UCSF professor receives Pharmaceutical Scientist of the Year Award

Kathleen M. Giacomini, PhD, an expert on how the body absorbs and eliminates drugs and other compounds, has received one of the highest honors in the field of pharmaceutical science, the 1999 Pharmaceutical Scientist of the Year Award given by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP).

The award, presented September 6 at the organization's annual meeting in Barcelona, Spain, honors Giacomini for her leading role in the field of drug transporters. The federation recognized both her pioneering research to understand molecular mechanisms in the body and the impact of this research on new techniques to improve drugs and drug delivery.

Giacomini, professor and chair of biopharmaceutical sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, is the first woman to receive the society's high honor.

She also serves as professor of pharmaceutical chemistry and molecular and cellular pharmacology at UCSF.

"No one could be more deserving of this recognition than Kathleen," said Mary Anne Koda Kimble, PharmD, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy. "For nearly 20 years, she has led the effort to understand how the body handles drugs and other molecules critical to drug development and to human health. The FIP award is neither the first, nor will it be the last, of the honors that will come her way. We are very proud of her."

Giacomini is internationally recognized for studies of membrane transporters, proteins which allow drugs and other substances to be absorbed and eliminated by the body. Her research group at UCSF has clarified the active processes by which the body transports drugs and important natural compounds. The group was the first to clone and describe the function of a key type of human transporter that plays a major role in the movement of organic substances in the human liver and which may also serve a similar function in the kidney. The cloning success sets the stage for understanding the molecular mechanisms of this kind of transp

Contact: Wallave Ravven
University of California - San Francisco

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