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US Dept. of Health/Human Services Awards CPHS $400,000

December 22, 2009
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The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has received a $400,000
federal appropriation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services Administration to purchase laboratory equipment.   This
funding will allow the College to expand its experiential learning
opportunities for pharmacy and health science students by incorporating
teaching, research, and community services in the areas of disease
prevention and pharmacogenomics.

The intent of this project is to build the infrastructure of
teaching and research labs that provide hands on experiences for
students through the provision of disease prevention services to the
public and pharmacogenomic information to the scientific and healthcare
communities.

Pharmacogenomics, often times referred to as 'personalized
medicine', is a scientific discipline that delineates how genes affect
the way individuals respond to particular drugs.  A recent report
prepared by the Secretary of Health's Advisory Committee on Genetics,
Health and Society and published by the National Institutes of Health
concluded that pharmacogenomics has already begun to offer powerful
tools for using individual genetic variations and drug responses to
customize healthcare decisions that significantly improve therapeutic
outcomes while reducing healthcare costs.  Similarly, disease
prevention has also been cited as a method to reduce healthcare costs. 
A report entitled, Prevention for a Healthier America: Investments in
Disease Prevention Yield Significant Savings, Stronger Communities
concluded that community-based disease prevention programs provide a
return of $5.60 for every $1 invested. Thus, pharmacogenomic-guided
personalized medicine and community-based disease prevention programs
provide tremendous opportunities to promote positive health outcomes
and reduce healthcare costs.

Student interest and market demand for healthcare-related
professions has shown strong growth in recent years.  In response to
this trend and the prediction for continued growth and need for health
care professionals, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
continues to expand and develop new learning opportunities for
students.  This project will not only allow the College to meet this
demand to educate more healthcare professionals but does so in a
meaningful manner that engages them in community service and the
application of new technologies.