UF professor named new dean of College of Pharmacy


Published: Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 5:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 5:39 p.m.

University of Florida pharmacy professor Julie Johnson has been named dean of UF's College of Pharmacy, according to a UF media release Thursday.

Johnson, who begins her new position on Aug. 5, is the first woman to lead the school and has been on the UF faculty since 1998 — nine years of that as chair of the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research.

"I'm really excited," Johnson said. "We're one of the top-ranked colleges in the university … and there are a lot of opportunities to make it even better."

In particular, Johnson said, the college will be building on its strengths, including pharmacogenomics, drug discovery, pharmaceutical outcomes and pharmacometrics, the latter of which is based on a mathematical approach to assessing how a drug moves through the body.

"We've got some good things going on in all these areas," Johnson said, adding that it's now important to "build critical masses of people" working on these issues, especially mid-career professionals who can ramp up research efforts.

Johnson also said the college "will be looking to strengthen our relationship with Shands and other educational programs (within UF)."

Johnson also directs the UF Center for Pharmacogenomics and the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program, which recently was awarded a $3.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. In her 15 years at UF, Johnson has received $35 million in NIH funding.

Prior to UF, Johnson was a faculty member at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy for nine years. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

According to the media release, Dr. David S. Guzick, senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health, said of Johnson: "Her extraordinary record of research that translates into improved patient care, her demonstrated ability to mentor faculty into successful research careers, her history of excellence in teaching and outreach at the University of Florida, and her ambitious vision for the College of Pharmacy's future made her the ideal candidate for dean."

The previous dean, William Riffee, stepped down last month after 17 years in the position.

Contact Kristine Crane at 338-3119 or kristine.crane@gvillesun.com.

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