News Archive

2016 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004


December 2016

Roger Tsien Lab was featured in "Merry Microscopy and A Happy New Technique"

Kun-Liang Guan, PhD was featured in "Study Reveals New Role for Hippo Pathway in Suppressing Cancer Immunity"

Tracy Handel, PhD was featured in "Researchers Reveal 3D Structure of Cell's Inflammation Sensor and its Inhibitors" and Nature.

November 2016

Tannishtha Reya, PhD was featured in "Antibody Breaks Leukemia's Hold, Providing New Therpeutic Approach" and Cancer Cell.

October 2016

Palmer Taylor, PhD will be honored as a Revelle Medal recipient at the UC San Diego Founders Celebration. TheRevelle Medal is the highest honor given by the Chancellor to a current or former faculty member for sustained, distinguished, and extraordinary service to UC San Diego.  

August 2016

Andy McCammon, PhD was awarded the Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry.  This prize, from the University of Wisconsin, is the highest university-based award in theoretical chemistry; four previous winners have won the Nobel Prize. 

May 10, 2016

"Genetic Variations that Boost PKC Enzyme Contribute to Alzheimer's Disease" features  Alexandra Newton, PhD. and published in Science Signaling.

Feb 25, 2016

"Molecular "Brake" Prevents Excessive Inflammation: Protein p62 keeps macrophages in check"
features Michael Karin, PhD. and published in Cell

Feb 1, 2016

UC San Diego Researchers Cited Among "World's Most Influential Scientific Minds"
features Kun-Liang Guan, PhD, Michael Karin, PhD and Roger Tsien, PhD.


July 1, 2014

Jack Dixon has been selected as the recipient of the ASBMB - The Earl and Thressa Stadtman Distinguished Scientist Award
Congratulations, Jack!

June 30, 2014

JoAnn Trejohas been selected as the recipient of the ASBMB Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award. Congratulations, JoAnn!

June 4, 2014

Congratulations to the Pharmacology Department Retreat Poster Winners.:

Best Graduate Student Posters

Corina Antal - Newton Lab
Lindy Jiang - Yang Lab
Bailey Miller - Gerwick/Hook Lab

Best Postdoc Posters

Michael Dores - Trejo Lab
Clare Puddifoot - Joiner Lab

May 1, 2014

Our former graduate student,Ryan Hibbs, is one of six winners of the McKnight Scholar Award for 2014, a very prestigious award for young neuroscientists.

April 4, 2014

Nora Laike is selected as recipient of the 2013 – 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award for Non-Senate Members. Congratulations, Nora!


July 26, 2013

Palmer Taylor has been Awarded France's Legion of Honour Award

March 22, 2013

Susan Taylor has been awarded the Biochemical Society 2014 Centenary Award. The Biochemical Society, based in London, recognizes scientists for excellence and the profound implications that their work has for the research community and wider society.


December 14, 2012

Holiday Party Karaoke!
Yakkety Yak
Sweet Caroline

September 21, 2012

Pharmacology Thesis Award Winners Announced:
Mark Eckert (Yang Lab)
Noel Warfel (Newton Lab)
Congratulations to two terrific students and their most capable mentors!

April 23, 2012

Jack Dixon named Royal Society Fellow


October 17, 2011
Michael Karin elected as new member of Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences

May 26, 2011
Congratulations to the following Poster Winners at the Pharmacology Retreat!
Loren Brown
Graduate Student, Insel Lab
Meghan Miller
Graduate Student, P. Taylor Lab
Sunny Yang Xiang
Postdoc, Heller Brown Lab
David Lu
Graduate Student, Insel Lab
Karen Tumaneng
Graduate Student, Guan Lab

May 4, 2011
J. Andrew McCammon elected into the National Academy of Sciences

March 14, 2011
Research from the group of Jing Yang provides a new twist on tumor metastasis inCancer Cell

Funding Fest 2011 starts May 5th!

April 5, 2011
Roger Tsien Modifies plant protein to provide a way to see the previously unseen in Public Library of Science (PLoS).

February 18, 2011
UC San Diego School of Medicine now ranks ninth in the country for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Pharmacology ranked #2 in the basic sciences rankings.
(We would be #1 except that the University of Pennsylvania's Pharmacology ranking includes a $12M CTSA or Clinical and Translational Research Award.)

February 16, 2011
Michael Karin Identifies Key Culprit in Breast Cancer Metastasis in Nature.

February 15, 2011
UC San Diego School of Medicine now ranks ninth in the country for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Pharmacology ranked #2 in the basic sciences rankings.
(We would be #1 except that the University of Pennsylvania's Pharmacology ranking includes a $12M CTSA or Clinical and Translational Research Award.)

February 11, 2011
Time Magazine, features Roger Tsien, PhD and Quyen Nguyen, MD, PhD
Light It Up Baby: Glow-in-the-Dark Surgery in the Works”
See also The Daily Mail, The San Diego Union Tribune, Drug Discovery & Development, KPBS, TGDaily, Spoonful of Medicine, and India Report 

February 8, 2011
Research by Melvin Simon, PhD and Sang-Kyou Han may help end itching caused by meds: The Hitch In The Drug? The Itch In The Drug

January 11, 2011
Drs. Philip Bourne and Kun-Liang Guan
elected as AAAS Fellows


Septembert 8, 2010
Michael Karin wins Harvey Prize!

May 03, 2010
Congratulations to Jack Dixon for being elected to the American Philosophical Society!

April 30, 2010

Kun-Liang Guan receives CIRM Award of $1.3 Million to Help Answer Fundamental Questions in Stem Cell Biology

April 23, 2010
Congratulations to the following Award Winners at the EB Meeting in Anaheim:

First Prize, Postdoctoral Fellow Abstract Award, ASPET Molecular Pharmacology Division, Aaron Snead (Insel Lab)
First Prize, Graduate Student Poster Competition Award, ASPET Molecular Pharmacology Division, Alyssa Wu-Zhang (Newton Lab)
First Prize, Graduate Student Poster Competition Award, ASPET Neuropharmacology Division, Meghan Miller (P. Taylor Lab)

March 10, 2010
Dr. Michael Karin is featured in 2 articles about hormone resistant prostate tumors
-US News and World Reports

March 5, 2010
Dr. Michael Karin (with Mark Ellisman) has a new high profile paper published in, and featured on the cover of, Science showing that sestrin, a protein whose expression is turned on by stress, delays the onset of age-related pathologies.
-Sestrin as a Feedback Inhibitor of TOR That Prevents Age-Related Pathologies

Dr. Susan Taylor Elected to National Academy of Sciences Governing Council

March 1, 2010
Roger Tsien
is featured in Technology Review
Multipurpose molecule for cancer surgery

February 19, 2010
Dr. Kun-Liang Guan and collaborators have discovered and published in Science that widespread acetylation of metabolic enzymes, suggesting that this protein modification may be as important as phosphorylation in controlling cell function.
-Regulation of Cellular Metabolism by Protein Lysine Acetylation
-Acetylation of Metabolic Enzymes Coordiantes Carbon Source Utilization and Metabolic Flux


December 9, 2009
Congratulations James Halpert on receiving the prestigious Bernard B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism for 2010

November 3, 2009
Susan Taylor was awarded the FASEB 2010 Excellence in Science Award

October 16, 2009

Susan Taylor awarded Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science

September 24, 2009
Sylvia Evans receives a 2009 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award Program

September 18, 2009
J. Craig Venter receives the 2008 National Medal of Science - President Obama Honors Nation's Top Scientists and Innovators

July, 2009
Congratulations Shigeki Miyamoto on receiving the Outstanding Early-Career Investigator Award at the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Conference 2009

July 9, 2009
Congratulations to Matthew Buczynski (Ed Dennis Lab) and Ben Sachs (Katerina Akassoglou Lab) on winning the 2008-2009 Roland K. Robins Pharmacology Dissertation Award!

June 8, 2009
Susan Taylor receives the 2010 Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Excellence in Science Award.

June 5, 2009
CIRM UCSD Stem Cell Training Grant II call for applications for the 2009-2010 year

May 15, 2009
Dr. Nora Laiken
was once again chosen by the Freshman Class to receive the Kaiser Award for Excellence in Teaching. Congratulations, Nora!

May 7, 2009
“Expression of Infrared Fluroescence Engineered in Mammals”
(Roger Tsien, PhD; Xiaokun Shu, PhD)
The Scientist


April 27, 2009
Open Access Advocate Philip E. Bourne to Receive 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award

April 23, 2009
Illuminating Surgery"
The Economist features Roger Tsien, PhD and Quyen Nguyen, MD, PhD

April 22, 2009

Instead of Fighting Breast Cancer, Immune Cell Promotes Its Spread
(Michael Karin, PhD; Wei Tan, PhD)
Science Centric

April 17, 2009 - EB Meeting in New Orleans
Palmer Taylor received the 2009 Axelrod Award
Paul Insel received Astellas Award
Joan Heller Brown received the Lucchesi Award and PhRMA Award in Excellence.

Other departmental award recipients include:
Fiona Murray, PhD, post-doctoral fellow, Insel lab
Molecular Pharmacology Division Award for Best Post-Doctoral Abstract
Steven Fuhs, PhD student, Insel lab
Clinical Pharmacology, Pharmacogenics and Translational Medicine Division Award for Best Graduate Student Abstract (2nd place Winner)
Anja Zahno, Visiting Scholar, Insel lab
Clinical Pharmacology, Pharmacogenomics and Translational Medicine Division Award for Best Graduate Student Abstract
Yousuke Horikawa, MD/PhD student, Insel lab
Cardiovascular Medicine Division Award for Best Graduate Student Abstract
Ákos Nemecz, PhD student, P.Taylor lab
2nd place in the best abstract competition in the Molecular Pharmacology Division for ASPET

Travel Awards to the meeting were also given to Meghan Miller, Fiona Murray, Steven Fuhs and Anja Zahno

April 13, 2009
"Reversing Effects of Altered Enzyme May Fight Brain Tumor Growth"
(Kun-Liang Guan, PhD)


December 18, 2008
Susan S. Taylor named AAAS Fellow

December 1, 2008

2008 Nobel Prize Recipient, Roger Tsien, visits the White House

December 1, 2008
Paul Insel and Colleagues Identify Potential New Drug Target for Chronic Leukemia

November 17, 2008
NIH Director's Pioneer Award and NIH Director's New Innovator Award proposal submission starts now.
Proposal submission period for Pioneer Award starts November 17 and New Innovator Award submission starts December 15, 2008.
NIH Pioneer Award Overview
NIH New Innovator Award Overview
Application Flyer

November 14, 2008

Joan Heller Brown Awarded t
he Benedict R. Lucchesi Award in Cardiac Pharmacology, which was established to honor Dr. Lucchesi’s lifelong scientific contributions to our better understanding and appreciation of pharmacological treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease and for his mentoring of countless prominent functional (in vivo) cardiovascular pharmacologists.

November 11, 2008
Important New Findings by McCammon Lab

Discovery of drug-like inhibitors of an essential RNA-editing ligase in Trypanosoma brucei
PNAS 11/11/08, Vol. 105, No 45, 17278 - 17283

November 06, 2008
Ed Dennis receives Yale Alumnus Award

November 1, 2008
Palmer Taylor Awarded 2009 Axelrod Award in Pharmacology

October 19, 2008
Tony Yaksh, Professor in Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, received the 2008 John J. Bonica Distinguished Lecture Award

October 12, 2008

NIH Awards $38 Million Grant Renewal to UC San Diego for Lipid Mapping Project
Visit the LIPIDS MAPS web site:

October 8, 2008
UCSD Professor Roger Tsien Shares Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Read More


Nov 6, 2007
Karin Lab
UCSD Researchers Discover Inflammation, Not Obesity, Cause of Insulin Resistance
Read more  |  

September 20, 2007
S. Taylor Lab
UCSD Study Reveals the Regulatory Mechanism of Key Enzyme. Protein kinase A (PKA) involved in cardiac disease and breast cancer
Read More |
Cell 2007 130: 1032-1043

September 19, 2007
Jing Yang, Ph.D., an assistant professor of pharmacology and pediatrics at UCSD School of Medicine, has been awarded a "New Innovator Award" by the NIH for her work to develop new approaches to studying how cancer cells metastasize to distant organs. 
Read More

March 27, 2007
UCSD researchers suppress relapsing paralysis in mouse model of Multiple Sclerosis
Read More

March 19, 2007
Research at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine strongly suggests that inflammation associated with the progression of tumors actually plays a key role in the metastasis of prostate cancer.
Read More


Aug 21, 2006
HHMI Expands Scientific Leadership; Jack Dixon, Dean for Scientific Affairs - Health Sciences; Professor of Pharmacology, Cellular & Molecular Medicine, and Chemistry & Biochemistry, to Join Institute from UCSD
Read More

Department of Pharmacology Fall 2006 Newsletter

Jan 11, 2006
Specificity in Toll-like receptor signalling through distinct effector functions of TRAF3 and TRAF6
Read More


April 28, 2005
Karin lab: IKKalpha as a negative regulator of inflammation
Read more  |  
Full Article Text: Nature, 434:1138-43

April 25, 2005
$17.2 Million Environmental Grant Awarded to UCSD School of Medicine
Read more

March 31, 2005
Natural Tumor Suppressor in Body Discovered by UCSD Medical Researchers
Read More

April 5, 2005
Insel Lab, 35th Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences UCSD Medical Researchers Say Statins, Other Cholesterol-Depleting Agents Affect Hypertension
Read More

April 1, 2005
Natural Tumor Suppresor in Body Discovered by UCSD Medical Researchers
Read More  |  

March 4, 2005
The Zhang lab in the University of Utah in collaboration with the Williams lab in the Dept. of Pharmacology develop a mouse model of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in people over age 55. The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read story in UCSD health news.
Read More  |   For article pdf click here.

March 7, 2005
Roger Tsien Receives Neurosciences Prize
(Read More)

March 31, 2005
Natural Tumor Suppressor in Body Discovered by UCSD Medical Researchers
Read More

February 10, 2005
The Chien lab in the Institute of Molecular Medicine in collaboration with the Evans lab in the Dept. of Pharmacology discover a heart stem cell with potential for replacing damaged tissue. The study appears in the February 10 issue of Nature. Read story in UCSD health news
Read more

February 1, 2005
The Karin lab in the Dept. of Pharmacology in collaboration with Jerry Olefsky in the Dept. of Medicine discover a novel link between inflammation and obesity-induced insulin resistance. The study appears in the February issue of Nature Medicine.
Read more

February 3, 2005
Pro-Inflammatory Protein Contributes to Crohn's Disease According to UCSD School of Medicine Study
(Read more)


September 20, 2004
Three At UCSD Named To List Of Top Young Innovators By 'Technology Review,' MIT's Magazine Of Innovation

Jamie Link, a chemistry graduate student, Lei Wang, a postdoctoral researcher in pharmacology, and Serge Belongie, an assistant professor of computer science, were named among the 100 individuals under age 35 whose innovative work in technology has a profound impact on today’s world. (Read more)

August 5, 2004 (Michael Karin, Ph.D., Cell)
UCSD Medical Researchers Are First To Demonstrate Molecular Link Between Inflammation And Cancer

Inactivation of Pro-Inflammatory Gene Dramatically Reduces Tumor Development

First evidence of the molecular link between inflammation and cancer has been shown by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. Featured as the cover article in the August 6, 2004 issue of the journal Cell, the study also demonstrated that inactivation of a gene involved in the inflammatory process can dramatically reduce tumor development in mice with a gastrointestinal form of cancer.

August 5, 2004 (Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D., PNAS)
UCSD Researchers Determine Fibrin Depletion Decreases Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
Tissue damage due to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is reduced and lifespan lengthened in mouse models of the disease when a naturally occurring fibrous protein called fibrin is depleted from the body, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine.

The study, reported online the week of April 19, 2004 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, identifies fibrin as a potential target for therapeutic intervention in the disease, which affects an estimated one million people worldwide.

June 18, 2004
Joan Heller Brown Appointed Chair of UCSD's Department of Pharmacology
Joan Heller Brown, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, has been named chair of the Department of Pharmacology at UCSD. She was selected following a national search to replace former chair Palmer Taylor, Ph.D., who was named founding dean of the new UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2002.

April 7, 2004 (Michael Karin, Ph.D., Nature)
UCSD Researchers Determine New Role For IKK In Embryonic Development of Skull & Skeleton
Continuing studies about an important regulatory protein kinase complex called I-kappa-B kinase (or IKK) have now shown that a subunit of IKK - IKK alpha - influences the outer layer of skin in developing mice to control the eventual shape of the full-grown skeleton and skull.

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine researcher Michael Karin, Ph.D., first discovered the IKK complex and its three sub-units, alpha, beta and gamma in 1996. Since then, his group has published extensively on the numerous activities of IKK sub-units, including roles in immune response activation, in formation of the skin's outer layer, and as an essential protein that prevents a rare disease called Incontinentia Pigmenti.*

March 22, 2004 (Palmer Taylor, Ph.D., PNAS)
UCSD Pharmacologists Collaborate On New Approach to Drug Design
French and American researchers have developed a unique approach to drug design where an important neuron-signaling enzyme called acetylcholinesterase (AChE) acts as a microscopic vessel filled with reactant chemicals, to create its own, tailored therapeutic agent.

While current AChE inhibitors are widely used to treat neuromuscular and cognitive disorders, the new process offers the potential for development of more potent drugs with fewer side effects.

Published in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) (February 10, 2004), the study described how the AChE molecule, serving as a surface, or template for the reactions, brings the reactant components into proximity to form an inhibitor of the enzyme that is both potent and highly specific for the enzyme.

March 17, 2004 (Michael Karin, Ph.D., Nature-anthrax, bubonic plague and typhoid fever)
Mechanism Leading to Life-Threatening Infection Identified by UCSD School of Medicine Researchers
The mechanism used by the bacteria that cause anthrax, bubonic plague and typhoid fever to avoid detection and destruction by the body's normal immune response - leading to life-threatening bacterial infections - has been identified by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine.

Published in the March 18, 2004 issue of the journal Nature, the lab-culture research with mouse cells identifies a protein kinase called PKR that causes the death of macrophages, the large white blood cells that act as the body's first defense against pathogens. Without macrophages to detect, engulf and stop the invading bacteria, the infection goes unnoticed by the immune system and spreads

"If we are able to develop specific inhibitors for PKR, and the drug industry can easily produce them, we may be able to control these nasty infections," said the study's senior author, Michael Karin, Ph.D., UCSD professor of pharmacology and an American Cancer Society Research Professor.