Tuesday, February 28, 2012

KGI's related diversification: PharmD in pharmacogenomics

Like corporations, universities (and other nonprofits) often pursue related diversification to leverage existing assets and achieve economies of scope. Today the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences announced its planned partnership with another LA-area private college, Chapman University, to launch a new graduate pharmacy school in Fall 2014.

I don’t know as much about Chapman, but at KGI it’s a chance to leverage our understanding of human healthcare, business, our labs, our researcher and our industry connections (among other things). It’s an exciting opportunity for KGI to do more to fulfill our mission to translate into practice the power and potential of the life sciences for the benefit of society.

Here is the official announcement:

KGI Partners with Chapman University for New School of BioPharmacy
Innovative School of BioPharmacy, set to open in 2014 in collaboration with Chapman University, rethinks the role of the 21st century pharmacist.

February 28, 2012

The presidents of Chapman University and Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) have announced plans to establish a joint School of BioPharmacy, initially launching at the KGI campus in Claremont, California. The school will focus on preparing graduate pharmacists for professions in biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry as well as for modern pharmacy practice. The school will open in fall 2014, pending national accreditation.

"This collaboration is a remarkable opportunity," said James L. Doti, president of Chapman University. "It builds on KGI's innovative professional master's and postdoctoral programs and close biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry ties, and takes advantage of Chapman's strengths in computational sciences and entrepreneurship."

The new Chapman-KGI School of Biopharmacy will reorient the Doctor of Pharmacy degree toward crucial developments in pharmacogenomics. The program will reflect rapidly developing changes in the field, including the growth of personalized medicine, the delivery of biomolecules, changes in drug and device development, and progress in clinical trials and team-based operating environments. The curriculum is planned to equip graduates to become licensed pharmacists with sophisticated knowledge of the applied life sciences for modern health care practice, and experience with therapeutics, therapy management, and regulatory affairs to shape discovery in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. The school's vision reflects the ways in which pharmacists are increasingly asked to shoulder a primary role in matching drugs and therapies to a particular patient or strain of illness, as well as translating their clinical expertise into drug discovery in industry.

"The Chapman-KGI School of BioPharmacy will embrace this change in the profession," said Sheldon Schuster, president and professor of biochemistry at Keck Graduate Institute. "Current advances in genomics and the growing convergence of therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices are creating new opportunities for pharmacists in the life-sciences industry and modern clinical practice. This new school will help prepare highly qualified individuals to take advantage of those opportunities."

The two universities have begun a national search for an entrepreneurial founding dean with experience in pharmacy education and industry. The first classes for the Chapman-KGI School of BioPharmacy will be held on the KGI campus in Claremont, while Chapman pursues construction of a 120,000-square-foot Science Center in the City of Orange. The new Science Center will house Chapman's portion of the School of BioPharmacy and the university's Schmid College of Science and Technology. KGI is planning a major capital campaign that will expand facilities for ongoing teaching, research programs and the Chapman-KGI School of BioPharmacy, which is expected to grow to a full enrollment of 320 students in the four-year PharmD program.

Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences is a member of The Claremont Colleges. Along with other highly regarded graduate programs, KGI offers an innovative professional master's program that integrates rigorous science with business, clinical trial management and regulatory affairs. KGI represents The Claremont Colleges' first entry into graduate-level, application-based scientific research and education. It remains the only graduate institute in the country with this sole focus.

Tracing its history to 1861, Chapman University is one of California's oldest and most respected private institutions. The university is known for its commitment to deeply engaged learning, providing its 7,000 students with a remarkable educational environment from the moment they step onto campus. Chapman offers bachelor degrees in 47 majors, and graduate or terminal degrees in law, education, film, business, economics, the humanities and science.