On June 01st, 1924, a time when coffee production in the region of Ribeirão Preto was flourishing, the School of Dentistry and Pharmacy of Ribeirão Preto (Faculdade de Odontologia e Farmácia de Ribeirão Preto, known as FOF) was formally founded during a grand opening ceremony at “Gymnásio do Estado”, attended by professors and personalities. On March 05th, 1928, by act of the Minister of Justice Viana de Castello, the courses offered at FOF were legally recognized, and the first classes of Pharmacists and Dentists received their Undergraduate Degree.
FOF became a Faculty of the University of São Paulo (USP) on January 01st, 1975, when the School of Pharmacy and Dentistry, which then comprised two isolated Institutes, was already located on the USP Campus in the city of Ribeirão Preto. In the following decade; more specifically in 1983, FOF officially became two distinct Faculties: the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto (Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto – FCFRP) and the School of Dentistry of Ribeirão Preto (Faculdade de Odontologia de Ribeirão Preto – FORP).
The FCFRP faculty members include 103 professors, most of whom are Full-time Faculty Members with PhDs or other highest level terminal degrees that engage in both undergraduate and graduate teaching, mentoring, research, and service (Regime de Dedicação Integral à Docência e à Pesquisa – RDIDP). The fact that most FCFRP faculty members work full-time reflects on the quality of the courses offered at the School and demonstrates that FCFRP is concerned about the full engagement of its members in academic and scientific activities. The Faculty members are distributed among three Departments: Clinical, Toxicological, and Bromatological Analyses; Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Physics and Chemistry. The Departments are integrated from both the educational and scientific standpoints. The Department also relies on 220 additional staff members that directly or indirectly participate in academic activities.
FCFRP-USP has wide experience in postgraduate education. Activities started in 1988, when the Postgraduate Program in Drugs and Pharmaceuticals (concentration areas: Chemistry and Biology), at the M.Sc. level, was created. The Ph.D. level was introduced in 1998. This comprehensive program involved all the Faculty members with a PhD degree. Given the particularities of each area, the increase in the number of research lines pursued by the FCFRP-USP mentors, and the scientific development of FCFRP-USP itself, it was necessary to restructure the Program. The first major change in the Program occurred in 1999, when it was renamed Postgraduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences (concentration area: Drugs and Pharmaceuticals), which enabled the creation of two new areas back in 2001: Clinical Analyses and Toxicology.
In the middle of 2004, the FCFRP-USP Postgraduate Program was restructured a second time, which gave rise to the current organization. The areas of Clinical Analyses and Toxicology became the Postgraduate Program in Biosciences Applied to Pharmacy (concentration area: Biosciences Applied to Pharmacy) and the Postgraduate Program in Toxicology (concentration area: Toxicology), respectively.
Although Toxicology has an ancient history and its importance is recognized worldwide, it is an incipient area in Brazil. This country lacks expert professionals in Toxicology, and demand for such professionals is on the rise. Before the FCFRP-USP Postgraduate Program in Toxicology was created, only FCF-USP (Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences) in São Paulo offered this type of program at the M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels in Brazil. In this context, the Postgraduate Program in Toxicology started with the responsibility of training professionals to meet the national demand for high-level human resources in this area. If we remember that presently there are only two Postgraduate Programs in Toxicology in Brazil, after approximately one decade, the FCFRP-USP Postgraduate Program in Toxicology has been consolidated and has awarded the Ph.D. level to most toxicologists in this country. Therefore, the FCFRP-USP Postgraduate Program in Toxicology plays a fundamental role in training higher education professors and/or researchers in the area of Toxicology, to meet the demand of over 400 undergraduate programs in Pharmacy that have the discipline Toxicology in their syllabus.