Department of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery
The University of Mississippi

Additions or Modifications in Programs

Department of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery

Additions or Modifications in Programs, Curricula, Facilities

The unit faculty continued to actively participate in the assessment process and respond by appropriately modifying curricular content of the departmental doctoral program. Changes are being reviewed and it is anticipated that these modifications will be presented to the Graduate Council in the Fall of 2013.

In addition, several elective courses that were developed and approved for inclusion into the professional program were taught in the Fall of 2012 and Spring of 2012. Continued changes in faculty expectations of doctoral students, who are provided graduate teaching and research stipends, were successful in graduate student production and collegiality.

This culture modification improved with a continuous emphasis being placed on graduate scholar mentoring. This is evident in that the unit now has approximately 28 graduate student scholars and the make-up of those students has diversified over the last several years. It is noteworthy that the department graduated six Ph.D. students during this reporting period.

In addition to the faculty, the department staff assistant, Deborah King, is instrumental in fostering the above outcomes. She continued her significant contributions in all areas and provides the cohesiveness between the department faculty, students and post-docs.

Emphasis on recruitment efforts will continue. In addition, collaborations between Pharmaceutics and other units (medicinal chemistry, NCNPR, pharmacology, as well as schools outside the SOP, such as chemical engineering and chemistry) have increased. Activities such as these are indicative of departments within the School of Pharmacy and other areas of the university working together. These types of collaborations continue to lead to the positive changes in the department’s mission for undergraduate education, as well as that of the school.

Continued improvement has been demonstrated in the compounding abilities of our professional program graduates due to those changes in the department’s hands-on, problem-based, active learning educational approaches. The research laboratory space that was converted into the parenteral lab approximately a year ago was replaced by renovation and expansion of an existing department laboratory.

Very significantly, an alumni gift to foster pharmaceutical technology, especially hot melt extrusion techniques, was received from Pharmaceutics International, Inc. (Pii). This gift supports a new center, the Pii Center for Pharmaceutical Technology (Pii Center). It was organized by our new dean, Dr. David D. Allen, as a unit of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (RIPS) within the School of Pharmacy. The Pii Center conducts interdisciplinary drug/polymer research that provides end-stage pharmaceutical products directed at therapeutic conditions, vaccines and wound care. This unique center leverages the existing expertise and resources at the University of Mississippi, including the National Center for Natural Products Research and other units.

Utilizing cutting edge thermal processing, the Pii Center collaborates with private industry, government and academia to develop new, improved and expanded drug delivery systems. Pii is very closely aligned with the mission of the Department of Pharmaceutics. In addition, in the Spring of 2013, the department began discussions with the University of Tennessee Pharmacy School concerning transferring a long-running Hands-on Tableting Course from UT to UM. This change in venue of the course has been implemented and the first Tableting Course held at the SOP occurredin late September 2013. This course will strengthen graduate education within the unit and provide enhanced exposure both nationally and internationally. The course attracts scientists from the pharmaceutical industry, FDA, the food industry and environmental agencies. This is a major accomplishment for the Department of Pharmaceutics within this reporting period.