International collaboration to develop next-gen curriculum

Monday, April 6, 2015

Queensland University of Technology logoQueensland University of Technology faculty visited Waterloo Pharmacy to exchange curriculum design ideas.

Spring brings many highly anticipated arrivals – more sunlight, warmer temperatures, fresh blossoms – and, in our case, distinguished guests from Brisbane, Australia. In mid-March, the School of Pharmacy was honoured to welcome guests Dr. Esther Lau and Dr. Manuel Serrano Santos from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia. QUT is redeveloping its pharmacy program, so this globe-trotting pair of course co-ordinators travelled to Kitchener to exchange curriculum design ideas with our faculty.

"It was a wonderful experience for us to visit the fantastic facilities and new building housing the School of Pharmacy,” said Lau. Serrano agreed, adding that he and Lau were grateful for the time many faculty members took to discuss the “innovative and pioneering pharmacy curriculum" at Waterloo.

Topics discussed ranged from experiential and co-op – facets of the PharmD program that make us unique in Canada – to inter-professional education and our growing line-up of professional development offerings.

This was the second QUT-Waterloo visit to share information on our programs and learn more about QUT and the Australian pharmacy system. “We are very excited about the opportunities for research and teaching collaboration between QUT and University of Waterloo (over Tim-Tams and Maple Cream Cookies), and looking forward to visiting everyone in Canada again!” said Lau.

"We’re very willing to share our experiences and I was pleased to see budding collaborations and talk of future projects with QUT," said Nancy Waite, Associate Director, Practice-Based Education and Professional Outreach. Waite forged connections with Serrano and Lau during a conference last year. She gave the keynote address, titled "Expanding roles for pharmacists in Canada: Lessons for educators and the profession,” at the Australian Pharmaceutical Sciences Association 2014 conference in Brisbane."

Guest bios

Dr. Manuel Serrano Santos

Dr. Jose Manuel Serrano Santos (Manuel) graduated as a pharmacist from the University of Salamanca, Spain and soon after moved to the UK where he practised as pharmacist in community, hospital, prison and social services settings for 12 years. He completed a PhD in the University of East Anglia, UK while also teaching pharmacy practice to undergraduate students. He moved to Australia in 2014 with his wife and little daughter to work in the Queensland University of Technology, where he currently is a lecturer, a pharmacy course co-ordinator and also pursuing a graduate certificate in Academic Practice. His research interests are focused on swallowing difficulties, medication management and pharmacy education – especially curriculum review. The current program in QUT is being completely redeveloped. Manuel is also the co-founder and director of a developing international research society on Medicines and Dysphagia (MADRES).

Dr. Esther Lau

Dr. Esther Lau completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy with first class honours in 2007 at the University of Queensland (UQ). After pre-registration, she started her PhD on drug delivery, which was completed in 2012. During this time, she became accredited with the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy to undertake home medicines reviews. She also completed her graduate certificate in Research Commercialisation (UQ) and continued to work as a community pharmacist on a weekly basis. After almost 1.5 years of post-doctoral research at UQ on improving the use of medicines, she moved to QUT as a lecturer in the Discipline of Pharmacy within the School of Clinical Sciences. In 2013 she became a course co-ordinator for the Bachelor of Pharmacy program, and is completing a graduate certificate in Academic Practice. Esther is also the cofounder and director of a developing international research society on medicines and dysphagia (MADRES), and sits on the branch committee of the Queensland Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

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