Hartmut Derendorf’s pharmacy career can be measured in many ways. He educated more than 7,000 pharmacy students, mentored over 70 graduate students and 40 postdoctoral fellows, published nearly 500 publications and earned multiple national awards. Beyond the numbers, those who know Derendorf best describe a legendary figure in the pharmacy world who was passionate about science and immensely loyal to his family and friends.
Derendorf retired in August 2018. He served 37 years on faculty at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, including more than 25 years as chair of the department of pharmaceutics. Colleagues, family and friends from around the world gathered in Orlando March 11-12, to celebrate Derendorf’s contributions to pharmacy at the Eighth Annual Lake Nona Leadership Council Meeting and Symposium.
More than 20 speakers — many of them colleagues or former students — shared personal stories and recounted the scientific impacts that made Derendorf a respected leader.
“He has collaborators all over the world, and this is how smart people become extremely productive,” said Richard Lalonde, Pharm.D., a clinical professor in the UF College of Pharmacy. “Having these peers makes you productive, and Hartmut has all the qualities to bring people together.”
Larry Lesko, Ph.D., F.C.P., an emeritus professor and founding director of the Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology in the UF College of Pharmacy, delivered the keynote address, in which he highlighted the broad road to adoption of biosimulation.
“Hartmut brought attributes of biosimulation to fruition,” Lesko said. “He is an honored teacher, international expert and worldwide ambassador, and I am proud to have known him for 20 years as a colleague and friend.”
Derendorf’s passion for education was evident in the numerous teaching awards he won. In 2018, UF recognized him with a Doctoral Advising/Mentoring Award for the second time. Only two UF professors have ever won the award twice. He has also been recognized with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Distinguished Mentorship Award, the CVS Pharmacy Endowed Professorship and the International Educator of the Year Award, among others. In video tributes and personal reflections, his former students sent retirement congratulations and thanked Derendorf for his career guidance.
“I love going to work every day, and it’s in large part because of you,” said Daniel Gonzalez, Pharm.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor in the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy and a 2012 Ph.D. graduate of the UF College of Pharmacy.
Humbled by the attention and respect, Derendorf thanked attendees of the Lake Nona Leadership Council Meeting and Symposium for their kind words and the trip down memory lane.
“When I came to this university, I had no idea what to expect, but I have truly been blessed to be a Gator,” Derendorf said. “My students and postdocs gave me much more than I could give them.”
Upon his retirement, Derendorf was appointed a distinguished professor emeritus in the UF College of Pharmacy.
To view photos from the event, visit https://ufcollegeofpharmacy.smugmug.com/2019-Lake-Nona-Leadership-Council-Meeting-and-Symposium