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dhiren_thakkerAfter more than 20 years of service to the School, Dhiren Thakker has announced his retirement.
Join us in honoring Dhiren by supporting his investment in the Global Scholars Program.

Your Impact: By the Numbers

$5,000 provides one Global Pharmacy Scholar with funding for an international rotation

$1,500 pays for the airfare for one Global Pharmacy Scholar

$1,000 pays for the lodging for one Global Pharmacy Scholar

40 students per year are currently being offered global experiences

9 international rotation sites are hosting our students throughout the year

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The Global Pharmacy Scholars Program

As the world becomes more globally connected, it is important for our students to have cultural competence, global awareness, service learning experience and the ability to analyze and solve problems through different perspectives and in different settings.

Global Pharmacy Scholars are strategically placed in diverse healthcare systems and pharmacy practice settings around the world. By the end of 2017, more than 90 students will have completed rotations in countries such as Malawi, Zambia, Japan, Moldova, Australia, England and Singapore.

Students return with a very different view of the world. They have witnessed the operations of complex, well-funded healthcare systems and those that struggle with limited resources. They have increased their confidence and strengthened their problem-solving and analytical skills. They have a greater appreciation of cross-cultural communication and are prepared for success in an increasingly global economy.

It is our goal to send at least 50% of all Pharm.D. students to complete an international rotation by the time they graduate.

Learn more about the program from former GPS Scholars

“Giving our students a global experience is a passion of mine. It is my hope that their experience in the GPS program will be transformative, opening their hearts to the health-care challenges of people who are less fortunate and their minds to learning from the rich diversity of people and cultures around the globe.”

-Dhiren Thakker

About Dhiren Thakker

Dhiren Thakker, Ph.D., and his wife, Kailas Thakker, Ph.D.

Dubbed “The International Man of Pharmacy,” Thakker has been the driving force for many of the School’s successes in research, graduate education, entrepreneurship and biotech start-up, and global engagement.

Thakker came to UNC after working in research at the National Institutes of Health and in drug discovery at GlaxoSmithKline. Just two years after joining the faculty in 1996, Thakker became the Associate Dean of Graduate and Research Programs. With seemingly endless energy and enthusiasm, he took on additional responsibilities including the Associate Dean for Entrepreneurial Development and Global Engagement; Director of the Campbell Faculty Mentoring Program; and the Ferguson Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

He has been named a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Thakker’s research has been awarded more than $4 million from federal and state agencies, as well as from pharmaceutical and biotech companies. He is the c-author of more than 150 publications and is named co-inventor on more than half a dozen patents.

Perhaps most importantly, he has mentored dozens of graduate students, post-docs and visiting international scholars, and paved the way for our pharmacy students to engage in global education.


Your gift in honor of Dhiren Thakker can transform a student’s understanding of patient care and pharmacy practice.

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