Dear colleagues, alumni and friends,
In my six years as dean, we have made extraordinary changes in our college that will shape the pharmacy profession for years to come. Instead of filling faculty vacancies as they became available, we aggressively sought additional funding for faculty to enable recruitment of the top researchers and clinicians in the country to elevate our college. The recruitment efforts have taken our research productivity to record-breaking heights and propelled us into the Top 5 of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s research rankings. Beyond the numbers, our research is improving lives through the study of new treatments for pain and addiction, improving our understanding of cancer disparities in minority populations and questioning the accuracy of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services criteria used to identify patients at risk of opioid abuse and overdose. There are people worldwide who stand to benefit from our bold pursuit of new medicines, new discoveries, practice advances and new policies to reshape health care.
One benchmark for success is how well we are preparing pharmacy students for successful careers that may extend beyond 2060. Today’s pharmacy students will be trusted to care for us, our children and our grandchildren, and they deserve a modernized and comprehensive pharmacy education. Four years ago, we disrupted the old way of teaching and curriculum delivery to introduce a training environment for the 21st century pharmacist. We embraced new teaching ideas, implemented team-based learning and empowered graduates to be lifelong learners. We focused on personal and professional development and offered elective courses that explored student interests. With great pride, we watched the Pharm.D. class of 2019 graduate in May as the first cohort to matriculate through all four years of the modern curriculum. These trailblazers are poised to impact the world of health care in remarkable ways.
In this edition of GATORx, we introduce you to the people, programs and new discoveries that are helping the UF College of Pharmacy redefine the future of pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences.
Julie A. Johnson, Pharm.D.
Dean and Distinguished Professor