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New president assumes helm at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis

David D. Allen has officially begins his tenure as the fifth president of University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis.

Thursday’s start of Allen’s presidency marks an important milestone in the university’s history, as it works toward its vision of becoming a transformational leader in health education and research.

Allen comes to the university having most recently served as dean of the School of Pharmacy, professor of biomolecular sciences and executive director of and research professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Mississippi.

“I am so honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead this prestigious institution, which has been educating health care leaders and innovators since its founding as St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 1864,” Allen said. “As I begin my work to build on the tremendous legacy that exists at the University, I look forward to uniting with members of this great community to carve out a path for continued future success.”

With a new brand and forward-looking strategic plan in place at the university, Allen will be focused on enhancing student experience at the university, expanding recruitment strategies, broadening the University’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, and continuing to grow and expand the institution’s academic and research programs.

“I’m so thrilled to dive in and begin work on some immediate priorities we’ve identified for the University,” Allen explained. “In the coming months, I’ll be looking at ways to make our campus more student-oriented and student-centric, and to ensure that our students are  fully supported by all members of our campus community. Student recruitment will also be a big focus as we look at how the campus community can unite to help attract outstanding students and give them the best experiences possible. Throughout my career, I have also been deeply committed to engaging at local, state and national levels to further equity, diversity and inclusion efforts, and that’s another place where I feel the University can make an impact. In addition, as a career academic and research builder, I’ll be working with key members of the University’s academic leadership team to build and expand on our existing academic programs to compliment what’s happening within St. Louis College of Pharmacy and build on the successful programs that already exist within our College of Arts and Sciences.”

Allen’s selection as president was announced in February by the university’s Board of Trustees. He succeeds John A. Pieper, who has served as the university’s president since Aug. 1, 2010, and officially retired on June 30.

“The Board of Trustees is thrilled to formally welcome Dr. Allen to his new role as president,” said JoAnne Levy, J.D., vice president, Mercy Research, and chair of the UHSP Board of Trustees. “When we were tasked with the important responsibility of selecting a new president, we focused on finding a leader who would respect and appreciate our long history as a premier pharmacy institution, while also serving as a visionary with the ability to map out our bright future as a health sciences university. We know that Dr. Allen is the perfect fit for this role, and we look forward to all he will accomplish as the new president of UHSP.”

Before joining University of Mississippi as dean of pharmacy in January 2012, Allen served as founding dean of pharmacy and professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy, formerly Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Pharmacy, in Rootstown, Ohio, and associate dean of curricular affairs at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy in Amarillo, Texas. He also served as professor of physiology and pharmacology in NEOMED’s College of Medicine while he was the dean of pharmacy.

Allen earned his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy at the University of Kentucky, then practiced community pharmacy for several years before returning to University of Kentucky to earn his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences. He has been licensed to practice pharmacy in five states and has been a visiting scientist in Chile, France and Switzerland as well as at the Laboratory of Neurosciences’ Neurochemistry and Brain Transport Section of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging, where he also was an Intramural Research Training Award Fellow.

He has served as principal investigator or collaborator on more than 35 research projects funded by the NIH, American Heart Association, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the government of Chile and various pharmaceutical companies.

Allen is the author of 74 peer-reviewed articles and 46 professional publications, and he has contributed to seven books. He is also on the Editorial Board of Drug Development and

Industrial Pharmacy. He previously served on the editorial boards of Pharmacology Weekly, Life Sciences and the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.

The recipient of dozens of leadership, teaching, research and practice awards, Allen served as the 2018-2019 president of AACP, and was recently presented with the organization’s George R. Spratto Biological Sciences Distinguished Service Award.

He was designated a Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists in 2004, the National Academies of Practice in 2009 and the American Pharmacists Association in 2011. He is a member of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Society for Neuroscience and the AACP Council of Deans, which he chaired in 2014-2015. He also chaired AACP’s Biological Sciences Section and Student Services Special Interest Group.

Allen’s formal inauguration ceremony will be held this fall during Founders Day at the University on Nov. 12. Plans for the event are in development, and more information will be shared with the University community soon.

“I have already had the opportunity to connect with many members of the UHSP campus community, and as I officially begin my tenure as president, I look forward to meeting with many more,” Allen said. “This campus is a very special place, and I’m thrilled to be here.”

About University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis 

For more than 155 years, University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis has provided a world-class education for health care leaders and innovators. Since its founding, the campus has been a place where future professionals and practitioners come together to learn, grow, challenge each other, and find new ways to tackle society’s most pressing health care problems.

The University offers undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Undergraduate degrees prepare students for health professions careers and also serve as the foundation for graduate or professional study, while the University’s Doctor of Pharmacy program prepares students to be leaders and innovators in the profession of pharmacy. To learn more, visit



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