Clinical Pharmacology, Drug Action and Pharmacogenetics

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Investigator: Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH
Sponsor: NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Location(s): United States

Description

Over the last ten years, the world has witnessed unprecedented advances in biomedical research and discovery. We have observed technological miracles including isolation of human embryonic stem cells, completion of the human genome project, generation of new heart valves from stem cells and the discovery of novel genetic risk factors through genome-wide screens. With the rapid development and application of new technologies to biomedical research, enormous progress has been made in understanding basic human biology and disease. In contrast, the translation of this knowledge to the discovery, development and optimal use of pharmacological therapies has been slow. This slow progress can be attributed, in large part, to a severe shortage of well-trained, qualified clinical pharmacology investigators nationally who can fulfill this need for translational research and, paradoxically, a marked contraction of training opportunities within the U.S. At UCSF, we are keenly aware of what has been described as an "overwhelming mandate" to train the next generation of clinical pharmacologist researchers. For the past 30 years, the Clinical Pharmacology Training program at UCSF has consistently produced clinical pharmacologists of the highest caliber. Therefore, our UCSF training program is in an excellent position to "address (this) unfortunate shortage of qualified investigators in the field" by developing a well-trained and diverse contingent of clinical-scientist investigators who will serve as tomorrow's leaders in clinical pharmacology research and practice in academia as well as the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. We recognize the strengths of our faculty and clinical institutions and believe strongly that we are uniquely positioned to fulfill the growing and evolving dynamic needs of adult and pediatric clinical pharmacology through the recruitment of an expanded group of diverse and highly-motivated M.D., Pharm.D. and Ph.D. fellows into our research-intensive Clinical Pharmacology post-doctoral fellowship program. We propose to continue and expand our training program to educate and develop highly qualified researchers in modern clinical pharmacology. These scientists will be leaders in the translation of basic discoveries to clinical research and patient care. Herein, we describe the continuation and expansion of our training program with an emphasis on new developments including new leadership and expanded research and training directions.