Fischbach receives Packard Fellowship

Michael Fischbach, PhD, who studies drug-like molecules produced by human gut bacteria, has been awarded one the 16 prestigious 2011 Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering.

The fellowship, which supports “highly creative professors early in their careers,” provides an unrestricted research grant of $875,000 over five years.

Fischbach and his fellow researchers believe that molecules produced by our gut bacteria are a novel form of communication between ‘friendly’ bacteria and the host. By identifying and studying these molecules, they expect to gain insights into diseases linked to the gut microbiota (bacterial communities in our bowels) such as Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Fischbach’s fellowship represents the 19th Packard Fellowship awarded to a UCSF scientist since the program was founded in 1988 and the second consecutive year it has gone to School of Pharmacy faculty.

Fischbach is a faculty member of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine. Bo Huang, PhD, a faculty member of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, was named a fellow in 2010.

The fellowships are funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; created by the late David Packard, cofounder of the Hewlett-Packard Company, and the late Lucile Salter Packard.

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.