UNMC launches new era in pharmacy education, research

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State-of-the-art facility named for Lozier Foundation, Ruth and Bill Scott

jue, jun 13, 2013

Omaha, Neb. – A groundbreaking today at the University of Nebraska Medical Center marks a new era of pharmacy education and research at UNMC, thanks to the upcoming construction of the Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education and Center for Drug Discovery.

It’s the latest in a series of unprecedented projects at the Medical Center, coming on the heels of the groundbreaking of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and the grand opening of the Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute.

“Very few academic medical centers across the country have this quality of cutting-edge infrastructure dedicated to pharmacy education and research,” said UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D. “With the Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education and Center for Drug Discovery, UNMC once again puts itself in elite company.”

And, Dr. Maurer said, the results will be profound: The new building gives UNMC’s pharmacy students every advantage possible heading into today’s changing health care landscape, and UNMC’s esteemed research corps every tool available in order to uncover tomorrow’s breakthroughs.

Research activities conducted in the Center for Drug Discovery will be especially focused on infectious diseases, making UNMC a national leader in the field. “No other academic medical center in the U.S. has a drug discovery program with a similar focus,” Dr. Maurer said.

UNMC’s College of Pharmacy already is recognized as one of the outstanding institutions for pharmacy education and research, with graduates that influence health care in communities across Nebraska and the U.S.

But the Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education’s patient care simulation and instructional space will emphasize the increasing role of pharmacists in providing primary health care by incorporating a contemporary model pharmacy, a sterile compounding room and practice areas for patient assessment and point of care testing. Student interaction and study areas will be designed to optimize collaborative learning.

Said Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy: “This is a unique opportunity to imagine and improve the future of human health.”

The $35 million project will completely replace and expand the now outdated education space of the College of Pharmacy and increase its research capacity by constructing a new, 85,000-square foot facility on the UNMC campus. Construction is expected to begin in February 2014 with projected completion set for July 2015.

Major gifts from Ruth and Bill Scott, The Lozier Foundation and Joe Williams were the driving force behind the project, which will:

Provide contemporary education space, equipped with the advanced technology needed to deliver pharmacy education and active learning in the 21st century;

Provide laboratory and research support space designed to accommodate the specific technical needs of pharmaceutical research in three areas: drug discovery and development, drug delivery, and clinical and translational research; and

Meet Nebraska’s need for pharmacy graduates who are well prepared for an expanding and evolving role as health care providers into the foreseeable future.

Dean Fletcher added that the new building will open during the 100th year anniversary of the founding of the College of Pharmacy at UNMC, “and UNMC’s 100-year history of leadership and preeminence in pharmacy education and research will continue. In this new world-class facility, we will educate the next generations of pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and leaders.”

The facility will be built east of the Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education near 41st and Emile streets. The close proximity of the old and new College of Pharmacy buildings will facilitate the continuity of collaboration among pharmacy research faculty. The building’s location on the Ruth and Bill Scott Student Plaza near other UNMC college buildings will promote inter-professional educational experience.

The building will be designed according to the University of Nebraska Sustainable Design Policy with the intent of achieving LEED-level certification.

The project will be paid for by private donations with no state funds used.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.

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