Pharmacy Magazine 2021[1038] - Page 4

W . Thomas Smith , Dean of
Pharmacy and Graduate Life Sciences
MU | From the Editor

Message from the Dean

W . Thomas Smith , Dean of

Pharmacy and Graduate Life Sciences

Dear friends and colleagues ,
We are approaching nearly a decade since our inaugural Doctor of Pharmacy ( Pharm . D .) Program opened its doors at Manchester University in 2012 . This fall , with the 5-year reunion of the Class of 2016 , we also celebrate the success of our Pharmacy Program ’ s humble beginnings . It ’ s impressive to see just how far we ’ ve come since the first 64 students , eager to become pharmacists , stepped through that doorway as the Class of ’ 16 . This year , with 243 full-time Pharm . D . students currently enrolled , we are proud to have graduated six classes , totaling nearly 400 graduates to date .
As we continually grow this program , our vision remains focused on the future of pharmacy practice with strategic goals in mind to prepare graduate pharmacists into the 21st century . We are evolving our Pharm . D . Program for excellence in patient care with our progressive renewed curriculum – now in its second year . Our courses seamlessly integrate interprofessional learning experiences and professional development opportunities so students can hone their skills . Through our case conference series and skills lab , students have opportunities to synthesize current and past knowledge and demonstrate their acquired skills to find solutions to complex patient cases .
2021 marks a new chapter for our professional and graduate degree programs as we transform Pharmacy Programs into Pharmacy and Graduate Life Sciences , encompassing current graduate programs in the expansively growing field of pharmacogenomics and future programs in nutrition and nutrigenomics .
Our suite of pharmacogenomics programs , a first in the United States , continue to position Manchester as a market leader . Featured in this issue , our Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics degree , first offered on campus in 2016 and followed by an online program , is recognized as highly competitive among our peer colleges .
In 2018 , we enrolled our first dual degree students . This year , we celebrated our first graduates to earn concurrently both the professional pharmacy degree as well as the master ’ s degree in pharmacogenomics . These pharmacists , with their strong foundation in pharmacogenomics and precision medicine , will be able to deliver optimal care to the patients they serve on day one .
In this era , as we continue to move toward personalized , holistic patient care , practitioners , including pharmacists , must consider the role of nutrition on patients ’ overall well-being . Importantly , with our greater understanding of the human genome , we realize the interplay between food and the human genotype in disease management and prevention . Accordingly , looking to the very foundation of genetics – a specialty of ours – we ’ ve applied to launch a new graduate program in nutrition and nutrigenomics . These students will learn how genes and diet affect a person ’ s health and her / his / their risk of developing certain diseases and conditions .
Our foundation is solid , and our future is bright . The caliber of our faculty , staff , students and alumni add to the momentum that propels us forward . I look forward to sharing with you the amazing growth and opportunities Manchester Pharmacy and Graduate Life Sciences has to offer not only in this issue , but for many decades to come .
W . Thomas Smith , Pharm . D ., J . D . Professor and Dean of Pharmacy and Graduate Life Sciences
4 Manchester University | ManchesterRx