Alliance Boots board member Ornella Barra is to draw on her extensive experience in industry to inspire pharmacists of the future after being appointed as special professor at The University of Nottingham.
In her new position in the University's School of Pharmacy, Professor Barra will deliver lectures to students studying on its four-year MPharm degree on the internationalisation of pharmacy business and issues of corporate social responsibility affecting organisations such as Alliance Boots.
Professor Barra will also act in an advisory capacity to assist the school in the further development of the course and has joined the External Advisory Board for the school's activity at the University's Malaysia Campus, where it runs the first two years of an MPharm degree fully accredited by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.
Speaking about her appointment, Professor Barra said: “I consider this appointment by such a highly respected university to be a great honour. As a qualified pharmacist myself, I am proud to accept this opportunity to help young pharmacy students to maximise their potential in this exciting field.
“I hold a personal stake in promoting the best interests of the pharmacy profession and this is also what I aim to do as a Director of Alliance Boots. This appointment can be viewed as a recognition of the importance we place on our strategic partnership with independent pharmacists throughout Europe.”
Professor Barra's career in the pharmacy industry began in 1979 when, following her graduation from Genoa University, she became the manager and owner of her own pharmacy. Five years later she founded a pharmaceutical distribution company near Genoa, which was later acquired by Alleanza Salute Italia in 1986, and she has since held a number of executive positions among companies including Alleanza Salute Italia, Alliance UniChem (which merged with Boots Group in July 2006 to form Alliance Boots).
Professor Barra is currently a board member and Wholesale & Commercial Affairs Director of Alliance Boots. She also heads up Alliance Healthcare, the Wholesale Division of Alliance Boots.
Professor Saul Tendler, head of The University of Nottingham's School of Pharmacy, said Professor Barra's proven track record in the pharmacy industry made her an outstanding appointment as a special professor.
He added: “I am delighted with the appointment of Ornella Barra as a special professor within the school. Ornella has a wealth of experience and we are all looking forward to working closely with her to further develop the school, both here in Nottingham and at the University's campus in Malaysia.
“The University and School of Pharmacy has a long-standing relationship with Boots, the UK retail business of Alliance Boots, and Ornella's appointment will greatly build on this association.”
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy).
Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.