New School of Pharmacy Dean Named
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New School of Pharmacy Dean Named

Quentin Smith, Ph.D., replaces Arthur Nelson Jr., R.Ph., Ph.D., the school's founding dean.

Written by Suzanna Cisneros

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., announced the appointment of Quentin Smith, Ph.D., as the dean for the School of Pharmacy.

Mitchell said Smith was one of the School of Pharmacy’s earliest faculty members and has helped build a strong foundation.

“Dr. Smith came to our university in 1997 as professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences to help build the School of Pharmacy,” Mitchell said.

“He is an outstanding teacher and has mentored many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows over the years. He will build on the successes of his predecessor, Dr. Arthur Nelson, and our distinguished faculty and staff. With this appointment, our School of Pharmacy will sustain its upward trajectory in the years to come.”

Smith has received numerous teaching awards from the School of Pharmacy and has twice been voted Most Influential Professor by graduating pharmacy students.

“During my time at TTUHSC, the faculty and I have developed courses and programs that have proven successful,” Smith said. “I have had the privilege of being a part of the growth of this school. What an honor it is to now have the opportunity to lead the School of Pharmacy.”

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Utah. Prior to his recruitment, Smith served as chief of the Section on Neurochemistry and Brain Transport, Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In addition to his senior associate dean position, Smith has previously served as chair for the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. TTUHSC honored Smith as a University Distinguished Professor in 2007, and in 2009 he was named the sixth recipient of the Grover E. Murray Professorship, the highest honor TTUHSC bestows upon its faculty members.

In 2011, Smith was one of 13 faculty members from the Texas Tech University System to receive a Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching and Research Award, the highest recognition given to faculty members.

Smith’s primary research interests are in drug development and delivery to the central nervous system for the treatment of brain tumors, strokes and neurodegenerative diseases. The NIH, the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas fund his research.

Smith has authored more than 100 journal and book articles and is a fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He served on several NIH study sections, numerous grant review panels and the Amarillo American Heart Association board. He was chief organizer of the Cerebral Vascular Biology 2003 International Symposium and was elected chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Barriers of the Nervous System in 2012.

Smith begins his new position as dean Sept. 17. Thomas Thekkumkara, Ph.D., served as interim dean since July when Nelson, the school’s founding dean, stepped down. Thekkumkara will return to his position as the School of Pharmacy’s Amarillo regional dean and professor for the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

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School of Pharmacy
School of Pharmacy

The School of Pharmacy was established in 1996 and now has campuses in Amarillo, Lubbock, Dallas and Abilene. Since its inception, the school has played a significant role in addressing the state's pharmacist shortage. Today, more than 90 percent of its graduates remain in Texas.

The school requires its students to complete more clinical training hours than any other pharmacy in the country, making its students some of the most sought after pharmacy graduates.