Dr. Shirley M. Tsunoda, Pharm.D.

Professor of Clinical Pharmacy
Associate Dean for Pharmacy Education
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Tsunoda's picture
Shirley M. Tsunoda, Pharm.D.

Pronouns: She|Her|Hers

(858) 822-6629

Human Resources

Mandi Garhartt (formerly Walker)


Danise Adrianzen Talavera

Fund Management

Heidi Rosenthal

Research Summary

Dr. Tsunoda’s research focuses on using metabolomics to investigate factors influencing the variability of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. Her group is interested in the intersection of drugs and the gut microbiome – pharmacomicrobiomics. She is one of the Principle Investigators of the UCSD Center of Excellence in Therapeutics for MPRINT (Maternal and Pediatric Precision in Therapeutics) Hub where she is investigating the impact of antibiotic exposure through breastfeeding on the infant microbiome, metabolome, and development. Previous work has included investigating the impact of altering the gut microbiome with antibiotics on drug metabolizing activity and using probe compounds such as midazolam and cyclosporine to predict activity of CYP3A4, the major drug metabolizing enzyme in the intestine and liver, as well as clinical pharmacology investigations with immunosuppressive agents. Her group is also investigating the use of noninvasive techniques to monitor drugs and other chemicals in pregnancy, infancy, and healthcare workers.

Dr. Tsunoda has several ongoing research projects in: 1) investigating the effect of the microbiome on drug metabolism; 2) analyzing skin swab metabolomics for drug exposure; 3) clinical pharmacology studies with immunosuppressive drugs in transplant patients.

Academic Achievements

Education: B.S. in Psychobiology (1987), UCLA; Pharm.D. (1992) UCSF; Residency in Pharmacy Practice (1993) UCSF; Post-doctoral Fellowship in Pharmacokinetics/Drug Metabolism (1995) UCSF. 

Awards and Honors: UCSF Resident Research Project Award (1993); American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy New Investigator Award (1996); National Center for Leadership in Academic Medicine, UCSD (2007); American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Member of the Month (2011); American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Dedicated Member (2012); American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Teacher of the Year (2016) ; UC San Diego Faculty Leadership Academy (2020); UC San Diego SSPPS Faculty Member of the Year, P3 class (2020).

Leadership Experience: Chair, Associated Health Professions Education Committee (AHPEC), UCSD School of Medicine; Vice Chair, American Liver Foundation Associate Medical Advisory Committee;  Co-Director SSPPS Mentoring Training Program.

  • Pharmacy: Therapeutics (SPPS 212A)
  • Principles of Pharmacology and Physiology
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Hepatitis and Solid Organ Transplant Electives
Clinical Practice
  • Dr. Tsunoda maintains a clinical practice in the liver transplant clinic at UC San Diego
Key Contributions
  • Investigation of the impact of the gut microbiome on drug metabolism
  • Differentiation of intestinal and hepatic CYP3A4 activity using midazolam as an in vivo probe
  • Characterization of drugs in non-invasive skin swab samples
  • Clinical research in liver transplant patients
Selected Publications
Potential Collaborative Programs
  • Clinical investigations of the gut microbiome's effect on drug metabolism

  • Phase I investigations of new compounds that are CYP3A and/or p-glycoprotein substrates, particularly those used in transplantation. ​

  • Phase I-III investigations of mTOR inhibitor compounds ​

  • Pharmacokinetic and drug metabolism studies in liver disease and liver transplantation ​