Pharmacy U

Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy Announces 2014 Pillar of Pharmacy Award



The Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy (CFP) is delighted to announce Dr. Jake Thiessen as the 2014 Pillar of Pharmacy Award recipient. He joins other distinguished past winners for his life-long commitment andcontribution to the profession of pharmacy in Canada.


A pharmacist, Dr. Thiessen earned his degree from the University of Manitoba and later completed his Ph.D., at the University of California in San Francisco. He was a member of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto for 33 years, where he became Associate Dean in 1998. In the fall of 2004, he was invited to become the founding director of the new University of Waterloo Pharmacy School, the first pharmacy school in Canada to offer a cooperative program.


As Hallman Director for the Waterloo School of Pharmacy, Dr. Thiessen worked with a small team to craft the undergraduate program, recruit faculty members, and design the new facility, culminating in the arrival of the first pharmacy class in January 2008. In August of 2006, he was given the additional role of Director of the Health Sciences Campus, in which he lead the development of the new campus.


Dr. Thiessen’s research interests have included new approaches to cancer treatment, new molecules to treat patients with iron overload, and advancing technology to diagnose and treat diseases. While at the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo, he secured more than $16.5M for research projects.


His extracurricular responsibilities have included active roles with the Drug Quality and Therapeutics Committee of the Ontario Ministry of Health, Health Canada’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Bioavailability and Bioequivalence (currently the Scientific Advisory Committee – Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacology), and the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs.  His stature in the area of pharmacy and medicine was recognized by the Ontario Government through his 2013 appointment to lead the independent review of quality assurance in the province’s cancer drug supply chain and safeguard patient care.


Among his many appointments and membership, Dr. Thiessen spent six years on the CFP Board. He was an integral part of the Awards Committee overseeing the Innovation Fund Grants distributed annually by the Foundation.


“As Founding Director of the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy, Jake’s vision was critical in creating a unique and innovative program that provides students with a real-world pharmacy education that fully prepares them for pharmacy practice in the 21st century”, says successor Dr. David Edwards.

“His lengthy and distinguished career in academic pharmacy makes him an ideal candidate for the 2014 Pillar of Pharmacy Award”.


“With so many quality pharmacists to choose from across this Country, I am very humbled by my selection of this award from the Foundation”, stated Dr. Thiessen.


Dr. Thiessen’s numerous contributions and ongoing leadership in pharmacy will be formally recognized at an upcoming gala dinner Tuesday, October 21st at the Westin Bristol Place Hotel.


For more information: