University of California, Irvine

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

About the school

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

UCI's Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences offers interdisciplinary educational programs integrating concepts from fields as diverse as biology, chemistry, cell and molecular biology, chemical engineering, materials science, pharmaceutics, pharmacology and physiology. Its undergraduate and graduate programs offer rigorous grounding in a broad range of disciplines critical to success as a pharmaceutical scientist in academia or in industry.

The first graduates of the recently established undergraduate program, the only undergraduate degree program in pharmaceutical sciences offered in the UC system, received their degrees in spring 2010.

The department's interdisciplinary graduate program in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology carries out recruitment and admissions and provides the first-year curriculum for graduate students who will subsequently enter specialized doctoral programs in any of the three participating academic departments: chemistry, pharmacology or molecular biology & biochemistry. A doctoral program in pharmaceutical sciences is in the planning stages.

Richard Chamberlin, Ph.D., Chair

Richard Chamberlin was the founding chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and has served as chair since 2007. Chamberlin, a professor at UCI since 1980, previously served as chair of the Department of Chemistry from 1996 to 2001. His research focuses on organic synthesis and chemical biology, including neurotransmitter receptors, serine-threonine phosphatases, potassium channels, HIV integrase and the tumor suppressor p53. Chamberlin was an Eli Lilly grantee (1984); received an NIH Career Development Award in neuroscience (1987-1992); received recognition in 1996 from UCI for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Research; and was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009).

Faculty Distinctions

Olivier Civelli, Ph.D., professor and Eric L. & Lila D. Nelson Chair in Neuropharmacology, was honored by the NARSAD, the leading charity for research on mental health disorders, with its prestigious Distinguished Investigator Award, which provides support for experienced investigators conducting neurobiological research. He received a one-year award for the period May 1, 2010-April 30, 2011.

Stephen Hanessian, Ph.D. has received the following distinctions, among others:

  • Achaogen Research Chair (2006)
  • Isis Pharmaceuticals Research Chair (2003)
  • Queen Elisabeth Golden Jubilee Medal (2002)
  • Bernard Belleau Award in Medicinal Chemistry (CSC) (2001)
  • Officer of the Order of Canada (1998)
  • Compagnon Lavoisier – Quebec Order of Chemists (1997)
  • Killam Memorial Prize – Natural Sciences (1997)
  • Science Personality of the Year – La Presse (1996)
  • Prix Marie-Victorin – Quebec Science Prize (1996)
  • Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering (1996)
  • A.C. Cope Scholar Award – American Chemical Society (1996)
  • M.L. Wolfrom Award – American Chemical Society (1993)
  • E. Smissman Medal – University of Kansas (1992)
  • NSERCC Chair in Medicinal Chemistry (1990)
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Canada (1988)
  • Alfred Bader Award in Organic Chemistry – CSC (1988)
  • CIC Palladium Medal (1988)
  • Urgel-Archambault Award – Quebec Association for the Advancement of Science (1987)
  • Hudson Award – American Chemical Society (1982)

Mahtab Jafari, Pharm.D., received the 2008 UCI Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research and was a 2007-08 recipient of the UCI Distinguished Assistant Professor Award for Teaching in 1997. She received honorable mention for Innovation in Teaching from the American Council on Pharmacy Education.

Young Jik Kwon, Ph.D., received the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation in 2010, and the UCI Faculty Career Development Award in 2008.

Thomas Poulos, Ph.D., was named as a UCI Chancellor's Professor in 2000.

Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Ph.D., received the Athalie Clarke Achievement Award from the Research Associates, a community-based support group for the UCI School of Medicine. The awards acknowledge researchers who are making a notable impact on medical science.

Sheryl Tsai, Ph.D., received the 2007 Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence in Biological Sciences.

Department Statistics (Fall 2012)

Faculty: 7
Undergraduate Students: 679
Graduate Students: 8