Presidential Endowed Chair in Pharmacy Honors L.S. Skaggs

Presidential Endowed Chair in Pharmacy Honors L.S. Skaggs

Mar 19, 2010 3:41 PM

SALT LAKE CITY—In their ongoing support of the University of Utah’s internationally regarded College of Pharmacy, the L.S. Skaggs family and Skaggs Foundation for Research have established a presidential endowed chair to help recruit a top pharmacy researcher while honoring longtime benefactor L.S. Skaggs.  

The $1.5 million L.S. Skaggs Presidential Endowed Chair for Pharmacy will allow the College of Pharmacy to recruit a high-visibility researcher to help lead the college in its mission of developing new drugs to fight disease and illness, finding better ways to deliver drugs in the body, and evaluating the efficacy of medications given to patients in real-world clinical settings. The Skaggs chair holder, who pharmacy college interim dean Chris M. Ireland, Ph.D., expects to be appointed by year-end, also will hold the title of associate dean for research, a vital role given pharmacy’s longstanding position as one of the nation’s elite research institutions. Candidates for the chair are being currently being interviewed.
“This generous donation will allow us to use the Skaggs presidential chair as a recruiting tool to bring in a top scientist to help make our research infrastructure even stronger,” Ireland said. “It’s a testament to the wonderful philanthropy of the Skaggs family. Without their support, the College of Pharmacy would not have achieved the outstanding success that it has.”

Since the mid-1970s, the U pharmacy college has ranked among the nation’s top five universities in dollars received through peer-reviewed National of Institutes of Health grants. The college currently ranks No. 4. But to maintain that position, the college must continually enhance its research initiatives and mission, according to Ireland.

L.S. Skaggs pioneered the concept of locating food and drug stores in the same building, an idea that revolutionized the retail industry and helped him grow a small chain of independent drug stores into one of the country’s largest food and drug retailers, American Stores Co. Skaggs’ steadfast support of the College of Pharmacy was evident when in 1964 he placed the first gift for construction of the U of U College of Pharmacy building, named L.S. Skaggs Hall, in honor of his father, L.S. Skaggs Sr. When ground was broken last August on a major research building adjacent to Skaggs Hall, the Skaggs family and the Skaggs Research Foundation again played a pivotal role by donating $30 million to the $69 million project. The new research facility will be named the L.S. Skaggs Pharmacy Institute, in honor of the younger L.S. Skaggs. 

The College of Pharmacy is recognized for more than its world-class research. The college trains the majority of Utah’s registered pharmacists and has been consistently ranked in the top 20 pharmacy programs by U.S. News & World Report.

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