Ohio State appoints new College of Pharmacy dean

March 23, 2023
Photo of Diana Kroetz

Deanna L. Kroetz will guide enhancements in teaching, research and clinical practice

The Ohio State University has selected Deanna L. Kroetz as dean of the College of Pharmacy, effective Sept. 1, 2023, pending approval by the Board of Trustees. Kroetz joins Ohio State from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she currently serves as professor and chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences in the Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.

“Deanna is an experienced leader and top-notch scholar from one of the nation’s premier health sciences universities,” said Ohio State Executive Vice President and Provost Melissa L. Gilliam. “I look forward to collaborating with her on a bright future for health sciences on our campuses.”

Kroetz will provide strategic vision and operational leadership for the academic and scholarly programs at the College of Pharmacy. In addition, she will set priorities and guide the college toward its goals of enhancing teaching, research and clinical practice while providing excellence in undergraduate, graduate and professional education.

Ohio State’s College of Pharmacy is ranked seventh in the nation among all pharmacy schools by U.S. News and World Report. Its team of 75 faculty and more than 100 full-time staff supports nearly 1,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The college is dedicated to advancing the pharmacy profession through discovery, translational science and patient-centered care across Ohio and around the globe.

“The college has extremely strong ties across the university and in the community,” Kroetz said. “There are also many opportunities to create and strengthen connections in new areas, for example with the increase in cell therapies and gene therapies as treatment. There is a great potential for pharmacy to be in on the ground level to make sure we’re addressing therapeutic questions on the research and practice side. I am also excited about the potential for AI to complement the strong drug discovery focus in the college.”

At UCSF, Kroetz holds the Jere E. Goyan Presidential Chair for the Advancement of Pharmacy and is a professor of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences and pharmaceutical chemistry. Her research focuses on the application of human genetics tools to understand drug toxicity.

An internationally recognized scholar, her reverse translational studies of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy seek to understand how and why certain cancer therapies can cause nerve damage and lead to discomfort, weakness or numbness to arms, legs and other parts of the body. The National Institutes of Health has funded her laboratory throughout her career.

Passionate about translational science, Kroetz believes that a more complete understanding of what drives variability in pharmacological responses and toxicity can transform drug therapy and lead to better clinical outcomes.

An Ohio native, Kroetz earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Ohio State and her PhD in pharmaceutics from the University of Washington. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship with the National Cancer Institute in the Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis.

Ohio State is really where my academic experience began,” Kroetz said. “This is a great time to build on the momentum in the college, including around interdisciplinary practice and research. It’s exciting to come back and play a role in building new programs and giving people like me the opportunity to go down this path.”

“I appreciate the diligent, thoughtful and thorough work of the search advisory committee and all who participated in the search process,” Gilliam said. “I look forward to welcoming Deanna back to her alma mater and am excited for the college’s future under her leadership.” 

This article was originally published on The Ohio State University's website.