Pharmacy chairman marks 20-year anniversary with new beginnings

Professor Hartmut Derendorf, Ph.D., marks his 20-year anniversary at the College of Pharmacy by focusing on new beginnings that include a new research center and international partnerships.

Derendorf started 2003 with a promotion to distinguished professor. Summarizing his recommendation for the honorary promotion, William Riffee, Ph.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy, praised Derendorf’s international work in pharmacy education and service.

“There is great pride in the prestige and honor Hartmut Derendorf brings to the University of Florida and the regard in which he is held throughout the world of academic medicine and pharmacy,” Riffee said. The title of distinguished professor acknowledges professional and public service recognized nationally and internationally, as well as exceptional achievement in teaching, research and publication.

Funded by more than 80 grants totaling more than $3 million throughout his career, Derendorf has published seven textbooks in three languages and more than 230 scientific papers. His research topics include the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of corticosteroids, analgesics and antibiotics. The goal of these studies is to find the best dosing regimens for new drugs to achieve the maximum effects with the least chance of unwanted side effects.

This fall, Derendorf received $232,180 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a research center that will focus on drug interactions with foods, while proactively anticipating future interactions as new drugs are developed and introduced. Called the Center for Food-Drug Interaction Research and Education, its mission is to improve patient outcomes by maximizing efficacy and minimizing toxicity of drug therapy through research evaluating food and drug interactions, as well as educational activities for health-care professionals.

Working closely with Tufts University School of Medicine, UF researchers hope to enhance research and education, with studies focused initially on drug interactions with grapefruit products. “We look forward to collaborating with researchers at these and other institutions to identify needs for improving our understanding of drug and food interactions,” Derendorf said.

Through its educational directive, the center will provide guidelines and dosing recommendations to health-care communities and advise the public about potential risks based on scientific findings.

In 1976, Derendorf received a bachelor’s degree in his homeland, Germany. Just three years later, he received a Ph.D. in pharmacy from the University of Munster, where he graduated summa cum laude. He joined the University of Florida in 1981 as a postdoctoral fellow in pharmaceutics, and in 1983 became a faculty member teaching biopharmaceutics. In 1987, he became chairman of the pharmaceutics department and taught more than 20 workshops in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in the United States, Germany, England and Brazil.

Nationally recognized in pharmaceutics and clinical pharmacology, Derendorf has served for the past nine years on the Board of Regents of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology and was named this year’s national meeting co-chairman with colleague Guenther Hochhaus, Ph.D., a professor of pharmaceutics at the College of Pharmacy. This year, Derendorf was also elected president of the International Society of Anti-Infective Pharmacology.

Derendorf earned international recognition through his research presentations in more than 20 countries and at more than 400 professional meetings around the world. He also holds an adjunct professorship at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.

“Our centralized location in Florida is perfect to expand our program to Latin America and to Europe. Pharmacy practice and research has changed dramatically in the United States in the last 20 years, and we have much to gain in taking our experience to other countries while learning from their approaches,” Derendorf said.

Since 1997, Derendorf has organized symposia in France, Germany and Austria, at which UF graduates, visiting and postdoctoral students have presented their latest research. This July, the fourth Symposium on New Developments in Clinical Pharmacy and Clinical Pharmacology was co-hosted by the UF College of Pharmacy and the University of Vienna School of Medicine in Austria. Nearly 175 representatives from nine countries attended the meeting at Vienna General Hospital, where professors and students presented topics on new developments in research, clinical studies and curriculum.

An extensive record of professional and public service is evident by the many roles Derendorf plays: editor of two international journals and an editorial board member for seven professional journals; Clinical Pharmacology Advisory Subcommittee member for the Food and Drug Administration; and member of the Nutrition and Therapeutics Team of the NASA-Johnson Space Center Space Medicine Program.

Derendorf is a fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology, or ACCP, and a member of six scientific societies. Honoring professionals who have made an overall contribution to the field of clinical pharmacology, the ACCP named Derendorf as the 2003 recipient of the Nathaniel T. Kwit Memorial Distinguished Service Award in September. The award recognizes accomplishments in teaching, administration, service with the association, long-term and wide-ranging scientific studies having practical importance, and other service-related functions. In 1994, he was awarded the McKeen Cattell Award for the best publication of the year in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

A founding member and fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, Derendorf was honored in October at the association’s annual meeting, where he received the Research Achievement Award in Clinical Sciences, the association’s highest national honor. Association President Vinod P. Shah, Ph.D., cited the continuing high quality of Derendorf’s work and its impact on clinical pharmacy as the basis upon which he was chosen for the award. In measuring his accomplishments, Derendorf credits his colleagues and students at UF.

“We have outstanding faculty and students who are excited about their research and enjoy learning. Our graduate program has grown to one of the largest and best in the country,” Derendorf said.

Even though he has completed 20 successful years of service, Derendorf has plans for the future.

“UF’s College of Pharmacy is considered to be one of the best in the nation and consistently ranks in the top 10. However, now the time has come to position ourselves not just nationally, but on a global level,” Derendorf said.

About the Author

Linda Homewood's picture

Linda Homewood

Public Relations Director, College of Pharmacy

Linda Homewood, APR is the Director of News & Communications for the UF College of Pharmacy, she is also the editor of the college’s alumni magazine, GATORx. An accredited member...Read More