Wells elected member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences

James Wells, PhD, chair of the School’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, has been elected as a member of the 2015 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Founded in 1780, the Academy is one of the nation’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers. It convenes leaders from the academic, arts, business, and government sectors to address key global challenges via gatherings, studies, and publications. Past scientific members alone have included Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell, Jonas Salk, and Barbara McClintock.

Wells joins department and faculty colleague William DeGrado, PhD, who was elected a member of the Academy in 1998.

Wells has held the School’s Harry Wm. and Diana V. Hind Distinguished Professorship in Pharmaceutical Sciences since 2005 and is founder and director of the department-based Small Molecule Discovery Center.

Among wide-ranging interests, researchers in the Wells Lab probe and analyze key protein interactions and signaling pathways in apoptosis, the programmed self-destruction of aberrant cells that fails to occur in cancers and over-occurs in neurodegenerative diseases. Lab scientists develop new technologies in order to provide the basis for more effective and precisely targeted treatments.

Wells came to UCSF after a career in industry. At Genentech, he was a founding member of the company’s protein engineering department. He was then co-founder, president, and chief scientific officer of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals.

Formal induction of the Academy’s 197 new members will take place at the House of the Academy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 10, 2015.

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.