The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) was ranked fifth in the nation recently for the amount of published and cited research by its faculty, according to rankings published in the Jan. 12 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The program in the UAMS College of Pharmacy and UAMS Graduate School ranked fifth in the pharmaceutical sciences and medicinal chemistry category – despite having the smallest faculty among the top 10. The department recorded the third highest percentage of faculty with a journal publication or having their work cited in another publication.
Other pharmaceutical sciences programs in the top five with UAMS included the University of Washington, ranked first, followed by the universities of Virginia, Arizona and Utah.
The 2005 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index ranked 7,294 individual doctoral programs in 104 disciplines at 354 institutions, based on number of faculty publications, citations in other research articles, research funding and faculty awards.
Academic Analytics, the company owned partially by the State University of New York at Stony Brook that compiled the index, pointed to it as an objective method for comparing doctoral programs based on faculty quality and educational effectiveness.
“This recognition shows that our Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty is contributing to scientific knowledge and passing on this knowledge to students and colleagues,” said College of Pharmacy Dean Stephanie Gardner, PharmD., Ed.D. “This is often best accomplished through publishing research findings, interpreting results and using them to prepare the next generation of pharmacists and pharmacy faculty.”
Academic Analytics calculated the index using its own algorithm and numerical values assigned to the number of publications and citations from 2003-2005, grants and awards.
The ranking showed the UAMS program with a faculty of 18. Ninety-four percent of the faculty was credited with a publication from 2003-2005, according to the Academic Analytics data. Eighty-nine percent of the faculty had their work cited by another journal publication.
“Pharmaceutical sciences is a diverse field that encompasses many components of chemistry, biology and medicine, so I think this ranking reflects the numerous productive collaborations with other UAMS colleges and departments,” said Russell Melchert, Ph.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
A department annual report from 2004-2005 showed 32 publications credited to faculty members, including 18 where the UAMS researcher was the senior or lead author and where most of the research took place in a UAMS lab. During that same period, department faculty had active research grants valued at more than $4 million for work in which they were the principal investigators.
Pharmaceutical Sciences is concerned with the development of dosage systems to deliver medications in proper amounts to the body, how the body absorbs and eliminates those medications, and how those medications exert beneficial or potentially harmful effects. Medicinal chemistry is the study of the chemical properties of medicinal agents, both synthetic and natural.
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,430 students and 715 medical residents. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 9,400 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $5 billion a year. For more information, visit www.uams.edu.