2010 News

Logic gates allow bacteria to work like computers

Logic gates, similar to those that form the basis of silicon computing, can now be inserted into bacteria via genetic engineering, making it possible to manipulate bacteria to perform complicated tasks. This finding will ultimately enable cells to be programmed with more intricate functions, allowing cells to produce pharmaceuticals, materials, and industrial chemicals. The technique also has potential for application in agriculture.

Paul Ortiz de Montellano named associate dean

Paul Ortiz de Montellano, PhD, is the newly appointed associate dean of research in the UCSF School of Pharmacy. The associate dean of research advises the UCSF School of Pharmacy dean and leaders on research trends, issues, and opportunities and represents the School's research agenda to the campus. Ortiz de Montellano is a professor in the School's Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

Huang receives Packard Fellowship

Bo Huang, PhD, a faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF School of Pharmacy, has received one of 17 prestigious 2010 Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering, which supports "unusually creative professors" early in their careers. Each fellow will receive an unrestricted research grant of $875,000 over five years.

UCSF ranked among the top globally in clinical medicine and pharmacy

UCSF, Harvard University, and Stanford University have been ranked as the top three world universities in the broad subject fields of clinical medicine and pharmacy in the 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), which was released on August 15, 2010, by the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. UCSF has remained among the top three universities in clinical medicine and pharmacy since this ranking category was introduced by ARWU in 2007.

Update from the Dean - Spring/Summer 2010

Fresh UCSF Leadership: Desmond-Hellmann, Bluestone, Plotts, Harel, Moss, Hawgood, Featherstone; Leadership Transitions: Debas, Feachem, Dracup; UCSF Economic Impact Report; UCSF Operations and Budget Cuts: 3 campus work groups, 3 fiscal challenges, $28 million cut; UCSF Physical and Program Plans: Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research; The School in Context; New and Departing Faculty Members: Shu, Brock, Dill; Faculty H

UCSF technology used to trigger cell death becomes basis of company’s cancer therapy research and development

A technology developed in the laboratory of James A. Wells, PhD, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF School of Pharmacy, will drive a new approach to cancer treatment that switches on or triggers, with small molecules, the enzymes called caspases that promote cell death. "Most drug discovery efforts are focused on identifying drugs that inhibit enzyme function," said Wells. "But, interestingly, many cellular enzymes remain dormant until activated.

Fujimori unveils enzymatic process in bacteria that leads to antibiotic resistance

Research results published from the UCSF research laboratory of Danica Galonić Fujimori, PhD, have revealed a radical approach employed by bacteria to alter their ribosomes and thereby evade antibiotics. These findings could ultimately lead to the development of ways to block this enzymatic transformation.

Koda-Kimble named 2010 recipient of Chalmers Educator Award

Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, has been named by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) as the 2010 recipient of the Robert K. Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award. The award will be presented during the 2010 AACP Annual Meeting and Seminars in Seattle, Washington, to be held July 10-14.

Wells wins ASBMB-Merck Award

James Wells, PhD, chair of the UCSF School of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, has been named the 2010 recipient of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Merck Award for his pioneering studies in the field of protein engineering. The award has been given since 1981 and recognizes outstanding contributions to research in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Dill receives UCSF Academic Senate Faculty Research Lectureship

Ken Dill, PhD, an internationally recognized expert on protein folding and UCSF School of Pharmacy associate dean for research, has been named recipient of the 53rd UCSF Academic Senate Research Lectureship for his distinguished contributions to science. Dill's work solved the longtime mystery of the physical mechanism by which proteins adopt their native structures.

Koda-Kimble to receive pharmacy’s highest honor

UCSF School of Pharmacy Dean Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, will receive the 2010 Remington Honor Medal from the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) on March 13, 2010, at APhA's annual meeting in Washington, DC

Update from the Dean - Fall/Winter 2010

Research: 30th anniversary as the nation's top National Institutes of Health-funded pharmacy school, Lightwood, Mandell, Kortemme, Coutsias, Keiser, Shoichet, Irwin, Laggner, Hert, Thomas, Edwards, Voigt, Levskaya, Lim, Weiner, Craik, Darragh, Schneider, Farady, Lou, Marks, Phojanakong, Hann. Faculty honors and awards: Stebbins, Levens Lipton, Benet, Giacomini, Gazzaley, Yee, Hessol, Roy. Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences inaugural forum.

Small Molecule Discovery Center and Genentech partner in drug discovery

UCSF's Small Molecule Discovery Center (SMDC) announced on February 18, 2010 that it has signed its first major industry partnership agreement since the SMDC was founded in 2005. The agreement is with Genentech, Inc. to discover and develop drug candidates for neurodegenerative diseases.

Shoichet Research One of top Breakthroughs for 2009

Wired Science has cited a computational model developed in the UCSF School of Pharmacy under the direction of faculty member Brian Shoichet, PhD, and applied and tested by scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, as one of the Top Scientific Breakthroughs for 2009.