University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Preclinical Therapeutics Location & Contacts

PTC Main Location

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


PTC Facility

The Preclinical Therapeutics Core (PTC) has laboratory and animal housing space within the Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building (HDFCRB) at the Mission Bay campus, and provides management and oversight of preclinical imaging devices on two other campuses (Parnassus and Mt Zion).

The HDFCRB laboratory consists of approximately 600 sq ft of space, including wet lab bench space for four investigators. Shared resources include a tissue culture room equipped with CO2-incubators, hoods, microscope, tabletop centrifuge and 37° water bath, and 4°C, -20°C and -80°C and liquid N2 storage refrigerators/freezers.

The PTC has office space at HDFCRB (200sq. feet) to facilitate discussions with PIs.

Animals used in these studies are housed in state-of-the-art BSL2 specific-pathogen free rodent barrier facility, which is staffed by eight personnel from the Laboratory for Animal Resource Center. The rodent barrier follows strict barrier protocols to minimize pathogen outbreaks, and includes well-equipped procedure rooms with hoods and instruments for xenograft implantation and small animal survival surgery.


PTC Staff

PTC staff photo

Rosemary Akurst, PhD 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 served as the Director of the Preclinical Therapeutics Core since 2006 and her broad experience focuses on studies on tumor microenvironment and cancer therapeutics.

Byron Hann, MD, PhD 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. Dr. Hann has over 20 years of experience studying the molecular basis of cancer, and has worked with mouse models of cancer for the past 18 years.

Veronica Steri, PhD received her education in Italy (Master Degree in Biotechnology) and UK (PhD in Biomolecular Science). After post-doctoral training at UCSF, she joined the Preclinical Therapeutics core in 2018. Her expertise focuses on GEMMs and tumor angiogenesis. She oversees experimental projects, imaging services and is responsible for client communications.

Donghui Wang has extensive experience in the implementation of preclinical studies. She has been a member of the UCSF PTC for over 15 years, and has played a central role in the completion of over 2,000 preclinical studies. She is an expert in small animal survival surgeries as well as undertaking many routine procedures.

Fernando Salangsang has over 20 years of industry experience in a wide range of mouse handling procedures and methodologies. His expertise is in establishment and propagation of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models and he oversees all ongoing barrier-related procedures.

Paul Phojanakong has a strong background in administration and project management. He acts to coordinate scheduling, day-to-day Core operations, and study billing. He is also directly involved with hands-on aspects of study execution, including in vivo optical imaging.


PTC Contacts