Pharmacy ranks sixth nationally in research funds

by Chuck Brown, UNMC public relations | February 27, 2009

The rankings

Click here to see the AACP rankings.

The UNMC College of Pharmacy ranks sixth nationally among 110 pharmacy schools in terms of National Institutes of Health research dollars per Ph.D. faculty member, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) has announced.

The rankings -- compiled annually by the AACP -- show that the College of Pharmacy's 18 Ph.D.-level investigators collectively received more than $5 million in NIH funds in 2008.

That equates to about $280,434 in NIH funds for each pharmacy Ph.D. faculty member.

"This is an outstanding accomplishment," said Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy. "It is the result of the creativity, persistence and dedication to improving human health on the part of the entire faculty, their research associates, graduate students, post docs and the staff who make sure the grants get out the door.

"Recognition by the AACP is significant considering they are the authority on issues regarding U.S. pharmacy colleges."

UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., can share in the credit for the high ranking because of his world-class research vision for the medical center, Dr. Fletcher said. Vice Chancellor Tom Rosenquist, Ph.D., also deserves praise for his efforts to enhance the research environment at UNMC, Dr. Fletcher said.

Dr. Rosenquist, for his part, was impressed by the college's performance in the rankings.

"This recent report shows that the UNMC College of Pharmacy clearly is the champion in its weight class, and the research faculty in COP, pound-for-pound, is among the best in the world," Dr. Rosenquist said. "We are proud of the superior quality of the top COP researchers, including Dean Fletcher, who also brings strong leadership to the overall COP research initiative."

"This recent report shows that the UNMC College of Pharmacy clearly is the champion in its weight class, and the research faculty in COP, pound-for-pound, is among the best in the world."

Tom Rosenquist, Ph.D.

Dr. Rosenquist said the college benefits from having several outstanding senior investigators, including:
  • Alexander "Sasha" Kabanov, Ph.D., professor in the College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Parke-Davis Chair in Pharmaceutics, who last year secured a $10.6 million COBRE grant for his nanomedicine research;
  • Jonathan Vennerstrom, Ph.D., professor in the department of pharmaceutical sciences, who has garnered significant funding and recognition for his work to develop anti-malarial drugs;
  • Yuri Lyubchenko, Ph.D., D.Sc., professor in the department of pharmaceutical sciences, who works in nanoimaging and atomic force microscopy;
  • Serguei Vinogradov, Ph.D., research professor in the department of pharmaceutical sciences, who works in nanodelivery of nucleoside drugs and approaches to overcome drug resistance;
  • Peter Kador, Ph.D., professor in the department of pharmaceutical sciences, who works to develop compounds to treat age-related eye conditions and diabetic retinopathy;
  • Tatiana Bronich, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of pharmaceutical sciences, who works in polyelectrolyte and polymer surfactant complexes in drug delivery;
  • Dong Wang, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of pharmaceutical sciences, who received funding for his work in the development of therapies for musculoskeletal and craniofacial diseases; and
  • Dr. Fletcher, who has long been funded by the NIH for his work in the clinical development and clinical pharmacology of medications for HIV/AIDS.

Recent news that Dr. Fletcher had received part of a $12 million NIH Program Project Grant and other developments in the college could make UNMC a mainstay in the AACP's top 10, Dr. Rosenquist said.

"Based on the quality of the investigators and their work, it's safe to say that we can expect great things from the college in terms of research funding," Dr. Rosenquist said.

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