(February 26, 2019) TUCSON, Ariz. – Thanks to the generosity of John D. Musil, PharmD ’94, and his family, the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy has established The Musil Family Endowed Chair in Drug Discovery.
Endowed chairs are used to recognize top faculty members or to recruit and retain professors and leaders in specific areas of interest to the college or university. They help faculty members and administrators pursue excellence and add to the distinction of the college. This gift will allow the UA College of Pharmacy to recruit faculty members with expertise in medicinal chemistry, pharmacology and/or pharmaceutics to pursue drug discovery – the process by which new, potentially beneficial medications are discovered.
“The college provided a fantastic springboard for my professional career,” Dr. Musil said. “This endowed chair will help engage and inspire the next generation of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists while advancing medicine, something that has always been important to me in my professional career.”
The gift is amplified by the state-funded Eminent Scholars Program, designed to help attract and retain leading scholars.
“The college is grateful for generous friends like Dr. John Musil, who help us achieve our mission,” said Rick G. Schnellmann, PhD, professor and dean of the college. “Drug discovery is a cornerstone of the college — an area we are determined to expand and already have begun taking strides. Dr. Musil’s gift significantly impacts this effort.”
In 2018, the college established the Arizona Center for Drug Discovery, which creates the necessary infrastructure to bridge UA researchers with pharmaceutical partners to establish a collaborative environment to advance novel disease-intervention findings beyond the laboratory setting. The college also hired Wei Wang, PhD, as director of the drug discovery program. In this role, Dr. Wang is responsible for advancing drug discovery at the UA Health Sciences, main campus and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.
“Many unique businesses have been launched by faculty and alumni from the University of Arizona. My hope is that more people will continue to forge this path and try something different within pharmacy — and drug discovery is a piece of the puzzle,” Dr. Musil said.