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July 20, 2000

UCSD TO ESTABLISH SCHOOL OF PHARMACY

UCSD has received approval to establish a new School of Pharmacy, with tentative plans to accept the first class in September 2001. The proposal was approved by the University of California Board of Regents at its July 20 meeting in San Francisco.  It has already received campus and systemwide Academic Senate review.

The UCSD School of Pharmacy will provide academically based professional training for pharmacists, and foster pharmaceutical sciences research and public service programs to advance the science and practice of pharmacy.  Academic degree programs in the future school will include a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program; a seven-year joint Bachelor of Science/Pharm.D. program in conjunction with UCSD’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and an education and research training program leading to a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences.

UCSD’s 25-year partnership with the UCSF School of Pharmacy, which involves serving as a clinical training site for 18 fourth-year UCSF students and for pharmacy residents, will continue. Continuing medical education will be developed for practicing pharmacists.

The new School of Pharmacy will build upon our established research excellence.  Our goal is to train professionals who will become leaders and innovators in health care and pharmaceutical development,” said UCSD Chancellor Robert C. Dynes. “We have had tremendous support and encouragement from our colleagues in industry, who have an increasing need for highly trained pharmacists interested in drug development.  The school will also bring new students and faculty to our campus who will enrich our academic and research community.”

A School of Pharmacy on the UCSD campus will not only fulfill an urgent staffing need in the region’s clinics, retail sites and hospitals, but will also permit the development of innovative research programs in the UCSD health sciences. One of these is pharmacogenomics, the tailoring of drug therapy for patients based upon their unique genetic profiles,” said Interim Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences David N. Bailey, M.D.

“The design of the school’s programs and curriculum recognizes the importance of the pharmacist as a specialist in monitoring drug interactions, consulting on complex therapeutic issues in inpatient and outpatient settings, and overseeing development and testing of new drugs and drug therapies,” said Palmer Taylor, Ph.D., chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology and chair of the planning team for the new school.

“Increasingly, the pharmacist must have a strong background in basic biomedical and computational sciences to fully utilize the influx of new genetic information, since many of these genes encode targets of drug action,” said Taylor.  Contemporary pharmacists have expanded roles in the design and optimal use of drugs for treating acute disease, therapeutic management of chronic disease, patient education in the optimal use of drugs, and ascertaining potential drug interactions, he added.

The UCSD School of Pharmacy will join the School of Medicine in UCSD’s Health Sciences division, with links to many other UCSD departments and divisions. These include UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Center for Marine Biomedicine, which focuses on the development of drugs from the sea; the San Diego Supercomputer Center; and the Jacobs School of Engineering and Whitaker Institute of Biomedical Engineering.

The School will enroll 20 students in its first class, building toward an entering class size of 60 students and a total of 240 students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program, 60 Ph.D. students and 30 pharmacy residents.  Clinical training will take place with pharmacy students and residents working with their medical counterparts in UCSD’s hospitals and clinics and affiliated sites.

Until now, the only other state-supported pharmacy school in California is based at UCSF.  San Diego has been the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. without a pharmacy school. Long term plans for the school include a new building on the School of Medicine campus.

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Media contact: Leslie Franz - 619/543-6163

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