2015 News

Youmans
Sharon Youmans, PharmD, MPH, and UCSF School of Pharmacy vice dean, is the newly elected Council of Deans Secretary, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).  The council includes a select number of the nation’s leaders in academic pharmacy. Council activities focus on educational policies, professional program administration within academic institutions, and the ties between academic pharmacy and the community.
Nadav Ahituv in lab
Research in the lab of UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Nadav Ahituv, PhD, in collaboration with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and others, has identified variations at four locations in the genome underlying risk for the most common type of abdominal hernia.
Burchard
Despite Congressional mandates aimed at diversifying clinical research, little has changed in the last 30 years in both the numbers of studies that include minorities and the diversity of scientists being funded, according to a new analysis by researchers at UC San Francisco.
Dear friends, Dara and I are happy to announce that our second daughter Lyra Dahlia Hernandez (first name sounds like "lyric") was born on Friday, November 27 at 9:18 am. She was born just over 8 weeks early. Lyra weighed in at 2 lbs 8.6 oz. and stretched 15.75 inches long. She will be in the NICU for a while, but is doing well. Mom is recuperating quickly, and will likely go home on Tuesday. All our best, Ryan Hernandez
Janel Boyle and young cancer patient
Reprinted courtesy of UCSF Magazine. In the pediatric bone marrow transplant clinic, pharmacist Janel Boyle’s past and present collide. She drifts past young patients—many of them infants and toddlers—and notes their beaming smiles and balding heads. Her gaze shifts to the parents, their expressions tense but hopeful.
Abate
Our faculty member Adam Abate, PhD, was selected by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as one of 45 exceptional Young Scientists—all under the age of 40—each of whom has contributed to advancing the frontiers of science, engineering, or technology in areas of high societal impact. Abate attended the World Economic Forum’s Ninth Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, People’s Republic of China, where the Young Scientists were honored in early September.
Brodsky
The Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences bade a fond farewell to colleague and friend Frances Brodsky on Tuesday, November 10, 2015. At a royal-tea-party-themed send-off, Frances was toasted and feted with fond wishes and thanks for 28 years of dedicated service to UCSF.
illustration of patient with diabetes
In people with type 2 diabetes, the body is less able to use the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar. The disease affects 350 million patients globally—including 29 million in the United States, where it is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, and non-accident-related amputations.
Strategic planning; Recently received research funding: cancer, Alzheimer's, HIV, type 2 diabetes (Kroetz, Keiser, Gross, Roy); Recent faculty publications: fibrosis, biofilms, gout (DeGrado, Yang, Giacomini); Collaborations and partnerships; Patient care: SB 493, scope of practice for California pharmacists; Education: Precision Medicine Student Alliance; New PharmD curriculum development; Faculty honors: Abate, Benet, Burchard, Desai, MacDougall, Wells, Yokoyama; Alumni honors: Levin, Schweitz
artificial kidney prototype
The research journey toward building a fully functioning, surgically implantable artificial kidney as an alternative to kidney transplant and dialysis just took another step forward with the announcement of a $6 million grant to The Kidney Project, headquartered at the UCSF School of Pharmacy. The funding comes from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Burchard
Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH, has been featured in Newsweek for his work studying genetic variation in asthma among minority populations. The article, titled “The Racial Discrimination Embedded in Modern Medicine,” was published online on October 20. It addresses issues such as racial health disparities, precision medicine, and the importance of including minorities in clinical research.
Tejal Desai
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Tejal Desai, PhD, has been newly elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), formerly known as the Institute of Medicine (IOM). NAM membership is considered one of the highest honors in health and medicine. Elected by current members, the membership recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.
Fischbach
Bacteria generate small molecules to fend off their fellow microbes. They also produce molecules that affect the response of host organisms—including humans—to their presence. Such molecules have been a major source of antibiotics, immunosuppressants, anti-cancer agents, and other drugs. But their discovery has not been systematic and the products of bacteria living in our bodies have only recently drawn scientific notice.
Benet
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Leslie Benet, PhD, has been named the 2015 recipient of the North American Scientific Achievement Award, presented by the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX).
James Wells, PhD
A new collaboration between Celgene Corp. and the Recombinant Antibody Network (RAN) will support the development of next-generation, antibody-based cancer therapies. The RAN is a consortium comprising researchers from the UCSF School of Pharmacy (UCSF Antibiome Center), the University of Chicago, and the University of Toronto.
silicon nanopore membranes
UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Shuvo Roy, PhD, has received a three-year $1 million grant to create surgically implantable capsules of donor pancreas cells to free type 1 diabetes patients from daily insulin injections and the disease’s potentially life-threatening complications. The work is being funded by JDRF, the largest charitable supporter of type 1 diabetes research.
Matt Jacobson
Renowned researcher and educator Matthew Jacobson, PhD, has been named the new chair of the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. His appointment by Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, will be effective January 15, 2016. Jacobson will become the department’s 10th chair since its formation in 1958. He succeeds James Wells, PhD, who is stepping down from the post after leading the department since 2008.
Kroetz
Taxanes are a class of drugs widely used to treat a variety of cancers, including breast, ovarian, lung, gastric, and head and neck. But dosages are often limited by toxic side effects—most commonly damage to the body’s peripheral nerves, causing numbness, pain, and/or hyper-sensitivity—that can require reduced or suspended treatment and which can linger for years in disease survivors.
Allopurinol, the first-choice medication for treating gout—an excruciatingly painful condition that is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, afflicts more than eight million Americans, and is on the rise worldwide—is not fully effective in more than half of patients.
Sali
Andrej Sali, PhD, has been appointed associate dean of research of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, effective July 1, 2015. The appointment is in addition to Sali’s full professorship in the School’s Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences. As he continues with his own research, Sali will advise Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, and School leaders on pertinent research issues and opportunities and will represent the School in critical campus research decisions.
graphic of fly eye
How does brain circuitry organize itself during development? In at least one case—the seemingly complex visual system of the fruit fly, which connects its 800-facet compound eyes to its brain—the answer lies in just three simple rules.
Schweitzer
The 2015 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year is Rear Admiral Pamela Schweitzer, PharmD ’87. The recognition by the Pharmacy Alumni Association is given to the School graduate who has made outstanding contributions to the profession of pharmacy, to society, and/or to UCSF.
We are thrilled that our very own diva Frances Peterson is singing in her first-ever appearance at the San Francisco Opera, in The Trojans by Berlioz.
Tejal Desai Awarded Brown Engineering Alumni Medal
Tejal A. Desai, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences, was awarded the 2015 Brown Engineering Alumni Medal (BEAM) from Brown University’s School of Engineering at an Awards Dinner on May 23, 2015, in recognition of her career achievements in the field of engineering. She was honored in Alumnae Hall at Brown University, in the presence of many friends, colleagues, former professors, and her husband Dr. Sanjay Saxena.
Guglielmo
We are rapidly moving forward to develop a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum that will prepare pharmacists to excel in a changing health care marketplace. A recent interview with Sharon Youmans, PharmD, MPH, our vice dean, lays out our plans. What will be the impact of the new curriculum? Most importantly, how will it affect patients? As we consider the future of pharmacy education and practice, here is a scenario we are working to realize.
Jacobson and Youmans
The UCSF School of Pharmacy’s top-ranked doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum is in the initial stages of its most significant transformation in two decades. Named the UCSF Bridges Pharmacy Curriculum Project, the effort is led by Vice Dean Sharon Youmans, PharmD, MPH, and is currently targeted to launch fully with students entering the program in 2017.
Rice
Concluding a year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of UC San Francisco, the School of Pharmacy presented its own “Making History” event in Byers Auditorium on the Mission Bay campus on May 30, 2015.
Rifkind winners 2015
Studies of pharmacist interventions during comprehensive medication reviews, the impact of new tools to aid drug selection from a hospital formulary, and a project ensuring that hospital patients receiving anti-clotting drugs are properly educated upon discharge took top honors at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy 17th Annual Spring Research Seminar.
Schweitzer with banner
The UCSF School of Pharmacy held its 2015 commencement ceremony on May 8 at Louise Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, conferring doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degrees on a 125-member graduating class.
Dr. Sook Wah Yee and Dr. Andrej Sali have been bestowed with the honor of receiving the Winter 2015 Apple Teaching Award. This recognition is awarded to those faculty members whose student evaluations for the Winter Quarter rank 4.5/5 or higher. Dr. Yee has received this honor four times previously, which demonstrates how highly regarded she is by her students.
Salvadora, Dow, Lee
The annual UCSF School of Pharmacy Student Awards and Recognition Dinner, hosted by Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, and sponsored by Ralph’s Inc., was held on Friday, May 1, 2015, at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus. The event honored dozens of students whose excellence and leadership were recognized at the campus, state, and national levels with scholarships and awards. The following is a brief selection from the evening’s presentations.
Burchard in lab
School faculty member Esteban Burchard, MD, MPH, has been appointed to an expert panel advising the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on how to develop President Barack Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. The $215 million initiative, announced by Obama earlier this year, aims to gather and analyze vast amounts of genetic and other patient data to develop more targeted, personalized therapies for treating disease.
Strategic planning; Top NIH funding; Recently received research funding (Craik, Gartner, Abate, Cole, Aweeka); Recent faculty publications (DeGrado, Ahituv, Cutler, Pon, Branch, Chuang, Huynh); Education (Youmans): UCSF Bridges Pharmacy Curriculum Project, DRIVE Team; new staff (Nguyen, Miller); Honors (Corelli, Dong, Craik, DeGrado, Ferrone, Shin, Jacobson, Yokoyama); New faculty member (Wang); Web launch; Alumni Weekend: Making History event, Distinguished Alumnus of the Year (Schweitzer); Rec
Dear Faculty & Staff, It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of William (Bill) Neely as the department manager and MSO for the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS).
Mugridge
For the 35th consecutive year, the UCSF School of Pharmacy has received more funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than any other pharmacy school in the United States. School researchers were awarded $31.8 million during the 2014 fiscal year, from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014.
Gibson
School of Pharmacy alumnus Robert Gibson, PharmD '58, has been a tireless advocate for equality in education and in the profession of pharmacy, and is still active as a board member of the California Pharmacists Association Education Foundation.