The epic journey to better medicines

It’s a long and difficult journey from drug discovery to precise, safe, and effective therapeutics. UCSF School of Pharmacy scientists, across all three departments and in widely divergent fields, are continually questioning the status quo at key points along this route.

Read how 15 of these scientists are pushing against the frontier of disease prevention and treatment in five research areas, in the cover story of the latest issue of UCSF Magazine: 2018: A Drug Odyssey.

Follow the Journey to Better Medicines

Five of the most difficult problems UCSF scientists are solving— and how:

Problem: Identifying potential new drugs is like trying to hit a target hidden inside a massively complex, constantly moving machine — with a single tiny arrow.
Solution: Explore molecular targets in daring new ways.

Problem: Drugs travel through our bloodstreams into every corner of our bodies — both where they’re needed and where they’re not — and can cause potentially dangerous side effects
Solution: Get drugs to exactly where they’re needed.

Problem: How we live varies as much as our biological makeups; both affect the outcome of drug.
Solution: Take into account all the factors that can influence a drug’s effectiveness for each individual — from genetic heritage and lifestyle to age and weight.

Problem: Policy makers, awash with complex new medical information, face daunting challenges.
Solution: Provide them with evidence-based recommendations that prioritize patient health, safety, and access to treatments and diagnostic tests.

Problem: It takes too long to get effective new treatments to patients.
Solution: Start incrementally and locally — then apply the best solutions broadly.

Continue the journey to better medicines: 2018: A Drug Odyssey.


UCSF Magazine Summer 2018


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.