Academics & Faculty

Geffen School of Medicine gets $1M to endow chair in clinical pharmacology

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(Editors: To view a video of Dr. Barbara Levey discussing the new chair in clinical pharmacology, visit http://streaming.uclahealth.org/blevey.)
 
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation has pledged $1 million to The UCLA Foundation to fund an endowed chair in clinical pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
 
Clinical pharmacology bridges the gap between laboratory science and the practice of medicine. Its primary aims are to promote safe and effective pharmaceutical drug use in patients and to optimize the medical benefits and minimize the potential risks of prescription drugs in treating diseases that affect mankind. The clinical pharmacology program at UCLA studies issues related to drug interactions, the individual's response to drugs and how different ethnicities metabolize drugs.
 
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Endowed Chair in Interdepartmental Clinical Pharmacology will be an administrative chair held by the director of UCLA's Interdepartmental Clinical Pharmacology Training Program, currently Dr. Barbara A. Levey. The chair's focus will be to catalyze the crucial work of UCLA's current program by augmenting research in this emerging discipline while reinforcing the importance of clinical pharmacology education at the Geffen School of Medicine, which is internationally recognized for excellence in the field.
 
"The vision to establish this chair in a critical area of medicine by the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation will benefit the health of future patients worldwide," said Levey, who is also assistant vice chancellor for biomedical affairs at UCLA. "Our program is particularly well positioned to become the country's leading advanced, patient-oriented research training program that has an emphasis on appropriate medication dosages, with a particular focus on medication issues as they affect minority populations. We are grateful for this very generous gift."

Levey was the original organizer of the Interdepartmental Clinical Pharmacology Training Program, whose mission is to improve therapeutics and research through the rigorous training of medical students and fellows. 
 
Levey is a past president of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, a member of the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology, and a professor in the departments of medicine and molecular and medical pharmacology at the Geffen School of Medicine. She contributed a chapter to the textbook "Pharmacology and Therapeutics: Principles to Practice" (2009).
 
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation was created to promote education, tolerance, social services and the arts. The Gilberts were passionate philanthropists, inveterate art collectors and astute businesspeople. Born and raised in England, the Gilberts immigrated to Los Angeles in 1949 and became successful real estate entrepreneurs. They committed their efforts to significant charitable endeavors locally and in the state of Israel while assembling one of the world's preeminent decorative arts collections. After Rosalinde's death in 1996 and Sir Arthur's in 2001, the remainder of their estate was donated to the foundation in order to continue the humanitarian and philanthropic efforts to which the Gilberts had been so devoted during their lifetimes. The foundation's directors, Richard Ziman and Martin H. Blank Jr., are longtime UCLA supporters and have continued the foundation's enduring commitment to the university.
 
"We are pleased to provide UCLA and Dr. Barbara Levey with this opportunity to advance the field of clinical pharmacology and to train future experts in this area of medicine," Blank said. "With the discovery of so many new pharmaceutical drugs, it is vital for doctors to understand drug interactions to best care for their patients."
 
Endowed chairs and professorships continue to play an increasingly crucial role in the recruitment and retention of outstanding university faculty. Reserved for the most distinguished scholars and teachers, including the best junior faculty, endowed chairs provide vital funds for the support of the chair holder's research, teaching and service activities. Donors continue to provide thoughtful and generous support for endowed chairs with the knowledge that their gifts supply a solid foundation for the enrichment of university programs and the recognition of academic excellence.
 
For more information about UCLA's Interdepartmental Clinical Pharmacology Training Program, visit http://149.142.238.229/k12/.
 
For more news, visit the UCLA Newsroom.
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