URI Pharmacy Dean Kerry LaPlante Wins Providence Business News’ 2024 Leadership Award – Rhody Today

KINGSTON, RI — July 10, 2024 — University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy Dean Kerry LaPlante has been named the recipient of the 2024 PBN Leaders and Achievers Award by Providence Business News, the publication that was announced this weekThe annual program recognizes inductees with a long-term commitment to the Rhode Island business community and a continued demonstration of leadership, community service and mentorship.

LaPlante will be recognized at an event on Aug. 25, along with other recipients noted for “their leadership, achievements and long-standing dedication to business.” Invitees represent healthcare, education, nonprofit, financial services, hospitality, legal, defense and technology industries, among others.

“Dean LaPlante’s long-standing dedication to the pharmaceutical community, exemplary leadership, and unwavering commitment to mentorship and community service have truly set her apart,” the PBN award said. “Her passion for the future of pharmacy and her tireless support for student success continue to inspire and shape the next generation of leaders in the field. We are incredibly proud to celebrate her remarkable achievements and continued impact.”

LaPlante is the latest URI representative to receive the award in recent years, following Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Wolfe and URI Research Foundation Executive Director Christian Cowan, who were both honored last year. LaPlante’s predecessor, former pharmacy dean Paul Larrat, was recognized in 2019.

“I am incredibly honored to receive the 2024 PBN Leaders and Achievers award,” said LaPlante. “This recognition is a testament to the collective efforts of our College of Pharmacy community. Our dedication to putting patients first, whether through nationally recognized research or the incredible and caring pharmacists we educate, drives us forward. I am proud to be part of such a dedicated team, and together we will continue to inspire and shape the future of pharmacy through leadership, mentoring and community service.”

LaPlante, a board-certified clinical pharmacist and internationally recognized expert on antibiotic use, antimicrobial resistance and health policy implementation, was appointed the faculty’s eighth dean in January when Larrat returned to the faculty ranks after serving in that role for more than a decade.

In her six months at the helm, LaPlante has overseen a continued expansion of the university’s educational offerings and research prowess. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy recently ranked URI among the top 10 percent in the nation in research funding among all pharmacy schools, with more than $21 million in funding in the past year. LaPlante has overseen the establishment of a research center in Providence in partnership with the Veterans Administration Medical Center, and helped the university lead a comprehensive review process that resulted in an extension of its full accreditation through 2032.

Throughout her clinical and scientific career, LaPlante has published more than 140 peer-reviewed research articles and has received continuous funding from more than 30 successfully awarded research grants—totaling more than $21 million—as a principal investigator or co-investigator from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and research departments in the pharmaceutical industry.

Her primary research expertise is in infectious diseases, specifically the treatment and prevention of multidrug-resistant bacteria, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and related infections. The overall goal of her research and clinical work is to improve community health, with the focus always on the patient, she said.

LaPlante joined URI in 2004 as an associate professor of pharmacy and rose to tenured professorship in 2015. She was named chair of pharmacy practice in 2020 and has played a prominent role in expanding and enhancing the university’s research program, which leads all schools of pharmacy in New England in research funding.

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