Former USC Pharmacy dean, Allergan pioneer Biles dies

SAN DIEGO — John Biles, who led the University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy for 27 years, died June 27. During his time at USC, Biles cultivated a partnership between the school and Allergan.

Born in Del Norte, Colorado, Biles attended the University of Colorado, earning a Ph.D in chemistry, teaching at various universities before joining USC’s faculty as an assistant professor in 1952.

It was around this time that Biles was tapped by Allergan to help recreate the original formulas for its allergy products following the unexpected death of the chemist who had devised the formulas.

“There would be no Allergan today had John not recreated those formulas,” Allergan’s co-founder and former chairman, Gavin Herbert said at an event in 2012 celebrating the partnership between the school that emerged after Biles recreated Allergan’s formulas.

Since 1977, Allergan has offered fellowships to recently graduated Ph. D and PharmD interested in learning more about the field.

In his time at USC, Biles also established several joint degree programs, allowing Doctor of Pharmacy candidates to earn MBAs or certificates in gerontology simultaneously.

“The imprint of Dean Emeritus John Biles on our school is deep and strong,” said School of Pharmacy Dean R. Pete Vanderveen. “He truly stands as one of the nation’s greatest-ever pharmacy deans. Pharmacists from USC and nationwide owe him a great debt of gratitude.”

Biles is survived by his wife of 71 years, Margaret, as well as their daughter and two grandsons.

There will be a memorial service for Biles on Sept. 20 at the Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church in Pacific Palisades, California. Donations can be made to the church in lieu of flowers.

Photo/courtesy of USC School of Pharmacy

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