From: The Road to Excellence
The University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy 1925-2000
Edited by Karl A. Neiforth, Ph.D.
Administrative leadership during the third quarter of the School’s seventy-five year history was shared by three administrators. Arthur E. Schwarting was selected to replace Dean Hewitt upon his resignation and began his administration on January 1, 1970. His immediate successor was William J. Kelleher, Professor of Pharmacognosy who served as Acting Dean from January 1, 1981 to April 30, 1981 at which time Dr. Karl A. Nieforth, who had served as Associate Dean since 1967, initiated his administration. He would serve until December 6, 1993, when the Dean’s Office was occupied by Dr. Michael C. Gerald, the School’s sixth Dean.
The fifth Dean of the School, Karl A. Nieforth, expended major efforts to out-reach activities to broaden the community support of the School. A reemphasis was given to local pharmaceutical societies in an unsuccessful attempt to breathe new life into these once vibrant organizations. Furthermore, the School was poised to develop nationally recognized research programs and precious resources were directed to candidate programs. Accomplishments in this area were evidenced by the development of an interdisciplinary program in Biochemical Toxicology and a federally sponsored Toxicology Training Program directed by Dr. Steven D. Cohen; a State supported Drug Design Program cosponsored by the School, the Health Center and Yale University, directed by Dr. Alexandros Makriyannis who also received a senior Research Career Development Award and the award of a seven-year Jacob Javitts Research Award to Dr. Philip Rosenberg. Undergraduate education received much of his attention and students were given a more significant role in the development of their educational programs. Additional faculty in Immunology and Toxicology established the School as a national center of excellence in this area. Remodeling of the School initiated by Dean Schwarting continued and preliminary discussions concerning new construction were entered.
The sixth Dean of the School, Michael C. Gerald, undertook to stage the School for entry into the twenty first century. Administratively, in 1994 he reorganized the School into two Departments, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacy Practice and afforded each of the Departments a certain degree of fiscal autonomy as had been provided to him by the University’s administration. Initially Dr. Philip Rosenberg served as Head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Upon his 1997 retirement, Dr. Karl A. Nieforth served as Head for one year followed by Dr. Michael J. Pikal. Dr. Edward T. Kelly was the first Head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, a position he held until 1998 when Professor Alex A. Cardoni assumed the role. It fell to Dean Gerald to oversee construction of a new Pharmacy building, which is presently in process as a part of Phase II of UCONN 2000. He revisited the Department of Higher Education and received approval to stage an entry level Pharm.D. program, which will graduate its first class in 2001. As a result of transforming the School into an Upper Division program, the School now supports only four Pharmacy classes one fewer than previously. The new Pharm.D. program required significant expansion of the clinical faculty group as the result of several new hires. Development was another major initiative of his administration and for the first time in its history, the School had its own Development Officer.
The University Health Center
The development of a University Health Center in Farmington placed the three campus-based health schools, Allied Health, Nursing and Pharmacy, in a unique position. Although the schools were under the administrative authority of the Vice-President for Health Affairs, all fiscal decisions were made by the Vice-President for Academic Affairs in Storrs. The faculty of the three schools, particularly Pharmacy, were ambivalent about relocation to the Farmington site although the Faculty Senate voted in 1976 to move the three schools. Fiscal considerations coupled with serious questions about the presence of a large number of undergraduate students at Farmington postponed the move until the early 1980’s when Dean Nieforth was informed along with the other health deans that their reporting authority had been transferred to Storrs.
Pharmacy would continue to house faculty at the Health Center and students would participate in Health Center educational experiences, but that site was no longer considered to be the administrative center of the clinical program. Limited space and a small patient program necessitated that a stronger presence be established at Hartford Hospital, which was far more suitable as a clinical base. Administration of the clinical program became housed in the Hartford-based Institute of Living in 1997
The Connecticut Poison Control Center, which was affiliated with the School in 1975 under the direction of a faculty member, Alex Cardoni, became a fiscal legislative item in the early 1980’s removing it as a drain on the Health Center’s budget. Dean Nieforth was also able to secure adequate legislative funding with the invaluable assistance of a licensed pharmacist legislator, Benjamin DeZinno, for the Center to permit twenty-four hours of service. Shortly thereafter, concomitant with the reporting changes, the Poison Control Center became a Health Center program.
In a series of five 1-5 articles published more than twenty-five years ago, University of Connecticut faculty described a bold and innovative departure from normal educational methods under the banner of “An Integrated Program for Training Pharmacy Students.” This new instructional approach was centered on the elimination of traditional disciplinary subject areas followed by a reconstruction of essential subject areas to develop a rational progression from fundamental pharmaceutical sciences to actual involvement in clinical practice.
Programmatic focus was to be placed on the drug beginning with the physicochemical principles associated with drugs and drug systems. Relationships between the drug and its formulation into dosage forms was to be discussed next, followed by disease considerations as related to the drug and its dosage forms. This section was the dominant curricular component and was proposed to encompass biopharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics, clinical pharmacology, clinical laboratory data, immunology, medicinal chemistry, pathobiology, physiology clinical experience and toxicology. Simultaneous with the terminal portions of this major offering, students would be participating in various clinical experiences. The final component dealt with the social and economic aspects of pharmacy practice.
In 1969, an NIH Special Projects Grant Program was announced which had as one of its missions, the revision of pharmacy school curricula to include clinical sciences and experience. Early in August of 1969, the Executive Committee of the School met with Dean Hewitt to discuss the possibility of submitting an application to this program. The initial request was not approved but resubmission was recommended after two subsequent submissions and substantial revisions faculty members were informed of four years funding of $217,258.
Simultaneous involvement of this faculty in curriculum redesign and the availability of extramural support encouraged the submission of proposals for these resources to underwrite the integrated program. Initial plans included dramatic changes in class format beginning with traditional lectures in early course offerings and progressing to small group discussions midway through the program. Final clinical course work was proposed to involve direct, one-on-one mentorship. Initially, only a small group of students would participate in the integrated program and the remainder of the class, the control group, would receive a revised program containing all of the subject material offered in a traditional lecture series.
This was a period of relative upheaval in pharmacy education as traditional courses such as inorganic pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacognosy, quantitative analysis, etc. were giving way to clinical experience, toxicology, immunology, etc. Changes in pharmacy practice, which would place the pharmacists in closer proximity with other health care professionals and be responsible for patient counseling were recognized as the future. In the midst of this tumultuous period, the additional chaos surrounding integration did not seem to present an insurmountable barrier to the youthful Connecticut faculty.
A series of four major courses under the headings, Physicochemical Principals of Drug Systems, Drugs and Dosage Forms, Drugs and the Diseased State and Drugs and Society were described in the 1969 proposal written by William J. Kelleher, Karl A. Nieforth, Philip Rosenberg and James Swarbrick. The initial budget of $1,675,704 would support fourteen new faculty and an equal number of support personnel, extensive renovation and considerable teaching equipment. Audiovisual materials were to make up an essential component of the program. Production facilities were to be purchased to record aspects of pharmacy practice unavailable in existing teaching arenas such as introduction of clinical rounds to students on the main, rural campus. Slides were to be common in the program and routing taping of lectures was anticipated.
The experimental sequence was the primary component on the proposal and received major consideration in the narration. A fresh approach to teaching was needed. Stereotyped examinations, regurgitation of material and wide acceptance of “three lectures and one lab” was questioned as to effectiveness. It was the faculty’s intent to utilize an approach, which would integrate essential subject areas and actively involve students in learning. Recipients of this program were to be evaluated against students simultaneously following the revised curriculum.
When possible, discussion periods based on previously assigned topics would be substituted for formal lectures. Laboratories, demonstrations and audiovisual media were to be freely used. Scheduling was to permit large blocks of time for open-ended discussions, spontaneous lectures, extra laboratory periods or repetition if warranted. It was anticipated that the experimental group might meet with three or four faculty members in free discussion in the morning. Following lunch, free time might be available for self-instructional preparation of a subsequent laboratory exercise, which upon completion would be followed by a reassembled discussion of the day’s activities. The faculty would decide at that time to continue the discussion the next day or to move onto another topic.
Physicochemical Principals of Drug Systems was to be a two-semester, 15 credit sequences composed of lectures, discussions, laboratories and tutorial periods. Emphasis was to be placed on those fundamental principals, which were to be subsequently invoked in more applied sections of the program. Course importance was to be emphasized by acquainting the student with the need, relevance and future application of the principals to subsequent course work and to the practice of pharmacy.
Drugs and Dosage Forms were to focus on the properties of drugs as entities and their formulation into dosage forms. Discussion would extend from the inception of the drug moiety up to the point immediately prior to administration to the patient. The sequence of material was to be origin and synthesis, physicochemical properties, standardization and assay procedures, stability in various dosage forms, types of available dosage forms and packaging. Dispensing was to be a separate nonintegrated course presented in the fourth year.
Drugs and the Diseased State followed the dosage form through the processes and interactions after administration to the patient. It was to be organized on the basis of disease states. The sequence of material was to be the anatomy of the involved organ followed by physiology and pathology. The chemistry and associated pharmacology would be followed by biopharmaceutical and toxicological aspects of therapy. Clinical presentation of patient case studies would complete the area. Much of the material was to be presented at the Health Center instead of separating out a clinical experience course.
Drugs and Society was to be the final program area. Material was to include public health, pharmacy law, drug abuse and the socioeconomic aspects of pharmacy. Consideration was to be given to behavioral aspects of heath care and drug use as well as to pertinent trends in health care and the practice of pharmacy. The impact of Federal regulations, health care organizations and health care financing were also to be discussed.
A three-dimensional evaluation plan was proposed to include formative, summative and follow-up evaluation. The formative evaluation was to reveal deficiencies and successes in the intermediate stages of program development. Each faculty was to prepare educational objectives for specific course sequences and criteria, which would be used to measure the level of student achievement. Instructors were then to prepare evaluative reports covering student entry behavior, course presentation and outcome. Summative evaluation was to be generated by prime interest groups at the conclusion of the project. The major thrust in comparing the experimental and control groups was to consist of a series of comprehensive problem-solving situations which would measure the student’s interaction capacities. Attitudinal surveys were to be taken at each year’s end to measure acceptance of teaching methodology, motivation, professional interest and confidences. A follow-up evaluation would be conducted by contacting the experimental and control groups on an annual basis for a five-year period for the purpose of gathering actuarial data concerning professional activities.
In spite of enthusiastic comments by reviewers, the program was approved but not funded. The school was encouraged however to rewrite the proposal for submission the following year deleting the control group and focusing on the experimental program. The objectives were again stated as the implementation and evaluation of an innovative integrated program, which is both effective and efficient, for the education of pharmacists who can occupy a clinically oriented position at the physician/patient interface. The five-year budget of $631,224 was considerably less than the initial proposal. Some unrelated faculty growth had occurred so that the number of requested faculty decreased to twelve. The total salary request had decreased from $886,784 to $329,958 by a University commitment to gradually add grant faculty to the University payroll. Equipment needs were also decreased by finding alternate funding sources.
Several actions were initiated by the School in the period between submission of the first and second proposals. New required courses in pathobiology, immunology, biopharmaceutics, toxicology, socioeconomic aspects of pharmacy, clinical pharmacology and clinical experience were added to the curriculum. An interdisciplinary committee had designed a totally integrated medicinal chemistry-pharmacology course, and a similar committee had been appointed to design an integrated presentation of all physical chemical principles involved in the pharmacy curriculum. A retreat was also held to discuss self-generated topics including the design of a clinical program, student motivation, the role of clinical staff and their interaction with the remainder of the faculty, integration of subject matter and improved selection of students.
Reviewers of the second submission directed the School to resubmit the proposal for a third time with only minor revisions in the objectives. However, funding was going to be approved for only a two year period and subsequent to that, nonfunded extensions would be approved until the evaluation could be completed. By this time, the initial proposal for a five-year, $1,675,704 study had been downsized to a two year $217,258 experiment covering the period 9/1/72-6/30/74.
The reduced budget and the experience gained during the period between the first submission and the eventual start date precipitated significant changes in the program from that originally described in the AJPE articles 1-5 although the fundamental objectives remained untouched. As noted before, the control group was eliminated so all students were exposed to the new, integrated program. The reduced budget decreased the number of new faculty from twelve to five and therefore, the small group discussions disappeared and the lecture/laboratory process dominated the first two didactic years. Small groups were retained only at the experiential level where 1:1 ratios of faculty to students were the norm in both externship and clerkship sites.
Physicochemical Principles of Drug Systems (PCP)
PCP was originally designed to be a two-semester course given during the first professional year. The thirteen credits were to be presented in two five-credit lecture courses and two laboratories of one and two credits. When finally presented to students, chemical material originally proposed for a subsequent course had been added to PCP increasing the credit to fifteen.
Fall semester courses included the didactic courses’ PCP I (five credits) and PCP II (three credits) and the supporting one credit laboratory, PCP III. Although PCP I and PCP II were listed as two courses, the courses were presented in weekly, eight hour lecture blocks which presented the most fundamental material first and then built on this background. The sequencing of material was:
- PCP I Ionic Equilibrium
- PCP II Fundamentals of Analysis
- PCP II Instrumental Analysis
- PCP I Thermodynamics
- PCP I Non-covalent Bonding
- PCP I Solution Theory
- PCP II Analysis and Separation
- PCP I Interfacial Phenomena
The final lecture (PCP IV) and laboratory (PCP V) sequences were presented in the spring. The five weekly one-hour lectures were divided into five unique sections, Functional Group Chemistry, Aspects of Stereochemistry, Essentials of Xenobiotic Metabolism, Natural Products (amino acids, alkaloids, terpenes and essential oils, steroids, eicosanoids, carbohydrates, vitamins and antibiotics) and Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships.
In its entirety, the course sequence represents a realignment and an enhancement of those basic principals, which were previously encountered in the original courses in drug assay, physical pharmacy, medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy. It is the first encounter of students with the professional program and usually, their first experience with a five-credit course. Although the structure of mini-courses or modules may be interpreted as a return to the unit course approach albeit on a smaller scale, there is a logical ordering of topics and materials presented by faculty of different disciplines.
Drugs and Dosage Forms (DDF)
DDF was defined as being primarily responsible for providing the student with an in-depth understanding of the properties of drugs and their formulation into stable and efficacious dosage forms. Initially the course was designed to trace the drug from its synthesis or isolation from natural products up to the point of administration to a patient in a suitable dosage form. Most of the proposed material was relocated to PCP. Compounding, dispensing, biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics were moved into DDF from other courses. The DDF course now covers all aspects of dosage forms from basic physical phenomena related to their stability and evaluation (kinetics, diffusion, rheology and colloidal phenomena (DDF I), through formulation and preparation of each major extemporaneous dosage form and dispensing (DDF II) through biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics (DDF III). Essentially, DDF applies principals mastered in PCP to the description, preparation and evaluation of dosage forms as well as the biological fate of these forms (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion) after administration.
Since DDF is often recognized by students as their first exposure to ‘real’ pharmacy, it serves as an effective stage to enforce and build upon the professionalization process. Although somewhat supported by the didactic component, major progress in the achievement of this objective is realized in the laboratory sequence. The course is located at the interface between the nonbiological sequences (PCP) and the disease related courses (DDS). This interfacial location is reflected in the course topic sequence, which begins with relatively nonbiological subjects and progresses to an introduction to clinical pharmacokinetics.
Drugs and Society (D&S)
D&S was originally conceived to be a ten-credit course presented in the final semester of the third professional year. Prior to the initial course scheduling, a decision had been reached to limit course credit to five credits and to stage the course earlier. The earlier exposure of students to D & S subject matter would facilitate the development of a graduate who was imbued with both the humanistic and technical aspects of practice.
The sequence was offered in three, one semester blocks of four credits (D&S I), three credits (D&S II) and three credits (D&S III). D&S I introduced students to the many roles of a pharmacist in today’s society and the interrelationships of pharmacists with patients and other health professionals. Different environments of pharmacy practice are defined, as are the state and federal laws and regulations which impact on practice.
D&S II is segmented into three major subject areas: Consumers or Recipients of Pharmacy Services, Constraints on the Delivery of Pharmacy Services and Organization and Finance of the Pharmacy Delivery System. The course examines the drug industry and its relationship to health care as well as the variety of models for the delivery of care. The final sequence, D&S III, is made up of seven topic areas; Concepts of Management, Analytical Aids, Organizational Structure and Information Systems, Personnel Policies, Managerial Control, Health Care Planning and Financial Analysis.
Although the level of integration in the three separate courses is not that which was designed into the single, ten-credit course, it is significantly greater than that which existed prior to the new curriculum. This higher level of integration is demonstrated by the fact that D&S subject areas follow a more logical and unified course sequence, contain less duplication of material and are carefully coordinated by the individuals responsible for presenting the subunits of the subject area. Integration of the social, economic and administrative sciences has and is continuing to take place as the D&S courses move toward building concepts around the systems approach to health care and a theory of Pharmacy practice. Relevance of this course material is self-evident as most of the content is based on the real world of Pharmacy
Drugs and the Diseased State (DDS)
The most significant procedural modification of DDS from that which was described in the AJPE article was the elimination of the seminar approach. Logistically and financially, the system was impossible to implement. Students simultaneously registered for two five-credit courses, DDS I and DDS II. Although DDS I was presented before DDS II and was prerequisite thereof, students failing DDS I were permitted to continue in DDS II. At the end of the semester, those students were permitted to take a makeup exam for DDS I to permit further progress in the program.
Both courses were scheduled two hours per day, five days per week. Exams were scheduled at regular intervals and were preceded by review sessions. DDS I was made up of four introductory components in anatomy and physiology, receptor site theory, toxicology and immunology. Basic principals were discussed which were applicable to the remaining five segments of the DDS course. Laboratory courses were coupled with the first two semesters of the course.
DDS was an ambitious attempt to incorporate the disciplines of anatomy and physiology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, immunology and therapeutics into a 28-credit mega-course. Considering the enormity of the task, it was a remarkably successful effort, which remained intact for nearly two decades. Even now, it remains as a 17-credit course minus the elements of toxicology, immunology and therapeutics.
Beginning in DDS II, contemporary therapeutics was discussed utilizing target organs as the classification format. For example therapeutics of cardiac and circulatory diseases would begin with a discussion of the anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system under normal and diseased states. Chemistry and pharmacology of appropriate drugs would be supplemented by lectures in toxicology and immunology when applicable. Final lectures within this topic would focus on therapeutics and would be presented by practicing pharmacists or physicians. Initial plans to incorporate experiential sequences into DDS as off-campus laboratory experiences were never realized and these experiences were structured as independent courses.
The course’s longevity was due in no small part to the enthusiasm of participating faculty and the mediation and management skills of the course director. Immunology and toxicology were never completely incorporated into the sequence due to the fundamental nature of the material. Even when these disciplines were technically incorporated, lectures in these topics tended to be in large blocks in contrast to the other areas, which were presented in small blocks in each of the therapeutic areas. Separate presentation of the two courses is now considered preferable by the faculty.
Although therapeutics was successfully integrated into DDS, practice faculty felt that there was not adequate carry over of student knowledge from the second to the third professional year in which Clinical Experience was scheduled. Four credits of course time were removed and scheduled at the beginning of the final year prior to Clinical Experience. Changes in the Clinical Experience format, described in the next section, facilitated this rescheduling.
Unless an individual participated in the early 1970’s efforts to incorporate required, credit bearing, clinical experiences into Pharmacy school curricula, it will be difficult to put into perspective the problems, which were encountered. Efforts were taken to describe the novel courses in terms accepted by the faculty such as, the laboratory segment of clinical pharmacology. (Note that even the term ‘therapeutics’ was avoided.) Likewise, clinical faculty were also expected to be traditional faculty involved in laboratory research, teaching and service which meant that they would be housed at the School of Pharmacy, if possible, and if not, at the medical school or at a research and teaching hospital.
After a trial run in a community hospital, the clerkship course was implemented in 1970 on an experimental basis for two years in three hospitals. With the acceptance of this course by the participating hospitals, the course became a requirement for all 1974 graduates. Although the faculty would have preferred an earlier date, the contractual nature of the catalog precluded this action. In 1972, the development of a corollary community-based program was initiated and the course was implemented on an experimental basis in 1972 and eventually required for the graduates of 1975.
Preliminary plans called for an eighth semester orientation course to prepare students for this new learning environment. The following summer and the final two semesters were divided into six, seven week blocks, during which time the students would participate in the institutional and community experiences or elective. During the first seven-week period in the fall, the class would come together to finish the didactic portion of the integrated program.
The substantial reduction in eventual funding not only removed the small group discussions and the control group, but it also encouraged the concentration of clinical experiences into less frequent, longer periods. This was also encouraged by the realization that this School was not going to move to the University’s Health Center in the near future. The preliminary schedule was not adopted because the faculty felt that students should not enter the clinical environment before completing most of the required didactic work. After a trial run, the experiential course was incorporated into the program as a five-credit, 224 hours, two days a week effort. The three hospitals involved were respectively 25, 35 and 60 miles removed from campus dormitories requiring students in some cases to leave between 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning to make early rounds. Personal transportation proved in many cases to be an insurmountable problem and University cars were made available until the most distant site was replaced with a much closer one.
Even after hospital clerkships and community externships were added to the program, the two days/week format was maintained until the above-mentioned removal of therapeutics from the integrated course. At that time, all experience courses were converted to full time, seven-week courses with the same credit and contact hours.
The program remained virtually intact until the final baccalaureate class graduated in 1999. Content changes were of course frequent to maintain a contemporary curriculum. Structural changes did occur such as the removal of toxicology, immunology and therapeutics from the DDS sequence. A third experiential component, hospital pharmacy externship was added and some minor credit modifications were made.
THE PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM
Third College Year – First Semester
- Fundamentals of Microbiology, 4 Credits
- Physicochemical Principles I, 5 Credits
- Physicochemical Principles II, 3 Credits
- Physicochemical Principles III, 1 Credit
- Drugs and Society I, 4 Credits
Third College Year – Second Semester
- Physicochemical Principles IV, 5 Credits
- Physicochemical Principles V, 1 Credit
- Drugs and Dosage Forms I, 5 Credits
- Drugs and Society II, 3 Credits
Fourth College Year – First Semester
- Drugs and Diseased State I, 3 Credits
- Drugs and Diseased State II, 5 Credits
- Drugs and Dosage Form III, 4 Credits
- Drugs and Society III, 3 Credits
Fourth College Year – Second Semester
- Drugs and Diseased State III, 4Credits
- Drugs and Diseased State IV, 4Credits
- Drugs and Diseased State Lab, 1Credits
- Pathobiology, 3Credits
- Immunology, 3 Credits
- Electives, 3 Credits
Fifth College Year – First Quarter
- Therapeutics, 4 Credits
- Toxicology, 3 Credits
- Electives, 2 Credits
Fifth College Year – Second, Third, and Fourth Quarters
- Institutional Clerkship, 5 Credits
- Community Pharmacy Externship, 5 Credits
- Hospital Pharmacy Externship, 5 Credits
The Pharm.D. Degree
Faculty discussions concerning the Pharm.D. degree began in the early 1970’s. Faculty approved the concept of an entry level Pharm.D. in 1976 but little action was taken on the proposal until almost ten years later. In 1985 the Board of Higher Education approved a proposal to offer an interim two-year add-on Pharm.D. to gain experience in the program and to develop a sufficient number of clinical sites to expand the program. For the next few years depending on enrollment pressures, it was to be an optional program with students opting for either the five-year B. S., or the six-year Pharm.D at the end of their fourth college year. That program was never initiated due to the University’s inability to provide the additional clinical faculty required to stage the program.
The Curriculum Committee was charged in 1991 by Dean Nieforth to design a zero-based entry level Pharm.D. degree. In 1994, Dean Gerald reaffirmed the entry-level degree as the appropriate degree for the School and encouraged the Curriculum Committee to complete their task. The faculty approved the new program and submitted it to the Board of Higher Education, which gave the program their approval in 1996. The first class was admitted to the first professional year in 1997.
In preparation for the Pharm.D. degree, the School of Pharmacy became an upper division school in 1995. Although Freshmen and Sophomores were still identified with the School to take advantage of the tuition savings through the New England Regional Program, automatic entry into the professional program ended. Student admission into the program was based on a number of criteria including grade point average, course work and an interview with two faculty members. All students considered for acceptance were required to participate in an interview process involving all School faculty.
The Board of Higher Education insisted that an interim degree, the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Studies be given after two years in the program and this degree was presented first to the Class of 1999. That class will be awarded the Pharm.D. in 2001, the first year of the final quarter of the School’s first century.
The Pharmacy Studies Degree Program
Students are admitted to the Pharmacy Studies degree program after completion of the two-year pre-Pharmacy program (64 credits). Upon successful completion of two years in the professional program (requiring a total of 125 credits), a Bachelors of Science with a major in Pharmacy Studies (B.S. Pharmacy Studies) is awarded.
First Professional Year – Fall Semester – 14 Credits
- Phrm 219 General Principles and Organ System Overview, 3 Credits
- Phrm 233 Bio-Organic Chemistry I, 3 Credits
- Phrm 201 Pharmaceutical Care, 1 Credit
- Phrm 202 Health Care Organization, 1 Credit
- Phrm 203 Social Behavioral Aspects of Pharmacy, 2 Credits
- Phrm 204 Admin. Aspects of Pharmacy Practice & Principles of Pharmacoeconomics, 4 Credits
First Professional Year – Spring Semester – 16 Credits
- Phrm 220 Nervous System, 5 Credits
- Phrm 234 Bio-Organic Chemistry II, 3 Credits
- Phrm 235 Bio-Organic Lab, 1 Credits
- Phrm 201 Pharmaceutical Care
- Phrm 206 Interpersonal Skills Development , 2 Credits
- Electives, 5 Credits
Second Professional Year – Fall Semester – 15 Credits
- Phrm 221
- Phrm 242
- Phrm 244
- Phrm 245
- Phrm 253
- Phrm 207 Cardiovascular/Renal/Respiratory
- Solution and Solid Dosage Forms
- Dosage Forms Prep Lab I
- PharmacokineticsTherapeutics I
- Pharmaceutical Care 4 cr4 cr1 cr3 cr2 cr1 cr
Second Professional Year – Spring Semester – 16 Credits
- Phrm 222
- Phrm 246
- Phrm 208
- Phrm 254
- Phrm 207
- Path 297
- Phrm 247 Endocrine / GI SystemsDispersed Systems
- Pharmacy Law and Ethics
- Therapeutics II
- Pharmaceutical Care
- PathobiologyDosage Forms Prep Lab II 3 cr3 cr3 cr3 cr3 cr1 cr
Third Professional Year – Fall Semester – 17 Credits
- Phrm 226 ImmunologyTherapeutics IV, 3 Credits
- Phrm 256 Introduction to Clinical Practice, 3 Credits
- Phrm 211 Prescription Processing (Lab), 2 Credits
- Phrm 212 Non-Prescription Medication, 3 Credits
- Phrm 210 Pharmaceutical Care, 3 Credits
- Phrm 209 Electives, 4 Credits
To be eligible for the fourth professional year courses, students must have completed the B. S. in Pharmacy Studies and the first year of the Pharm. D. program. The required rotating professional experiences are one month each for a total of 16 credits.
Fourth Professional Year – Required (one month each) 16 credits
- Phrm 266 Professional Experience in Cardiology, 4 Credits
- Phrm 267 Professional Experience in Infectious Disease, 4 Credits
- Phrm 268 Professional Experience in Oncology, 4 Credits
- Phrm 269 Professional Experience in Psychiatry, 4 Credits
- Phrm 270 Professional Experience in Pediatrics, 4 Credits
- Phrm 271 Professional Experience in Geriatrics, 4 Credits
Electives, Group 1, minimum of 3 (one month each) 12 credits
- Phrm 266 Professional Experience in Cardiology, 4 Credits
- Phrm 267 Professional Experience in Infectious Disease, 4 Credits
- Phrm 268 Professional Experience in Oncology, 4 Credits
- Phrm 269 Professional Experience in Psychiatry, 4 Credits
- Phrm 270 Professional Experience in Pediatrics, 4 Credits
- Phrm 271 Professional Experience in Geriatrics, 4 Credits
Electives, Group 2, minimum of 2, 8 credits
- Phrm 272 Professional Experience in Community Practice II, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 273 Professional Experience in Critical Care, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 274 Professional Experience in Dermatology, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 275 Professional Experience in Drug Control, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 276 Professional Experience in Emergency Medicine, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 277 Professional Experience in Home Health Care, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 278 Professional Experience in Hospital Pharmacy II, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 279 Professional Experience in Industry, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 280 Professional Experience in Managed Care, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 281 Professional Experience in Nuclear Pharmacy, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 282 Professional Experience in Nutrition, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 283 Professional Experience in Obstetrics/Gynecology, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 284 Professional Experience in a Skilled Care Nursing Facility, 2-4 Credits
- Phrm 285 Professional Experience in Surgery, 2-4 Credits
- Phar 298 Special Topics in Pharmacy, 2-4 Credits
- Phar 299 Research Experience (GPA 2.8,) 2-4 Credits
UCONN 2000 is a $1 billion, 10-year program to rebuild and improve UConn’s main campus in Storrs and the regional campuses. The program, enacted by the State Legislature in 1995 and signed into law by Gov. John Rowland, funds new building construction, renovations and additions to existing facilities, new equipment and infrastructure improvements. New construction for the School of Pharmacy is included in the second phase of the project with an anticipated construction date of Fall 2001. Architectural plans for a building adjacent to Homer D. Babbidge Library were discarded when it was decided to include Pharmacy in the Science Center in association with Biological Sciences. Present plans call for occupancy in Fall 2003. Also, included in UCONN 2000 is a $20 million matching grant program for private donations made to UConn’s endowment. The endowment provides continuous interest revenue to support programs such as scholarships, summer programs, professorships and other programs.
Graduate Education and Research
During the past twenty-five years, research funding grew from $156,323 in 1975-76 to $1,624,601 in 1986-87 and finally to $3.5 million in 1998-1999. Research publications reflecting faculty productivity also increased from 22 in 1975-76 to 181 articles, book chapters and abstracts in 1998-1999. It should be noted that the School has also enjoyed considerable faculty growth since 1975. In 1975, the School supported 31 full time faculty, a number which expanded to 41 by January 2000.
A review of research accomplishments during 1975-2000 would reveal that Pharmacy faculty enjoyed a very productive, scholarly period. Among the many accomplishments, four stand out, Dr. Arthur E. Schwarting’s renaissance studies in Pharmacognosy, Dr. Steven Cohen’s Biochemical Toxicology training program and research center, Dr. Alex Makriyannis’ senior scientist career award and cannabinoid research program, and Dr. Philip Rosenberg’s Jacob Javitts award and phospholipid research program.
Arthur E. Schwarting was an internationally recognized leader in the transformation of pharmacognosy from a plant-based discipline to a science based on the chemistry of natural products. He also was the preeminent pharmacognosist in the U.S. to engage in the study of medicinal agents from microorganisms, and he was a pioneer in the use of radio-isotopes to elaborate the biochemical pathways by which plants and microorganisms make medicinally active products.
Dr. Schwarting was the major adviser and research director of the first Ph.D. recipient from the UConn School of Pharmacy, Dr. Varro E. (Tip) Tyler. Dr. Tyler, and the many others who followed him, went on to successful academic careers that resulted in a Schwarting “family tree” of prominent American pharmacognosists. Together with the thousands of undergraduate students who studied under his tutelage, they formed Dr. Schwarting’s legacy. Dr. Schwarting’s own research was recognized by three significant research achievement awards.
Another facet of Dr. Schwarting’s career was his heavy service commitments to the University, to professional societies and to government agencies. He served on eleven University committees and was the chairman of three of these. He was a founding member of the American Society of Pharmacognosy and served for seven years as the editor of its journal. He was chairman of numerous national committees on pharmaceutical education and rose to the level of the Presidency of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. His selection as consultant to the U.S. Public Health Service, the National Cancer Institute, the Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute was a clear recognition of his scientific expertise. His international status was evidenced by his term as Visiting Professor at the University of Munich and by numerous invited lectureships at scientific societies in Germany, Japan, Sweden and England.
Dr. Schwarting was born Arthur Earnest Schwarting on June 8, 1914 in Wanbay, South Dakota. Wanbay is listed in the AAA Road Atlas as having a population of 675 persons in 1990. His father was a Lutheran minister whose early congregations required travel on horseback to the more remote regions of South Dakota. Many communicants could compensate their “preacher” only with farm products, and he soon discovered that traveling with a dressed chicken attracted the attention of packs of wolves and coyotes. It, therefore, became necessary to carry a saddle carbine to ward off these predators. Soon, Arthur received his B.S. in Pharmacy at the South Dakota State University in 1940. His interest in Natural Products led him to the Ohio State University where he received his Ph.D. degree in Pharmacognosy in 1943. His first University job was as an instructor at the University of Nebraska. By 1949, he had risen through the ranks of Assistant and Associate Professor, when he accepted an offer of a position as Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut by then Dean Harold G. Hewitt. Professor Paul J. Jannke, also a Nebraska professor and winner of the elite Ebert prize in medicinal chemistry, no doubt recommended this rising star in pharmacognosy. Dr. Schwarting rose to the rank of full Professor at UConn in 1953 and accepted the offer of the Deanship upon the retirement of H.G. Hewitt in 1970. He held the Deanship until his retirement in 1981. His subsequent life was played partly on the golf courses in Florida and partly as a consultant to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense. To all who knew this man, his passing was deeply felt as a loss to Pharmacy, in general, and to Pharmacy in the State of Connecticut.
The Biochemical Toxicology Center of which Dr. Cohen serves as Director provides a common focal point for a large number of exceptional faculty and students with common interests. The full time and adjunct faculty members associated with the Center serve as experts in their research areas on select advisory committees. This provides important service to the State of Connecticut as well as the national and international public and environmental health communities. These may take the form of expert consultant ships for governmental agencies and private industry; collaborative and contractual studies, speakers for public or corporate education programs, continuing education for professionals, in service training programs and toxicology training for non degree students. The Center’s primary functions are in graduate and postdoctoral education and research, which are supported by fellowships and grants from government agencies and chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The Toxicology Program offers pre and postdoctoral research training in environmental toxicology through a training grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The Center organizes the annual Toxicology Scholars Colloquium that provides a unique opportunity for students and area toxicologists to meet with leaders of toxicology research.
The Toxicology Program at the University of Connecticut is widely recognized for its demanding standard of excellence. It provides a very stimulating and challenging environment for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty have been the recipients of many prestigious research and scholarship awards and research grants both regionally and nationally. The students and postdoctoral fellows are eagerly sought for exciting career positions upon completion of their training.
Over the past 24 years, Dr. Steven Cohen has maintained an extensive and innovative research program concerned with studying the biochemical and molecular mechanisms by which drugs and insecticides exert toxic actions. His early studies, until about 1985, were primarily concerned with organophosphate anticholinesterases, some of which are used therapeutically, some as insecticides and some as chemical warfare agents. Since 1985, he has been analyzing the mechanisms by which acetaminophen (Tylenol), an analgesic drug widely used for the relief of pain, causes liver and kidney toxicity. Being a toxicologist, Dr. Cohen knew that only by understanding the mechanisms of toxicity could we develop antidotes to these undesired actions and indeed design better drugs, which do not cause the biological responses, which lead to their toxic effects.
His studies, while oriented to a mechanistic understanding of a chemical’s actions, were also of direct practical interest and relevance to society. Many deaths occur every year in this country due to exposure to or overdosage (accidental or with suicidal intent) with anticholinesterase insecticides, analgesics and other agents which exert toxicity by mechanisms similar to those which Dr. Cohen’s studies pinpointed as being responsible for organ-specific actions on the liver, kidney, etc. Dr. Cohen not only evaluated the direct actions of the compounds noted above, but also examined the interactions between multiple chemicals to which a person may be exposed both in the environment and as a result of medical treatment for specific conditions.
Dr. Cohen published more than 80 full-refereed journal articles and chapters in the major toxicology journals. As mentioned previously, his 1989 paper in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology was selected as the best publication for that year. Due to his research accomplishments he has had numerous consultantships, has presented many invited lectures throughout the country, has been selected as workshop participant at several meetings, and has been sought out for extensive editorial service. Of special note is his selection as a member of the Arkansas Toxicology Symposium on New Horizons in Chemical-induced Liver Injury in 1995. The invitation to speak at this very selective symposium represented outstanding recognition of his research contributions in the area of protein binding and liver injury. Only scientists whose work was both novel and original, and had significantly changed the field were invited to participate.
Between 1976 and his retirement in 2000, Dr. Cohen was awarded almost five million dollars in extramural funding mainly from Federal sources including the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command. He also received significant funding from pharmaceutical companies and he received more than $600,000 in support from the State of Connecticut, the University of Connecticut and the School of Pharmacy. The extent of his research funding represents an enviable accomplishment shared by only a few faculty on the Storrs campus.
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) is the largest, most influential and most prestigious Society in the science of toxicology. It has more than 4,000 members, 16 regional chapters and 13 specialty sections. Dr. Cohen served in numerous capacities at the national, sectional and chapter level. For example, he has been on the Steering Committee of the National Regional Chapter, the Section on Immunotoxicity and the Section of Mechanisms of Toxicity. He was also President and Councilor of the latter section. At the national level he has been on the Education, Nominating, Membership and Program Committees. He was Secretary of SOT 1987- 1989. In 1996 he was elected by the membership as Vice-President Elect (1996 – 1997), which meant that he automatically became Vice President (1997-1998) and President (1998 – 1999). This represents the highest professional honor in the field of Toxicology. He would not have received this honor unless the membership recognized both his scientific and administrative abilities. Officers of SOT have historically been outstanding scientists.
Dr. Alexandros Makriyannis’ twenty-five year tenure at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, has been distinguished by an unparalleled record of achievement in a wide spectrum of scientific and educational endeavors. His longstanding focus on drugs of abuse and his determination to understand the molecular basis of drug action has propelled him to the forefront of cannabinoid research. As a natural expansion of his interest in medicinal chemistry, he has also studied the role of membranes in drug action at the molecular level, and from these studies his laboratory has made significant contributions to the understanding of passive diffusion of drug molecules across the blood-brain barrier. His laboratory is internationally recognized for inventive studies characterized by the combined use of biophysical methods, most notably in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance, and chemical approaches for drug design and delivery. His extensive and novel research program has garnered strong support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), where Dr. Makriyannis has been a member of the NIDA Special Review Committee since 1987, and recently he has also been appointed to the NIDA Medications Development Review Committee.
As a recognized leader in the field of drug discovery, Dr. Makriyannis has directed his current research toward increasing our knowledge of the molecular properties associated with cannabimimetic activity as well as delineating the mechanism of action of cannabinoids. He has developed a series of molecular probes that are used in his laboratory and in other research facilities as unique pharmacological and biochemical tools to investigate the molecular mechanisms of cannabinoid activity. A number of these molecules have already been shown to be potential drug candidates that may prove efficacious in therapeutics and diagnostics. In developing a wide spectrum of research projects, Dr. Makriyannis has always sought to promote scientific collaborations at the national and international level. His ingenious approach of melding biophysical, chemical, and biomolecular approaches is reflected in the diversity of his collaborative projects and collaborators. In collaboration with Brookhaven and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to document the somatic location of his cannabimimetic probes, analyzing possible molecular genetic methods of targeted drug therapeutics and diagnostics in joint studies with Genaissance Corporation in Connecticut, as well as the synthesis of novel cannabimimetic compounds in collaboration with scientists in Athens, Greece, Dr. Makriyannis has compiled an impressive array of productive scientific partnerships from both academic and industrial research laboratories.
In developing cutting edge methodology for studying the interactions of drug molecules with cellular membranes and receptors using solution and solid-state NMR, small angle x-ray diffraction, computer graphics and calculations, and thermal methods, Dr. Makriyannis has widened the scope of study for all investigators in the field of medicinal chemistry. In addition, his research has provided detailed molecular models that depict the interactions of cannabimimetic agents with their sites of action. This information is essential for the design of highly potent and specific therapeutically useful cannabimimetic agents. The development of novel cannabimimetic probes and promising drug prototypes have resulted in a number of patents.
For his creative and productive research, Dr. Makriyannis has been honored as a Fellow in both the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS). Dr. Makriyannis has the distinction of receiving the highest total funding for research programs at the University of Connecticut. His outstanding work as an academic has been recognized as he has been awarded the title of Distinguished Professor of the University of Connecticut and he has been presented with the Alumni Award for Research. He also is one of a selective few scientists chosen by the National Institute of Health (NIH) for the Merit Award, which attests to his continued excellence in the field of medications research. Dr. Makriyannis was one of the founding members of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, and has also served as President. He established the Cyprus Conferences on New Methods in Drug Research, an internationally acclaimed conference series that has been a standard in the field, and has served as Executive Director since its inception. He is also the Associate Editor for PharmSci, the first solely electronic scientific journal initiated and supported by the AAPS.
At the University of Connecticut, his laboratory has been recognized for seven years as a leading academic research center. Dr. Makriyannis is also a dedicated educator. He has mentored the training of more than twenty Ph.D. students, thirty postdoctoral fellows, numerous graduate and undergraduate students. His laboratory is well known for the visiting scholars and academicians that have come to learn and exchange data and methods. He has established The Center for Drug Discovery (CDD) at the University of Connecticut, which is dedicated to the discovery of novel medications and to the development of approaches and technologies aimed at improving the discovery of new therapeutic drugs. The CDD also incorporates a unique educational component that will train new scientists in the multidisciplinary field of drug discovery. To further this goal, NIDA has awarded a training grant to Dr. Makriyannis, as Program Director, for the education and training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the field of drug discovery. This training is the first of its kind and will be a model for training scientists of the future.
Dr. Philip Rosenberg joined the Connecticut faculty in 1968 after completing doctoral studies at the University of Chicago and a ten-year postdoctorate with David Nachmansohn a Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. During the midpoint of this sabbatical, he chanced upon certain snake venoms in his quest for agent, which would alter nerve membrane permeability. His career at Connecticut was devoted to an exploitation of these potent agents as well as comprehensive studies of an equally potent group of compounds, organophosphate anticholinesterases.
The mechanisms of action of anticholinesterase agents are as the name implies, inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme essential for life. In surveying the literature, Dr. Rosenberg noted, however, that many symptoms of poisoning in humans (visual and EEG changes, mitogenicity, neurosis, insomnia, memory impairment) were either not associated with inhibition of the enzyme cholinesterase or lasted long after the enzyme levels had returned to normal. He found that sarin and soman (two of the most potent known nerve gases) caused marked changes in the distribution of the two major nerve membrane phospholipids. Some of these effects were long lasting and unrelated to the level of cholinesterase inhibition. This redistribution of phospholipids is quite remarkable and could be the mechanism for long-lasting changes observed in humans. These results are of special importance because of the use of these types of agents not only as chemical warfare agents but also as insecticides, crop-dusting materials, and in therapeutics in the treatment of glaucoma and myasthenia gravis. Their results emphasize the caution, which must be associated with the use of these agents.
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command provided more than $650,000 in support of this research, which resulted in 14 presentations at 10 major scientific meetings and in four major research publications. As a result of these studies, Dr. Rosenberg was sought out as a consultant for the U.S. Army Biochemical Development Center in Aberdeen, MD.
After determining that some but not all snake venoms were more effective than detergents and enzymes in selectively disrupting permeability barriers of nerve axons, Dr. Rosenberg was interested in determining the venom component responsible for the effect. His group therefore isolated many components including phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes from many different snake venoms. While PLA2 was the active venom component, he was surprised to find that there was no relationship between the level of enzymatic activity of PLA2 from different venoms and their ability to disrupt permeability barriers. PLA2 enzymes have many actual and potential uses, including evaluation of functions of phospholipids.
However, in order to be useful as biological tools, it was necessary to undertake a systematic analysis of the enzymatic and pharmacological properties of a range of pure PLA2 enzymes; such studies never before having been done. Km and Vmax values of the PLA2 enzymes in several model systems were compared as well as their pharmacological properties in several tissues and comparative toxicity.
They also tested whether their pharmacological properties correlated with the levels of phospholipid hydrolysis in the tissues of interest. Several low toxicity PLA2 enzymes were studied. Also chemically and selectively modified several amino acids (histidine, arginine, lysine, aspartic acid, tryptophan, tyrosine) within these PLA2 enzymes were prepared in order to determine whether the enzymatic and pharmacological active sites are identical. Surprisingly, there was no relationship between enzymatic activity (as measured in vitro or by actual phospholipid hydrolysis in tissue of interest) and pharmacological potency. All of the PLA2 enzymes had separate but overlapping enzymatic and pharmacological sites. These studies dramatically demonstrate that when enzymes are used as biological probes, one must carefully consider whether they have actions independent of their enzymatic activity.
These studies were done in collaboration with Dr. C. C. Young, Institute of Molecular Biology, Taiwan and Dr. E. Condrea, Tel-Aviv Medical School, Israel. They resulted in nine Ph. D. theses and involved collaboration with three postdoctoral students and two technicians. The National Institutes of Health provided more than $2.7 million in support of this research from 1979-1995. These studies resulted in 51 major research publications and 79 presentations at 55 major national and international scientific meetings.
In recognition of his accomplishments, Dr. Rosenberg received the Javitts Neuroscience Investigator Award from NINCDS of the National Institute of Health (1987-1995). He was also presented with the Redi Award for outstanding contributions in the field of toxicology at the World Congress on Animal, Plant, and Microbial Toxins (Australia, 1982). He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the College of Graduate Studies of Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, 1989) and the Faculty Excellence Award in Research, presented by the University of Connecticut Alumni Association (1990). Dr. Rosenberg also served as President (1988-1991) of the International Society on Toxicology (IST) and in other elected offices in IST (1962-1995), in addition to being Editor of TOXICON, the official journal of the IST (1970-1992).