Professor Zubin Austin Appointed The Murray B. Koffler Chair in Pharmacy Management

The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Zubin Austin as The Murray B. Koffler Chair in Pharmacy Management following a lengthy global search.

Professor Austin has been a part of the University of Toronto community since 1984, when he enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program. Since then, he has earned Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Master of Information Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. In 1991, he joined the Faculty as a Clinical Tutor, and has progressed through the Faculty’s academic ranks serving as a Lecturer, Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor, before achieving the status of Full Professor in 2012. From 2001 to 2012, Professor Austin held the prestigious Ontario College of Pharmacists’ Professorship in Pharmacy Practice Research.

Professor Austin brings considerable experience in pharmacy practice to this role, having held clinical and administrative positions at Mount Sinai Hospital since 1988, where he continues to practice part-time. His research interests focus on organizational development in pharmacy and the healthcare sector, and his recent publications have focused on management of change in community pharmacy, interventions to enhance interprofessional collaboration in primary care, and education to support the adoption of expanded scope of practice activities. His scholarly activity has led to over 90 peer-reviewed publications, three reference texts, awards from a variety of professional organizations and associations, and over $10 million of externally-funded research grants and contracts from national and international organizations.

In addition to his outstanding research accomplishments, Professor Austin is also an award-winning educator and recipient of the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada Excellence in Pharmacy Education Award, the Government of Ontario’s Leadership in Teaching Award, the University of Toronto’s President’s Teaching Award, and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Lyman Award for outstanding scholarly work in pharmacy education. Moreover, undergraduate students at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy have voted him Professor of the Year on 15 separate occasions.

“I am very pleased to appoint Zubin as The Murray B. Koffler Chair in Pharmacy Management,” said Professor Heather Boon, Dean of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. “I am confident that his exceptional research background, experiences as an award-winning educator, commitment to lifelong learning, and dedication to the profession of pharmacy will serve him well in this new role, and look forward to working with him to develop education programs and practice innovations that will revolutionize patient care.”

The Murray B. Koffler Chair in Pharmacy Management was established by alumnus Murray Koffler to advance the principles of pharmacy management, including finance, human resources, operations, technology, leadership, marketing, and communications. As such, the Chair is responsible for exploring innovative business models for new pharmacy services, establishing programs and services to investigate the expanded role of the pharmacist, and serving as an advocate for the profession of pharmacy.

In assuming this appointment, Professor Austin will be responsible for leading the newly-created Centre for Practice Excellence, a key strategic priority for the Faculty. Built on the core objective of patient-focused care, the Centre is in a unique position to address the issues impacting the future of healthcare by equipping students and practitioners to maximize their clinical expertise while enhancing quality of care and improving patient outcomes in a cost-effective manner. The Centre will focus on management education, transformational research, and practice innovation.

“I am tremendously excited to take on this role, and anxious to begin building the Centre for Practice Excellence into a world leader in pharmacy practice research and innovation,” noted Professor Austin. “By leveraging research into education and innovation, we aim to develop and implement innovative solutions at the community level that will help everyday pharmacists and pharmacy managers incorporate evidence-informed, cutting-edge practices into their daily work, which will ultimately benefit patients in communities across Canada.”