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Fletcher Named UW School of Pharmacy 2016 Distinguished Alumnus

October 10, 2016
head portrait of a man
Courtney Fletcher was recently selected as the UW School of Pharmacy’s 2016 distinguished alumnus. (UW Photo)

Courtney Fletcher has been selected as the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy’s 2016 distinguished alumnus.

He was honored at the 2016 College of Health Sciences and School of Pharmacy Homecoming events, which took place Oct. 7-8.

Fletcher started working in HIV therapeutics in the very early days of the AIDS epidemic.

“The challenge I faced, and really all scientists and clinicians faced, was the limits on what we could do, because it was a new disease and we did not have drugs, or very effective drugs, that would reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV infection,” he says. “But, where we are today, with HIV-infected persons being able to receive therapy that basically can provide them a normal life space, is a compelling illustration of facing challenges head on, being persistent, being innovative and working as part of a team.”

Fletcher was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for “distinguished contributions to the field of antiviral pharmacology, particularly for clinical studies to identify the mechanisms for variable drug response.” 

In 2005, Fletcher was selected to give the Therapeutics Frontiers Award Lecture for the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. The Therapeutics Frontiers Award honors an internationally recognized scientist whose research is actively advancing the frontiers of pharmacotherapy.

Fletcher received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy with honors at UW in 1978, as well as a Ph.D. in pharmacy from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota in 1982. He is currently dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

“The education I received at the UW School of Pharmacy prepared me exceedingly well for my career,” he says. “The School of Pharmacy gave me the theory and tools for a career in pharmacy. From the professors, I saw role models for how I wanted to practice pharmacy, and for being a scientist.”

Asked what advice he would give to prospective and current students, Fletcher says, “Pharmacy is a great career, with new career choices and paths unfolding on a regular basis. Take advantage of challenges and opportunities. For current students, work hard, and enjoy time off with your friends and family. And, to quote Fleetwood Mac (the best rock ’n’ roll band ever): ‘Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.’”

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