UH Hilo/Thai university agreement expands pharmacy research, education

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Date: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

A new agreement between the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Rangsit University (RSU) in Thailand will allow students and faculty more freedom to exchange ideas and experiences.

The U.S.-THAI Students and Pharmacists/Faculty Members Exchange Program will give students in the fourth year of pharmacy school a chance to go to RSU for their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences and bring Ph.D. students to Hawaiʻi to work in DKICP labs. It also will allow faculty to collaborate on pharmaceutical sciences research and to work with professional pharmacists on pharmaceutical care and medication therapy management.

RSU is part of the Bangkok metropolis, located in the Pathum Thani province, directly north of Bangkok. This is the second Thai university to enter an agreement with DKICP. The first one with Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok was signed in 2011.

“I am very proud of our faculty for developing this relationship,” DKICP Dean John Pezzuto said. “This is a prime example of how we are extending our reach to every corner of the globe in order to give our students a first-class education while investigating approaches to discovering new drugs.”

Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, began talks about the exchange program with the administration at RSU last July when he was invited to be a visiting professor/scholar.

“Students can gain international perspectives of Thailand public health, roles and responsibilities of pharmacists in various settings and develop interprofessional relationships,” Wongwiwatthananukit said. “In addition to giving our students a wider range of exposure, this is a great opportunity for international collaboration for our Ph.D. program.”

An example of possible joint projects might be working with RSU faculty at their Herbal Medicinal Products Research and Development Center, called Sun Herb Thai Chinese Manufacturing facility. The building is a joint venture between the Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, China and Rangsit University Faculty of Pharmacy.

“This building enables the research and clinical trials of many Thai and Chinese traditional remedies,” Wongwiwatthananukit said. “I believe we can make significant contributions to this facility through our own work in natural products and Hawaiian traditional medicine.”


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