Founded in 1936, School of Pharmacy, Fudan University (SPFDU, formerly known as School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Medical University) was initially set up as a special unit for pharmacy training at Shanghai Medical College. Afterwards, it experienced various stages of development and the name was altered accordingly: Department of Pharmacy of National Shanghai Medical College, School of Pharmacy of National Shanghai Medical College, Department of Pharmacy of Shanghai First Medical College, and School of Pharmacy of Shanghai Medical University. Following the merger of then Shanghai Medical University with Fudan University in 2000, it was named as School of Pharmacy, Fudan University. In August 2008, it relocated to the new campus at Zhangjiang High-Tech Park in Pudong New District of Shanghai. The campus covers approximately 53,300 square meters and is composed of four major buildings with a total floor area of 25,000 square meters.
SPFDU is one of the five most influential pharmacy schools in China. Since 2013, Pharmacy and Pharmacology of Fudan University has been ranked in the top 100 in Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Discipline Ranking, while Fudan University entered into the ESI global top 2‰ in the Pharmacology and Toxicology field in 2015. In fact, Pharmacy has been selected as one of the five most developed disciplines within the university in 2014, and Fudan’s Pharmacology and Toxicology was placed No. 18 by “U.S. News & World Report” 2016 Rankings of Best Global Universities, thereby topping the list in China.
SPFDU possesses a group of pharmacy-associated disciplines that compass contemporary pharmaceutical sciences and drug discovery. It is entitled to confer doctoral and master’s degrees in seven areas (medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutical analysis, clinical pharmacy as well as microbiology and biochemistry). Among which, pharmaceutics has been accredited as a national key discipline since 2007.
SPFDU’s research focuses on drug discovery, development and application. It has established a comprehensive system for drug innovation and talent cultivation. Its teaching and research capabilities cover drug discovery, efficacy study, safety evaluation, druggability assessment, formulation development and clinical application, thereby creating a growth engine that integrates basic science and applied research.
SPFDU has a comprehensive professional talent cultivation system ranging from undergraduate to graduate studies and from full-time to continuing education. Currently, there are about 410 undergraduate and 430 graduate students including those from overseas. With a goal of building a top-tier in China, forefront ranking in Asia and world-class pharmacy discipline, it implements the belief of “Cultivation of talents is a paramount task in discipline development”. For undergraduate training, it adopts a parallel system by provision of both general and elite education, emphasizing on training the best pharmaceutical professionals with broad scientific knowledge, solid technical skill, strong innovation capability and excellent overall quality; for postgraduate training, it focuses on upbringing competitive ability, taking into account both basic and applied research directions, in order to demonstrate the strength of superiority and comprehensiveness. Thus, it was the first in China to launch a new model of integrating undergraduate and graduate studies in clinical pharmacy. Bearing the responsibility of grooming outstanding pioneers, constructors and managers in pharmaceutical sciences, the education quality of the school has long been cherished by peers and its graduates have won wide acclaim from employers both in China and abroad. Among the alumni of Fudan School of Pharmacy, six has become academicians of Chinese Academy of Sciences or Chinese Academy of Engineering and one was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Focusing on malignancy, cardio-cerebrovascular and infectious diseases and relying on its well-built disciplines, a comprehensive system is now in place that compasses aspects such as drug discovery, efficacy and toxicity evaluation, druggability studies, formulation and delivery technology exploration and rationale drug use in clinic, etc. This is coupled with the support of Fudan’s life sciences, chemistry, material sciences, basic medical science and clinical medicine, among other disciplines, which ensures education of high-quality pharmaceutical talents and execution of cutting-edge pharmaceutical research thereby displaying unparallel strength in terms of cross-discipline and comprehensiveness. Through implementation of national key research programs, the capability of innovation and competition of SPFDU is spearing ahead in full speed, thereby forming its unique superiority in natural product chemistry, cardiovascular pharmacology, tumor pharmacology, pharmaceutics and targeted drug delivery. Since 2012, it has been additionally awarded one “973” project, two “863” projects, four National Natural Science Foundation key projects and four National Mega R&D projects with in-account funds exceeding RMB220 million yuan, i.e., 2.30 million yuan per head count; annual publication of SCI papers stays at an average of more than 160 with an average impact factor of more than 4.0 since 2014, including eleven highly cited ones according to ESI; six professors were named by Elsevier as highly cited scholars of China three years in succession (2014, 2015 and 2016). Furthermore, a number of research achievements of the school received multiple awards such as the national, ministerial and municipal top prizes for science and technology advancement. Important breakthroughs have also been made in recent years with the discovery of novel drug candidates for oncology and cardiovascular indications, a key technology in drug formulation and a drug lead based on active natural products. All of which were out-licensed to indigenous pharmaceutical companies with proceeds approaching to RMB300 million yuan, thus obtaining both economic benefit and social impact.
SPFDU actively pursues the national talent development strategy and makes persistent efforts in recruiting various high-caliber scholars and experts as well as dispatching young faculty members to further their professional training abroad, such that the overall quality of teaching and research staff has been upgraded significantly. At present, it has a staff of 135 (41 full professors and 44 associate professors) representing 37Ph.D. and 44 M.Sc. advisors, twenty one professors are serving in a number of international learned organizations such as Chinese Pharmaceutical Association and American Chemical Society, etc., eighteen act as associate editors/editorial board members of well-known international scientific journals.
SPFDU has established a number of technology platforms for drug discovery and development to provide technical support such as drug design, screening, preparation, evaluation and application. These include four centers (Experimental Teaching Center, Analysis and Testing Center, Animal Experiment Center and Clinical Pharmacy Center) and four platforms (Computer-aided Drug Design, Anti-viral Agent Screening and Efficacy Evaluation, Molecular Imaging, and Formulation Pilot Production).
Relying on the national key discipline of pharmaceutics and Smart Drug Delivery Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education/PLA, SPFDU has the ability to develop new drug delivery system, including smart material design, targeted drug delivery, controlled drug release and efficacy assessment. “Small Molecule Active Substance” Laboratory was granted the key status by Shanghai Municipality in 2014.
Shanghai Center for Drug Discovery and Development affiliated to SPFDU was set up in 2013 with the approval of Shanghai Education Commission, which has enrolled the “Shanghai Collaborative Innovation Center” system in 2017.
The above platforms have laid a solid foundation to enhance Fudan’s capabilities in drug discovery, commercialization of research outcomes and provision of technical services to meet the societal demands.
SPFDU actively promotes international cooperation and personnel exchange in scientific research, pharmacy education and professional training. It has established numerous collaborative relationships with universities and research institutions in the U.S.A., Japan, Australia and Europe. On an annual basis, it receives more than 50 foreign expert visits, invites over 50 speakers from reputable overseas universities, 40 or so faculties are involved in short- or long-term training abroad, dozens of them attend international conferences and more than 30% of undergraduate students go abroad participating in various internship programs. Meanwhile, SPFDU has hosted large events such as “International Symposium of Advanced Drug Delivery Systems”, “Sino-American Forum on Clinical Pharmacy” and “Queenstown Molecular Biology Meetings in Shanghai”, among others. Its domestic and international academic impact is growing steadily.
Extracurricular activities of both undergraduate and graduate students are supervised by a highly skillful team of mentors, with an emphasis on cultivating a noble personality consisting of vision, creativity, service and professionalism. Capturing the innovation spirit of Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, students at SPFDU enjoy a unique social atmosphere outside their classrooms. “Wind of May” academic and cultural forums, postgraduate salons, publication of a student-oriented quarterly journal, “Pharmacy in FDU” WeChat number (a mobile phone text and voice messaging communication system), book exchange programs, various art, musical and sport events, volunteer practices and innovative research projects have become an indispensable part of their daily lives.
In the past 80 years, more than 6000 undergraduate students and approximately 1600 graduate students (about 25% with Ph.D. degrees) have graduated from SPFDU, let alone a large number of those studied or trained by various continuing education programs. These alumni exercise their social responsibility for caring people and have made significant contributions to the development of pharmaceutical industries both in China and abroad.
As the most valuable asset, alumni are history carriers of the school and embodiment of its soft power. SPFDU attaches utmost importance to alumni affairs by constantly strengthening the connection between alma mater and the alumni. As a result, the Pharmacy Branch of Shanghai Medical School Alumni Association was formed in 2014 with a routine management mechanism such as operating the “Alumni House”. This was followed by setting up a North America wing of the branch, thereby better positioning itself to reach the goal of “United as one pharmily”.