University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Pioneer in Biotech Research and Drug Development Appointed to UCSF Faculty

By Wallace Ravven, UCSF News Services | June 27, 2005

James Wells, PhD, cofounder of the South San Francisco-based pharmaceutical company Sunesis and a pioneer in developing new drug discovery and protein engineering technologies, has been appointed professor in both the schools of pharmacy and medicine at UCSF and will also direct a new center to boost drug discovery at the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research, headquartered at UCSF's Mission Bay campus.

Wells, elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1999, will serve as professor of pharmaceutical chemistry and as professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology. He will also hold the first Harry Wm. and Diana V. Hind Distinguished Professorship in Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCSF.

Wells has been chief scientific officer and president of Sunesis and was co-inventor there of a novel drug-discovery process called Tethering to efficiently screen thousands of molecules in search of the most potent compounds to block specific protein action. The technique has been adopted by several large pharmaceutical companies through collaborations with Sunesis.

Read more at Wallace Ravven, UCSF News Services