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UK College of Pharmacy names new dean

R. Kiplin Guy

R. Kiplin Guy will start Oct. 1

A renowned researcher who specializes in the development of drugs to combat pediatric diseases has been named the dean of the University of Kentucky’s highly ranked College of Pharmacy, Provost Tim Tracy announced today.

R. Kiplin Guy, currently chairman of the Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, is expected to assume the dean’s position Oct. 1.

“In Kip Guy, we have found someone who has an exemplary reputation as innovator and academic entrepreneur, identifying dozens of novel applications for drugs in clinical trials that could lead to breakthroughs in combating pediatric diseases,” Tracy said. “Equally impressive is Dr. Guy’s understanding of health care systems, pharmacy’s role in this changing health care environment and how best to position the College and its graduates to continue to make an impact of the health of people.”

At St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Guy created the Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, where he held the Robert J. Ulrich Endowed Chair.

He also has held secondary appointments as adjunct professor of pharmaceutical chemistry for the University of California San Francisco; adjunct professor of biochemistry for Vanderbilt University in Nashville; and adjunct professor of pharmaceutical sciences and pathology for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

“I am honored and excited to be selected to lead the UK College of Pharmacy with its strong tradition of excellence in the practice of pharmacy, the teaching of pharmacy, and research in the pharmaceutical sciences,” Guy said. “As we move forward in a changing healthcare world our professional and research practices are increasingly interdisciplinary and collaborative. To thrive we must be nimble and constantly seek ways to better carry out our work. I look forward to leading the school in capitalizing on such opportunities presented by UK and UK HealthCare and to helping the College to continue driving how pharmacists and pharmaceutical researchers think and work. I am also personally very excited about the potential to continue and grow outreach efforts that enhance care for underserved people in the Commonwealth.”

His research focus is chemical biology and preclinical drug discovery and development for neglected diseases, especially those that affect children..

Much of his work has focused on pediatric cancers and malaria. In recent years, he has led the team that discovered and developed a new drug candidate for malaria that is currently in Phase 1 trials. The Chemical Biology and Therapeutics group, built and led by Guy, has collaboratively repurposed drugs for clinical trials for ependymoma, leukemias, medulloblastoma, and other pediatric cancers.

Guy earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Reed College in Portland. He earned a doctorate in organic chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in cellular biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

“Our search committee, led by Trish Freeman of the College of Pharmacy and Dean Scott Lephart of the College of Health Sciences, did an outstanding job in conducting a national search to find the right person to lead this important college,” Tracy said. “In Kip Guy, we have found the right leader, at a pivotal moment, as we seek to continue our role as one of the country’s leaders in pharmaceutical research and education.”