School of Pharmacy News & Media Center
The University of Mississippi
Alice Clark image

Alice Clark was awarded one of the early contracts in AIDS studies by the National Institutes of Health to search for new antifungal agents, and she continued this work throughout most of her UM career. Photo by Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Spotlight on Vice Chancellor Emerita Alice Clark

Dr. Alice M. Clark, first female director of the National Center for Natural Products Research

Q: When did you serve as director of the NCNPR?
A: From 1995 to 2001.

Q: What did it mean to you to serve as the center’s first female director? Was it something you thought about?
A: I was honored, yet humbled and more than a little anxious since it was my first official administrative position. Fortunately, I had the support of a lot of great people.

Q: What are you most proud of from your time leading the NCNPR?
A: We had a wonderful team of people who demonstrated how to turn teamwork and commitment into outcomes and impact. They were responsible for all the noteworthy accomplishments, like establishing partnerships with federal agencies that continue today, building a strong research portfolio funded by diverse sources, growing the international reputation of the center and expanding its staff, programs and facilities.

Q: Why did you choose the field/career path that you did?
A: I was drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of pharmacognosy that combined biology and chemistry. It was important that I was offered a graduate stipend, without which I could not have continued my education. Support of graduate programs, especially graduate students, is vital to ensuring the future of pharmaceutical research and education.

Q: What’s the best advice you have for pharmacy students?
A: Be open to new paths. You will see that there are many ways to use your strengths, skills and education in the pharmacy profession and beyond.

Q: Do you have any advice for women trying to advance professionally?
A: Model the behavior you value in the workplace. Do the right things for the right reasons, treat everyone with respect and courtesy and always be motivated by the greater good.