the journal's 2009 The Year in Images poster. The image is of a three-dimensional scaffold that stimulates cell and tissue growth and has potential use in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
Symposium introduces new department
Our new UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS) introduced itself to the greater scientific community with an inaugural forum. Researchers described how scientists in the fields of systems biology, pharmacogenomics, and bioengineering are working in concert to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics to diagnose and treat disease. Strategies shared included the targeted delivery of therapeutics with nano- and micro-technologies, drug design aimed at biological networks rather than a single metabolic step, and the engineering of cheap but sturdy medical devices that will help patients in poor countries have the best lives possible. You will recall that BTS is the first department to straddle 2 schools at UCSF—Pharmacy and Medicine—and is co-chaired by Kathy Giacomini, PhD, and Sarah Nelson, PhD.
This fall, Associate Dean of Student and Curricular Affairs Christopher Cullander, PhD, was selected to become UCSF's director of institutional research in the office of the vice provost for student academic affairs. I am deeply grateful to Chris for his 20 years of dedicated School service as a researcher, teacher, and mentor, and particularly for his devotion to the welfare and lives of hundreds of student pharmacists. Chris has contributed generously to the School and UCSF in countless ways.
Donald Kishi, PharmD, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, is our new associate dean of student and curricular affairs. Don oversees the academic health and progress of individual student pharmacists and serves as a key mentor to the School's pharmacy students through the day they graduate. There is no other faculty member in our School who is in a better position to take on these important responsibilities. Don has been on the faculty since he earned his PharmD here in 1968. Since then, he helped shape the role of the clinical pharmacist and the clinical curriculum, served as deputy director of pharmaceutical services in the UCSF Medical Center and vice chair of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, directed the clinical pharmacy residency program, and taught many courses. His professional experience is trumped only by his professional wisdom.
For more than a decade, Barbara Sauer, PharmD, associate dean of assessment and accreditation, has led the School through 2 successful accreditation cycles. Barbara has guided our faculty, staff, and students thoughtfully and thoroughly through the ongoing accreditation process. Her vigilance and attention to the impact of ever-changing accreditation standards on our curriculum and the way we work have been without peer. Barbara has been recalled from retirement for 2 years to help us fully complete our last accreditation cycle. We thank her for helping us achieve a full 6 years of accreditation and for mentoring our newly minted dean.
Mitra Assemi, PharmD, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, is our new associate dean of accreditation and quality improvement. Mitra is responsible for ensuring that we continually assess our PharmD program by collecting and evaluating program data. She also ensures that any improvements to the program, which might be required by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as part of the School's accreditation process, are completed and reported back to ACPE. Mitra has the perfect qualifications for this pivotal position. She understands the complexities of the PharmD program and its delivery. She is a remarkable teacher, a superb leader, and is extremely well organized.
In 2009, we began an industry outreach program under the leadership of Daniel Santi, MD, PhD, our new associate dean of external scientific affairs. Dan's goal is to initiate meaningful and sustainable science partnerships among our faculty members and scientists in local biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies by taking the time needed to make individual scientist-to-scientist connections. One of our strategic plan goals is to work in new ways as we apply what we have discovered in our labs beyond our labs to help the public. As a result of Dan's work, teams of top scientists from companies—including Rinat/Pfizer, Gilead, Amgen, and Genentech—have visited UCSF to discuss their research. These meetings have led to a number of collaborations and sponsored research programs with UCSF faculty members. In 2010, we will focus on establishing exchange seminars and symposia.
Takeda San Francisco, Inc. entered into a sponsored collaboration with UCSF to support antibody-related research in the laboratory of Charles S. Craik, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Charly will be the principal investigator of the project, which will focus on therapeutic antibody discovery and development.
Our Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry announced that it will lead a UCSF research collaboration, under the National Cancer Institute (NCI), to use small molecules to "search" the surface of cells for possible new "druggable" sites. The goal is to develop whole new classes of drugs to target cancer. The project, which is called the Chemical Biology Consortium, supports NCI's goal of getting early-stage drug candidates into the NCI therapeutics pipeline. James Wells, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry chair and director of the UCSF Small Molecule Discovery Center (SMDC); Michelle Arkin, PhD, associate director of biology of the SMDC; and Adam Renslo, PhD, associate director of the SMDC's medicinal chemistry work, will lead UCSF's participation in the new collaboration. The SMDC, which is located on the Mission Bay campus, will be at the heart of UCSF's consortium work.
The SMDC also announced that it signed its first major industry partnership agreement since its founding in 2005. The agreement is with Genentech, Inc. to discover and develop drug candidates for neurodegenerative diseases. Genentech will provide funding and its research acumen in neuroscience and will collaborate with UCSF to identify small molecules with therapeutic potential. Again, Jim, Michelle, and Adam are leading the UCSF side of the collaboration.
Under the leadership of Steven Kayser, PharmD, our associate dean of global affairs, we have recently established letters of intent to collaborate with several universities abroad. Alumna Brooke Ramay, PharmD, has joined the faculty in the Departamento De Quimica Farmaceutica at the Unviersidad del Valle de Guatemala in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Steve and Brooke will work to promote scientific and educational exchange between our 2 institutions, including curriculum development; evaluation of pharmaceutical care models, especially to underserved patients; and joint research activities across multiple disciplines. We also have established a similar agreement with the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines.
Our students have been very eager to gain advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) internationally. Taiwan, Korea, and Japan are but 3 of the countries where you will find our student pharmacists learning and caring for patients. Also, our students have participated in the Global Health Frameworks Program in India, Kenya, and Tanzania doing research and addressing health care needs in interdisciplinary teams with medical, dental, nursing, and UC Berkeley public health students.
Renewing our faculty
Many of our baby boomer faculty members have reached the age of retirement, and we are hiring the next generation who will lead our School into the future. I am so excited to introduce this most recent group of stars!
Long-Boyle, PharmD, PhD, and Brett Heintz, PharmD, BCPS, joined the Department of Clinical Pharmacy. Brett is an infectious disease specialist who will be located at the University of California, Davis Medical Center where he now works. He is an accomplished clinical scientist and teacher and an expert in the use of distance learning technologies, which we must master to increase the efficiency with which we teach and expand the scope of our curricula. Brett is also an alumnus of our School.
Janel comes to UCSF from the University of Minnesota where she earned a PharmDand a PhD in experimental and clinical pharmacology. Her research focused on cancer therapeutics in the area of stem cell transplant. While working on her PhD, she practiced in her clinical specialty area of hematology/oncology. Janel is a perfect example of the kind of person we seek to join our faculty ranks as we address our strategic goal of preparing more pharmacists who can do the clinical research needed to translate the latest scientific discoveries into exceptional, effective, and safe patient care.
Ryan Hernandez, PhD, joins the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences in the area of computational genomics. He is taking a leading role in analyzing the vast amount of genomic data being generated in the 1000 Genomes Project. His analysis is leading to an understanding of the history of our species, how we adapted to new environments, and the genetics of normal physiology and human disease. Ryan earned a PhDfrom Cornell University in biometry under the mentorship of Carlos Bustamante. He joins us from a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago.
Michael Fischbach, PhD, joined the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences. Michael earned his Harvard PhD in chemistry and now studies small molecules produced by microbes. In particular, Michael is looking at clusters of genes in bacteria from the soil and the human body, and he is developing computational methods to predict the structures and functions of small molecules produced by the enzymes that these genes encode. Small molecules made by soil bacteria include important antibiotics, anticancer agents, immunosuppressants, and cholesterol-lowering drugs, but many small molecules made by bacteria remain undetected.
Bo Huang, PhD, by contrast, builds tools to allow us to see intimate details of biology. As one of the most powerful imaging techniques for studying cellular processes, fluorescence microscopy allows noninvasive imaging of live samples with molecular specificity. Bo and his group have developed an even more powerful technique, called STORM, to improve resolution. They are now focused on using super resolution optical microscopy to explore how proteins interact inside the cell. Bo joins the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Harvard where he completed a postdoctoral fellowship. He earned a PhD in chemistry from Stanford.
Our postdoctoral clinical pharmacology and therapeutics training grant from the National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS) has been renewed for 3 slots. Later this year, we hope to receive an additional slot for a trainee focused on clinical pharmacology research in pediatric populations. The grant includes funding for PharmDs, MDs, and PhDs in their early postdoctoral years and is directed by Esteban González Burchard, MD, MPH, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS). Co-directors are Leslie Floren, PharmD, BTS, and Neil Benowitz, MD, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, School of Medicine. We are currently training 3 MDs and 1 PharmD. This program, with its strong emphasis on clinical research training, is yet another approach we are using to prepare more clinical scientists.
Our student pharmacists continue to amaze us all with their drive and accomplishments. They are writing letters to the editor as part of a course module designed to teach them how to promote public health and professionalism in pharmacy. Topics covered and printed to date range from cholesterol in teens to the need to include pharmacists in disaster relief teams sent to Haiti. Our students were very engaged this fall in H1N1 vaccination clinics, and they continue to take the lead in the governance of state and national professional organizations. And, they are winning awards. Krystal Pong, a 3rd-year student pharmacist, won both the 2010 California Statewide Patient Counseling Competition sponsored by the California Pharmacy Foundation and the 2010 National Patient Counseling Competition sponsored by the American Pharmacists Association's Academy of Student Pharmacists. In Krystal's own words: "Patients can be prescribed the perfect drug regimen, but if they don't take their medications correctly, it doesn't do them any good, and even worse, could do them harm. My passion to help people understand their medications is what drew me to the field of pharmacy in the first place." Note to those of us who are taking evermore complex medication regimens: We are in good hands.
California Poison Control System update
The final 2009/2010 (current) state budget for the California Poison Control System (CPCS) contained just enough funds to match with a newly available federal children's health insurance program to permit the CPCS to operate through June 2010. The Governor's proposed budget for next year contains funding for the CPCS at an equivalent level to our current budget. This gives us the best starting point we could have expected as we begin the annual budget battles, but there is a long way to go. We will have to get past the current budget hearings in the state legislature as well as the Governor's revised budget in May, and we will need to continue pushing hard for alternative funds, a difficult task at best.
In the news
Here is just a sample of how our faculty are sharing their expertise with audiences beyond academia. Esteban González Burchard, MD, MPH, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, explained the differences between race and ethnicity and the promise that greater genetic knowledge holds for addressing disease during a panel discussion on National Public Radio, Science Friday that aired January 15, 2010. Esteban is an expert on the genetics of asthma and differing responses to asthma treatment among racially diverse populations. Helene Levens Lipton, PhD, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, presented data in support of including pharmacists in the medical home model of health care. Her editorial appeared in the November 23, 2009 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine which was distributed widely via press release. Deanna Kroetz, PhD, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, discussed the impact of genetic differences on how an individual responds to drugs in a KQED Quest radio interview that aired September 14, 2009. Deanna is an expert in antiretroviral and anti-cancer pharmacogenomics. Jennifer Cocohoba, PharmD, shared her clinical expertise on a February 12, 2010 Patient Power webcast on Why You Should Get More Advice from Your Pharmacist.
Campuswide the most pressing issue, of course, is state funding and the need to cut costs. As UCSF absorbs its $49 million share of this year's permanent ($24.7 million) and "temporary" ($24.3 million) reductions in California's state general funds, it is preparing for another $28 million permanent cut in state general funding for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2010. We will not have final word on our campus budget situation until the May revision of the California state budget for next year.UCSF is committed to ending the 1-year salary cuts and associated furloughs for faculty and staff members that went into effect UC systemwide September 1, 2009 to address the one-time cut. However, we will need to find $28 to $40 million in permanent cost reductions to do so and to prevent the across-the-board cuts that have been imposed in the past. To accomplish these cost reductions, the campus is aggressively exploring ways to increase administrative and operating efficiencies, and layoffs are an option. You can follow this work by logging on to the UCSF budget website: budget.ucsf.edu [link defunct].
We are operating on the financial edge in the School of Pharmacy, but even so, I am impressed with the response by the School in finding even more ways to cut costs and to work more efficiently, while keeping the quality of our programs intact.
A changing of the guard
Eugene Washington, MD, executive vice chancellor and provost, has left UCSF to become vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and dean of UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. UCLA is fortunate, indeed, to woo away a great collaborator and friend to the School of Pharmacy. We are going to miss Gene's positive, can-do presence. The campus also bid farewell to 2 generous and impactful UCSF leaders, Bruce Spaulding, senior vice chancellor, university advancement and planning, and Steve Barclay, senior vice chancellor, resource management and capital programs. Both Bruce and Steve were strong advocates for the School of Pharmacy. I thank them and wish them well. We welcome and look forward to working with John Plotts as senior vice chancellor, finance and administration. John has tremendous experience in private industry and has a deep knowledge of the UC system. He is managing central administration, finance, real estate, and campus planning.
The entire campus cheered Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, on December 10, 2010 as she received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Co-recipients were Carol Greider, PhD, Johns Hopkins University, and Jack Szostak, PhD, Harvard Medical School. The trio was recognized for revealing how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the telomerase enzyme. Their work fueled subsequent research into the possibility that telomerase could be reactivated to treat age-related diseases—such as cardiovascular disease—and deactivated to treat cancer.
I end with a bittersweet story. When the United States interned Japanese-Americans during World War II, UC's students were forced to leave school before graduating. This winter, the UC Regents recognized those students with honorary degrees during special graduation ceremonies. UCSF held its graduation ceremony on December 4, 2009 at Mission Bay, and we were able to locate the families of 67 former students from our schools. 3 former students were able to attend and personally accept diplomas: School of Nursing students, Edith Oto and Aiko "Grace" Obata Amemiya, and School of Dentistry student, Setsuo Torigoe.
In his keynote remarks, Patrick Hayashi, PhD, a former UC associate president and a UC Berkeley alumnus, described the hardships endured by the roughly 120,000 Japanese-Americans and nationals who were forced to relocate into camps. And, he described how pharmacy's Dean Troy Daniels handled the situation. I leave you with this excerpt and with even more pride in our School now that I know this story firsthand:
Today, when UC honors these Nisei students, the Japanese American community would like to honor UC….Here at UCSF, Dean of Pharmacy Troy Daniels along with other faculty members displayed uncommon compassion, integrity and courage. Dean Daniels went to the Presidio to speak with the head of the western military command, General John DeWitt. He asked that his 8 Nisei students be temporarily exempted from the order to evacuate and be allowed to complete their pharmacy degrees.
He also said that he and his wife would adopt Harry Iwamoto, his first graduate student, if that would allow Harry to stay. But, General DeWitt had publicly stated, "All Japanese, including those born in the United States, are members of an enemy race (and that)…all Nisei students would have to clear out of San Francisco."
But the students and faculty had other ideas.
The students stayed and they studied. The faculty helped them finish their coursework in record time. And then they helped them prepare for their state boards. When the students made their way home after curfew, they had to dodge the soldiers patrolling the city. Dean Daniels arranged for them to take their state boards early.
One of these students, Masao Yamamoto, told me that he was overcome with relief and gratitude when he learned that he had passed because he now had the foundation upon which he could build his life. After the Nisei students passed their exams, Dean Daniels helped them get safe passage out of San Francisco. He personally contacted law enforcement agencies and told them that UCSF students would be traveling to rejoin their families.
How UCSF helped these Nisei students finish their studies is a wonderful, important story.
But, UCSF gave something much more valuable to the Japanese American community. You protected us from the bitterness, rage and despair that could have easily poisoned our hearts. At the worst of times, Dean Daniels and the UCSF faculty allowed us to see the very best in humankind.
With warm regards until I write again,
Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD
Professor and Dean
Thomas J. Long Chair in Community Pharmacy Practice
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.