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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.

Kralewski, John

Kralewski.jpgJohn Kralewski received his BS in Pharmacy in 1956, his Masters in Hospital Administration in 1962, and his PhD in 1969, all from the University of Minnesota. He was founding director of the Institute for Health Services Research at the University from 1977 until 1998.

Portoghese, Philip

Portoghese_250.jpg Dr. Philip Portoghese was recruited to the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Minnesota in 1961 and was promoted to full professor in 1969. Dr. Portoghese arrived at the University with an NIH grant and has since been continuously funded through the NIH. Dr. Portoghese dedicated his career to research on analgesic receptors. His work on stereochemistry has led to paradigm shifting discoveries regarding multiple opioid receptor sites in the central nervous system. He has also designed highly selective opioid antagonists based on the message-address concept, many of which continue to be used as standard research tools. In addition to his research contributions, Dr. Portoghese 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.

Vince, Robert

RVince.jpgDr. 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.