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Michael Coughtrie, Ph.D., FCAHS, professor and dean of the University of British Columbia Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, presents UHCOP's Diana S-L. Chow, Ph.D., FNAI, with a plaque following her remarks as 2023 UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Agent of Change honoree.

'Alumni Agent of Change'

UHCOP's Chow Honored by Pharmaceutical Sciences Ph.D. Alma Mater University of British Columbia

May 31 — UHCOP's Diana S-L. Chow, Ph.D., FNAI, John J. & Paula Lovoi Endowed Professor in Drug Discovery and Development, professor of pharmaceutics and director of the Institute for Drug Education & Research, recently was honored as the 2023 Pharmaceutical Sciences Alumni Agent of Change by her doctoral degree alma mater, the University of British Columbia.

Chow graduated with a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from UBC in 1981 after earning her B.S. in pharmacy from National Taiwan University and M.S. in natural product chemistry and pharmacognosy from The Ohio State University. First joining UHCOP as an assistant professor, she has served as a researcher, instructor and graduate advisor at the college for 42 years.

Expert in Pharmaceutics

Chow is an internationally recognized researcher and expert in the field of pharmaceutics, particularly the study of pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics and modeling, as well as the development and analyses of novel drug formulations and drug-delivery systems for the treatment of leukemia, cancer, infection and acute spinal cord injury as well as studying the stability and efficacy of medications used in space flights on the International Space Station.

She has authored/co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, three book chapters and more than 250 abstracts presented at scientific conferences/meetings, as well as delivered more than 45 invited lectures/seminars. Chow’s research has resulted in more than 10 U.S. and international patents.

Chow has trained and mentored nearly 50 Ph.D. and master's degree students as well as dozens of postdoctoral fellows, visiting scholars and undergraduate students. Under her guidance, mentorship and research support, Chow’s students have excelled in producing award-winning research at major scientific conferences and, following graduation, secured highly productive and successful careers in academia, the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory setting, including the Food and Drug Administration.

Guiding Principles

In her remarks at the recognition event, Chow thanked UBC's current and former leaders, the selection committee and her nominator for the honor and credited her former UHCOP department chair, her family members and late parents, current and past colleagues and students, and her faith for her success.

In remembering her late UBC dissertation advisor, Janis (John) Runikis, Chow said he passed along two guiding principles that are ingrained in her graduate mentoring philosophy and style today: "what is right is more important than who is right," and that one "should not be holding the acquired skill sets and tools as a hammer to find the familiar nails to hit, but identify issues to resolve and broaden the needed skill sets."