Research & Graduate Programs
Faculty and scientists within the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy conduct individual and collaborative, multidisciplinary basic and applied research aimed at enhancing patient-centered pharmacy services, public health, economic development and quality of life. Research is conducted through the school's academic departments and/or the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences was founded in 1964 to discover, develop and market new products, improve public health and stimulate the economy. RIPS accomplishes this mission through two research centers: the Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management and the National Center for Natural Products Research.
CENTER FOR PHARMACEUTICAL MARKETING AND MANAGEMENT
The Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management advances research, teaching and service in medication use and health outcomes, management of healthcare organizations and the marketing and utilization of cost-effective and appropriate medications in all segments of the healthcare industry.
Faculty and research scientists study selection and use of pharmaceutical products and development and provision of pharmacy services through three CPMM research programs:
Medication Use Outcomes Research Program
MUORP projects take advantage of the faculty's skills in primary research and the analysis of large secondary data sets. Projects use multiyear databases of medical and prescription claims for the Mississippi Medicaid program (2002-07), Mississippi Medicare beneficiaries (2004-07) and a national sample of Medicare beneficiaries (2006-08). Along with national survey data and prescription data from community pharmacies, these data sets are used by faculty and graduate students to conduct a variety of pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacovigilance research projects.
Beginning January 2011, CPMM began the Mississippi Evidence-Based Drug Utilization Initiative, which is the retrospective Drug Utilization Review contractor for the Mississippi Division of Medicaid. The MUORP team has conducted several projects with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to evaluate and make recommendations on quality measures and quality of care interventions for medication use in Medicaid and Medicare programs. The team continually works on projects examining ways to deliver better quality care at less cost within the Mississippi Medicaid program.
Pharmacy Entrepreneurship Program
PEP activities include research aimed at understanding innovation in today's pharmacy practices and developing new healthcare services that can be provided by these readily accessible healthcare providers. PEP also includes initiatives to assist community pharmacies in adapting to today's environment by providing advice to those struggling to remain viable.
A major PEP project is developing and disseminating the RxSync for Pharmacies™ manual, which helps community pharmacies adopt the RxSync Service℠. The service has the potential to help community pharmacies be more competitive, while increasing patient compliance, satisfaction and health outcomes. PEP projects are beneficial to small businesses that are essential to providing healthcare in the state and the nation.
Pharmaceutical Marketing Management Program
PMRP research focuses on adoption and marketing of all aspects of medications and pharmacy services. Areas of interest include physician and consumer adoption of new medications and medication delivery technologies, effectiveness of direct-to-consumer advertising and market responses to safety issues associated with prescription products.
PMRP also evaluates the commercial viability of new drugs, including those being developed by UM's National Center for Natural Products Research. The potential of this program area lies in developing strategies to market and prescribe pharmaceuticals more appropriately. As a result, this area has the potential to enhance utilization of cost-saving and appropriate medications in Mississippi and the nation.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR NATURAL PRODUCTS RESEARCH
The National Center for Natural Products Research is the nation's only university-affiliated research center devoted to improving human health and agricultural productivity through the discovery, development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals derived from natural products. It was created to bring together an alliance of academia, government, and pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries to conduct research on the discovery, development and commercialization of potentially useful natural products.
The center conducts research in three areas:
Natural Product Discovery and Development
This area focuses on identifying natural products that may be useful in medicine, biotechnology, agriculture and other sectors. Scientists study natural products from plants, microbes and other organisms found in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. A large repository of thousands of samples has been established, and samples are screened using assays to identify potential bioactivities.
Medicinal Plants and Human Health
Research in this area strives for a better understanding of medicinal plants. Researchers collaborate with the Food and Drug Administration, industry and academic partners to develop scientific approaches and methods to improve the quality and safety of herbal products. Seed banks, herbariums, greenhouses, field plots and sophisticated laboratories are used to study the chemistry of medicinal plants as it relates to genetics, botany, pharmacology, toxicology and agronomics.
Natural Resources and Environmental Health
Natural Resources and Environmental Health research focuses on understanding aspects of the environment that affect sourcing and sustainability of natural resources for natural product development and assessing environmental health and its implications for ecosystem services.
Several researchers and affiliates from academic departments in the School of Pharmacy examine environmental factors that regulate the production of natural products (e.g., predation, competition, pathogenesis and nutrients). In recent years, natural and anthropogenic stressors have had significant impacts on the health of the environment. NCNPR and affiliated faculty have taken a leadership role in the assessment of these perturbations and in the remediation of impacted communities.
The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy offers the Master of Science in pharmaceutical sciences and Doctor of Philosophy in pharmaceutical sciences with emphases in environmental toxicology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacognosy, pharmacology and pharmacy administration.
All of these programs offer opportunities to study with nationally and internationally recognized research scientists. The programs prepare students for teaching and research positions in academia, or administrative and research positions in the pharmaceutical, chemical, agrochemical, food and health care industries, as well as government agencies. If a career in one of these areas is what you're looking for, a graduate degree from the UM School of Pharmacy may be the right prescription for your future.
The University of Mississippi and its School of Pharmacy are recognized as major research institutions. Comprehensive in scope but relatively small in size, both provide excellent opportunities for advanced studies in a supportive and nurturing environment. Our diverse graduate community includes outstanding faculty and students from around the globe, and their cutting-edge research and scholarship reflect tremendous vitality, impact and significance.