2011 News

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A holy grail of drug discovery is to answer key questions about potential new drugs less by experiments in petri dishes and lab animals and more by faster, cheaper engineering efforts using predictive computer models.
Shuvo Roy, PhD
A two-year-old, cross-disciplinary effort to invent new medical devices for children, co-founded by bioengineer Shuvo Roy, PhD, has received a two-year $1 million grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expand its work.
To reduce the risk of toxic drug interactions, UCSF's Kathy Giacomini, PhD, and colleagues are screening thousands of prescription drugs, testing how much they inhibit key proteins in kidney and liver cells that help clear medications from the body. This is the first large-scale screening of drugs for their potential to inhibit drug transporters—proteins in cell membranes that control the entry and exit of drugs.
Michael Nordberg, MPA/HSA
Michael Nordberg, MPA/HSA, is the newly appointed associate dean of administration and finance for the UCSF School of Pharmacy. He served the position as interim associate dean from July 1, 2009 to September 26, 2011 when he accepted the position full time at the completion of a comprehensive recruitment for the job.
 Passengers who travel on American Airlines from September through October 2011 will learn about the surgically implantable bioartificial kidney being developed at UCSF as a permanent solution to end stage renal disease.
Michael Fischbach, PhD
Michael Fischbach, PhD, who studies drug-like molecules produced by human gut bacteria, has been awarded one the 16 prestigious 2011 Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering. The fellowship, which supports “highly creative professors early in their careers,” provides an unrestricted research grant of $875,000 over five years.
Kathy Giacomini, PhD
Pharmaceutical companies will increasingly apply the predictive modeling of quantitative pharmacology to do more efficient drug development, says Kathy Giacomini, PhD, co-chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, and its new Center for Quantitative Pharmacology.
Adam Abate, PhD
Adam Abate, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, is a prime trial candidate for QB3’s Startup in a Box.
The new UCSF Center for Quantitative Pharmacology housed within the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), a joint department of the Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, will be inaugurated next week with a wide-ranging, 2-day conference, September 22 and 23, 2011 at William J. Rutter Center on UCSF’s Mission Bay campus.
Louis R. Cantilena, Jr., MD, PhD, is the newly appointed course director of the American Course on Drug Development and Regulatory Sciences (ACDRS) effective summer 2011. This two-year certificate program for pharmaceutical industry professionals is presented by the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.
A novel gene associated with the asthma susceptibility in African Americans was revealed by a U.S. consortium of asthma genetics researchers, including Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.
Michael Williams, MA
Michael Williams, MA, is the first executive director of academic, administrative, and research technology for the UCSF School of Pharmacy, effective August 1, 2011.
Faculty awards: Cutler, Fujimori, Huang, Wells. New faculty members: Abate, VanOsdol, Rodondi. Retiring faculty members: Kahl, Shafer, Wang, Kayser, Koo. PharmD students: Campbell, Wheeler, Ho, Lam, Campbell, Loucks, Marotto, Huynh, Luu, Chua, Stephens. PhD students: Gray. New appointments: Penick Brock, Williams. Research update: Giacomini, Uskokovic, Long-Boyle, Cheng, Guglielmo, Phillips, Bero, Kayser, Dennehy, Finley, Burchard, Burlingame, Wells, Jacobson, Fujimori, Renslo, Prusiner.
Mission Bay
The 2nd Annual Bay Area Biotechnology Symposium, presented by the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Industry Outreach Program in coordination with the UCSF Postdoctoral Scholars Association at Mission Bay in late May 2011, fully lived up to its billing: “Pharmaceuticals of the Future: Case Histories and Challenges.”
Faculty members in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, share their research on the human microbiome and microfabricated drug delivery systems and their hopes for how their science will improve the health of patients.
Silicon-based filtration membranes
Shuvo Roy, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, presented initial results of research into a new type of silicon-based kidney filtration membrane at the annual conference of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs in Washington, D.C. on June 10. More: New Kidney Filtration System Could Simplify Dialysis
A study by researchers with the UCSF School of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Pharmacy finds that the Medicaid program is likely paying far more than necessary for medications and not offering patients the most effective ones available.
In fall 2010, a team of 8 school children won multiple awards in the Wisconsin regional and state FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) 2010 Body Forward™ Challenge, an international biomedical engineering competition involving a research project and robot games.
Kathy Giacomini, PhD
Pharmacogenetics expert Kathy Giacomini, PhD, co-chair of the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, is leading the UCSF arm of a research partnership in which her team will profile 2,000 prescription drugs against key molecules in the liver and kidney that are responsible for ferrying those dr
Kathy Giacomini, PhD, co-chair, UCSFDepartment of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, has been named the recipient of the 2011 Scheele Award by the Swedish Academy of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Giacomini is recognized for her work on the pharmacogenetics of membrane transporters and how pharmacogentic differences affect variations in drug response among individuals. The Scheele award goes to prominent scientists in the field of drug research or related disciplines.
Tejal Desai, PhD
Drug delivery research led by UCSF’s Tejal Desai, PhD, will now be supported by an exclusive worldwide license agreement between UCSF and Zcube s.r.l. The agreement focuses on drug delivery micro patches, developed by Desai, which stick to the lining of the intestine where they release their precise medication payloads directly into the intestinal lining and then into the bloodstream.
US$1 billion budget gap, student fee increases likely to continue, Levens Lipton keynote address to CPhA, Nkansah and the Dr.
The bacteria in the human gut that produce antibiotics are the focus of a US$1 million W. M. Keck Foundation grant being led by Michael Fischbach, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy. He explains here the goal of the project: to identify antibiotics produced by gut bacteria and determine how these antibiotics affect the composition of the entire gut bacterial community. Research results could help reveal the causes of and new treatments for: