Dr. Katharina Brandl

Katharina Brandl picture
Katharina Brandl, R.Ph., Ph.D.

Associate Teaching Professor 
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

(858) 822-6853
Research Summary

Dr. Brandl’s research mainly focuses on educational innovations in the classroom. She is interested in understanding how students effectively learn core concepts within the pharmacy curriculum. Dr. Brandl develops new teaching methods to promote student learning. She is a designated pharmaceutical teacher with the main goal in striving excellence in pharmacology education.

Dr. Brandl is the course director of the “Principles of Pharmacology and Physiology” (PPP) core course for students of Pharmacy in their second year.  In the School of Medicine, Dr. Brandl serves as the Pharmacology Thread Director and oversees  pharmacology education for the entire first and second year core curriculum for medical students.

After becoming a registered pharmacist in Germany, she finished her PhD in Immunology/ Infectious Diseases. She performed her post-doctoral studies with Dr. Eric Pamer (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York) and the recent nobel – laureate Dr. Bruce Beutler (The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla). During her career she enjoyed mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and teaching pharmacy and medical students (core courses in pharmacology, immunology, molecular biology, pharmaceutical biology and pharmacognosy). 

Academic Achievements


School of Pharmacy and license to practice as pharmacist (R.Ph.), University of Regensburg, Germany, (1996-2002), Ph.D. (summa cum laude) Department of Pharmaceutical Biology and Department of Internal Medicine, University of Regensburg, Germany (2005), Postdoctoral studies Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York (2006-2007) and The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla (2008-2011), “Habilitation” (Dr. rer. nat. med. habil., german academic lecturer qualification) (2013) 

Awards and Honors:

Chair, Division of Pharmacology Education, ASPET (2020), “Kaiser Award of Excellence in Teaching", UC San Diego, School of Medicine (2020, 2019, 2017), Excellence in Teaching Award, Skaggs School of Pharmacy (2019, 2016, 2013), “Innovations in Teaching Award”, UC San Diego, Skaggs School of Pharmacy (2018),"Fellow of the Academy of Pharmacology Educators, ASPET (2017), "Teacher of the Year Award", AACP (2017), Barbara and Paul Saltman Distinguished Teaching Award, UCSD (2016), Joel and Ellen Gordon Young Investigator Award (2016), Pharmacology Educator Award ASPET (2016)

Key Contributions
  • Discovered that antibiotics impair natural immune defenses in the intestines, allowing antibiotic resistant microbes like Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus to flourish.
  • Identified a protein to reduce infections with antibiotic resistant bacteria in mice.
Selected Publications
  • Brandl K. et al. (2008).  Vancomycin-resistant enterococci exploit innate immune deficits induced by antibiotic treatment. Nature 455:804-7.
  • Schneid SD et al. (2018).  A summer prematriculation program to help students succeed in medical school Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 23(3):499-511.
  • Brandl K., Rabadia S. V., Chang A, Mandel J. (2018) Benefit of focus group discussion beyond online survey in course evaluations by medical students in the United States: A qualitative study, J Educ Eval Health Prof.;15:25.
  • Brandl K., Mandel J., Kelly C. (2019) Dean’s perspective on Academic Communities at UC San Diego, School of Medicine, J Med Educ Curric Dev. 23;6
  • Brandl K., Schneid S, Tsunoda S., Awdishu L. (2019).  A redesigned pharmacology series increases students’ satisfaction and is associated with improved performance in therapeutics. Am J Pharm Educ. 83(7):6971

Selected Recent Publications (View More)

Potential Collaborative Programs
  • Generating novel teaching approaches for pharmacists in the area of pharmacology and immunology