2009 News

Research directed by senior author James Wells, PhD, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF School of Pharmacy, has opened the door to a new way of studying and better understanding the processes of cell death (apoptosis), blood clotting, and other biochemical pathways.
A computational method developed in the UCSF School of Pharmacy under the direction of faculty member Brian Shoichet, PhD, has the potential to predict new target diseases for existing drugs as well as unexpected side effects of approved drugs.
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The Scientist has cited a UCSF innovation among its top 10 list of tools to hit the life sciences in 2009. In the spotlight is a paper that reveals how to import plant "light switches" into mammalian cells to control complex regulatory processes. The paper appeared in the October 15, 2009 issue of Nature.
Craik
Takeda San Francisco, Inc., announced September 21, 2009 that that it has entered into a sponsored collaboration with UCSF to support antibody-related research in the laboratory of Charles Craik, PhD, faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF School of Pharmacy. Craik will be the principal investigator of the project, which will focus on therapeutic antibody discovery and development to an undisclosed target.
Arkin and Wells
Scientists from the UCSF School of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry have been selected to lead a new federal initiative aimed at developing new classes of drugs to target cancer.
UCSF School of Pharmacy researchers and colleagues have successfully created a mathematical model that genetically programs bacteria and causes the bacteria to "trace" images projected onto them in a petrie dish. The bacteria sense and display the area of the projection where light meets dark by producing a visible black pigment. The result is the "tracing" of a projected picture, from the profile of Alfred Hitchcock to the outline of a five-pointed star.
Assemi
Mitra Assemi, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy associate professor of clinical pharmacy, has been named the School's assistant dean for accreditation and quality, effective September 1, 2009.
Donald Kishi, PharmD, UCSF School of Pharmacy health sciences clinical professor of pharmacy, has been named the School's associate dean of student and curricular affairs by Dean Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD. The appointment was effective September 1, 2009.
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A team of scientists from UCSF and colleagues have identified a new potential drug target for the herpes virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma. Their research reopens the possibility of using a class of drugs called protease inhibitors, against diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer's Disease. This research was published online in Nature Chemical Biology, July 26, 2009. The lead author is Tina Shahian, UCSF Graduate Group in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
New chancellor: Desmond-Hellman; budget update: 4% to 10% salary cuts via furloughs, possibly to be renewed; risk of poison control system closure; new Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences; faculty honors and awards: Burchard, Peck, Desai, Roy, Bero, MacDougall, Hessol, Phillips, Tsourounis, Apollonio, Wells, Fujimori. Appointments: Babbitt, Sali, Wells, Benowitz.
petri dish
Synthetic biologist and UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Christopher Voigt, PhD, and Jeffrey Tabor, a postdoctoral scholar in Voigt's laboratory, discuss the field and promise of synthetic biology in this July 21, 2009 KQED television segment. Video: QUEST on KQED Public Media. Source: QUEST: Decoding Synthetic Biology
UCSF School of Pharmacy Dean Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD (image left), and Marilyn Speedie, PhD (image right), dean of the College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, are advocating for immediate changes in how doctor of pharmacy programs are accredited in the United States.
A team of scientists, who were led by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Frances Brodsky, DPhil, have found in humans a protein responsible for glucose metabolism that is not present in mice.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, pioneering cancer researcher and biotechnology industry executive who most recently served as president of product development for the biotechnology company, Genentech, Inc., was named chancellor of UCSF on May 7, 2009 by the University of California Board of Regents and on the recommendation of UC President Mark G. Yudof, LLB. The appointment takes effect August 3, 2009. "Dr.
BTS Science Collage
The UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, which is UCSF's first department administered jointly by two schools, was announced today to the campus community by UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, MD. "Creation of this joint department was a notable achievement in the history of UCSF, and a tribute to the collaborative spirit that we value so highly," stated Bishop.
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A chemical precursor molecule of gasoline can be produced from biomass and salt, according to research by UCSF School of Pharmacy's Christopher Voigt, PhD, and UCSF colleagues. In this case, the precursor is methyl halide, and the gasoline derived from it through catalytic conversion is chemically indistinguishable from that produced from petroleum and would not require new vehicle engines, according to Voigt.
Andrej Sali, PhD
Andrej Sali, PhD, faculty member and vice chair, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), UCSF Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy has been appointed director of the UCSF arm of the University of California's California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), according to a UCSF announcement made April 9, 2009.
The UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty and its UCSF faculty colleagues are being aided by the campus in their requests for funds provided to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The act, which was signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009, allocates US$10.4 billion to the NIH of the total US$787 billion in federal economic stimulus funding.
Dire financial times, budget tightens. San Diego satellite program to end. Honors and Awards: Benet, Giacomini, Kroetz, Winter, Day, Yokoyama, Soller, Vogt, Wang, Saraiya, Elmore, Clemens, Rocklin, Heller. New associate deans Santi and Kayser. New faculty: Gartner, Roy. Pharmacogenomics: Phillips, Ikediobi, Shin. UCSF Medical Center collaborations, Paulson. In the news: Bero, Rising, Bacchetti, Wells, Woolley. Ranked #1 again by U.S. News and World Report.
Two new associate dean positions have been created in the UCSF School of Pharmacy to expand the School's partnerships with industry and extend its work globally.