A Message from the Dean
The College of Pharmacy's "Funding Excellence to Sustain Excellence" campaign will shape the future of pharmacy health care not
only in Florida but throughout the world. We hope to inspire alumni, friends, corporations and foundations to invest in our programs
by supporting our most valuable asset: our faculty and our students.
The practice of pharmacy has now come full-circle to exemplify the community pharmacist of yesteryear, who not only dispensed
tablets and elixirs, but was an integral part of a family's health care. Tomorrow will bring many new challenges. The profession is rap-
idly changing in response to environmental and societal factors such as longer life expectancy, increased number of drug prescriptions
and a greater divide between economic classes. Our college is addressing these demands and looking further into the future to investi-
gate emerging health care issues that are moving to the forefront.
Building a foundation for excellence takes forethought, time and resources. The College of Pharmacy the oldest health science col-
lege at UF has demonstrated this in its enduring, quality program developed and sustained for more than 80 years.
Our mission is to promote the health and welfare of the people of Florida and the nation by preparing graduates in pharmacy to take
independent professional responsibility for the outcome of drug therapy in patients. We are proud that our graduates have the scientific
and cultural background necessary to assume leadership roles in the profession and community.
With the right resources today we can expand our impact to affect more lives in more places with a greater depth of solutions, while
educating and preparing pharmacists for tomorrow. I look forward to the journey and invite all advocates of pharmacy health care to
join me in creating a place of drug discovery, a day of partnerships and a belief in health access for all.
William Riffee, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Pharmacy
The Promise of Tomorrow
The University of Florida holds the promise of the future:
Florida Tomorrow a place, a belief, a day. Florida Tomorrow is
filled with possibilities. Florida Tomorrow is for dreamers and
doers, for optimists and pragmatists, for scholars and entrepre-
neurs, all of whom are nurtured at Florida's flagship university:
the University of Florida, the foundation of the Gator Nation.
What is Florida Tomorrow? Here at the College of Pharmacy, we
believe it's an opportunity, one filled with promise and hope. It's
that belief that feeds the university's capital campaign to raise
more than $1 billion.
The Florida Tomorrow campaign will shape the university, cer-
tainly. But its ripple effect will also touch the state of Florida,
the nation and the entire world. Florida Tomorrow is pioneering
research and spirited academic programs. It's a fertile envi-
ronment for inquiry, teaching and learning. It's being at the
forefront to address the challenges facing all of us, both today
College of Pharmacy
Florida Tomorrow Campaign Goals
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Leslie Hendeles, Pharm.D.,
professor of pharmacy
and pediatrics, wants the i
best therapies for asthma
sufferers of all ages.
Florida Tomorrow is a place ..
where new drug discoveries improve the quality of life.
Passion for Patient Care
Leslie Hendeles doesn't shy away from his reputation as an
activist. The professor of pharmacy and pediatrics also a pul-
monary consultant to the Food and Drug Administration has
lobbied for better treatment for patients with asthma, a disease
that affects 20 million people in the United States. He has fought
for the removal of ineffective medications for cystic fibrosis
patients and has helped promote safe, effective replacements for
the ozone-depleting CFCs used in asthma inhalers, which will be
soon be prohibited under an international environmental treaty.
In all of his causes, his goal remains the same: getting the best
treatment options to patients.
"It's very gratifying to me to be able to make a difference
through my research," he says.
For years, Hendeles has been convincing health care prac-
titioners to treat asthma attacks with an inhaler with a special
holding chamber instead of the traditional nebulizer treatment.
The adapted inhaler treatment holds many advantages over the
expensive, bulky nebulizer machine, he says.
"Many doctors think that nebulizers work better because that's
what they were taught; but the inhaler doesn't require electric
power, it works just as well and has fewer side effects in small
children," he explains. "Families spend less time, energy, money
and worry with this treatment."
Nebulizers, which take 15-20 minutes to use, must be disas-
sembled, disinfected and reassembled before they can be used
again. The quicker, more portable inhaler treatment, by contrast,
offers more convenience and flexibility, which can lead to better
management of the disease.
"Kids can put the inhaler in a backpack and go about their nor-
mal activities," Hendeles says.
Another area where Hendeles has had significant impact is in
the regulation of pancreatic enzyme replacements for cystic fibro-
sis patients. Because the enzymes were on the market before the
1938 act that required FDA approval for medications, some drugs
remained available despite the fact that they had never been
proven effective. Hendeles' research, along with UF professor
Guenther Hochhaus, has shown that the drugs can be ineffec-
tive or inconsistent, sometimes causing treatment failure in the
patients who take them.
After years of advocating for cystic fibrosis patients, Hendeles
was thrilled when, in 2004, the FDA agreed to mandate regula-
tion of these drugs.
"This is why I'm on this earth," he says, "to do these things to
Florida Tomorrow is a day
when pharmacists work in partnership with patients
and their doctors.
The Evolving Classroom
On distance learning campuses in Jacksonville, Orlando and
St. Petersburg and in homes in rural Montana and even as far
away as South Korea UF pharmacy students are honing skills.
Distance learning has emerged as a way to address the nation's
need for pharmacists, a trend driven by baby boomers retiring
from the profession coupled with longer life expectancies.
"There are more patients, more drugs than ever before," says
Sven Normann, assistant dean for Distance, Continuing and
Executive Education at UF's College of Pharmacy. "Remote cam-
puses are a way to rapidly add qualified, competent pharmacists
to the workforce."
The three Florida campuses, which have made UF the country's
largest pharmacy school, offer a blended curriculum of lectures in
streaming online video and off-site classes. UF's distance learning
program, created in 2001, was one of the first in the country to use
streaming video, which has become a national model. But tech-
nology isn't just reserved for distance campuses.
"Many Gainesville students opt to watch the video just as
students in Jacksonville, St. Pete and Orlando do. It's a feature
they really like," Normann says. "When we started six years
ago, there were just a few other distance programs in pharmacy.
Now other institutions have looked at our program and are
looking to replicate."
The college's first distance learners graduated in 2006, nearly
doubling the graduating class size. Pharmacy students from
four Florida cities joined together at commencement.
Another remote-learning program offered by UF allows phar-
macists in the workforce who graduated with a bachelor's degree
to pursue a doctorate, now the standard qualification for employ-
ment. Students watch lectures on DVD a format more widely
available than Internet lectures and attend classes near their
hometown with UF facilitators. Lectures can also be downloaded
as MP3 files. More than 1,300 students have graduated from the
Working Pharmacist program since its inception in 1994.
"These students already know about pharmacology, com-
pounding, dispensing. What we're adding is a focus on
patient-centered pharmacy practice. That's increasingly impor-
tant, as pharmacists have evolved into an integral part of the
health-care team," Normann says.
"They're gaining an added credential that makes them more
marketable in the workplace, upgrades their skills and gives them
a sense of personal accomplishment. It can help them get a pro-
motion or raise, and in some cases, it can allow them to keep the
jobs they already have."
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Florida Tomorrow is a belief
that no one will be denied access to drug therapies.
In Orlando, a drugstore loses power in a hurricane and phar-
macists scramble to figure out which refrigerated medicines are
still safe to dispense to customers. In Miami, a pharmacist is puz-
zled as she tries to find the stateside equivalent of a prescription
from South America. In Jacksonville, a zoo veterinarian is tasked
with calibrating a dose of human antibiotic for an 11,000-pound
The answer, in each of those cases, is a phone call away. When
doctors and pharmacists are baffled, they often turn to UF's Drug
Information and Pharmacy Resource Center. The center a col-
laboration between the College of Pharmacy and Shands is a
free service to Florida's pharmacists and health care professionals.
Pharmacy students in their final year of training field the calls.
Questions are researched and UF faculty members are consulted
before students offer an answer. Professors Paul Doering and
Randy Hatton direct the center. Calls to the center, Doering says,
often lead to "teachable moments."
"It's the perfect marriage of service and education," he says.
"Students are getting real-world experience, not contrived
cases. These are skills that will carry them through the rest of
When it began as a thesis project in 1972, the center was one of
the first of its kind a free, statewide service for medical pro-
fessionals. Although the center does not take calls from private
citizens, patients can ask their pharmacists or doctors to call on
their behalf. The center also advises law enforcement officials on
issues from prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse to iden-
tification of drugs found in traffic stops and searches.
While much has changed in the 35 years of the center's exis-
tence namely the flood of drug information available on the
Internet the center's mission has remained the same: to pro-
vide reliable, unbiased information, Doering notes.
"A lot of the information provided by different services may be
colored by that source's agenda," he adds. "We look at ourselves
as neutral and unbiased."
The state's health care professionals benefit from up-to-the-
minute information on their most complicated drug questions,
while students gain valuable drug-research experience,
"It's a win-win situation."
Our Vision of Tomorrow
Leadership and vision are cornerstones of the College of
Pharmacy. The first professional health college at the University
of Florida, its rich history began September 1923 with 43 students.
In the 1930s, it became the first UF college to offer the Doctor of
Philosophy degree and the first to accept women.
Over the following century, the pharmacy profession developed
and matured and the pharmacist's role expanded to provide more
patient-focused health care, which was the trademark of yester-
Today, at the heart of our college, faculty with interdisciplinary
backgrounds in science, law, economics, health care administration
and psychology, collectively work to create a profession integral to
the health care team.
Striving for excellence, our faculty sets high standards in
research, teaching and professional service. Their work encom-
passes far more than the study of medications. They investigate
the causes of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, brain cancer,
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in order to understand how
new drugs must be designed to treat and possibly prevent
Our faculty is:
* Leading research ... Pharmaceutics researchers are devel-
oping a patent-pending approach to streamline lengthy
drug development processes and get new medicines more
efficiently to patients. Pharmacogenomics researchers are
leading an interdisciplinary team studying the importance
of genetics in drug therapy outcomes.
* Ensuring safety ... Health care administration faculty
work with hospitals and clinics to prevent medication
errors. Researchers in pharmacy practice are helping
hospitals handle the nationwide health concern of
* Treating asthma ... Clinical faculty are improving the
health of asthma patients by studying drug combina-
tions and treatment, including better delivery methods
for inhaled medication. They are also collaborating with
national agencies, like the Food and Drug Administration,
to advocate for safe and effective patient drug therapies.
* Understanding addiction and obesity ... Pharmacodynamics
faculty want to find which chemicals in the brain fuel exces-
sive alcohol consumption and hope to develop a new drug
therapy to combat alcoholism. Medicinal chemistry faculty
are tackling the cellular mechanics of obesity, which may aid
drug development in regulating metabolism to control this
condition that poses risk factors for diabetes, hypertension
* Serving the community ... Pharmacy faculty is educating
patients about food-drug interactions, such as grapefruit juice
and St. John's wort, which may impact dose requirements
for safe and effective treatment. Working with Shands hos-
pital, our Drug Information and Pharmacy Resource Center
provides a valuable service for all health-care professionals
statewide while training pharmacy students.
Our college has taken a leadership role in redefining the
pharmacy profession by expanding the role of the pharmacist
beyond the corner drugstore of the 1920s. But, we can do more.
The opportunities to a make a difference are only limited by our
funding. We aspire to sustain our Foundation of Excellence for
future generations by supporting our most valuable assets -
our faculty and students.
Your commitment to the Florida Tomorrow campaign will not
only affect your area of choice immediately, it will create a ripple
of change that will resonate for years to come. Florida Tomorrow
is a day when the discoveries we create now, inspire excellence
and innovation and transform quality of life throughout the
state and the world. Please join us on this exciting journey in sci-
ence and discovery.