Robert “Bob” DeMatteis, BS ’57, got a chemistry set in his teens that put him on the path to pharmacy. “I loved the scientific nature of chemistry, but I was a people person,” he says. “I realized that as a pharmacist, I wouldn’t be stuck in a lab doing research.”
He worked in drugstores to finance his education and immersed himself in his studies. After graduating, he held various retail pharmacy positions in California’s Central Valley, where he enjoyed getting to know his patients—human and animal. One pharmacy where he worked served veterinarians, and he remembers calculating the digitalis dosage for a pet canary with heart problems.
Bob eventually joined the Porterville Developmental Center, a state hospital for the disabled that later became a forensic hospital for psychiatric patients convicted of crimes. He was a pharmacist there for 36 years.
Having contributed faithfully to the Annual Fund for many years, Bob was eager to give back in a major way to the School of Pharmacy—which had meant so much to him. He made a generous gift to the Mary Anne Koda-Kimble Seed Award for Innovation Fund at UCSF, which provides startup funds to School of Pharmacy faculty members, students, and staff to support innovative projects. The fund was named for Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD ’69, UCSF School of Pharmacy dean from 1998 to 2012 and co-editor of the influential 1978 textbook Applied Therapeutics: The Clinical Use of Drugs.
Bob credits Dean Emeritus Koda-Kimble with influencing pharmacists and physicians to work more closely together as a team, and he felt her presence throughout his career. When he and his colleagues needed clinical pharmacy information, they’d ask, “Where’s Mary Anne?” and reach for her book to check the authoritative source.
“We rely on our alumni to inform the School’s vision, precept our students, and support us through their financial contributions,” says B. Joseph Guglielmo Jr., PharmD, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, and Troy C. Daniels, Distinguished Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences. “Bob has always been a terrific advocate for UCSF, and I’m so grateful for his generous gift to support innovative projects.”
Bob’s wife of 49 years, Janet, passed away in 2010. He retired in 2003 and keeps busy exercising and attending social events in his community as well as UCSF alumni events.
“I was able to go to the most prestigious school of pharmacy in the nation,” Bob says. “I am so thankful for that privilege.”
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