Palmer Taylor, Ph.D., 63, Chair of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Department of Pharmacology, has been selected to serve as founding dean of the new UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, following a national search. He begins his duties immediately. He also assumes the title of Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences.

Taylor, who also holds the Sandra and Monroe Trout Chair in Pharmacology, is a respected scientist and Institute of Medicine member whose laboratory focuses on the structure, function and gene expression of receptors and enzymes involved in neurotransmission.

The school was approved by the UC Regents in July 2000 and is only the second public school of pharmacy in the state and the first in Southern California. The first class is beginning its studies this month.

"The establishment of the UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and now the selection of Dr. Palmer Taylor as its founding dean, brings to fruition a long-held dream to have a second pharmacy school in the University of California system," said University of California President Richard C. Atkinson. "Dr. Taylor has been tireless in his efforts to create this school and to develop a program that will, under his leadership, make its mark as a center for education, research and community service in pharmacy training and pharmaceutical science."

"With Dr. Taylor at the helm of our new School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, I am confident the school will quickly become known for its role in creating tomorrow's leaders and innovators in health care and pharmaceutical development," said UCSD Chancellor Robert C. Dynes. "This school is a tremendous addition to our campus and our region, and I am delighted that our first dean is not only a renowned scientist, but an admired colleague who knows our community and is deeply committed to excellence."

"Palmer Taylor is nationally recognized as a leader in pharmacology research, and he has played a leading role in developing this new school and assuring that it will truly be a program for the 21st century," said Edward W. Holmes, M.D., Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences at UCSD. "We are delighted that he has agreed to be the founding dean. Palmer is both a pharmacist and a pharmaceutical scientist, a wonderful combination for this new school. He brings to the position a solid sense of the program's history, and an inspired vision for its future. With a proven track record as a leader and master educator, and a background that uniquely integrates the practice of pharmacy and the science of pharmacology, I know this school will soon achieve a position among the nation's top-ranking pharmacy schools."

Taylor joined the UCSD Department of Medicine faculty in 1970 and has been Chair of the UCSD Department of Pharmacology since its inception in 1987. His department is ranked first in the nation among state-supported schools in research dollars generated per faculty member, second among all departments in citations per publication, and third in the National Research Council ranking of graduate programs in pharmacology.

The UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which begins its programs today with a charter class of 25 Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) students, joins the UCSD School of Medicine in UCSD's Health Sciences division.

Additional degree programs to be offered through the school will admit their first students in 2005. These include a Ph.D degree in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences and a joint B.S. in chemistry/Pharm.D seven-year program in cooperation with UCSD's Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Clinical training will take place with pharmacy students and residents working with their medical counterparts in UCSD's hospitals and clinics and affiliated sites.

The year 2005 will also see completion of the four-story, 76,150-square-foot School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences building located south of the Basic Science Building on the UCSD campus in La Jolla.