New School of Pharmacy in Trinity College to increase student intake by 40%

Posted on: 19 May 1998

Ireland’s only School of Pharmacy, located in Trinity College, will increase its student intake by approximately 40% by the year 2000 as a result of new facilities opened today (Tuesday 19th May) by the Minister for Education Micheál Martin TD. The number of places available on the BSc (Pharmacy) Degree course will rise from 50 to 70 next year. In 1997, entry-level points for this degree course stood at 545 – the highest in Ireland for a science-based degree. The overall number of undergraduate students will rise from 200 to 280 and two new postgraduate courses in Pharmaceutical Technology and Pharmaceutical Analysis will be made available as a result of the new facilities.

Staff and students in the School of Pharmacy are engaged in leading edge industrial and educational research generating a research income of approximately £2m in recent years. Current areas of research include drugs for the treatment of ovarian and breast cancer, asthma, malaria and epilepsy. A major research effort involves the development of novel dosage forms for the new gene- and peptide-based drugs in order to deliver them into the human body. The School is also involved in the education of primary and second level teachers on drugs awareness and one research programme is aimed at helping Gardaí tackle the problem of drugs trafficking. 

According to Des Corrigan, Director of the School of Pharmacy, “The opening of this new School of Pharmacy represents the changing role of pharmacists in Ireland who are operating at the cutting edge of pharmaceutical research and development in industry and education. We are training highly qualified and knowledgeable pharmacists and, through our research, aim to provide them with new and safer top quality drugs and medicines to deliver to patients in the health-care system”.

Although the School of Pharmacy has been part of Trinity College since 1977 when the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland handed over responsibility for the education of pharmacists in Ireland to Trinity, it was actually located in cramped, inadequate facilities in Shrewsbury Road. The new 5.400 sq. m. Panoz Institute, in which the School of Pharmacy is now based, also houses high class teaching laboratories, lecture theatres, public access computer rooms, the College’s Electron Microscope Unit and a model pharmacy where students can learn modern dispensing techniques and patient counselling. Among the new facilities is the Department of Pharmaceutic’s Aseptic Suite teaching facility, the only one of its kind in this country, which provides high technology training in the compounding and dispensing of sterile medicines and injections as well as facilities for handling anti-cancer drugs and medicines used in cancer chemotherapy.

The new building is the most recent and final phase of Trinity College’s East End development. The construction and fitting-out of the new Panoz Institute was provided by Government funding with support from the EU Structural Funds, supplemented by individual and corporate donations. Major donors include the Athlone-based Elan Pharmaceutical Technologies and Donald Panoz founder of the internationally successful Elan Corporation. Approximately £250,000 was raised in an appeal to professional pharmacists.