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Melody Ryan headshot
All Faculty
Pharmacy Practice & Science Dept.
Lee T. Todd, Jr. Bldg, Room 253


Dr. Ryan has clinical expertise in neurology, global health, tobacco cessation, geriatrics, and self-care. She is Board Certified in Pharmacotherapy and Geriatric Pharmacy. She has completed certifications in physical assessment, smoking cessation, and immunization delivery. Dr. Ryan has more than 25 years of experience delivering interprofessional care to complex neurology patients at the Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Kentucky Clinic. She has provided pharmacy care to Ecuadorian patients on 15 short-term experiences in global health. Dr. Ryan’s clinical work has been recognized by the Pharmacy Council on Stroke Prevention and Coronary Artery Disease as the Distinguished Person of the Year, the National Academies of Practice in Pharmacy as a Distinguished Practitioner, and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy Global Health Practice and Research Network with the Rene Holder Award.


Dr. Ryan is an active teacher in global health and neurology. In the past, she has taught public health, women’s health, and non-prescription medications courses. She is a community service learning faculty partner, directing students in a six-semester guided service experience with a community partner. Knowing students learn best when they apply their knowledge, Dr. Ryan developed the first objective standardized clinical examinations at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP). She has also been a leader in developing flipped instructional models for various courses. Dr. Ryan has precepted introductory pharmacy practice experiences, advanced pharmacy practice experiences, and post-graduate years one and two residents in neurology ambulatory care. She was named a fellow of the University of Kentucky Center for Interprofessional Health Education and received the Michael J. Lach Faculty Award for Innovative Teaching Practices at UKCOP.

Dr. Ryan serves as the director of international professional student education, where she develops international experiences, both on campus and abroad, for students from the pre-pharmacy to graduate level. In this capacity, she developed international Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences in nine countries and leads education abroad courses in Ecuador, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Dr. Ryan is committed to providing international opportunities for all students, particularly those unable to travel. For this reason, she developed the global classroom to connect students in the US and China around contemporary issues in pharmacy. She has been a visiting professor at Kitasato University, Peking University, and Fudan University and is on the steering committee for the US-Thai Consortium for Improving Pharmacy Education in Thailand. She received the University of Kentucky’s Global Impact Award for Distinguished Faculty Achievements in Education 2020. The Shoulder to Shoulder Global program received the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Exemplary Program Award in 2012.

Dr. Ryan was named the Assistant Provost of Global Health for the University of Kentucky in 2020. She brings her knowledge of global education and care to this role by intentionally designing international, interprofessional programs. In this capacity, she annually directs a large interprofessional global health case competition in which teams of students work on a complex problem over a week and present their solutions to a group of judges. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when travel was not possible, she organized the world’s first virtual short-term experience in global health for interprofessional learners from the US and Ecuador. She also co-directed an interprofessional course to compare how different countries approached the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Ryan believes education is life-long and has provided nearly 200 continuing education programs locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. These programs have enabled pharmacists to acquire new skills and transform their practices, ranging from physical assessment and tobacco cessation to travel health and basic skills in pharmaceutical care. Dr. Ryan has participated in the Geriatric Pharmacy Preparatory Course and the Pharmacotherapy Preparatory Course, and the University of Florida’s Working Professional Doctor of Pharmacy Degree Program as a neurology expert. At the University of Kentucky, she also directs the Global Engagement Academy, a program designed to enhance employees’ understanding of international engagement.


Dr. Ryan’s research areas are neurology, pharmacy education, interprofessional education, and global health education. She has presented over 100 posters and published over 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 46 book chapters. She is an associate editor for The Annals of Pharmacotherapy.


Dr. Ryan is a member of the Bluegrass Pharmacist Association, the Kentucky Pharmacist Association, the Kentucky Society of Health-systems Pharmacists, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the International Pharmacy Federation, the American Epilepsy Society, Lambda Kappa Sigma, Phi Lambda Sigma, Rho Chi, and Omicron Delta Kappa.

Dr. Ryan has been a delegate to the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) House of Delegates since 2008. She has served as the APhA-Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science (APRS) President and Clinical Sciences Section Chair, leading many committees. She served on the APhA Board of Trustees from 2014 to 2016. Dr. Ryan chaired the search committee for the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association Editor-in-Chief and served on the Remington Honor Medal Screening Committee. She was named an APhA-APRS Fellow in 2011.

Dr. Ryan has been the chair of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Central Nervous System Practice and Research Network and has led several committees in the Global Health Practice and Research Network. She was named a Fellow of ACCP in 2008.

Dr. Ryan has served the United States Pharmacopeia since 2005, assisting with developing the Medicare Model Guidelines to balance medication access and affordability for Medicare recipients. She has chaired the Medicare Model Guidelines Subcommittee and is the current chair of the Healthcare Quality and Safety Expert Committee. She led the COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Joint Subcommittee, which produced the COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit used worldwide to provide vaccines safely and efficiently to millions of people. This work received the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Standards in 2022. Dr. Ryan also co-chaired the Health Equity Advisory Workgroup for USP to intentionally incorporate equity into the USP standards.

Dr. Ryan was the faculty advisor for the Rho Chi Honor Society Alpha Xi chapter for ten years. During this time, the chapter was awarded a national Proposal Award six times and selected twice for the Chapter Achievement Award. Dr. Ryan was Rho Chi Region IV Councilor from 2008 to 2012 and served on the national leadership team. She was recognized with the Alpha Xi Chapter Alumni Award in 2013 and was named the national Rho Chi Advisor of the Year in 2006.

Dr. Ryan has served on expert panels for the Pharmacy Quality Alliance and the Neurology Standing Committee for the National Quality Forum. Her service has been recognized locally with the UKCOP William T. Miles Memorial Award for Service and by the Kentucky Pharmacists Association Bowl of Hygeia Award in 2017.

Select Publications


  • Master of Public Health, University of Kentucky College of Public Health

  • Pharmacy Fellowship in Neurosciences, University of Kentucky

  • PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency, Duke University Medical Center

  • Bachelor of Arts, Transylvania University

  • Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky

  • Bachelor of Science, University of Kentucky


  • College Faculty

  • Director, International Professional Student Education

  • Assistant Provost, Global Health Initiatives 


  • Educational Research

  • Neurological Disorders

  • International Education

  • Global Health

  • Interprofessional Education

We wish to remember and honor those who inhabited this Commonwealth before the arrival of the Europeans. Briefly occupying these lands were the Osage, Wyndott tribe, and Miami peoples. The Adena and Hopewell peoples, who are recognized by the naming of the time period in which they resided here, were here more permanently. Some of their mounds remain in the Lexington area, including at UK’s Adena Park.

In more recent years, the Cherokee occupied southeast Kentucky, the Yuchi southwest Kentucky, the Chickasaw extreme western Kentucky and the Shawnee central Kentucky including what is now the city of Lexington. The Shawnee left when colonization pushed through the Appalachian Mountains. Lower Shawnee Town ceremonial grounds are still visible in Greenup County.

We honor the first inhabitants who were here, respect their culture, and acknowledge the presence of their descendants who are here today in all walks of life including fellow pharmacists and healthcare professionals.