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The IUPHAR Education Section mourns the passing of Elizabeth (Liz) Davis in October 2021. Liz was Chair of the Education Section and a PEP Editorial Board member. Her dedication and commitment to making pharmacology education the best it can be was an inspiration to us all. A tribute from her home institution Monash University can be read here

The IUPHAR-Ed Section has two awards, an early career, and a lifetime award which are conferred at the World Congress meetings. The lifetime award will be renamed the ‘Elizabeth Davis Pharmacology Educator Award’. This award recognises outstanding pharmacologists who have made a sustained and significant contribution to education and/or training in pharmacology.

Committee Members

  • Past Chair Professor Simon Maxwell, UK
  • Councillor Professor John Szarek, USA
  • Councillor Professor Paul White, Australia
  • Councillor Professor Jamie Coleman, UK
  • Councillor Ms Shirra Moch, South Africa
  • Councillor Associate Professor Lynette Fernandes, Australia
  • Councillor Professor Atsuro Miyata, Japan

Dr Clare Guilding has taken on the role of Chair of the Education Section beginning in December 2021 through the end of the current term.

The following report provides a brief update of the major ongoing projects under the umbrella of the Education Section of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR-Ed), including the Pharmacology Education Project and the Core Concepts in Pharmacology project.

Summary of 2021 Activities

IUPHAR Education Section Virtual Conference: Future Proofing Pharmacology Education

The IUPHAR-Ed section, led by Lis Davis, hosted a successful virtual conference on 30th June 2021. Content material was hosted on the PEP website and we established a Twitter page @IUPHAR_Ed to help advertise the event.


The meeting was attended by educators from over 20 different countries, and featured a Keynote speaker on Threshold Concepts, a Workshop on Core Concepts in Pharmacology Education and nine oral presentation. Materials can be accessed here:

Pharmacology Education Project

The average number of visits to PEP per month is around 25,000. Since the inception, we have had 1,100,000 page views. New content continues to be added. Analytics from the associated Slideshare account (, which hosts some of the resources linked to from PEP, is also attracting increased hits, with >20,000 views/year. We have over 1,500 Twitter followers.

With a view to succession planning, PEP appointed Dr. Clear Guilding, from Newcastle University UK as Deputy Director of PEP in March 2021. Clare now Chairs the Management Group and Editorial Board meetings. In December we welcomed two new members to the Editorial Board.

  • Assistant Professor Zoltan Varga (Semmelweis University Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Hungary, replacing Associate Professor Laszlo Koles)
  • Associate Professor Gavin Dawes (Head of Department, Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore)

IUPHAR have agreed to fund Dr Elena Faccenda, PEP curator, for a further year. This is gratefully received as the future of PEP, which is dependent on ongoing funding for a curator, remains tenuous. In December 2021, PEP was integrated into the IUPHAR Education Section.

Core Concepts in Pharmacology Project

The Core Concepts project, led by Professor Paul White from Monash University aims to transform pharmacology education by coming to agreement about the fundamental ideas that all pharmacology graduates should remember, understand and apply years after they graduate. A key outcome of the project will be to develop a validated instrument called a concept inventory that educators can use to determine whether their students have attained the core concepts of our discipline.

In 2021, a survey was developed and distributed to pharmacology educators globally. So far, we have responses from over 200 pharmacology educators from over 20 countries, and the project team has worked hard to establish rigorous and innovative methodology to identify and unpack the core concepts. The next stage is a Delphi process. We have recruited an Expert Group, with 25 members representing 12 countries with over 450 collective years of pharmacology education experience. Round 1 Delphi is with the Expert Group now.

Planned Activities

Meetings: The IUPHAR-Ed meetings will be restructured, and invitations extended to the PEP EB members and members of the Core Concepts research team. In 2022 we will be developing a proposal for a Pre-Congress Education Satellite Symposium at the World Congress of Pharmacology. The proposed date is the 1st July 2023. Dr Margaret Cunningham from the University of Strathclyde has offered to liaise with the Glasgow Pharmacology Society and host the Symposium at Strathclyde.

PEP: We will extend the invitation to join the PEP Editorial Board to members of the IUPHAR Education Section. This should increase the number of EB members and correspondingly, the amount of content added to the PEP site. We are looking to recruit an Editorial Board Member to PEP, with experience/enthusiasm for marketing, and who would look after our social media channels.

Core Concepts: We have two more Delphi rounds planned in the new year, followed by a workshop, led by the Research Team, then a final questionnaire. We would like to host a Core Concepts Workshop in July 2022, in person if possible, to finalise the Core Concepts and begin to plan the next stages (Concept Inventory). We plan to present the results of this project at the IUPHAR-Ed Education Satellite at WCP2023.

Report provided by Dr Clare Guilding, Deputy Director of PEP; Deputy/Chair, IUPHAR Education Section