Activities in Pharmacology

Activities in Pharmacology 


Pharmacology Retreats

The Department of Pharmacology hosts an annual weekend retreat on an off-site location involving all members of the department. The retreat brings together graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members, alumni and collaborators from non-UCLA sites such as Caltech. In addition to oral and poster presentations by department members and keynote talks by guest speakers, social events are organized to encourage interaction between faculty and students. The Pharmacology retreats are intellectually and socially stimulating providing a forum for scientific discussions and social interactions.

Pharm Fridays

Pharm Fridays are biweekly meetings, in which graduate students present their laboratory research to the entire department. Faculty, academic researchers, postdoctoral fellows, students and SRAs are all invited. These presentations are followed by “Pharm Pubs”, where each laboratory in the department hosts a social hour celebrating different cultures through food and other traditions. This promotes faculty and student camaraderie in a more casual setting.

University-Industry Enterprises and Partnerships

The transfer of science and technology from the academic setting to the commercial sector represents a major activity in our Department, the Ahmanson Translational Imaging Division, the Business of Science Center, and the Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging, for which Pharmacology serves as the home department. This aspect of our department provides:

  1. A novel low cost and high quality pathway for the translation of technology and science into the commercial domain in the form of start-up companies and transaction based approaches to midsize and larger companies.
  2. Science and technology services to companies.
  3. Novel university-industry models based on joint investments and shared returns.
  4. Educational opportunities for our graduate students and postdoctoral fellows through courses and other opportunities in the Business of Science Center.
  5. Job opportunities in the commercial sector for our graduate students, post docs and fellows.

In these programs we have a partnership with the UCLA Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research and a close affiliation with faculty and technology transfer administration at Caltech.

As part of our commitment to technology and science transfer to the commercial sector and to the public, a group of faculty in our Department, the Crump Institute and Caltech founded a company, Momentum Biosciences that provides facilities and support functions for startup companies. The Momentum Biosciences (MoM) facility is located in Culver City, just a few miles from UCLA and Caltech. MoM provides the facilities and support functions to her companies so they can focus on product development and novel business models.

To date, MoM has housed eight companies with products for the biomedical and materials markets. Two of these start-up companies originated from faculty in the Crump Institute and the Department of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology (Sofie Biosciences and Imaginab). These two companies have successfully transitioned to operating companies, and one from faculty at Caltech and the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle is also an operating company.

The majority of employees in MoM’s companies are previous graduate students and post docs from UCLA and Caltech, backed up by experienced individuals in business, finance, investment and law.