Our College of Pharmacy Researchers and Their Impact on Korea
By: Vivian Lee, M.D., Ph.D., MBA | May 31, 2012 12:29 PM
On land recovered from the sea, they set up a new university called Songdo Global University. Over a meal of kimchi and sushi, the president of Songdo, who was the former President of the Korean Economic Development Institute (the planning body for the nation), I learned firsthand about their plans to bring as many as 10 international universities to their global campus to weave together a broad curriculum for students from Korea and beyond. SUNY Stonybrook has already set up shop there with a strong emphasis on their wireless technology engineering strengths. George Mason University has also committed. The University of Utah is also exploring opportunities to bring several programs there as part of our own globalization effort.
You may be surprised to learn that we have a strong tradition of collaborating with Korean scientists. It began in the 1960’s with our distinguished professor of Chemistry, Henry Eyring. Thanks to Dr. Sung Wan Kim, one of his graduate students, this connection moved to the College of Pharmacy, where over the past 40 years, Dr. Kim has trained over 130 students and published over 500 manuscripts in the field of drug delivery systems. More recently, they've been publishing in the field of gene therapy. Some of our star faculty in the College of Pharmacy, including Dr. David Grainger, Chair of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and Dr. You Han Bae who joined us on this trip to Korea, collaborate with Korean scientists.
The Utah-Inha Drug Delivery System and Advanced Therapeutics Research Center opened in July 2009 as a partnership between one of Dr. Kim’s former trainees, a gastroenterologist named Dr. Don Haeng Lee, together with Drs. Bae and Grainger. This Center has been developing new drugs and delivery systems ranging from chemotherapy-infused degradable biopolymers for chemoembolization to megestrol for appetite stimulation in cancer patients to dissolvable films as an oral delivery system for drugs. Located in the International Free Economic Zone, this Center will serve not only as an incubator for new drugs and delivery systems, but also, through the establishment of a new Phase I clinical trials center in Inha University Hospital, a leader in clinical trials. It’s clear that our College of Pharmacy has been the training ground for the leaders of academic and industrial pharmaceutical enterprises throughout all of Korea. We now must consider whether we can further leverage this partnership for enhanced drug discovery and commercialization here at the University of Utah.
Vivian Lee, M.D., Ph.D., MBA
Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., is the senior vice president for health sciences, dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine, and CEO of University of Utah Health Carecomments powered by Disqus