Jan Hirsch named founding dean of planned School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences

IRVINE, CA, Oct. 30, 2018 — Jan Hirsch, Ph.D. – an acclaimed researcher, pharmacist and organizational leader – has been selected as director and founding dean of the planned School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, Irvine.

Hirsch will join UCI in January 2019 from the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences at UC San Diego, where she currently serves as the first chair of the Division of Clinical Pharmacy. She will oversee the effort to build a pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences school at UCI, which will be one of the academic foundations of the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences, along with the School of Medicine, the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing and the planned School of Population Health.

“Dr. Hirsch’s distinguished history of academic experience, scientific expertise and proven leadership makes her the perfect choice to lead our pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences faculty and staff through the successful launch of a full-fledged school,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We are thrilled that she is joining UCI and look forward to her driving innovation in pharmaceutical research and delivery.”

Enrique Lavernia, UCI provost and executive vice chancellor, added, “Dr. Hirsch will be key in realizing our vision for the planned School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences as a place where pioneering research and clinical practice result in new drug discoveries that improve human health.”

An academic and research leader

At UCSD, Hirsch has led multiple initiatives to develop new academic programs and expand pharmaceutical research. As a founding faculty member at Skaggs, she designed several required courses in her field of economic, social and administrative sciences, and she recently was academic director of a new master’s degree program in drug development & product management.

Her research assessing the value of innovative clinical pharmacist services across many therapeutic areas has been recognized by state and federal agencies, professional pharmacy organizations and the interdisciplinary National Academies of Practice.

Hirsch’s experience bridging academics, research and clinical practice with the private sector will be crucial in forging great partnerships locally and nationally. She started a clinical research department for a large pharmacy benefit management company and global pharmacoeconomics strategy & research departments for two multinational pharmaceutical companies. At UCSD, she launched a clinical faculty practice business unit that provides both clinical pharmacy services to a wide range of community clients and educational opportunities for students, residents and practicing pharmacists.

“I see the tremendous opportunity UCI has to create a strong, innovative and truly impactful School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences – a school with a high-value research continuum from drug discovery to clinical practice, a pioneering doctorate in pharmacy program focusing on the whole patient, and a premier example of interprofessional education and clinical practice,” Hirsch said. “I am truly honored to be leading this effort.”

Building a new school in the health sciences

The proposal for the school is expected to reach the UC Board of Regents for final review and approval within the next two to three years. In the meantime, Hirsch will support the application process and expand the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the new Department of Clinical Pharmacy.

Both are part of the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences, created through a $200 million gift in 2017 from the Samuelis, longtime campus supporters, philanthropists, and business and community leaders. The far-reaching donation – the seventh-largest to a single public university – is positioning UCI as a bold, new leader in patient care, education and research.

“UCI’s vision for the health sciences is unique and is focused on changing the healthcare landscape in medicine, nursing, pharmacy and population health,” said Alan Goldin, interim vice chancellor of health sciences. “Dr. Hirsch will play a key role in achieving this vision.”

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

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