2008 News

Wells Notes Need for Academia in Drug Discovery Research and Advocacy

James Wells, PhD, chair, department of pharmaceutical chemistry in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, shares his thoughts on the need for increased public awareness about the ultimate value of science to health and the opportunities now presenting themselves to university scientists to become more involved in the basic science of drug discovery.

Advocates Needed for Basic Science Research

Scientists need to speak out now--as individuals and through advocacy groups--to educate the public about the importance of basic science research and to rally support for more funding, according to an October 3, 2008 editorial in Science.

Predicting Protein Shape: the Next Research Challenge

Understanding protein folding is key to understanding what goes wrong in diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, that result when proteins misfold. UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty members Ken Dill, PhD, and Andrej Sali, PhD, comment on the history of and next steps in protein folding research.  Their thoughts are shared, along with other leading protein scientists, in the August 8, 2008 issue of Science under the title "Problem Solved* (*sort of)".

 

Update from the Dean - Spring/Summer 2008

PharmD Program reaccredited through 2014 and funding problems; Science Squad; Program for Investigation and Training for Careers in Health; Summer Science Camp; Huntington & Schweitzer Fellowship; #1 in NIH funding again; California Poison Control System at risk; tobacco ban legislation; Ambrose in Beijing; New faculty: Galonić Fujimori, Jorgenson, Ashton, Balano, Feigal, Hessol, Greenblatt; Wells succeeds James as chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry; Youmans: appointed Associate D

Top-ranked UCSF School of Pharmacy Challenged to Retain Accreditation under Outdated State Funding Model

Historical underfunding of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, which has been exacerbated by successive California state budget cuts, threatens the School's ability to retain accreditation status of its doctor of pharmacy program, explains the School's dean, Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD.

Shoichet Sheds Light on Enzyme Actions

Through study results of a particular enzyme of unknown function, called Tm0936, that is found in a bacterium that lives in thermal vents in the Mediterranean Ocean, UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Brian Shoichet, PhD and colleagues are shedding light on how to ultimately better predict the actions of enzymes involved in the discovery and development of drugs.

Dill Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Ken Dill, PhD, professor and associate dean of research in the UCSF School of Pharmacy and international expert on theoretical approaches to determining how protein molecules fold, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). With this announcement, made by the Academy on Tuesday, April 29, 2008, Dill becomes the second NAS member of the School. "This election speaks to Ken's brilliance as a scientist," remarked Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, dean of the School.

UCSF School of Pharmacy #1 in Research Funding, 29th Year

For the 29th consecutive year, the UCSF School of Pharmacy ranks first among US pharmacy schools in contract and grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to figures for fiscal year 2007.

UCSF School of Pharmacy Ranks #1

The UCSF School of Pharmacy continues to rank #1 among Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree programs in the United States according to results of a survey conducted in 2007 and published online on March 26, 2008 by U.S. News & World Report.

UCSF School of Pharmacy Sets 5-year Plan in Motion

Strategic Course 2007-2012

Wells to Chair UCSF Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry

James A. Wells, PhD, an internationally recognized biochemist and leader in the development of new technologies for engineering proteins and for identifying small molecules to aid drug discovery, has been named chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the UCSF School of Pharmacy. His appointment is effective July 1, 2008.

Update from the Dean - Fall 2007/Winter 2008

New Strategic Plan: Pressing Ahead in New Directions: Strategic Course 2007-2012, Advancing Health Worldwide, PharmD Student Fee Increase, Honors and Awards: Day, Yokoyama, Ortiz de Montellano, Stroud, Dill, Shane, Vogt, Soller, Chan, Wang, Voigt, Wells. Papers: Sali, Sarino, Dang, Dianat, Djihanian, Natanian, Ambrose, Hudmon, Youmans, Shoichet, Feng. New faculty: Ahituv, Ikediobi, Kreager, Robinson, Shin. New Director of Pharmaceutical Services: Paulsen. In memory: Mizuno.

Use of Amyloid Inhibitors Cautioned

Brian Shoichet, PhD, School of Pharmacy faculty member and Brian Feng, PhD, former staff research associate with the School, and colleagues have discovered that many amyloid inhibitors, which scientists had hoped would keep "sticky" amyloid protein fibers such as those associated with Alzheimer's disease from aggregating in brain tissue, actually clump together themselves.

Sali and Colleagues Advance Understanding of Proteins

School of Pharmacy faculty member and computational biologist Andrej Sali, PhD, and international colleagues have developed new techniques to reveal the architecture of large protein complexes within cells. Their ultimate goal is to see how these complexes interact in real time—however fleeting the encounters. "The better we understand the architecture and interplay of protein communities inside our cells, the better we will understand our biology in health and disease," says Sali.