September 24, 2002

Palmer Taylor, Ph.D., Named Founding Dean Of New UCSD Pharmacy School

Also named Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences

Palmer Taylor, Ph.D.

Palmer Taylor, Ph.D., 63, Chair of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Department of Pharmacology, has been selected to serve as founding dean of the new UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, following a national search. He begins his duties immediately. He also assumes the title of Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences.

Taylor, who also holds the Sandra and Monroe Trout Chair in Pharmacology, is a respected scientist and Institute of Medicine member whose laboratory focuses on the structure, function and gene expression of receptors and enzymes involved in neurotransmission.

The school was approved by the UC Regents in July 2000 and is only the second public school of pharmacy in the state and the first in Southern California. The first class is beginning its studies this month.

"The establishment of the UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and now the selection of Dr. Palmer Taylor as its founding dean, brings to fruition a long-held dream to have a second pharmacy school in the University of California system," said University of California President Richard C. Atkinson. "Dr. Taylor has been tireless in his efforts to create this school and to develop a program that will, under his leadership, make its mark as a center for education, research and community service in pharmacy training and pharmaceutical science."

"With Dr. Taylor at the helm of our new School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, I am confident the school will quickly become known for its role in creating tomorrow's leaders and innovators in health care and pharmaceutical development," said UCSD Chancellor Robert C. Dynes. "This school is a tremendous addition to our campus and our region, and I am delighted that our first dean is not only a renowned scientist, but an admired colleague who knows our community and is deeply committed to excellence."

"Palmer Taylor is nationally recognized as a leader in pharmacology research, and he has played a leading role in developing this new school and assuring that it will truly be a program for the 21st century," said Edward W. Holmes, M.D., Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences at UCSD. "We are delighted that he has agreed to be the founding dean. Palmer is both a pharmacist and a pharmaceutical scientist, a wonderful combination for this new school. He brings to the position a solid sense of the program's history, and an inspired vision for its future. With a proven track record as a leader and master educator, and a background that uniquely integrates the practice of pharmacy and the science of pharmacology, I know this school will soon achieve a position among the nation's top-ranking pharmacy schools."

Taylor joined the UCSD Department of Medicine faculty in 1970 and has been Chair of the UCSD Department of Pharmacology since its inception in 1987. His department is ranked first in the nation among state-supported schools in research dollars generated per faculty member, second among all departments in citations per publication, and third in the National Research Council ranking of graduate programs in pharmacology.

Perhaps more than any other faculty member, Taylor played an instrumental role in establishing a pharmacy school at UCSD. Taylor, Atkinson and a small group of UCSD faculty and supporters pointed out to state leaders the nationwide shortage of pharmacists as well as the need for a pharmacy school that would take a leadership educational role in the post-genomic era of drug development and patient counseling regarding specialized medications tailored to individual needs.

"Serving as the founding dean of a new health sciences professional school is both a great honor and challenge for the future. UCSD is the first research-intensive institution with a large teaching hospital and outpatient base to have developed a pharmacy school in the last decade," Taylor noted. "Pharmaceutical education has rapidly moved beyond the mortar and pestle of the past. Today's pharmacist has become a therapeutic counselor who bases many of his or her activities on a detailed understanding of drug mechanisms and interactions. Soon human genome information for understanding individual variations in therapeutic responses will become an essential component of pharmacy practice. Our program is geared to the needs of 21st century therapeutics."

He added: "Increasingly, the pharmacist must have a strong background in the full complement of basic biomedical and computational sciences to fully utilize the influx of new genetic information, since many of these genes encode targets of drug action. To have our pharmacy students enrolled in many of the same courses as the medical students is an unparalleled opportunity and should be a new paradigm for training of the health professional of the future."

UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences charter class 

The UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which begins its programs today with a charter class of 25 Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) students, joins the UCSD School of Medicine in UCSD's Health Sciences division.

Additional degree programs to be offered through the school will admit their first students in 2005. These include a Ph.D degree in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences and a joint B.S. in chemistry/Pharm.D seven-year program in cooperation with UCSD's Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Clinical training will take place with pharmacy students and residents working with their medical counterparts in UCSD's hospitals and clinics and affiliated sites.

The year 2005 will also see completion of the four-story, 76,150-square-foot School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences building located south of the Basic Science Building on the UCSD campus in La Jolla.

Taylor received his doctoral degree in 1964 from the University of Wisconsin after completing a baccalaureate degree in Pharmacy. Prior to joining UCSD, he held a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health from 1968-70, followed by an NIH continuation fellowship that allowed him to work with the prestigious Max Planck Institut fur Physikalsche Chemie in Gottingen, Germany.

Taylor is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine and former president of the American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics. He has been a member of the National Advisory Council of the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences, the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and a Congressional Task Force on Environmental Health Sciences, and he served as a delegate to the International Union of Pharmacology and the Council of Academic Societies of the American Association on Medical Colleges.

He is co-editor of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, Principles of Drug Action, and Goodman and Gilman's Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. He previously served as associate editor of Molecular Pharmacology and a consulting editor for Journal of Clinical Investigation. Previously on the editorial boards of Journal of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Taylor is currently is on the editorial boards of Journal of Molecular Medicine and Pharmaceutical News.

Taylor is married to Susan S. Taylor, Ph.D., UCSD Professor of Chemistry, and Chair of the UCSD School of Medicine's Research Council.

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For more on the UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences:

Southern California's First Public Pharmacy School Opens This Week at UCSD: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2002/09_24_SOPP.html

UCSD to Open School of Pharmacy: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2000/2000_07_20_Pharm.html

Media Contact:
Leslie Franz
619-543-6163
lfranz@ucsd.edu