Pharmacy school, med school collaborate for better pain relief

October 2, 2015

St. Louis College of Pharmacy has partnered with Washington University School of Medicine, both located in St. Louis, to create the Center for Clinical Pharmacology to research new approaches for pain relief including new analgesics and other therapeutic ways to manage chronic pain.

St. Louis College of Pharmacy has partnered with Washington University School of Medicine, both located in St. Louis, to create the Center for Clinical Pharmacology to research new approaches for pain relief including new analgesics and other therapeutic ways to manage chronic pain.

Staff Pick: Pain control in the elderly

“Chronic pain affects about one in every three adults in the United States, and healthcare providers often struggle with how best to use medications to help patients control it,” said Larry J. Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of Washington University’s School of Medicine. “This new center will play an important role in identifying better ways to deal with this public health problem.”

The Center for Clinical Pharmacy, developed through a joint partnership between St. Louis College of Pharmacy and Washington University School of Medicine, will focus on translational and clinical research for better pain treatments. (Image courtesy of St. Louis College of Pharmacy)The center, which will include five laboratories and be housed in St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s Academic and Research Building, will be headed by Evan D. Kharasch, MD, PhD, professor of anesthesiology and professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at the School of Medicine. Faculty at the new center will come from both institutions: three researchers of the laboratories will have appointments at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy and two will have appointments at the School of Medicine.

“This collaborative venture, between the academic institutions of pharmacy and medicine, is unique in the field of clinical pharmacology, and a major strength,” said Kharasch, who has directed the anesthesiology department’s Division of Clinical and Translational Research for 10 years.

John A. Pieper, PharmD, president of St. Louis College of Pharmacy, strongly supports this partnership between the pharmacy college and the medical school. “Together, we are focused on innovative solutions to find answers to the national epidemic of abuse and misuse of analgesic agents. We believe pharmacists and physicians working side by side will lead to the best solutions in health care.”

Karen Seibert, PhD, professor of pathology and immunology and of genetics, and director of Genomics and Pathology Services at the School of Medicine, also joined the center as co-director on October 1. She is the associate director of shared services at the Siteman Cancer Center.