Clinical Pharmacology, Drug Action and Pharmacogenetics

Investigator: Neal L. Benowitz, MD
Sponsor: NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Location(s): United States


Advancing knowledge about and the quality of therapeutics creates a need for individuals who conduct their research at the interface between basic science and bedside therapeutics. The training program in Clinical Pharmacology at UCSF is designed to produce men and women with the skills and knowledge required to meet this need. All trainees in the program are at the postdoctoral level - predominately holders of an M.D. degree, with an occasional Ph.D. or Pharm. D. Through clinical and research conferences, as well as didactic courses, the trainees learn fundamental concepts and applications of several fields that relate directly to the effectiveness and toxicity of drugs in humans, including drug-receptor interactions, the complex relation of dose to response in intact humans or animals, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics; genetic influences on drug responses, interpretation of drug concentrations in biological fluids, drug testing and clinical trials, pharmacoeconomics and drug formulary issues. These organized learning activities occupy approximately 15-20 percent of the trainees' time. The remaining 80-85 percent of the trainees' efforts are devoted to developing new knowledge in one or more of these fields, under the supervision of a primary research mentor. The mentors are drawn from a pool of 25 faculty members in the Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco. These faculty members conduct independent research in basic science and/or clinical areas, ranging from the study of molecular mechanisms of drug action in cells or subcellular organelles, through pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics in animals and man to investigations of drug actions and clinical drug trials in patients. A special emphasis area of our research training is pharmacogenetics. A list of the core faculty follows. A complete list of the UCSF training program faculty can be found in the Appendix, Table 2.