Latest program will enhance pool of scientists and educators, especially in South Texas
Mega Doctor News
A doctoral degree program in pharmaceutical sciences at the Texas A&M Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy was approved July 25 by an unanimous vote of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
The first cohort in the Ph.D. program will start in spring 2020 at the Kingsville and Bryan, Texas, locations, which operate under a “one program, two campuses” model. Students and faculty in both locations connect through video conferencing.
Founding dean of the college and professor Indra Reddy, Ph.D., said he is eager to see the new program begin. “The Ph.D. program in pharmaceutical sciences will pave the way for South Texas to be on the forefront of drug discovery, development, and delivery,” he said. “There is an immeasurable potential to help the diverse patient population of our region by making lifesaving medications more effective, accessible and affordable.” The South Texas area benefits from the location there, as about 60 percent of graduates stay in the area.
There are five doctoral programs in pharmaceutical sciences in Texas. The Rangel College of Pharmacy will distinguish itself by offering graduate training and education based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendations for transforming the way medical products are developed, evaluated and manufactured. Students will design and conduct research, have hands-on experience at research centers and laboratories and complete a dissertation.
Texas A&M Provost & Executive Vice President Carol Fierke said, “The establishment of a Ph.D. program in Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Rangel College of Pharmacy builds on and strengthens Texas A&M University as a research-intensive institution dedicated to advancing the discovery and development of innovative drug therapies.”
Karen Butler-Purry, Ph.D., PE, associate provost for graduate and professional studies at Texas A&M, said, “We are excited to have this great addition to our graduate programs.”
“FDA’s critical path and modernization of pharmaceutical development was the missing piece of our puzzle. It is great to see the convergence of multidisciplinary faculty to help train the future generation of pharmaceutical scientists in this modern paradigm.”
The Rangel College of Pharmacy began educational operations in August 2006, with a 75-student PharmD class in a three-story facility. It was created to help address a severe shortage of pharmacists—which was projected to reach 157,000 nationwide by 2020, as forecasted by Pharmacy Manpower Project Inc.