February 3, 2017
Award-winning current and former faculty members of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy recently published a textbook on the concepts of pharmacokinetics.
Adam Persky, Ph.D., is a clinical associate professor in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and Gary Pollack, Ph.D., the first vice dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, is currently the dean of the College of Pharmacy at Washington State University.
Both recipients of prestigious teaching awards, including Best Overall Instructor at the School, Persky and Pollack offer their perspectives on the concepts and important questions of pharmacokinetics in Foundations of Pharmacokinetics. The subject area is fundamental to the education and practice of pharmacy.
“The textbook is a foundational book in pharmacokinetics, so it covers the mathematical principles behind how pharmacists and the pharmaceutical industry determine what dosage to give and how often to give it,” Persky said. “It includes single doses, multiple doses, infusions, the effects on the kidney and liver, how the drugs affect the body and a few other topics.”
The pharmacokinetics textbook features animated illustrations, videos, embedded practices and self-assessments to help students learn the foundational concepts of pharmacokinetics. The idea to create a digital pharmacokinetics module originated around the time Pollack hired Persky in 2004.
“Gary always wanted to build something that could demonstrate the dynamic principles of kinetics,” Persky said. “Dean Bob Blouin, also a kineticist, has an interest in the discipline and felt we were not using technology to the best of our ability.”
Additionally, Persky had written a kinetics book during his postdoctoral fellowship, which ended up being a large part of the material in Foundations of Pharmacokinetics. He was also one of the first to incorporate active learning into the classroom and experiment with various strategies. Then around 2006, University Information Technology Services approached him about partnering to build multimedia material.
The digital module took about three years to build. The pharmacokinetics textbook was released on the iBooks store on Jan. 5, 2017.
“Because it was built by two people who have won teaching awards, the book is taught from a teaching perspective rather than a textbook perspective,” Persky said. “The book tries to put pharmacokinetics in a conversational language and use analogies.”