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Benet receives Remington Honor Medal, highest award in pharmacy
By David Jacobson / Wed Jan 20, 2016
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Leslie Benet, PhD, has been named the 2016 recipient of the Remington Honor Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). He will be officially recognized during the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Baltimore, MD, March 4–7, 2016.
The honor was established in 1918 “to recognize distinguished service on behalf of American pharmacy… during a long period of outstanding activity or fruitful achievement,” according to the APhA, the largest association of pharmacists in the United States. Indeed, Benet’s half-century career as a scientist, educator, and professional leader has had a vast and indelible impact on pharmaceutical research and pharmacy practice.
As a pharmaceutical scientist, Benet is a long-standing leader in discovering key principles related to how drugs are absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body—also known as pharmacokinetics. His work has allowed drug dosing to be increasingly individualized to patients based on health status, disease state, potential drug interactions, and other factors.
“The concepts and policies he has introduced have permeated our practices and promoted the personalized use of medicines,” wrote Dean Emeritus and 2010 Remington Medalist, Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, in support of Benet’s nomination for the honor.
Moreover, Benet’s work opened up new and larger roles for pharmacists as clinicians delivering patient care, wrote Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Pharmaceutics at the University of Texas at Austin James Doluisio, PhD, the 1994 Remington Medalist, in his nomination letter.
“Through his research Dr. Benet introduced clearance concepts and rational approaches to pharmacokinetics that allow pharmacy clinicians today to take a primary role in drug dosing decisions,” wrote Doluisio. His research “aided clinical pharmacy’s progress … and provided Pharmacy with an expertise that quickly became recognized by the medical profession as an important contribution to therapeutics.”
One of the most highly cited pharmaceutical scientists in the world, Benet has authored 540 publications, edited 6 books, and received 12 patents.
“The concepts and policies he has introduced have permeated our practices and promoted the personalized use of medicines.” — Dean Emeritus Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD
Benet also created a scientific community for the future by founding the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) in 1986 and serving as its first president. The association now has more than 12,000 members, including more than 2,000 international members. In addition, as chairman of the Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), he initiated the Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congresses.
Koda-Kimble noted that by serving in roles that included chair of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Expert Panel on Individual Bioequivalence, “More than any other academic scientist worldwide, Leslie has had a marked influence on assuring the quality of generic drug products, allowing patients, prescribers, and pharmacists to use these agents with confidence. Of course, the use and availability of generic drugs provides access to many who would otherwise be unable to afford life-saving medicines.”
In addition to his contributions to research and leadership, in his years as a School faculty member since 1969 Benet has mentored 54 PhD students and 122 postdoctoral and visiting scientists in his laboratory. For two decades, from 1978 to 1998, he chaired the School’s Department of Pharmacy (later renamed Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences), a predecessor to the current Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, where the Benet Lab is now based.
The Remington medal marks the latest honor for Benet’s work in a career that has included the most prestigious scientific awards from the APhA (Research Achievement Award in Pharmaceutics, the Higuchi Research Prize, and the Ebert Prize), FIP (Host-Madsen Medal), and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (Volwiler Research Achievement Award). He holds eight honorary doctorates and has been elected to the Institute of Medicine.
Benet’s award also marks the sixth time that a School alumnus and/or faculty member has received the Remington Honor Medal. Past School recipients:
2011: Paul Lofholm, PharmD
2010: Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD
2006: Robert Gibson, PharmD
2002: Richard P. Penna, PharmD
1992: Jere Goyan, PhD
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.