A History of SPST

The School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology (SPST) was founded in August 2000 and ratified by the TianJin University (TJU) Board, developed primarily by its founding Dean Zhao Kang, a PhD from Columbia University and Prof. Shen Jiaxiang,academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering with a PhD from London University (now as UCL School of Pharmacy) as the Dean Emeritus.

SPST is one of the youngest schools in TJU that was founded in 1895 as Peiyang University by Charles Daniel Tennay (US) and Sheng XuanHuai (CN). As the first modern university and the pioneer of modern higher education in China, TJU has been committed to the mission of revitalizing this country through education ever since its foundation. Fighting arduously in keeping up with this mission, TJU proudly upholds the motto "Seeking Truth from Facts", while the faculty follows the guideline of precise learning and strict teaching.

During the initial period of SPST, the recruited faculty came primarily from Chinese Nationals who had education background overseas with substantial experience in the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, some experts in Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) and Pharmaceutical Administration were attracted to define a comprehensive pharmacy program, although the emphasis of SPST was medicinal chemistry in the starting period. 

SPST is currently providing a diverse range of programs at differing levels, including Bachelor of Science (BS) in Pharmacy, Master of Science (MS) in Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Analysis, Microbial & Biochemistry, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology, Natural Products & Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Pharmaceutical Administration. SPST also provides the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Applied Chemistry and Public Health & Pharmaceutical Administration that was jointly managed by SPST together with the School of Chemical Engineering and Technology (TJU), and the School of Business Administration (TJU), respectively. In addition, SPST offers the postdoctoral positions for the cutting-edge research in both basic and applied sciences.

SPST offers the intellectually rigorous environment, dynamic culture, and unique opportunities of research and study. The mission of SPST is to serve the society by educating pharmaceutical professionals with good knowledge, global vision and competiveness, innovational mind and dedication to address the growing challenges in today’s dynamic and rapidly changing world.

SPST Today

At present, SPST has 63 faculty members consisting of 33 professors and 24 associate professors.

In January 2013, after full justification, President Li of Tianjin University has invited Professor Jay Siegel, with a PhD from Princeton University, to be the second Dean of SPST. With rich teaching, research and administrative experience in tertiary education, Prof. Siegel will lead a major “Excellence” campaign for SPST, aiming toward the development of an internationally recognized institute and a series of reform and renovation will be carried in the foreseeable future.The major focus of the coming years will be to implement the academic plan in tandem with creating an effective management structure; putting in place a thoughtful process of constant curricular reform and renewal; developing a realistic, flexible space plan.

Organizational Structure:SPST has established an Executive Council to be responsible for planning the future development of SPST. Besides, SPST has invited 6-8 top experts overseas to form an Advisory Council, to provide guidance and suggestion for the School’s development. This team is responsible for developing the vision and directions for SPST's future.

Administrative Policy:Principal task is establishment of a clear recruitment and promotion policy based on regularly scheduled performance review founded on achievements in research, scholastic, educational and service activities. Efforts will be made to promote excellence along a personal contribution vector with different components of strength over these various areas. A second task of equally high priority is to streamline meeting and operations so that maximum time is available for productive scholarly pursuits and a minimum of time is needed for administration.

Curriculum:A set of international and domestic peer institutes was selected and a comparison of the peer group and SPST's curricula is in process. Early results suggest greater expansion in statistics, cell biology, economics, toxicology, safety and ethical practice. Because the entire curriculum will be in English and the specific requirements in Pharmacy Administration and Management, the university requirements for specific breadth courses in foreign language and management outside the discipline have been reduced. Internationalization of the curriculum will also include a strong recruitment of students from traditionally English speaking areas like the US, UK, EU, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Australia/New Zealand.

Talents Recruitment:In order to provide competitive faculty forces, with an international broad vision, for the School’s teaching and research, SPST will recruit heavily young internationalized talents in a continuous way for the foreseeable future. Multiple recruitments per year across several disciplines is anticipated.

Infrastructure and Services:A set of modern core facilities are being developed to match the needs of the recruited faculty and to match the quality of the modernized lab space/physical plant. These include high-field NMR, Mass Spectrometry, separation science, X-ray crystal analysis, molecular/biological assays, automated methods for synthesis and analysis. In addition, a general process laboratory for chemical production and analysis is planned to provide training for students and postdocs as well as service manufacturing on kilogram scale for industry and academia.

Industry Affiliations:Many of the activities of SPST dovetail well into the interests of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. SPST intends to target a spectrum of ways to interact with industry through internship programs, research collaborations, contract services, student placement and joint instruction. SPST is looking to open lines of discussion with key industry partners so that the growth and development of SPST can harmonize in a flexible and dynamic way to benefit industry and academia.

China's changing social needs and demographics will offer many opportunities for public-private cooperation and partnership. China already offers many incentives and support instruments for university-industry joint ventures.

Looking Ahead

The major priority of the coming years will be to implement the academic plan in tandem and create an effective staffing and management structure. SPST is planned to reach ca. 80 internationally active research faculty across the key areas in pharmaceutical and molecular sciences. We will build an internationally accredited English-based curriculum offering BS, MS and PhD degrees with graduates prepared for modern career challenges. A “state-of-the-art” physical plant operating safely with internationally conforming standard operating procedures (SOPs), a world-class core facility to support research and teaching, and a globally recognized institute for research and teaching will be finally realized in SPST.

As we move forward, we aim to preserve the dynamic culture and close connections established at SPST, while expanding our ability to build bridges within the classroom, across the campus, and around the world.