The world’s first professorship in sustainable development in pharmacy planned at the University of Helsinki receives a substantial donation from students

The professorship, which is being established with the support of a fund, is aimed at strengthening sustainable development expertise in pharmacy across the globe.

The University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Pharmacy has established a fund to support the establishment of a professorship in sustainable development in pharmacy, the first of its kind in the world. A nest egg of €200,000 has already been received as a donation from the Helsinki Pharmacy Students’ Association (YFK), the student and subject-specific organisation of pharmacy students at the University of Helsinki.

“The consideration of environmental matters is gaining traction in the field of pharmacy, and we want to contribute to developing the field in this direction. In addition, the YFK rules set out as one of the goals of the association the development of teaching in pharmacy, which the donation promotes as well. If the professorship is established, it will offer our members the opportunity to improve their environmental expertise as specialists of the field,” says Sanne Keskimäki, chair of YFK.

This is not the first time sustainable development has received emphasis at the Faculty of Pharmacy. Particular attention has been paid to the matter since 2015, when a team known as Generation Green was assembled for the Helsinki Challenge science competition.

“Through the professorship in sustainable development in pharmacy, we now wish to further consolidate our approach to sustainable development. Faculty graduates are active in drug development, public authorities and organisations, in addition to which they have direct contact with consumers of pharmaceutical products. An international master’s programme to be launched in 2022 at the Faculty will boost the dissemination of our expertise abroad,” says Dean Jouni Hirvonen of the Faculty of Pharmacy.

The fund supporting the professorship in sustainable development in pharmacy was established last spring, with fundraising currently ongoing in both Finland and abroad.