Professor Emeritus Gilbert Banker, who served as the seventh dean of the UI College of Pharmacy for seven years, died at his home in Carmel, Indiana, on February 16. He was 88.
Banker, a leader in the pharmacy profession, received a doctorate in pharmacy from Purdue University in 1956. His academic focus was industrial pharmacy and pharmaceutical chemistry. Upon completion of his doctorate, Banker transitioned from a graduate teaching assistant and research fellow to assistant professor of pharmacy, eventually becoming the head of the Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy in 1967 until 1985. After leaving Purdue, he became dean and professor of pharmaceutics at the University of Minnesota and then dean and John L. Lach Distinguished professor of drug delivery at the University of Iowa until his retirement in 1999.
Although teaching was his first passion, Banker consistently provided input to organizations and companies, including 14 different companies, 29 professional organizations, and 13 scientific, professional, or fraternal societies. Dean Banker led the transition of the College's curriculum from a five-year bachelor of science degree to a six-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program. Banker was also instrumental in garnering support and overseeing construction of a 78,000 square-foot addition and other renovations to the then Pharmacy Building.