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Pharmacy School Names New Home in Honor of Alumnus John N. Kapoor

By Mary Cochrane

Release Date: May 9, 2008

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The new South Campus home of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is to be named after alumnus John N. Kapoor.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- An alumnus of the University at Buffalo considered a visionary leader in the pharmaceutical industry is giving back once again to the institution that three decades ago provided a fellowship that helped him to earn a doctoral degree and begin his highly successful career.

John N. Kapoor, Ph.D. '72, has made a $5 million investment in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences through the John and Editha Kapoor Charitable Foundation. The gift, issued as a challenge to encourage others to follow his exemplary lead, will support construction of a new home for the nationally ranked pharmacy school, as well as faculty research, student financial aid and an emerging technologies fund.

With this gift and prior gifts that together total more than $10.8 million, Kapoor becomes the most generous individual donor ever to UB. In light of this generosity, the university will name the pharmacy building John Kapoor Hall in his honor.

UB President John B. Simpson praised Kapoor for his history of giving to the university.

"It's a point of substantial pride for UB that our pharmacy school provided the foundation for Dr. Kapoor's remarkable career in the pharmaceutical industry. It is very significant to our university that he has chosen to honor his alma mater with another truly extraordinary gift that will help us take the school to even greater heights of excellence," Simpson said. "Dr. Kapoor's generosity will enable the school to attract more of the best and brightest students and faculty, and will establish a legacy that will benefit UB and its communities for generations to come."

President of EJ Financial Enterprises, Inc., and a skilled entrepreneur who has transformed numerous businesses into profitable corporations, Kapoor for nearly a decade has been the most generous donor to the UB pharmacy school, which is ranked in the top two of Northeast U.S. pharmacy schools and in the top 25 nationwide.

Since 1986, the Kapoor Charitable Foundation has funded research, a state-of-the-art instrumentation core and graduate fellowships at UB. More recent contributions provided support for five Kapoor Fellows in the pharmacy school, three of whom have graduated and begun their careers and two who are current pharmacy school students. The foundation's support also was critical to the school's successful completion of a Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant for $500,000 to pay for additional equipment.

"It is my privilege to help UB continue at the leading edge of innovation in pharmaceutical sciences education," Kapoor said. "The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has played a significant role in shaping my career and it is my honor to be part of its future."

The UB pharmacy school is preparing for its eventual move to the South Campus, where it will join the university's four other health science schools -- dental medicine, medicine, nursing and public health -- that comprise the UB Academic Health Center. The pharmacy school's new home will be funded by a true private-public partnership, with the State of New York providing $46 million for construction and the remainder coming from the university and private investments. It will be the first UB professional school to relocate back to the City of Buffalo since the construction of the North Campus in Amherst in the 1970s.

Wayne K. Anderson, dean of the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, noted that Kapoor's earlier gifts, coupled with his $5 million challenge, have directly contributed to the pharmacy school's world-class status.

"His gifts have transformed the school," Anderson said. "His generosity has allowed us to leverage core support for research programs and has enabled us to provide seed grants for young faculty, who, in turn, have achieved a very significant level of success in research activities. His new gift will help vault the school into the future with an improved, high-tech facility where we continue the important work of educating generations of pharmacy professionals."

Slated for completion in 2011, the pharmacy school building will be a vital resource for advancing patient care, attracting students and faculty, and providing a contemporary learning environment. It will include a state-of-the-art Pharmaceutical Care Teaching and Learning Center, which will support a comprehensive interprofessional curriculum focused on continuity of care, medication therapy management, collaborative drug-therapy management and patient education. Other features will include laboratories dedicated to pharmacy informatics and information systems, audio and video conferencing for real-time interaction with remote locations, live Web casts and recording capabilities, and interactive audience response systems.

Born in Amristar, India, Kapoor earned an undergraduate degree in pharmacy from Bombay University, and sought to attend graduate school in the United States. UB offered him a graduate fellowship, allowing him to pursue a doctorate in medicinal chemistry.

"Without this support it would have been impossible for me to come to the United States to pursue higher education. I received tremendous support and encouragement from the faculty at the school as I tried to adjust to a different system of education. I also learned a great deal about this country at the university," Kapoor said in an interview in 2002.

Throughout his career, Kapoor has demonstrated keen marketing insight. As president and CEO of LyphoMed, he rejuvenated the hospital products company into a more than $100-million-a-year business, which he then sold to Fujisawa Pharmaceuticals. He went on to serve in leadership positions at several U.S. pharmaceutical companies over the next 30 years, including Option Care, Inc., a provider of home health-care services; Akorn, Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of generic ophthalmic products; and Introgen Therapeutics, Inc., a gene therapy company.

Kapoor, with his late wife, Editha, a native of Grand Island, N.Y., established the John and Editha Kapoor Charitable Foundation to support children and youth services, Christian organizations, health organizations, higher education, hospitals and charitable causes in India. The many honors he has received include the UB Distinguished Alumni Award, a State University of New York honorary degree, the San Diego Indian American Society Chakra Award and the American Cancer Society International Achievement Award for Philanthropy.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.