Pharmacy Alumni Weekend report

student pharmacists

Some 250 UCSF School of Pharmacy graduates reconnected with classmates, rekindled friendships, and learned about the latest work across schools and the Graduate Division during Alumni Weekend 2016, held April 8 and 9, and headquartered at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel.

Gibson receives standing ovation


School highlights include the Friday Half-Century Club Luncheon, honoring alumni who graduated five decades ago. Receiving a standing ovation from fellow alumni at the luncheon was Robert Gibson, PharmD, now 91 years old and the first African American to receive a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree from UCSF.

Today’s health care politics

speakers on stage

On Saturday, UC President Janet Napolitano moderated the Chancellor’s Breakfast and Alumni Roundtable, where School alumna Rear Admiral Pamela Schweitzer, PharmD, along with fellow UCSF alumni, discussed the 2016 presidential election through the lens of health care. Napolitano ended the session questioning what each panelist would ask of a presidential contender about health care if given the opportunity. Schweitzer’s response: “I’d ask Hillary how I could help her plan succeed!”

Revisiting our history, focusing on our future

Day speaking
someone speaking
Guglielmo speaking
Babbitt speaking
Smith speaking
Guglielmo speaking

Later, alumni explored the interplay of pharmacy education and practice during the Saturday Pharmacy Afternoon Program. On hand were veterans of the 1960s Ninth Floor Pharmacy Project, a then-radical joint venture between UCSF Medical Center and the School to transform pharmacists from drug experts to clinicians and to improve medication systems. That project sparked a transformation of the School’s PharmD curriculum into a clinical course of study for pharmacy students that was based on exceptional science and real workplace pharmacy practice experiences.

Joining the veteran Ninth Floor Project threesome of William Smith, PharmD, MPH, PhD, FASHP; Robert Day, PharmD; and David Adler, PharmD were three current faculty members—Marcus Ferrone, PharmD, JD; Patricia Babbitt, PhD; and Mitra Assemi, PharmD—who are today deeply involved in transforming the PharmD curriculum as opportunities for advanced practice become realities and as the health care landscape morphs at record pace.

New approaches to cataract treatments, primary care

Cutler with panel participants

Between the morning and afternoon events on Saturday, Jason Gestwicki, PhD, who holds a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, presented his work to create a topical treatment for cataracts. In another session, Vice Dean Sharon L. Youmans, PharmD, MPH, moderated an interdisciplinary panel discussing emerging approaches to the delivery of primary care. Joining panel colleagues from the fields of physical therapy, dentistry, medicine, and nursing was Timothy Cutler, PharmD, Department of Clinical Pharmacy.

Adler receives Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award

Adler receives Alumnus of the Year Award

The weekend closed Saturday night at the Pharmacy Gala Dinner, presided over by Pharmacy Alumni Association President Brian Komoto, PharmD, where the association presented the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award to David Adler, PharmD. David’s remarkable, career-long impact on pharmacy practice, education, and public service at UCSF, in California, and beyond has been huge and indelible. Recognized as well for their enormous contributions to the profession were Ninth Floor Pharmacy Project practice and education pathfinders.

Image credits: Drew Altizer, Cindy Chew


School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, PharmD Degree Program

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.

Ninth Floor Project innovators honored at Alumni Weekend 2016

On the 50th anniversary of the UCSF Ninth Floor Pharmacy Project, the UCSF School of Pharmacy recognized the valuable contributions to the project’s success by the former and current faculty members listed below. The project served as the model for pharmacy practice worldwide and helped redefine the role of pharmacists in patient care.

These efforts toward developing and implementing the clinical practice sites and didactic curriculum of the School’s doctor of pharmacy degree program were critical in the formative years of 1966 to 1974.

Honored at Alumni Weekend, April 9, 2016

  • David S. Adler, PharmD ’70

  • Robert L. Day, PharmD ’58

  • Richard deLeon, PharmD ’65

  • Betty J. Dong, PharmD ’72

  • Eric T. Herfindal, PharmD ’65

  • Joseph L. Hirshmann, PharmD ’65

  • Robert J. Ignoffo, PharmD ’71

  • Brian S. Katcher, PharmD ’67

  • Steven R. Kayser, PharmD ’70

  • Donald T. Kishi, PharmD ’68

  • Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD ’69

  • Robert H. Levin, PharmD ’64

  • Dennis W. Mackewicz, PharmD ’64

  • Gary M. McCart, PharmD ’68

  • Robert A. Miller, PharmD ’64

  • Michael A. Riddiough, PharmD ’70

  • Sam K. Shimomura, PharmD ’70

  • William E. Smith, Jr., ’65

  • Theodore G. Tong, PharmD ’69

  • Michael E. Winter, PharmD ’70

  • Lloyd Y. Young, PharmD ’69