Dean Giacomini elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Dean Kathy Giacomini, PhD, BSPharm, is among four scientists and clinicians at UC San Francisco to be honored with election to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAA&S), one of the nation’s oldest and most distinguished societies dedicated to “advancing the common good.”

The Academy elected its first members in 1781 and includes icons such as Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The 250 members elected in 2024 represent 31 areas of expertise. They are recognized for their excellence and are invited to uphold the Academy’s mission of engaging across disciplines and divides.

Giacomini, the first female pharmacy-trained scientist and pharmacy school dean to be elected, is also co-director of the UCSF-Stanford Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI). She is a pioneer in the study of membrane transporters, and her work has demonstrated their importance to the development and therapeutic use of safe and effective drugs. Through her leadership of the West Coast CERSI, Giacomini aims to advance the field of regulatory sciences, facilitate careers for PharmD and PhD students in regulatory sciences, and improve the development and evaluation of diagnostics, therapeutics, and medical devices.

“I am especially honored as I am one of the few pharmacist-scientists to become a member of the Academy,” Giacomini said. “The profession of pharmacy has a history steeped in the arts and sciences of healing, and I chose to become a pharmacist because the profession combines the sciences of chemistry and biology––including computational biology and genetics––with the arts and sciences of medicine.

“I pursued a creative career focused on the sciences that are embodied within pharmacy––from molecular pharmacology to clinical drug response,” Giacomini added. “Now, as dean of a school of pharmacy, I hope to give back to the profession, by facilitating and leading the education, research, and practice of pharmacy.”

Giacomini joins three other faculty in the School of Pharmacy who were elected to the AAA&S in previous years: Charles S. Craik, PhD; William DeGrado, PhD; and Jim Wells, PhD. From UCSF in 2024, Giacomini joins W. Thomas Boyce, MD, professor emeritus of pediatrics and psychiatry; Geeta Narlikar, PhD, chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics; and Neil Powe, MD, MPH, MBA, chief of the UCSF Department of Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

“With the broad diversity of members elected this year, we are continuing to expand on the commitment to excellence and wide-ranging expertise established by our founders,” said AAA&S Chair of the Board Goodwin Liu, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. “The honor of election comes with an invitation for new members to rededicate themselves to the common good by advancing the Academy’s nonpartisan, cross-disciplinary work in the arts, democracy, education, global affairs, and science.”


Boyce, Giacomini, Narlikar, and Powe Elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences


School of 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.