Celebrating 75 years of leadership in pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences

2021 marks 75 years since the University of British Columbia Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences was established as the sixth school of pharmacy in Canada under the leadership of Dean Esli Woods. Originally the Department of Pharmacy in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences was formally recognized by the Board of Governors as a standalone Faculty in May 1949.  

UBC Pharm Sci has grown from strength-to-strength since its beginnings with an inaugural class of 64 pupils. This growth over the years was supported by key investments in infrastructure, including construction of the Cunningham Building in 1950, which was the Faculty’s home until the 246,000-square-foot Pharmaceutical Sciences Building was completed in 2012. Moving into the Pharmaceutical Sciences Building enabled a number of milestones including the launch of the UBC Pharmacists Clinic, Canada’s first university-affiliated, licensed, pharmacist-led patient care clinic; development of new academic programs including the Entry-to-Practice Doctor of Pharmacy, Flexible Doctor of Pharmacy, and Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences degrees; and significant contributions in research leading to innovative work in the areas of health outcomes, nanomedicines, molecular and systems pharmacology, and pharmacy education.  

In 2017 the Faculty developed a new strategic plan titled Catalyst for Change: 2017–2022. Catalyst for Change outlines a number of objectives as a roadmap towards the Faculty’s ultimate goal to be a catalyst for positive and lasting change in pharmacy practice and the pharmaceutical sciences. Substantial progress has been made to date and can be reviewed on the Catalyst for Change digital dashboard

"The history of the Faculty is our collective history, and the 75th year presents an important opportunity for us to reflect and celebrate all we have achieved,” says Dr. Michael Coughtrie, professor and dean. “At the heart of the Faculty’s success is our people. Together we have much to be proud of.” 

To commemorate the Faculty’s 75th anniversary a number of initiatives will be implemented throughout 2021 including a webinar series featuring UBC Pharm Sci alumni, feature stories highlighting the Faculty’s history, and a timeline of key milestones.