Peter Swaan Appointed Dean of the UF College of Pharmacy
Peter Swaan, Ph.D., M.Pharm., a distinguished university professor and internationally recognized researcher in the pharmaceutical sciences, began his tenure as dean of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy on Dec. 1.
Swaan joined UF after nearly two decades at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, where he held several leadership roles. Most recently, he served as the associate dean for research and advanced graduate education as well as a professor and chair in the department of pharmaceutical sciences. In May, he was appointed a distinguished university professor in recognition of his extraordinary leadership and significant contributions to the pharmaceutical sciences.
Swaan is well-connected to many of the nation’s largest and most prestigious pharmacy colleges. His academic and professional career includes stops at the University of Michigan; the University of California, San Francisco; the Ohio State University; and the University of Maryland. All four of these pharmacy colleges are featured in the top 15 of the U.S. News & World Report’s best pharmacy college rankings. As dean of the UF College of Pharmacy, he will lead the nation’s No. 5-ranked pharmacy college.
A highly cited researcher, Swaan has published more than 150 original research articles. He has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1998 and has secured more than $25 million in grant funding during his career. His research focuses on all aspects of transporters in drug targeting and delivery, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, with his major contributions to this research area involving the application of transporters as targets for prodrugs. He has pioneered the use of computational techniques to determine the structural requirements of membrane transporters, which has paved the way for the discovery of novel substrates and inhibitors. He also holds several U.S. patents on these and related technologies.
UF College of Pharmacy No. 1 in the Nation Again for Pharmacy Residency Placements
The University of Florida College of Pharmacy finds itself in a familiar position atop the national pharmacy match rankings after a record 153 fourth-year students and graduates secured residency positions in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, or ASHP, match in 2022.
It’s the sixth time in seven years that the UF College of Pharmacy led the nation in total residency placements.
ASHP’s match program pairs thousands of student pharmacists across the country with a variety of pharmacy practice settings, including hospitals and community pharmacies. Nearly 5,800 postgraduate year 1, or PGY1, and postgraduate year 2, or PGY2, residency positions were available this year. UF’s 153 residency matches included 113 PGY1 and 40 PGY2 placements.
Residency programs from coast to coast welcomed Gator pharmacy students and graduates this summer. UF’s matches featured programs in 22 states and Washington, D.C. Most pharmacy students and graduates will continue their training in Florida, with 105 matching in the Sunshine State.
UF College of Pharmacy Moves into Top 3 of National Research Rankings
The University of Florida College of Pharmacy moved up two places to No. 3 in the nation for total research funding in the latest American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, or AACP, report released last year. The No. 3 ranking is the highest ever achieved by the college when compared with peer institutions.
AACP compiles research data from more than 140 colleges of pharmacy around the country. For the first time, the UF College of Pharmacy ranked No. 3 in all three major categories where research funding is reported: NIH funding ($22.1 million), federal funding ($25.9 million) and total funding ($32.3 million).
The $32.3 million is a new record for annual research funding in the college and represents a nearly fourfold increase since 2013, when the college secured $8.5 million.
The UF College of Pharmacy increased the number of grant-funded faculty from 53 to 57 during AACP’s reporting period from October 2020 to September 2021. AACP’s report also indicated that 92.5% of the college’s tenure-track research faculty were grant-funded. Both numbers reflect new statistical highs for the college.
UF College of Pharmacy Receives National Diversity Award for the Second Consecutive Year
Insight Into Diversity magazine has awarded the University of Florida College of Pharmacy with a 2022 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, Award for the second straight year. The national honor recognizes the college’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion and its innovative efforts to champion diversity-related programs.
Only three pharmacy colleges in the nation earned a 2022 Health Professions HEED Award. The UF College of Pharmacy was featured, along with the UF College of Dentistry and 63 other recipients, in the December 2022 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine — the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected the UF College of Pharmacy based on many strides made over the past year to champion diversity, inclusion and health equity efforts.
“Winning another HEED award validates the hard work our faculty, staff and students have put forth to advocate and embrace diversity, inclusion and health equity efforts in our college,” said John Allen, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCCCP, FCCM, FCCP, associate dean for diversity inclusion and health equity in the UF College of Pharmacy and a clinical associate professor. “This work is not a destination but a journey. We must continue making strides to make the college a welcoming and inclusive place for all and ensure that everyone in our college is valued for the rich diversity added by their presence.”
UF’s First Black Ph.D. Graduate Honored with Distinguished Alumnus Award
Ira C. Robinson Sr., ’66, had a career nothing short of distinguished. He overcame racial tension and adversity to become the University of Florida’s first Black Ph.D. graduate — earning a degree in industrial pharmacy. He was the first Black Ph.D. senior research scientist at Pfizer, and at the age of 28, he became the nation’s youngest pharmacy college dean at his undergraduate alma mater, Florida A&M University. Later in his career, he served as dean of the Howard University College of Pharmacy.
Robinson added to his list of accomplishments in 2022, as the recipient of UF’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. The honor is the highest bestowed upon a UF doctoral graduate and only about 300 individuals have ever received the award. UF recognized Robinson during the university’s Doctoral Recognition Ceremony on April 28.
“Throughout his career, Dr. Robinson has demonstrated being a trailblazer and pioneer in the profession of pharmacy,” said John Allen, Pharm.D., associate dean of diversity, inclusion and health equity in the UF College of Pharmacy. “His exemplary career in the pharmaceutical industry and pharmacy education was grounded in knowledge, skills and attitudes obtained at the University of Florida, and were instrumental in his success. Being UF’s first Black Ph.D. graduate took great endurance and courage, and his greatest legacy may be found in the generations of Black students who have followed in his footsteps and sought a more equitable education.”
Robinson used his industrial pharmacy education to establish his own international pharmaceutical health care consulting business. He would advise the U.S. government and Ministries of Health around the world on drug supply logistics as well as the importation, manufacturing and storage of medications. His devotion to advancing Blacks in pharmacy was evident through his service to the profession. He founded and served as executive director for the National Pharmaceutical Foundation for 17 years and was instrumental in the establishment of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, which is dedicated to the pharmacy profession and serving the underserved.
Editor’s Note: Dr. Robinson passed away on April 28, 2022, after a long illness.
UF College of Pharmacy and APhA Offering Test and Treat Certificate Program
The University of Florida College of Pharmacy and the American Pharmacists Association, or APhA, announced a new partnership in 2022 that will allow pharmacists to test patients for several non-emergency health issues.
The two organizations are leveraging their expertise to offer one of the first national pharmacy-based test-and-treat certificate programs. APhA is the largest association of pharmacists in the United States, while the UF College of Pharmacy ranks among the nation’s top 5 pharmacy colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The training expands a pharmacist’s ability to provide on-the-spot testing services at their local pharmacy. Pharmacists will be able to test and initiate therapy for influenza, strep throat, urinary tract infections and other minor, noncomplicated health conditions in accordance with their state practice. This expansion of pharmacy-led services will significantly improve a patient’s access to care.
Pharmacists seeking to enroll in the test-and-treat certificate training program will complete 20 hours of self-study and live training. The comprehensive curriculum was designed to meet the credentialing requirements in every state — allowing pharmacists from coast to coast an opportunity to earn the certificate.