The University of Arizona

In Memoriam: Albert L. Picchioni

By Shelley Shelton, University Communications | May 9, 2012

Picchioni founded the UA Poison and Drug Information Center.

Albert L. Picchioni
Albert L. Picchioni

Albert L. Picchioni, a former professor and associate dean of the College of Pharmacy and founder of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center died April 16 in Green Valley. He was 90.

Picchioni served the college for 35 years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Theresa, and daughter, Annie Marie. Surviving children and family members include daughter Mary Picchioni (Tim Carmichael); sons, Joseph Picchioni (Kim) and Geno Picchioni (Darlene); grandchildren Garret and Whitney; his adopted Tucson daughter, Midji Stephenson, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins throughout the United States and Italy.

A memorial tribute honoring Picchioni will be held Nov. 9, 2012, during Homecoming. Contact Shannon Lejeune in the College of Pharmacy at 520-626-3566 for further information.

The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center was the first of its kind in the state of Arizona and one of the first centers in the United States. Picchioni was a professor of pharmacology and toxicology as well as a researcher, pharmacist and mentor.

He conducted epilepsy research and toxicology research in poison interventions and poison prevention education.

He was born Aug. 28, 1921, in Klein, Mont. to Italian immigrant parents. He earned his bachelor's degree in pharmacy, with honors, from the University of Montana in 1943. He served three years, 1943 to 1946, as first sergeant in the U.S. Army as a combat medic pharmacist, working out of a medicine cabinet in the back of a truck belonging to a mobile hospital behind the front lines in Germany, Belgium and Austria, and later during a redeployment to the occupied Philippines.

After his military service, he was a community pharmacist for a time before completing his Master of Science and later his doctorate in pharmacology at Purdue University. In 1952, he was appointed professor of pharmacology in the UA College of Pharmacy. There, he served in multiple, often simultaneous, capacities as professor, in formal research and teaching appointments, and as head of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, associate dean of academic affairs, interim dean of the College of Pharmacy, founder and executive director of the Arizona Poison Control Program and director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center.

He garnered many awards over a lengthy career before he retired in 1987 as Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts be made to the Albert L. and Theresa M. Picchioni Pharmacology and Toxicology Research and Teaching Endowment in the College of Pharmacy. This fund will support the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center and the College of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology for research and teaching in the areas of acute poisoning, drug information and drug action and effect on the human body – all to benefit the professional and public communities at large.

To contribute, make a check payable to the Picchioni Endowment/UAF and mail it to UA College of Pharmacy, P.O. Box 210202, Tucson AZ 85721, Attention: Picchioni Endowment.

To contribute online click here, type Picchioni Endowment in the comments field of the donation form and indicate Albert Picchioni in the tribute field.