Thirty-six undergraduate pharmacy students from China concluded a four-week survey course at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy on August 10.
The Innovations and Transformations in Pharmaceutical Sciences program gave UNC graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty members the opportunity to teach and interact with the Chinese students.
The ITPS program is in its first year. It is directed by Associate Dean for Global Engagement Stephen Eckel, Pharm.D., M.H.A.; Associate Professor Michael Jarstfer, Ph.D.; and Global Program Officer Terry Kale, M.P.A.
The students, who hail from five Chinese universities, arrived in Chapel Hill in July. The students have diverse research interests, including medicinal chemistry, drug formulation, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, pharmacology and pharmaceutical analysis, as well as a general interest in learning about the U.S. health system.
The students attended lectures from professors including Robert Shrewsbury, Ph.D.; Yanguang “Carter” Cao, Ph.D.; Tim Wiltshire, Ph.D.; and Leaf Huang, Ph.D., in addition to nearly 20 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
“It’s important for our Ph.D. and Pharm.D. students to involve themselves in teaching and learn to be educators,” Eckel said. “Teaching the Chinese students brings our graduate students out of their comfort zones and forces them to think about how to best present the science they are all passionate about.”
The Chinese students also visited UNC Hospitals, Environmental Protection Agency laboratories, the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences lab and to pharmaceutical companies KBI and Panaceutics.
Additionally, the Chinese students were able to experience UNC life, including a visit to the Carolina Basketball Museum and the Dean E. Smith Center.
“The ITPS program has allowed these students to learn about the culture here in Chapel Hill, in addition to the wide variety of pharmacy programs at the School,” Eckel said. “We have had positive feedback from the students and hope to continue this program into the future.”