Earlier this decade, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) took the bold steps of not only launching a Pharmacy doctoral program, but doing so in Downtown Hartford, developing a cutting-edge campus and curriculum above what was once the Hartford Civic Center mall.

The program is thriving, driven in part by an innovative, modified-block curriculum that stresses experiential education throughout the three year program. Now, USJ is extending the Pharm.D.degree program connections beyond the United States.

The university has signed a letter of agreement to form a partnership with the College of Pharmacy at Gulf Medical University in the United Arab Emirates. The affiliation between the two schools includes inviting faculty and staff of the partner institution to participate in a variety of teaching, research, scholarship activities, and professional development. In addition, pharmacy students and postdoctoral students from both schools will participate in exchange programs for periods of study, research, and scholarship.

A signing ceremony, was held recently at USJ’s West Hartford campus, led by University of Saint Joseph President Rhona Free, Ph.D., and Dean of its School of Pharmacy Joseph Ofosu, Pharm.D., R.Ph., with Gulf Medical University Chancellor, Professor Hossam Hamdy.

“We are thrilled to create this partnership for the benefit of our respective students, faculty, and communities,” said President Free. “We look forward to a mutually beneficial experience for the Gulf Medical University’s College of Pharmacy and our School of Pharmacy located in downtown Hartford.”

The two institutions will carry out joint research and continuing education programs, and the schools will also organize symposia, conferences, short courses, and meetings on their research and scholarship issues.

Gulf Medical University’s planned Innovation and Research Centre will be the first of its kind in the region and will have devoted state-of-the-art innovation and incubation laboratories that are to include pharma product development, according to the university’s website. The Center aims to foster collaborations and partnerships with international institutions, universities, research labs, pharma companies and the healthcare industry.

Gulf Medical University (GMU), established in 1998, is a leading medical university in the Gulf region, located in Ajman, U.A.E. The campus is in the new Ajman metropolitan area, close to international airports in Dubai and Sharjah.

The USJ School of Pharmacy has an Open House scheduled for November 28, 6-8 p.m., at the school’s Hartford campus, 229 Trumbull Street.

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