LAWRENCE — The associate dean for clinical and medical center affairs with the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy is the first candidate who will take part in on-campus interviews for the position of KU dean of pharmacy.
Associate Dean James Backes is one of three candidates invited to continue in the search process. He will offer a public presentation at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 23, in Room 1020 of Pharmacy Building on the Lawrence campus. Each candidate has been asked to present on the topic “Advancing the Stature and Impact of the KU School of Pharmacy.” Faculty and staff on the KU Medical Center campuses in Kansas City and Wichita will be able to participate through a special audio-video feed. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Members of the KU community are invited to attend the presentation and provide feedback to the search committee, led by Michael Branicky, professor of electrical engineering & computer science and past dean of the School of Engineering.
Prior to joining KU in 1998, Backes was adjunct clinical assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Throughout his tenure at KU, Backes’ roles have steadily increased in stature and responsibility. From 1998 to 2007, he was clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. In 2006 he added a role as adjunct clinical assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the KU School of Medicine. Between 2007 and 2014, he progressed from clinical associate professor to professor in pharmacy practice and was awarded corresponding adjunct status in internal medicine. In 2006 he was named assistant director of the Atherosclerosis and LDL-Apheresis Center in Internal Medicine, a position he still holds. In 2016 he was appointed to his current role as associate dean for clinical and medical center affairs for the School of Pharmacy at KUMC.
Since 1998 he has been clinical pharmacist for the Atherosclerosis and LDL-Apheresis Center at KU Medical Center. He works with roughly 1,500 patients annually. His clinical practice experience includes a term as clinical pharmacist in KU’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center from 1998 to 2009. Past professional experience also includes work at independent, hospital-based and chain pharmacies. He continues to serve as a relief pharmacist for the inpatient pharmacy at Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park.
His research focus includes the safety and efficacy of lipid-altering agents and limiting the associated adverse events. He serves as the principal investigator or co-investigator on multiple clinical trials. His scholarly work includes more than 40 peer-reviewed journal publications, 37 peer-reviewed posters and more than 180 invited presentations, board meetings and lectures at the national, state and regional levels.
He received the School of Pharmacy’s Rho Chi Teaching Award in 2010 and was named Preceptor of the Year in 2000, 2001 and 2008. He received the Center for Teaching Excellence’s Department Excellence in Teaching Award in 2005. He was recognized with the first-place poster award at the Kansas Council of Health-System Pharmacy 2011 Annual Meeting. He has served KU through dozens of committees and task forces at the university, school and department level, which includes multiple opportunities specific to KU Medical Center. He also was selected to be in the 2016-2017 cohort of Senior Administrative Fellows. Backes is a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the National Lipid Association and the Kansas Pharmacists Association.
Backes earned a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, both from Creighton University. He studied pre-pharmacy at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska. He a professionally licensed pharmacist in Kansas and Nebraska.
The university will release the name of each candidate roughly one business day before their respective campus visits. Public presentations for the remaining candidates:
- Candidate 2: 8:30-9:20 a.m. April 30, Pharmacy Building, Room 1020.
- Candidate 3: 8:30-9:20 a.m. May 7, Pharmacy Building, Room 1020.
The presentations will be recorded and available for viewing online after the final candidate has appeared on campus. Members of the KU community are encouraged to offer their impressions and observation of each candidate online. For greatest consideration, the search committee requests that feedback be submitted by May 9; the comment period closes completely May 20.
About the School of Pharmacy
With a presence on three KU campuses — Lawrence, Kansas City and Wichita — the School of Pharmacy offers the only pharmacy program in the state. In 2017, the school received more than $11 million in National Institutes of Health research funding, ranking fourth in the nation for such grants.
Approximately 150 candidates are accepted annually into the Pharm.D. professional degree program after completing two years of pre-pharmacy coursework. The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and students in the class of 2018 achieved a first-time pass rate of 100% on the North American Pharmacists Licensure Exam (NAPLEX).