Rick G. Schnellmann, PhD, is dean of the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. A leading pharmacologist, researcher and drug discovery entrepreneur, he joined the UA in August 2016 from the Medical University of South Carolina.
Dr. Schnellmann earned his doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Arizona Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine in 1984. At the South Carolina College of Pharmacy at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, he was eminent scholar and distinguished university professor and was chair of the college’s Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences from 2001 to 2015. During his tenure as chair, Dr. Schnellmann assisted in the merger of the colleges of pharmacy at the University of South Carolina and MUSC, facilitating the transition to distance education on campuses 100 miles apart. Under his guidance, his department’s NIH grant funding increased, and in 2014 the school was ranked 11th in NIH funding to colleges of pharmacy.
Dr. Schnellmann’s research is focused on identifying and developing drugs to treat acute kidney injury, diabetic kidney disease, stroke, spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s disease. His research has been funded continuously since 1987 and includes NIH grant funding totaling more than $30 million. He has been instrumental in founding three MUSC spin-off biotechnology companies focused on drug discovery and development, including a drug for acute kidney injury, molecular compounds that could lead to new treatment for kidney failure and a compound being testing for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa.