Drug safety is the aim of UCSF-Optivia research partnership

Pharmacogenetics expert Kathy Giacomini, PhD, co-chair of the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, is leading the UCSF arm of a research partnership in which her team will profile 2,000 prescription drugs against key molecules in the liver and kidney that are responsible for ferrying those drugs across the cell membrane and into the cell.

This will be the largest and most comprehensive study to date on the interaction between prescription drugs and membrane transporters, according to Giacomini. The research could have an immediate impact on improving the understanding and management of drug safety, she explained, which is a critical topic for both the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA. It also is a clear example of UCSF’s efforts to translate science into application.

The project is funded by a $367,000 subgrant, which is part of a $1.85 million Phase-II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health awarded to project leader Optivia Biotechnology Inc.


Optivia to Collaborate with UCSF on DDI Database for Prescription Drugs [link defunct]


School of Pharmacy, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, PharmD Degree Program, PSPG, Bioinformatics, BMI

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.