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Academic Health Center Oral History Project

About the College of Pharmacy

The College of Pharmacy was founded in 1892. Throughout the college’s history, its programs have evolved to meet the needs of the pharmacy profession. In 1892 the college initiated a program consisting of two years of professional studies leading to the doctor of pharmacy degree. To accommodate new knowledge and technology, the period of formal instruction was extended to a four-year baccalaureate degree in 1927, and increased to five years in 1954. A clinical component was added to the B.S. program in 1967. A postbaccalaureate doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program was established in 1971. The college added a six-year entry-level Pharm.D. program in 1981.

Please click here for the College of Pharmacy timeline.

Abul-Hajj, Yusuf

YAbulHajj.jpg Dr. Yusuf Abul-Hajj became part of the University of Minnesota's College of Pharmacy in 1968. He served as head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry from 1984 to 2005 and continues to be a member of the faculty in the College.

Anderson, Lowell

LAnderson.jpgLowell Anderson earned his bachelor's degree in pharmacy from the University of Minnesota in 1962. While in private practice for most of his career, he remained highly active in the University's College of Pharmacy, serving on many committees and as advisor to the dean from 1994 to 1997. After leaving private practice in 2006, he took on larger roles in the College and University, serving as co-director of the Center for Health Care Change since 2008, an adjunct professor in the College of Pharmacy since 2009, and manager of the UPlan MTM network for the University's employee health plan since 2009.

Cipolle, Robert

Dr. Robert Cipolle earned his Pharm.D. from the University of Minnesota's College of Pharmacy in 1976. He was an instructor in the College from 1976 and then became a professor in 1978. He served in several administrative positions within the College, including vice chairman of the Department of Pharmacy, associate dean for Academic Affairs, and dean. He co-founded the Peters Institute of Pharmaceutical Care in 1995 and Medication Management Systems, Inc., a University of Minnesota start-up in 2006. He retired in 2011.

Kralewski, John

Kralewski.jpg John Kralewski received his B.S. in Pharmacy in 1956, his Masters in Hospital Administration in 1962, and his Ph.D. in 1969, all from the University of Minnesota. He founded the Institute for Health Services Research at the University in 1977 and served as director from 1977 until 1998.

Portoghese, Philip

PPortoghese.jpgDr. Portoghese was recruited to the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Minnesota in 1961. He was promoted to full professor in 1969. He also served as Director of Graduate Studies in Medicinal Chemistry from 1974 to 1986, as chair of the Department from 1974 to 1983, and as editor of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry from 1972 to 2011.

Seifert, Randall

RSeifert.jpg Randall Seifert earned his Pharm.D. in 1978 and completed a postdoc in pharmacokinetics in 1979 at the University of Minnesota. He returned to the University in 2005 as senior associate dean and professor in Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

Thomas, Norrie

NThomas.jpg Dr. Norrie Thomas earned her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees all from the University of Minnesota's College of Pharmacy. She helped develop the field of pharmacy benefit management and has held a number of senior management positions over the course of her career. From 2009 to 2010, Dr. Thomas served as an adjunct professor at the University, coordinating Dialogues in Managed Care Pharmacy Leadership, which sought to highlight leadership within the pharmacy profession. She currently serves president and managing director of Manchester Square Group.

Vince, Robert

RVince.jpg Dr. Robert Vince became an assistant professor in medicinal chemistry within the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota in 1967. Dr. Vince has contributed to and developed many drug interventions over the course of his career. Most notably, Dr. Vince developed the HIV drug abacavir in 1987, which was commercialized by GlaxoSmithKline in 1999 as Ziagen and resulted in over $600 million dollars in revenue for the University. Through his portion of the proceeds from the sale of Ziagen, Dr. Vince established the Center for Drug Design in 2002 as an independent entity within the Academic Health Center to support academic research and drug development. Dr. Vince continues to direct the Center and conduct research.

Weaver, Delores "Dee"

DWeaver.jpgDelores "Dee" Weaver attended the University of Minnesota before and after her military service during World War II, where she worked on her bachelor's degree in business. She returned to the University in 1966 when her husband, Dr. Lawrence Weaver, became dean of the School of Pharmacy. During Dr. Weaver's tenure as dean, Mrs. Weaver served as a volunteer at University Hospitals and Clinics. Though the Weavers left the University and Minnesota in 1984 with Dr. Weaver's resignation as dean, they returned to the University in 1994 when Dr. Weaver served as interim dean. Delores Weaver continues to live in Fridley, MN and maintains a relationship with the School of Pharmacy.