College of Pharmacy Partners with Research Institute to Offer Students New Research Opportunities in Clinical Trials

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ATLANTA – Mercer University College of Pharmacy has partnered with the Alpharetta-based Institute for Advanced Medical Research, a private clinical research organization, to provide new patient-centered research opportunities for students. Students seeking the Pharm.D. degree or the Pharm.D./Ph.D. clinical scientist degree will be able to participate in a wide range of Phase 1-4 clinical trials addressing various diseases.

“Through the College's partnership with the institute, pharmacy students can practice hands-on clinical and translational research, bridging the gap between bench and bedside,” said Nader Moniri, Ph.D., associate dean for research in the College of Pharmacy. “This partnership brings the clinical scientist track to fruition, as well as providing a value-added experience to our Pharm.D. students.”

The new Institute for Advanced Medical Research at Mercer, housed on the University's Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus in Atlanta, will be led by Angelo Sambunaris, M.D., an expert on the treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia who has conducted more than 200 clinical trials. Faculty from the College of Pharmacy, as well as from other schools within the Mercer Health Sciences Center, will be able to work with Dr. Sambunaris and his team on clinical studies.

“Through integration into a clinical research team to conduct clinical research trials, students and faculty will have practical experience with methodologies involved in testing new and innovative medications,” Dr. Sambunaris said. “These clinical trials also will provide students insight into opportunities in the pharmaceutical research world, including with the Food and Drug Administration, clinical research organizations, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.”

“As one of the nation's first such collaborations between a private pharmacy school and an independent clinical research institute, our partnership will help shape the future of patient-based health care delivery and discovery,” said H.W. “Ted” Matthews, Ph.D., dean of the College and senior vice president for health sciences at Mercer. “Our new clinical research setting promotes greater skills in the areas of leadership, critical thinking and problem-solving, making our graduates more effective practitioners.”

About the Institute for Advanced Medical Research

Established in 1998, the Institute for Advanced Medical Research is a private clinical research facility based in Alpharetta, Georgia, founded by Angelo Sambunaris, M.D., a nationally known expert in the treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia with more than 20 years of clinical research experience. Dr. Sambunaris and his team employ a patient-centered approach that balances a commitment to outcomes, education and the advancement of science. For more information about the institute, call 770-817-9200 or visit

About the College of Pharmacy

Mercer University's College of Pharmacy is ranked among the top five pharmacy programs at private institutions in the United States, according to the 2016 U.S. News & World Report. The college offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.). Founded in 1903 as the independent Southern School of Pharmacy, the school merged with Mercer University in 1959 and in 1981 became the first school in the Southeast to offer the doctor of pharmacy degree as its sole professional degree. In 1988, the College launched its graduate program, offering the Ph.D. degree in pharmaceutical sciences. The College is one of four health sciences units within the Mercer Health Sciences Center. With an enrollment today of more than 670 students and a distinguished faculty of basic scientists and clinicians, the College of Pharmacy houses seven centers focusing on research, teaching and learning. The college's motto, “A Tradition of Excellence – A Legacy of Caring,” frames its philosophy of providing excellent academic programs in an environment where every student matters and every person counts. For more information about the college, call 678-547-6244 or visit