Tom Schmittgen, Ph.D., an accomplished researcher focused on cancer therapeutics and co-author of one of the most cited scientific articles of all time, has been appointed chair of the department of pharmaceutics in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy effective Aug. 1.
As chair, Schmittgen will lead a highly-productive department of 10 faculty members who secured $5.7 million in research funding in academic year 2018. He will be responsible for advancing the department’s research priorities, including translational drug development, drug delivery and pharmacometrics and systems pharmacology. In addition to leading current faculty, he will help the department recruit additional faculty to strengthen its research and educational missions.
During his career, Schmittgen has secured $7 million in research funding, authored 85 publications and mentored more than 40 students. His research focuses on noncoding RNAs and cancer, with emphasis on the use of microRNAs as therapeutic or diagnostic agents. He is developing extracellular vesicles as targeted drug delivery systems for the treatment of cancer. A paper Schmittgen co-authored in 2001 describing the relative method of gene quantification has been cited over 80,000 times and was ranked by the international journal Nature in 2014 as one of the Top 25 most-cited scientific articles of all time. In 2016, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.
Schmittgen has served as a professor of pharmaceutics in the UF College of Pharmacy since 2015. Prior to joining UF, he was a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy for 13 years and Washington State University College of Pharmacy for seven years. He holds an undergraduate degree in pharmacy and a doctorate degree in pharmaceutics from The Ohio State University, and his alma mater honored him in April 2018 with The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumni Award.
Schmittgen succeeds Hartmut Derendorf as chair of the department. Derendorf, Ph.D., a distinguished professor and the V. Ravi Chandran Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences, is retiring July 31, following a 35-year tenure on faculty in the UF College of Pharmacy.