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McKerrow Appointed Dean of Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


  • Jackie Carr

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  • Jackie Carr

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Effective July 1, 2014, James H. McKerrow, MD, PhD, will become the second dean of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego. McKerrow will join UC San Diego from UC San Francisco, where he served as professor of pathology and director of the Center for Discovery and Innovation in Parasitic Diseases.


James H. McKerrow, MD, PhD, appointed dean of UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

An expert in the area of neglected tropical diseases, McKerrow brings a wealth of experience in natural product research and drug discovery and development. His keen interest in these areas will help bring together cross-disciplinary researchers at UC San Diego and in the community – in global health, infectious diseases, biology and chemistry and drug development programs – all of which are of strategic importance to the Health Sciences and the UC San Diego campus.

McKerrow is an alumnus of UC San Diego where he earned his PhD in biology in 1973, focusing on peptide chemistry and molecular genetics. He then went on to receive his MD from SUNY, Stony Brook with an internship in Internal Medicine. He completed his residency in pathology at UCSF, where he was chief resident from 1979 to 1980. From 1980 to 1981, he continued at UCSF as a postdoctoral fellow and clinical instructor, moving on to become an assistant (1981-1987), associate (1987-93) and full professor (1993-present) in the Department of Pathology. From 2003 to 2012, he also served as vice chair for Research and Education in the Department of Pathology.

He is an active teacher and mentor in graduate and postdoctoral programs, lectures to medical and health profession students and has hosted underrepresented students each year for summer research internships. Committed to fostering science education in the community, he gives talks each year to elementary and high school students, and has presented three public lectures in the “Ask a Scientist” series in San Francisco.

McKerrow has co-authored more than a dozen book chapters, published more than 250 articles and has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences and symposia. His many honors range from teaching awards spanning more than two decades at UCSF to the Gregor Mendel Honorary Medal from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award from SUNY, Stony Brook.

He is a member of the American Society for Cell Biology, American Society of Microbiology, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, American Society of Parasitologists, and the American Society of Immunologists. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Chemical Biology and Drug Design and PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

In July 2000, The University of California Board of Regents approved the establishment of the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The school matriculated the first class of twenty-five Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students in the fall of 2002. The steady-state enrollment is 240 PharmD students, 60 PhD students and 30 pharmacy residents. The school offers an innovative and flexible curriculum leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, taught by a stellar health sciences faculty in close association with the outstanding clinical, research and academic programs of the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

To learn more about the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, click here.

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