Sept. 25, 2003

UCSD Breaks Ground on Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building

Left to right: SPPS Dean, Palmer Taylor; SPPS student, Rani Dibbini; Craig Ventor;  Chancellor Robert Dynes;and Vice Chancellor Edward Holmes.
September 25, 2003

UCSD School of Pharmacy Welcomes
Second Class of Future Pharmacists

The Class of 2007 of the UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was officially welcomed during a week of orientation activities, a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Pharmaceutical Sciences building and a White Coat Ceremony, where they received the white coats they will wear during their four years of study culminating in the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Classes began Thursday, September 25.

Selected from a highly competitive pool of 510 applicants, the class of 26 students includes 14 women and 12 men.

According to Anthony S. Manoguerra, Pharm.D., Associate Dean for Student Affairs, this is an extremely talented and diverse group of individuals. All of them demonstrated high academic ability in their undergraduate careers with an average undergraduate grade point average for the class of 3.60. They bring to UCSD experiences from 17 different undergraduate colleges and universities throughout California and the United States; including 7 UC campuses, 1 California State University campus, 1 non-California public university and 8 private universities.

In addition to their academic achievements, the students have broad volunteer experience with each of them demonstrating strong leadership skills through work or volunteer activities in a variety of settings. In addition to academics and public service, many of the students are accomplished in art and music or have participated in competitive sports.

The UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is the newest health sciences professional school in the UC system and only the second publicly supported school of pharmacy in California. Approved by the Regents in 2000, the school enrolled the first class of students in September 2002.

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Students, staff, dignitaries and guests gathered to celebrate as the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) broke ground on September 25 on a state-of-the art, 104,000-square-foot facility to house the personnel and programs of the new UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The School was developed to support the new millennium’s growing demands in pharmaceutical education, by training students to meet the expanding role of pharmacy practice in health care, and to advance pharmaceutical sciences utilizing cutting edge technologies from the genetic revolution. The first class of 25 students entered in September 2002, and the second class completed orientation this week.

The $42 million, four-story building will be the headquarters for the new school, with classrooms as well as clinical pharmacy practice and point of care facilities, and laboratories to accommodate research in bioinformatics, drug information, pharmaceutical chemistry, the biological sciences and high intensity computational studies.

“Pharmacy practice of the future will grounded in the basic sciences of medicine instilled with healthy doses of pharmacology and contemporary genomic sciences,” said Palmer Taylor, founding dean of the new school and the Sandra & Monroe Trout Chair of Pharmacology. “Students will also need a variety of clinical experiences to serve effectively as therapeutic counselors as indications for medications and the medications themselves increase in complexity.”

Designed by Anshen and Allen (Los Angeles), the new building is scheduled to be completed by fall 2005. The facility will be located in the current parking lot area south of the Basic Science Building on the School of Medicine campus.

The building is designed to eventually house a 250-seat auditorium for combined medical and pharmacy student lectures, and core research facilities, with fundraising continuing to garner support for these additional elements of the building.

“Space on campus is at a premium,” said Dr. David Adler, associate dean of academic affairs for the school. “The building will enable us to go to our steady state size of 240 Pharmacy Doctorate students, 60 Ph.D. students and a complement of fellows and residents.”

The school’s floor plan was designed to promote interaction between different disciplines. “One end of the floor will be chemistry intensive, while the other end will house informatics labs with pharmacology and biomedicine interspersed,” Taylor noted. “We’ll have replicated that design on all three floors to encourage cross-discipline fertilization.”

UCSD’s new School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences – the first public pharmacy institution to open in 100 years, and the first state-supported pharmacy school in Southern California – will assume a role in this rapidly evolving field by emphasizing research in pharmacogenomics (the study of the interaction of an individual’s genetic make-up and response to a drug), bioinformatics (the science of managing and analyzing biological data using advanced computing techniques) and contemporary structure guided drug design. “What we will do is educate students on the application of modern genomics – with its potential to individualize therapy – to pharmacology,” Taylor said.

“The first year charter class was exceptional and met every challenge we asked them to,” said Adler. The new school will offer graduate programs leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees as well as continuing professional education for practicing pharmacists and postdoctoral education. Current pharmacy students attend classes on campus and in the School of Medicine, with second year students sharing some classes with medical students.

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BACKGROUND

UCSD: The Pharmacy School of the Future

UCSD’s new School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is well poised to take advantage of the emerging technologies of genetics, bioinformatics, and the changing role of pharmacists.

“Pharmacists in the community are becoming much more involved in the therapeutic counseling of outpatients,” said Palmer Taylor, founding dean of the new school and the Sandra & Monroe Trout Professor of Pharmacology. “That requires knowledge of both the basic science of pharmacology and genomics, as well as the clinical experience of how that relates to therapeutics and therapeutic counseling.”

The new school joins the School of Medicine as part of UCSD Health Sciences. For the first few years, pharmacy students will attend classes in the School of Medicine and general campus facilities, and in late 2005 they will move into their own four-story, 104,000-square-foot building in the heart of campus, just south of the Basic Science Building on Osler Drive in La Jolla.

Charter Class of the UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Nearly 500 students applied to the Charter Class and just 25 were admitted, beginning in September 2002. At steady state, 60 students will enter annually to pursue the four-year program leading to a doctor of pharmacy degree (Pharm D.), the minimum degree required for a licensed pharmacist to work. Eventually, an additional 60 students will be enrolled in the School to pursue a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences.

Reinforcing the role of the pharmacists in the health care team, students will take many of the same basic science courses alongside the medical students. “The result will be that they will work together better in a clinical setting, knowing the base knowledge of the other profession,” said Taylor.

Once students have completed the didactic course work, they will continue their education with experiences in a variety of clinical settings including UCSD Medical Center – Hillcrest and La Jolla, the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in La Jolla, and San Diego Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. In addition, the university has three free healthcare clinics that offer clerkship or volunteer opportunities. Selected community pharmacy and outpatient sites will also participate in training.

The concept of pharmacists working closely with physicians in selecting and monitoring medication to manage disease and assess outcomes is still new. “Traditionally, pharmacy and medical schools have grown as silos,” said Dr. David Adler, associate dean of academic affairs for the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “This new school has grown as a collaboration with the medical school.”

“This gives even first-year pharmacy students the opportunity to collaborate with medical students,” Adler said.

Opening a new school of pharmacy at UCSD also offers an opportunity for interdisciplinary research between numerous departments and schools including: the San Diego Supercomputer Center; the Center for Marine Biomedicine at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which explores the development of drugs from the sea; the Whitaker Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the Irwin and Joan Jacobs School of Engineering and the School of Management.

The only other pharmacy schools in California are private schools, the University of Southern California, and Western University. The new UCSD program offers Southern California students the chance to attend a public university close to home.

A program unique to UCSD’s pharmacy school will be a joint bachelor of science chemistry/Pharm. D. degree awarded in a seven-year program in cooperation with UCSD’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The program is scheduled to accept its first students in fall 2005.

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Link to 300 dpi 5x3 file of Northeast view rendering  Northwest View

Link to 300 dpi 5x3 file of 2007 class

Link to 300 dpi 5x3 file of groundbreaking

UCSD-TCAG Collaboration to Focus on Transformation Of Genome-based Knowledge into Health Benefits - ROCKVILLE, MD and LA JOLLA, CA (September 25, 2003) – The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and The Center for the Advancement of Genomics (TCAG) today announced a formal collaboration in genomic medicine that combines large-scale human genome analysis with innovative medical research. Through this new collaboration, the two organizations will conduct genomic studies aimed at elucidating the links between multi-gene associations and the prediction and outcome of disease, with the goal of moving patient treatment closer to personalized drug therapy geared to an individual’s genetic makeup. (more)

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