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UTHSC College of Pharmacy Dedicates State-of-the-Art Building


At 10:00 a.m. today, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) dedicated its new 183,857-square-foot College of Pharmacy building on the UT-Baptist Research Park in the Memphis Medical Center.

At 10:00 a.m. today, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) dedicated its new 183,857-square-foot College of Pharmacy building on the UT-Baptist Research Park in the Memphis Medical Center. More than 300 alumni, faculty, students, staff and community guests joined Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and State Senator Randy McNally (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) to mark the official opening of the state-of-the-art facility. The new Pharmacy building is located at 881 Madison Avenue adjacent to the UTHSC main campus, which includes almost two million square feet of space.

“Moving into a new facility like this really changes the heartbeat of your college,” said UT President Joe DiPietro. “It’s a special moment in your history and it signifies great things for the future.” He observed, “No matter where residents of this state live, they benefit from the education and delivery of the services our pharmacy graduates provide. Our pharmacy graduates help to form the backbone of our state’s health care system. With all the benefits of this new facility, imagine what more they can achieve.”

The UT College of Pharmacy building is the second building to be completed on the UT-Baptist Research Park, a project that will add more than 1.4 million square feet of laboratory, research, education and business space in the heart of the Memphis Medical Center near downtown. The more than $65 million Pharmacy building consolidates UT College of Pharmacy faculty and staff who were previously housed in six different buildings on the sprawling urban campus. The Pharmacy building brings nearly everyone from the college’s Memphis location together at the new site.

“It is fitting to dedicate this magnificent new home for our nationally ranked College of Pharmacy during our centennial,” said UTHSC Chancellor Steve Schwab. “The UT College of Pharmacy is ranked in the top 20 in the United States, and is by far the largest college of pharmacy in the state and in the region. It is fitting to give this college a home worthy of their accomplishments.”

Chancellor Schwab added, “It is also fitting that we dedicate this building during the tenure of its key architect who has served more than 20 years as the Dean of the College of Pharmacy — Dean Dick Gourley. Dean Gourley has worked tirelessly to make this building a reality. To him the university owes a true debt of gratitude.”

“This new building adds impetus for Memphis being known as a city that is looking for a brighter and better tomorrow,” said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton. Marking the expanded research capacity available in the new UT College of Pharmacy building, he observed, “I hope we never fail to recognize that this pharmacy college is not just about learning what to dispense today but what will prolong life tomorrow.”

The sixth floor of the new building encompasses the UT Plough Center for Sterile Drug Delivery Systems. In March 2010, the Plough Foundation awarded a $4.5 million grant to the UTHSC College of Pharmacy to establish the more than 5,800-square-foot center. The UT Plough Center serves as an educational hub for teaching and training pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, and highly skilled employees for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. The center also provides an environment for the conceptualization of unique drug products to solve specialized problems, including the development and manufacture of “small molecule” drug products to treat cancers, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases and other life-threatening conditions. It will enable scientists to increase the number of clinical trials performed locally, which will be a major positive step toward improved health care in the region.

Founded in 1898, the UT College of Pharmacy is the first pharmacy school established in the state of Tennessee and is ranked 16th out of some 120 pharmacy colleges in the nation (April 2011 U.S. News & World Report). With more than 5,800 graduates, the UT College of Pharmacy has major campus locations in Memphis and Knoxville, and Clinical Education Centers in Kingsport and Nashville. Roughly 75 percent of the college’s graduates remain in Tennessee to live, work and contribute to their communities. Additionally, the college has some 300 sites across the state where students gain experience through community practice and residency, clinical rotation, and institutional practice and residency. Plus the college offers pharmacy rotations in 13 countries. The economic impact of the UT College of Pharmacy is estimated at $82.7 million through licensing technologies and discoveries that fuel the biotech industry in the Mid-South region.

As the flagship statewide academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service. In 2011, UT Health Science Center celebrates its centennial: 100 years advancing the future of health care. Offering a broad range of postgraduate training opportunities, the main UTHSC campus is located in Memphis and includes six colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The UTHSC campus in Knoxville includes a College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, and an Allied Health Sciences unit. In addition, the UTHSC Chattanooga campus includes a College of Medicine and an Allied Health Sciences unit. Since its founding in 1911, UTHSC has educated and trained more than 53,000 health care professionals on campuses and in health care facilities across the state. For more information, visit www.uthsc.edu.