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UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 09 | May 10, 2001

Practice lab makes perfect, say students

Alumni, faculty and industry pitch in to make new laboratory a reality

by Hilary Thomson staff writer

The latest remedy in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences is not a pill or ointment and it's administered with a jackhammer not an eyedropper.

Renovations to create a new 180-square-metre Pharmacy Practice Centre Laboratory (PPCL) are making faculty and students feel a whole lot better. Construction is scheduled to start this spring on the new facility which replaces the original lab built in the 1950s.

"The current lab is relatively unchanged since I arrived here in 1965, yet pharmacy practice has changed significantly," says Pharmaceutical Sciences Dean Frank Abbott. "Moving to a state-of-the-art lab is exciting and will help guide students into the complex, collaborative and consultative role that pharmacists now play in health care."

The PPCL, the teaching site for all pharmacy practice classes, will feature a model community pharmacy and expanded treatment modules that provide practice and consulting space where students learn about pharmacy needs for specific conditions such as asthma and diabetes.

The site will also be used by researchers and by industry representatives for presentations.

Modules will be equipped with computers and cameras to film student role-plays of pharmacist counselling sessions. Other features include larger and better-equipped problem-based learning areas and a teaching and learning centre for small groups and workshops.

Neil de Haan, president of the Pharmacy Undergraduate Society, says the new lab is welcome news for students.

"It's great that the lab will be expanding -- we have had to use rooms in the School of Family and Nutritional Sciences building to accommodate the increased number of students in the program in recent years. The new lab reflects both current trends in practice and increased enrolment in the faculty," he says.

Construction could not have started this spring without some significant gifts from alumni, industry and faculty.

A turning point in the capital campaign came when Pharmaceutical Sciences Prof. Helen Burt -- whose office is across the hall from the old lab -- made a generous donation.

"This is a great and evolving profession with pharmacists continually expanding their responsibilities in patient care. The need for a modern practice setting was urgent as we prepare our students for this working environment," says Burt, adding that she also wanted to return in a tangible way the support the faculty has given her during her 21-year career. Apotex Inc., the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company, was another of the lab's major supporters.

The lab will be completed by September.

Those interested in supporting the project should contact: Pharmaceutical Sciences Dean Frank Abbott at 604-822-2343 or e-mail to fabbott@interchange.ubc.ca; Cheryl Griffioen, at 604-822-1328 or e-mail to cgriff@interchange.ubc.ca.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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