Ferrone named CPhA Innovative Pharmacist of the Year

Marcus Ferrone, PharmD, JD, a faculty member in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, has been named the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) 2015 Innovative Pharmacist of the Year.

The award, from the largest state association representing pharmacists, recognizes a member pharmacist for achievements such as significantly improving patient care, adding to the scope of practice, and inventing a new chemical composition.

Indeed, the CPhA honor recognizes Ferrone’s work developing and compounding a unique, specially labeled substance—hyperpolarized carbon-13 pyruvate—that is given intravenously to enhance signal strength in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) more than 10,000-fold.

Detection of the injected drug’s uptake and metabolism by tumors has been used experimentally to evaluate the aggressiveness of prostate cancer tumors and the status of brain tumors (glioma) to guide treatment decisions and more effectively monitor therapy efficacy.

Phase two clinical studies, in which a drug is tested on a larger group of patients to determine effectiveness and further evaluate its safety, are planned for 2015 at UCSF and several academic medical institutions in Canada and Europe.

Ferrone will formally receive the award on April 10 at the CPhA annual meeting in Anaheim.


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.