Kathy Webster Named Founding Dean of KGI School of BioPharmacy
Innovative New School Set to Open in 2014 with Novel Program Designed to Meet the Needs of Changing U.S. Healthcare System
Kathy D. Webster, PharmD, PhD, has been named founding dean of KGI's new School of BioPharmacy (SBP), which is scheduled to admit its first class in fall 2014 pending accreditation. Dr. Webster, who has been serving has the school's interim dean since September, has extensive experience helping to establish and working with new schools of pharmacy, including the University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Pharmacy, where she recently served as professor and associate dean of academic affairs.
“Dean Webster has great leadership and management abilities and has played an integral role in the successful establishment of several new schools of pharmacy throughout the country. We are very happy to have someone of her caliber as the founding dean of the KGI School of BioPharmacy,” said KGI President Sheldon Schuster. “We are also very pleased to be able to contribute to the continued development of the Inland Empire and Southern California as a site for scientific, technical and healthcare education.”
KGI’s School of BioPharmacy is being designed to meet and to anticipate future needs in the U.S. healthcare system and to take advantage of KGI’s core strengths, including its expertise in biotechnology education and strong ties to industry.
“I was intrigued when I heard that KGI, the only graduate school in the country solely dedicated to bioscience education and research, intended to establish a School of BioPharmacy. I see it as an enormous opportunity to push the education of future pharmacists to a new level,” Webster said. “Graduates of this school will be very well equipped to meet the needs of a rapidly changing healthcare system in which pharmacists increasingly play a primary role in matching drugs and therapies to a particular patient or strain of illness. They will be equally well qualified to work in a traditional pharmacy setting, in regulatory affairs or in industry.”
The philosophy behind the development of the PharmD program at the School of BioPharmacy is to provide the traditional PharmD curriculum in a more efficient manner through the integration of subjects and the extensive use of technology, Webster explained.
“Changes in technology and biotechnology have led to advances in diagnostics, devices, biologicals, and information handling. We now have better tools to help us determine the best drugs and mechanisms of delivery for an individual patient; we don't need to rely on a ‘one size fits all’ approach,” she said. “However, pharmacy graduates must be trained to effectively use these tools. The SBP’s extensive use of technology and integrated approach to subject matter will allow us to foster greater innovation and increase time spent on content and topics related to industry, including informatics, pharmacogenomics, operations management, clinical and regulatory affairs.”
Dr. Webster previously served as the assistant dean and chair of pharmaceutical sciences and a professor at Feik School of Pharmacy, University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. She also held several positions at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, including director of science education outreach, director of the pharmaceutical analysis laboratory and associate and assistant professor of medicinal chemistry. Also, as head of the analytical section there, she helped found and develop the Campbell University Pharmaceutical Sciences Institute (CUPSI), which provides contract services to small local and regional pharmaceutical companies. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and a PhD in medicinal chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
KGI had previously signed a memorandum of understanding with Chapman University to establish a joint School of BioPharmacy based on KGI's concept for the school. However, last month the leadership of both institutions reached the mutual decision to pursue independent schools.