COP Research Faculty & Projects
2012-2013

Linda Banares, PharmD, BCACP, RPh

Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences

Cardiovascular

  • Anticoagulation therapy, using the large database of patients on warfarin therapy managed at San Francisco General Hospital by clinical pharmacists for over 20 years.
  • Anemia management with erythropoietin stimulating agents in a pharmacist-run anemia clinic for patients with chronic kidney disease.
  • Curriculum assessment for the P2 review course through survey tools and APPE performance.

Nathalie Bergeron, RDt, PhD

Professor, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

 

Atherogenic Dyslipidemia, Diabetes, Metabolism

 

Dietary intervention trials aimed at assessing how diet affects lipoprotein metabolism and kinetics in both healthy individuals and those at increased risk for coronary heart disease.   Sample projects include:

 

  • Impact of low-fat high-carbohydrate vs. high-fat low-carbohydrate diets on plasma lipids, insulin sensitivity and biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk
  • Effects of carbohydrate quality (e.g. resistant vs. rapidly digested starches) on lipid and glucose metabolism
  • Dietary intervention trial aimed at assessing whether modification of the “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” (DASH) diet by substituting carbohydrate with fatwill result in improvements in multiple biomarkers of CVD risk. Specifically we will determine whether a reduced carbohydrate DASH dietary pattern will:
    • reduce total/HDL-C, apolipoprotein B, and small LDL particles; and increase HDL-C, apoAI, and large HDL particles.
    • reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure to levels comparable to those achieved with the standard DASH diet.
    • improve markers of insulin resistance and inflammation.  
  • Clinical trial investigating the effects of both saturated fat intake and food source of protein (red meat, white meat and non-meat)on lipid, lipoprotein, and other biomarkers of CVD risk.
    • The main hypothesis to be tested in this 5 year trial in 180 men and women is that increases in atherogenic lipoprotein indices induced by dietary saturated fat are significantly greater for diets in which the main source of protein is red meat than for diets with similar total protein content derived from white meat or non meat protein sources.

William Dager, PharmD, BCPS, RPh

Professor, Clinical Sciences

Cardiovascular

  • Improved use of anticoagulation therapy and approaches to reversing the agents.
    • Response of Vitamin K to reverse warfarin, depending on the route, initial INR, and home warfarin dose.
    • Reversing dabigatran and bivalirudin in life threatening bleeding events.
    • Reversing oral anticoagulants with prothrombin complex concentrates.
  • A nephrological model for assessing drug elimination in the setting of hemodialysis.
  • Use of anticoagulants in kidney failure or hemodialysis.

Jeremiah Duby, PharmD, RPh

Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences

Infectious Diseases

  • Pharmacist activities in the ICU - An analysis of the costs and consequences of interventions
    • Deliver advanced, evidence-based pharmacotherapy.
  • Alcohol withdrawal syndrome, atrial fibrillation, hypoglycemia, and pharmacokinetics in burn, trauma, and medical ICU populations
  • Ongoing research interests
    • Opioid conversion in acute care
    • Impact of delayed initiation of erythropoietin in critically ill patients
    • Survey of nurse administration of phenytoin through enteral feeding tubes concomitantly with enteral nutrition.

Michael Ellerby, PhD

Professor & Chair, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease

  • Small Polar Solvents and Lifespan Extension
    • Studies to elucidate the mechanism of DMSO-induced lifespan extension in C. elegans.
  • Dependence Receptors in Alzheimer’s Disease and Cancer
    • Nicotine can delay the cell death of differentiated SH-SY5Y (neuroblastoma) cells induced by nerve growth factor (NGF) withdrawal, through nicotine’s binding to theα-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.
    • Understanding the role of α-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor as a dependence receptor.
    • Studying use of α-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists to treat AD,
    • Studying α-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the growth of certain cancers, including neuroblastoma and mesothelioma.

Cancer – Oncology

  • Drug Design for Cancer and Arthritis
  • Targeted Blood Vessel Elimination using Hunter-Killer Peptides (HKPs)
    • Cancer - HKPs have strong anti-tumor activity in models of breast and prostate cancer.
    • Arthritis - HKPs targeted to the synovial vasculature have strong anti-inflammatory effects in a mouse model of arthritis (collagen-induced).
    • Obesity - HKPs targeted to the normal blood vessels that feed fat deposits decrease obesity in a transgenic mouse model of obesity.
    • Organ Reduction - HKPs targeted to normal prostate vasculature reduce the size of the prostate gland, and have a strong anticancer effect in the transgenic mouse model of prostate carcinoma (TRAMP).
  • Targeted B-cell deletion for arthritis and autoimmune disease
    • Drug design consists of B cell antigen, or modified antigen, and a toxin (diphtheria A chain).

Infectious Diseases

  • Developing a drug to allow passive heterologous immunization to treat infectious disease
    • Designed a drug to treat the Type III hypersensitivity reaction known as immune complex disease (ICD; commonly known as ‘serum sickness’)
    • Thereby allow the safe use of heterologous passive immunization(e.g. equine antibodies) to treat infectious diseases that seriously impact the developing world, including malaria, West Nile, Dengue Fever, as well as Trachoma, Buruli ulcer, etc.
      • The drug targets and kills only those B-cells programmed to make antibodies to the heterologous IgG antibodies being employed in passive immunization
      • It leaves all other B-cells, and indeed all other cells, unharmed.

David Evans, BSc Pharmacy, PhD

Professor, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Infectious Diseases

  • Pathogenesis of bacterial ocular infections, namely infectious keratitis (corneal infection) that is most commonly associated with contact lens-wear.
  • Bacterial and host factors that participate in P. aeruginosa corneal infection
    • The role of bacterial adherence, invasion, and cytotoxicity towards corneal epithelial cells.
    • The role of the P. aeruginosa Type-III secretion system and its effectors in these processes.
  • Host innate immune responses towards bacteria at initiation of infection, e.g. the role of the tear film and corneal epithelial antimicrobial and immunomodulatory defenses in normally protecting the eye from infection and excessive inflammation.

Susan Heimer, PhD

Assistant Professor, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Infectious Diseases

  • How microbial pathogens colonize and penetrate the mucosal barriers of the body
  • To what extent can healthy mucosal surfaces be perturbed without compromising their barrier function
  • How do dry eye conditions (or keratoconjunctivitis sicca) influences susceptibility to bacterial infections
    • How does low tear volume and subtle changes in the properties of the epithelial layer correlate with bacterial colonization (P. aeruginosa ) in an established model of dry eye?
    • Identify key changes that occur in mucosal surfaces or mucosal secretions that precede colonization with certain types of opportunistic pathogens.        

Robert J. Ignoffo, PharmD, BCCP, RPh

Professor, Clinical Sciences

Cancer – Oncology

  • Anticancer Drug Therapeutics, specifically pharmacotherapy of Colon & GYN cancers, Pharmacokinetics, and Symptom Management (anti-emetics), and patient outcomes.
  • Scholarship of teaching, especially the use of interactive technology and its impact on student performance in the clinical setting.

Eric Ip, PharmD, BCPS, CSCS, CDE

Associate Professor, Clinical Sciences

Substance Abuse

  • Sports medicine and substance abuse
    • National study regarding the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) and non-AAS medications/supplements in sports medicine.
  • Driving Performance Studies
    • Effects of prescription/OTC medications, and hands-free cell phone use on reaction time and driving tests
  • Illicit Drug Use in Healthcare Professional Students and Healthcare Providers
    • Survey of illicit drug use, psychiatric traits, and stress levels

Diabetes – Metabolism

  • Clinical and economic impact of adding a clinical pharmacist to the Primary Care Team in diabetes management.  

Kevin Ita, MSc Pharm, PhD

Assistant Professor, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Cardiovascular

  • Investigate technologies for transdermal drug delivery of cardiovascular and other agents.
    • Use novel microneedles to deliver hydrophilic and lipophilic drugs including β-blocking agents such as atenolol, bisoprolol and metoprolol.

Daniel Keppler, PhD

Associate Professor, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Aging and Cancer

  • Role of Cystatin SN (Cst-1) in cellular senescence
    • Determine the potential use of Cst-1 as a novel marker of cellular senescence in proliferative diseases of the thyroid gland.
    • Dissect and define the function of Cst-1 in cellular homeostasis.
    • Define to what extent inhibition of peri- or intra-cellular proteases is responsible for Cst-1’s biological function(s).

Cancer – Oncology

  • Role of Cystatin E/M (Cst-6) in tumor suppression
    • Dissect and define the function of Cst-6 in breast cancer cells:
      • Role in mitogenic signaling and cell-cycle progression
      • Role in tumor cell migration and extracellular matrix invasion
    • Determine the role of Cst-6 in breast tumor-induced angiogenesis
      • Role in endothelial cell proliferation and ‘neovessel’ formation in vitro
      • Role in breast tumor angiogenesis in vivo

Katherine Knapp, PhD

Professor, Social, Behavioral & Administrative Sciences

Health Policy – Epidemiology

  • Examine the balance between supply and demand for pharmacists
    • New schools that have been opening as well a gender shift toward a more female workforce are important variables for the future balance or imbalance of the workforce.
    • New clinical and management roles for pharmacists are clarifying the contribution of pharmacy to health care outcomes.

Tristan Lindfelt, Pharm, D BCPS, BCACP

Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences

Health Policy – Epidemiology

  • Stress Coping, Lifestyle, Drug Use in Pharmacy Faculty Survey

Pharmacogenomics

  • Pharmacogenetics of adiponectin and antipsychotics
  • Pharmacogenetics of under-served patients on therapy with second generation antipsychotics
  • Characterization of metabolic syndrome

Shengquan Liu, PhD

Assistant Professor, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Cancer – Oncology

  • Design, synthesis, and pharmacological evaluation of SHetA2 analogs as novel anti-cancer agents.
    • SHetA2 analogs which induce the apoptosis of cancer cells while sparing normal cells.
    • More potent and less toxic anti-cancer agents than SHetA2 analogs. 

Ingrid Lopes, DO, OM

Associate Professor, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Education

  • Promote development and analyze interprofessional education (IPE) in professional health education
    • Assess collaborative benefits through IPE OSCEs and academic (clinical) competitions.
    • Develop Student Run Health Clinics
      • Measure the effect of osteopathy and nutrition education on hypertension, as administered at a student run clinic. 

Kajua Lor, PharmD

Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences

Health Policy – Epidemiology

  • Exploring how to increase pharmacy student learning about different cultures
    • Evaluate professional skill development focused on communication in difficult patient scenarios (i.e. “hurried” patient, “angry” patient, working with interpreters, etc.) and interdisciplinary professional involvement.
  • Establish a feasible and viable model for clinical pharmacy services at federally qualified health care (FQHC) centers
    • Evaluate the pharmacy’s role in improving chronic disease management, especially diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, asthma, and congestive heart failure.
  • Use of motivational interviewing and the Transtheoretical Model of Health Behavior Change to improve medication adherence and adaptation to therapeutic lifestyle changes (especially with tobacco cessation).
  • Explore pharmacist involvement in the Health Care Home model
  • Investigate Hmong herbal medicinal use and preservation of its use for the future Hmong generations

Maggie Louie, PhD

Associate Professor, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

 Cancer – Oncology

  • Development and progression of hormone refractory breast cancer
    • Breast cancer which begins as estrogen responsive may develop into an estrogen non-responsive cancer.
    • Determine role of ER in development of more aggressive, hormone independent phenotype.
  • Role of heavy metals (e.g. Cadmium) in the development and progression of breast cancer.

Debbie Lu, PharmD, MPH, RPh

Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences

Health Policy – Epidemiology

  • Providing Medication Therapy Management to the underserved elderly population with limited health literacy at LifeLong Medical Care (Oakland, CA)
    • Improve medication adherence to assist in clinical outcomes improvement in this population.
    • Investigate effects of educational interventions and improve communication strategies by multi-disciplinary staff in community health clinics who utilize patient-centered model.
  • How does organization and staffing of community health clinics facilitate or impede successful implementation of behavioral evidence-based interventions for this population.

David T. Madden, PhD

Assistant Professor, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease

  • Identifying signaling pathways in hESCs that relay suboptimal conditions and induce apoptosis.
    • Identifying changes in the environment that would alleviate apoptosis.
    • Developing pharmacological interventions that prevent apoptosis in hESCs.

Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology

  • Signaling pathways in hESCs that relay suboptimal growth conditions or environments to the cell
    • Causes of stem cell apoptosis.
    • Environmental changes that would alleviate apoptosis.
    • Pharmacological interventions that prevent apoptosis.

Alison McCormick, PhD

Professor, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Cancer – Oncology

  • Pre-clinical cancer research, especially in vaccine development
  • Safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine in phase I clinical trials
    • 16 human follicular B cell (non-Hodgkin’s) lymphoma patients (McCormick et al. PNAS July 22, 2008).
  • Development and commercialization of particulate antigen carrier vaccines.
    • Direct interaction of Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) particulate antigens with the immune cell compartment.
    • Is encapsidated RNA vaccine sufficiently potent to suppress tumor growth in two mouse models of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma?
    • Utility of TMV particle vaccines in prime boost strategies with other common vaccine agents such as adenovirus.
    • Use of TMV as a carrier for infectious disease antigens.
  • Building a novel RNA Virus for Vaccine Use
    • Create a new RNA virus vaccine using a novel self-assembling nanoparticle packaging method, designed to overcome safety, cost and other limitations that slow vaccine development.
      • RNA virus based vaccines are safer than DNA virus vaccines because they can’t integrate into the host genome.
      • RNA based virus vaccines are still limited by cell-based capsid packaging methods that are costly and limit vaccine boosting.
      • Self-assembling vaccines can be made with improved safety, stability, and at very low cost, simply by mixing RNA and coat protein together.
    • Specific Aims
      • Modify the insect Flock House Virus RNA genome (not a mammalian pathogen) with a non-native capsid origin of assembly and confirm in vitro particle formation.
      • Insert a foreign reporter transgene under the control of a virus promoter and evaluate the protein accumulation in cells.
      • Combine the transgene expression and nanoparticle self-assembly, and confirm that both are functional.

Karl Meszaros, MD, PhD

Professor, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Education

  • Design and evaluation of new educational tools
    • Use of the Triple Jump Examination (TJE) as a benchmark PharmD examination.
    • Interprofessional education (IPE) to enhance the quality of therapy management and eliminate common medical errors.

 Metabolic diseases

  • Carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in diabetes and obesity

Paul Perry, MS Pharm, PhD

Professor & Chair, Clinical Sciences

  • Psychopharmacology
  • Clinical psychopharmacology
    • Pharmacokinetic dosing of psychotropic drugs including mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics.
    • Pharmacogenetics of these agents.
    • Pharmaco-epidemiology studies that have investigated prescribing patterns and adverse effects being purportedly caused by psychotropic drugs.

Vanishree Rajagopalan, PhD

Assistant Professor, Biological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Cancer – Oncology

  • Can Hunter Killer Peptides (HKPs) kill CD13 positive B-cell leukemia cells?
    • Phenotyping CD13 positive B-cell leukemia cell lines using flow cytometry.
    • Study the apoptotic potential of Hunter Killer Peptides in the selected CD13 positive cell lines.
  • Screening of novel SHetA2 analogs as novel (cytotoxic) anti-cancer agents in prostate cancer cell lines.

Bijal Shah, BS Pharm, PhD

Associate Professor, Social, Behavioral & Administrative Sciences

Health Policy – Epidemiology

  • Utilize pharmacoeconomics and pharmacoepidemiology to analyze the impact of medication use on society.
    • Interests include pharmacoeconomics, health outcomes analysis, policy analysis, secondary database analysis, and quality-of-life issues.
  • Study medication use issues in the elderly patient population.
    • Impact of Medication Therapy Management Programs administered by pharmacists for patients enrolled in Medicare Part D.
    • “Inappropriate Medication Use in a national sample of Medicare Patients.” I
    • Impact of the Medicare Part D coverage gap on medication utilization and costs.      
  • Examine the clinical and economic impact of Pharmacist care for patients with Diabetes Mellitus.

Patricia Shane, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor, Social, Behavioral & Administrative Sciences

Health Policy – Epidemiology

  • Strategic planning, capacity building, assessment and improvement of health and social service related infrastructure and outcomes. 
    • Emphasis on improving service utilization and access for vulnerable populations.
    • Evaluation of multi-site treatment intervention and outcome studies, health policy linked to treatment efficacy.
    • Measurement issues for evaluating systems of care and organizational change. 
    • Investigate effects of patient activation interventions to improve communication strategies and outcomes for patients with chronic disease who are served in community health clinics
    • Impact of health disparities and health literacy on medication adherence
  • Substance abuse, mental health, health system performance benchmarks, homelessness, high risk adolescent health, and development of surveillance.
    • Monitoring for key health status indicators. 
    • Measuring change in health and bio-psycho-social outcomes for community dwelling high risk populations.
  • Interprofessional education, policy to practice issues, and public health pharmacy.

Terrill Tang, PharmD, BCPS, RPh

Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences

Cardiovascular

  • Cardiology and critical care, with emphasis in cardiovascular pharmacology and assessment of adherence to established clinical practice guidelines.
  • Infectious disease and antimicrobial stewardship, community outreach through service learning, and patient safety initiatives within the acute care setting.

Junhua Yu, PhD

Assistant Professor, Social, Behavioral & Administrative Sciences

Health Policy – Epidemiology

  • Pharmacoeoncomics and health economics modeling, retrospective database analysis, and development of quality of life instruments in the therapeutic areas of diabetes, hypertension, chronic pain, eye disorder, renal cell carcinoma and migraine.
  • Patterns of medication use and other health care services through the use of claims databases and electronic medical records.
  • Identify opportunities for cost control and quality improvement in the health care systems
    • Economic modeling of cost effectiveness of pharmacists’ role in diabetes treatment.
    • Impact of expansion of pharmacy benefit managers on demand for pharmacists.
    • Apply Game theory to pharmacy benefit managers to provide insights to the generic vs. brand prescription volume.
    • Pharmacist Provided Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Services: the prevalence of brand to generic switch and vice versa.