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Release: Immediate

New pharmacy dean comes to Iowa from Kentucky

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jordan L. Cohen has been named dean of the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, succeeding Gilbert S. Banker, who is retiring. Cohen comes to Iowa from the University of Kentucky, where he has been dean of the College of Pharmacy since 1988. Cohen's appointment is effective March 1.

"Jordan Cohen has a distinguished reputation as a teacher, scholar and administrator of a nationally renowned College of Pharmacy, so we are quite pleased that he has agreed to assume the leadership of the University of Iowa's College of Pharmacy," said Jon Whitmore, UI provost. "We believe that he has a vision that will complement and extend the fine work done by Gil Banker in making the college a leader in training a new generation of pharmacists, conducting research that improves human health, and providing service to Iowans through patient care and continuing education for practitioners in the state."

"I am very excited about the growing opportunities for the College of Pharmacy at Iowa in both the basic and clinical pharmaceutical sciences and as a partner in a forward-thinking health care delivery system," Cohen said. "The college's pharmaceutical service, drug information and biocatalysis programs, and partnerships within the profession are widely recognized nationally. The potential to work closely with the other colleges and the UI Hospitals and Clinics appears to be significant. My family and I are looking forward to joining the University of Iowa family."

Cohen is a native of Milwaukee and earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After completing a bachelor of science in pharmacy in 1965, he completed a master's degree in 1967 and a doctorate in 1969, both in physical pharmacy and analytical chemistry.

He began his academic career as assistant professor of pharmacy at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (1969-73). He was an associate professor of pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University (Medical College of Virginia) in Richmond from 1973-74. He returned to USC in 1974 as associate professor of pharmacy and director of the Clinical Pharmacokinetic Laboratory, which performs therapeutic drug analysis in support of patient care at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

In 1979 Cohen was named coordinator of the USC School of Pharmacy's Pharmaceutics Section, a position he held until 1987. He was promoted to full professor in 1985. In 1985-86 he was named an American Council on Education Fellow in Academic Administration and served as assistant to the chancellor of the University of California-Irvine.

Cohen was appointed dean of the College of Pharmacy at Kentucky in 1988. Under his direction Kentucky's pharmacy program has become nationally ranked, with more than 400 professional students, 70 doctoral students in the pharmaceutical sciences, 15 pharmacy residents, and 65 full-time faculty members. The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy has a nationally recognized Center of Excellence in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology.

In addition to his responsibilities as dean at Kentucky, Cohen also taught courses in dosage form design, biopharmaceutics, and professional ethics and managed care. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and several pharmaceutical companies and has focused on drugs to treat AIDS, proper drug dosages for geriatric patients, and leadership development in health science education.

The new UI dean is currently serving as president-elect of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and as chair of the board of trustees of the United States Pharmacopeial Convention. He has also been active in civic affairs in Lexington, serving on the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the New Century Lexington Visioning Task Force.

The UI College of Pharmacy currently has 495 students in its Pharm.D.program, 80 graduate students, 155 students in its pre-pharmacy program and 60 full-time faculty members. The Pharm.D. program is currently ranked No. 19 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Nearly 80 percent of the students in the Pharm.D. program are Iowans and the majority of them remain in Iowa after graduation.

In addition to its professional program, the college has three nationally renowned academic divisions offering programs leading to the master of science and doctorate degrees: the Division of Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry, the Division of Pharmaceutics, and the Division of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy.

The college also houses a Pharmaceutical Service Division, one of only three Food and Drug Administration-registered pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities associated with a college of pharmacy in the United States. Its Division of Drug Information Service provides information to students as well as practicing pharmacists through the Iowa Drug Information Service, a computer-based drug information retrieval system.

The college also has a Center for Advanced Drug Development, located on the UI's Oakdale Research Campus. Faculty from the college are actively involved in the UI Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, which conducts research in the bioprocessing of agricultural materials, basic biotechnology and biotechnology related to the creation of new drugs.

In September 1996 the college dedicated a new 78,000 square-foot addition that houses new classrooms, conference rooms, research laboratories and faculty and graduate student offices. That building project also included improvements to the existing pharmacy building. The cost of the building addition and renovations totaled just over $20 million.