Preclinical Therapeutics Location & Contacts

Facility Location and Staff

Preclinical Core

UCSF Helen Diller Building
HD544, 1450 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94143-0808
415.476.0419 (voice, office), 415.502.7228 (voice, lab)

Rosemary J. Akhurst, PhD, Director, 415.514.0215
Julia Freimuth, PhD, 415.502.7228
Byron Hann, MD, PhD, Manager, 415.476.0419
Donghui Wang, Technician, 415.502.7228
Paul Phojanakong, Lab Manager, 415.502.7228


R.AkhurstDr. Rosemary Akhurst undertook her doctoral thesis studies at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, UK, followed by post doctoral training at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA. She has run her own laboratory for more then twenty years and has as many years experience studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis in mouse models. For the last two years her laboratory has had a research agreement with Eli Lilly to investigate novel targeted therapies in mouse models.

 b.hannDr. Hann received his training from the UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. This was followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Dundee, Scotland. He has over 15 years experience in the study of the molecular basis of human cancer, and has worked on mouse models of human cancer for the past eleven years. Since July 2004, he has been managing the UCSF Breast SPORE preclinical core, the UCSF U54 preclinical core and most recently the UCSF Preclinical Therapeutics Core at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Ms. Wang has extensive experience in the implementation of preclinical studies, including cell culture, tumor implantation, drug administration, tumor measurement and animal monitoring, and survival surgery. She has been a member of the UCSF PTC for over 12 years, and has played a central role in the completion of over 1,000 preclinical studies. She is an expert in small animal survival surgeries, and a master of techniques such as intracardiac cell implantation. She is also very familiar with the routine procedures, particularly for subcutaneous xenograft based studies.

Mr. Phojanakong has a strong background in administration and project management. He acts to coordinate scheduling, communications, study materials and billing. He is also directly involved with many hands-on aspects of study execution, including in vivo imaging. He is the main contact person for many aspects of the core’s day-to-day operations.


Laboratory The laboratory is located at UCSFÊ»s Mt Zion and Mission Bay campuses that collectively consist of approximately 1,500 sq. ft. of space. The labs include wet lab bench space for four investigators, refrigerated microcentrifuges, 4°C and -20°C, and -80°C storage refrigerators/freezers, three computers for lab personnel; two tissue culture rooms equipped with CO2-incubators, hoods, microscope, tabletop centrifuge and 37° water baths; a liquid N2 unit. The laboratory is two floor above the Mt Zion Rodent Barrier Facility and on the same floor as the Diller Building Rodent Barrier Facility.

Animals Mice used in these studies are housed in state-of-the-art specific-pathogen free rodent barrier facilities located in the basement of the Cancer Research Building, and on the fifth floor of the Diller Building. Together, these animal facilities houses over 8000 cages and are staffed by ten personnel from the Laboratory for Animal Resource Center. Both facilities contain cesium irradiators and a Xenogen in vivo imaging systems. The Cancer Center rodent barrier follows strict barrier protocols to minimize viral outbreaks.

Other The PTC maintains a cryorepository of cancer cell lines optimized for passage in immune-deficient mice. Core personnel are responsible for all aspects of the in vivo study including animal ordering, estrogen pellet implantation, cell culture, tumor cell implantation, tumor volume measurements, drug administration, and collection of tissues as required and data analyses. The PTC maintains a database on cancer cell lines with published and unpublished data concerning molecular and cellular phenotypes of interest to research scientists. An IACUC-approved protocol is used for all projects, with modifications approved by IACUC. After completing training requirements, collaborating investigators are added as personnel to the PTC’s IACUC protocol. Training is provided to postdoctoral fellows and technicians who wish to enhance their skills in experimental procedures on small laboratory animals.

Additional Resources
A searchable database of core facilities at all UCSF campus locations, provided by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCSF, is available here.