University of South Florida

USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy Celebrates 10 Years


A decade ago, the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy (TCOP) admitted its charter class of PharmD students. With its innovative curriculum, research and educational advances, dynamic leadership, and commitment to excellence and growth, the college climbed the U.S. News & World Report rankings to become #68 Best Pharmacy School in 2020. “It doesn’t feel like ten years,” Kevin B. Sneed, PharmD, senior associate vice president of USF Health and founding dean of the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy, said. “When you see all of the hard work that has gone into building something from scratch and the enormous amount that we’ve accomplished in a 10 year period, it just means so much and is so rewarding.”

Take a look back at some of the college’s notable achievements and what it has in store for the next 10 years.


The USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy (TCOP) was established in 2007. From the start, founding Dean Kevin B. Sneed, PharmD, set out to build an innovative program that would be a pacesetter in both pharmacy curriculum and clinical experience. With a focus on the future of healthcare and the interprofessional prowess of USF Health, TCOP was established by the Florida Board of Governors in 2009 and became Florida’s first public, comprehensive college of pharmacy in a metropolitan area.


TCOP’s first pharmacy student, Mark LaBossiere, PharmD, now a mental health clinical pharmacist at Mountain Home VA, was one of 38 students who applied during the early action application phase. As the interviews were scored and candidates were ranked, five more students were chosen as the first to be accepted: Semyon Aminov, Phuong Le, Aakash Patel, Bradley Tillander, and Minal Shah. “We are charting new territory in pharmacy education,” Dr. Sneed said. “Our student pharmacists will be trained to participate as effective and integral members of an inter-professional healthcare team. Students are being handpicked for qualities that go beyond test scores and grades.”

Inducted in 2011, the charter class included 53 PharmD students (68% female, 32% male, and 53% Caucasian, 46% minority and 1 undisclosed ethnicity). “Our student body has a diverse variety of talents and backgrounds that will allow us to grow in ways never imagined,” said LaBossiere during the white coat ceremony’s closing remarks. “As the Class of 2015, we’ll travel uncharted territory, set the bar for those who follow and continue to make history – go Bulls!”

Dr. Sneed presented four people with the Dean’s Awards, the College’s highest honor, for being instrumental in helping create TCOP – Judy Genshaft, PhD, USF System President (2000-2019); Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, CEO of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine (2004-2013); Patricia Haynie, former associate vice president from strategic planning and policy; and Ralph Wilcox, PhD, USF Provost.

Today, the Taneja College of Pharmacy welcomes 100 new students each year for its PharmD program.


Graduate Programs was founded in 2013 with the mission to create graduate level education programs in pharmacy while producing global pharmacy leaders, one scholar at a time. Eight years later, Graduate Programs has grown to offer the Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology degree, 5 different graduate certificate programs, PharmD/M.S. concurrent degree program, and a wide range of elective course options. The vision is to develop cutting-edge research training while preparing students with the foundational knowledge and expertise in the area of pharmaceutical nanotechnology.


TCOP earned its first full accreditation in 2015 from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), marking a huge milestone for the young school and validating the innovative education experience offered to USF Health pharmacy students. In addition, the ACPE recognized the college’s interprofessional endeavors and sent a commendation to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy as an example of noteworthy practice. As part of the accreditation process, the college was measured across 30 standards for providing a strong program, including planning and evaluation, administration and governance, curriculum, student support, faculty and staff, and facilities and resources. “This is the best news and our entire team of faculty, staff and students is thrilled,” said Dr. Sneed. “Such resounding approval confirms what we’ve all known about the program we are building and is the culmination of a lot of hard work.”


In 2015, Pharmacy Plus opened for business on the first floor of the USF Health Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare. USF Health’s “Pharmacy of the Future” is blazing a trail, making the traditional behind-the-counter role of the pharmacist obsolete in the new era of the digital health revolution. At Pharmacy Plus, the pharmacists do more than provide pills, they are a valued health partner for improving a patient’s life. It’s a personalized experience, bringing patients, their pharmacist and their healthcare team, together to collaborate and communicate. Physicians seeing patients inside the Morsani Center can electronically send prescriptions to Pharmacy Plus so that, in most cases, the medication can be ready for pickup before the patient leaves the building. In addition, medication can be delivered anywhere on the USF Tampa campus. USF Health Pharmacy Plus earned Community Pharmacy accreditation through the Center for Pharmacy Practice Accreditation (CPPA®)  in 2018.


TCOP was officially accepted as a chapter of the international Rho Chi Honor Society in 2016, and 43 of the college’s students and faculty were inducted as the charter members. The Epsilon Kappa Chapter is the 119th chapter for the national honor society. Since its inception in 1922, the Rho Chi Society has inducted more than 100,000 members into its fellowship. The society’s name is from the Greek letters Rho and Chi that, when juxtaposed a certain way, they form the prescription sign (Rx). Bradley Boucher, PharmD, FCCP, FCCM, Rho Chi Society National President (2016-2018), officiated the event and shared the Society’s mission and vision and what is expected of its chapters and members, saying, “the Rho Chi Honor Society encourages and recognizes excellence in intellectual achievement and fosters scholarship among its members, encourages high standards of conduct and character and advocates critical inquiry in all aspects of pharmacy, seeks to achieve universal recognition of its members as lifelong intellectual leaders in pharmacy.”


In 2019, the University of South Florida received a $10 million gift from Taneja Family Foundation to name the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy. The donation, made through the USF Foundation, is the largest philanthropic gift to a pharmacy school in the state of Florida. As result of the gift, TCOP will move to Water Street Tampa, inside the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute facility in downtown Tampa. “From the very beginning, we set out to build a college built for the future of healthcare, and not simply exist in the past,” said Dr. Sneed. “With the generosity of Mr. Taneja, we will now have the opportunity to build a new home that allows us to truly build the pharmacist clinician of the future.”

“Jugal and Manju Taneja share a passion for education, for giving back to their community, and for transforming the health care system for future generations,” said USF President Steve Currall, PhD. “This gift will do so much for the trajectory of USF’s success — advancing innovation at our College of Pharmacy and elevating the academic stature of the entire university.”


TCOP is already full speed ahead into its next ten years, building the foundation for continued success. The college is expanding its pharmacogenomics efforts by launching a new partnership with Tampa General Hospital and its pharmacy team that will allow clinicians to tailor medications based on a patient’s genetic makeup. Plans include developing clinical decision support tools in the electronic health record (EHR) to support clinicians in interpreting results and guide treatment options in the presence of pharmacogenetic data. The Botanical Medical Research and Education Consortium (BMREC) is a new research effort that will explore potential therapeutic benefits in medicinal botanicals. This initiative aims to contribute to the body of science already known about medicinal plants and to impact patient care with treatments and potential cures. TCOP is also developing a unique certificate program in pharmaceutical compounding and will soon have a brand-new, non-sterile compounding lab inside USF Health Downtown. In collaboration with the USF Muma College of Business, the TCOP Entrepreneurial Academy, is a new program that aims to help its pharmacy students succeed in the health care industry and pharmacy sector. The intra- and inter-collegiate interdisciplinary program aims to provide pharmacy students with innovative, intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial knowledge, tools, and skills necessary for advanced practice training and health care careers. A new resource within the college, the Industry Advisory Council (TCOP-IAC), will provide students networking and interprofessional opportunities with professionals in the pharmaceutical industry, experience that could help shape the careers of these future pharmacists. This new grass-roots type effort, called the Pharmacy Industry Network (PIN), allows students to spend time with industry experts to gain valuable insight into that lane of the pharmacy profession.

“We never walked in looking in the rearview mirror. We’ve always been looking forward and we continue to do that today,” Dr. Sneed said. “Our vision for the next ten years is to continue to promulgate the transformation of health care.”

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