2015 March eNotes

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Message from the Dean

March 2015

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are in the middle of the spring semester and in the midst of preparing for final exams as well as making final preparations for our many end of the year activities culminating with commencement.  This time in the semester builds much excitement as we prepare to bid our graduating students farewell and we continue to work with our returning students to prepare them to meet the many exciting challenges ahead as they continue with their educational journey. 

I invite you to read about the many accomplishments of our faculty, staff, students and alumni.  Their robust activities support our dynamic environment which allows the school to continue to move forward with innovative and novel approaches to our research, service and teaching.   

I hope you enjoy this edition of eNotes.  Please look for our next edition in May. 

Warm regards,
James M. O’Donnell, PhD
Dean and Professor

Elizabeth Lakota '15 - SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence

Photo of Elizabeth Lakota

The State University of New York has awarded Elizabeth Lakota, PharmD/MS '15, a 2015 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence.  Liz will be acknowledged by SUNY at a celebratory reception in early April and will also be recognized by UB and the SPPS at the University's Celebration of Academic Excellence on April 16. This special award honors SUNY students who have best demonstrated and been recognized for their integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, which may include leadership, athletics, career achievement, community service or creative and performing arts. Congratulations Liz!

Radiopharmaceutical Expert Delivers Fourth David Chu Lecture

Hank F. Kung, Professor of Radiology and Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania, delivered the fourth David Chu Lecture on March 3.  His presentation, Development of Imaging Agents for Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Diseases, was attended by more than 250 SPPS PharmD and graduate students, Post Docs and faculty.

Dr. Kung has a highly regarded reputation for his work in radiopharmaceutical development for neuroreceptor imaging utilizing single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET). One of Dr. Kung’s most well-known achievements is the development of Florbetapir 18F (trade name Amyvid, Eli Lilly), an imaging compound specific for mapping b-amyloid plaques in the brain, which allow for the in-vivo diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. He also developed novel PET imaging agents for targeting vesicular monoamine transporters in the brain, useful in the diagnosis and treatment assessment of patients with Parkinson’s disease. This drug is also under commercial development by Lilly (AV-133). Additional work includes mapping insulin secreting beta cells in the pancreas, and 11C and 18F labeled glutamines, intended to target tumor metabolism.

David C.K. Chu, PhD '75 and his wife Jane, MS '75 established the David Chu Lectureship in 2011 to give back to their alma mater. It is one of several initiatives the couple and their daughters, Susan and Jackie, fund through their Chu Family Foundation.

Pharmacy Students and Faculty Spend Winter Break Helping Those in Need

Professor Reiman hosts nine students on a trip to Santa Lucia, Honduras with the Shoulder to Shoulder Brigade

Professor Reiman and students, Santa Lucia, Honduras

Professors Gina Prescott and Alfred Reiman escorted groups of PharmD students on medical mission trips over winter break.  Dr. Prescott hosted four PharmD students on a trip to the Dominican Republic with SCORE International where they saw 455 patients in SCORE International headquarters in Juan Dolio.  Professor Reiman hosted nine students on a trip to Santa Lucia, Honduras with the Shoulder to Shoulder Brigade, where the UB team conducted workshops and offered counseling on maternal care, home health care and preventative strategies.  The team also collaborated with other health care members on patient education and clinical care.

Think About Giving (TAG) Week Recognizes Donors, February 23–26, 2015


Click to play video

P4 Student, Jaclyn Kotula, Says Thanks!

To thank the university’s more than 22,000 donors, UB held Think About Giving (TAG) Week, raising awareness about philanthropy and its impact on the lives and work of students, faculty and staff.  The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences celebrated TAG Week with events on Feb. 23 where students thanked donors for their support by signing thank you cards, taking photos and being videoed to discuss how philanthropic support has been benefited them.  See Jaclyn Kotula '15 scholarship recipient video, thanking donors for their support.

Alumni Notes

2015 SPPS Reunion Will Take Place During UB Homecoming, October 2015

The SPPS Alumni Association is pleased to announce 2015 reunion activities will be occurring in conjunction with UB"s Homecoming events, Oct. 2–3, 2015.  Campus based activities are still under review, but we can confirm the SPPS Alumni Reception will take place, Friday evening, Oct. 2, 2015 at the Lafayette Hotel.  It is anticipated guest speakers, tours and UB Bulls football will all be part of our programming.  The SPPS Alumni Association is very pleased to be able to partner with UB Athletics and the UB Alumni Association to offer many exciting campus based events as well as pharmacy specific programming.

Save the Date postcards are being mailed in a few weeks to all classes celebrating a 5th year reunion from the classes of 1955 to 2010.  Additional details will be available in the next few months and we will share these as soon as possible.

Madejski Family UB Pride Showcased By Drug Topics

Rose Mary Crimaldi-Madejski '59 and her multi-generational UB SSPS family were recently profiled in Drug Topics.  Rose Mary discusses their pharmacy journey as it began in 1926 when her father-in-law, Julian Madejski '28, entered the UB School of Pharmacy.  Rose Mary met her husband Jan Madejski '59 while in pharmacy school and her sister, Margaret Crimaldi-Quinn '60, graduated a year later.  Rose Mary and Jan had three children, two of whom, also entered the UB Pharmacy School: Thomas '82 and Linda '83. When Rose Mary retired from community pharmacy practice she joined the school as a faculty member, where she was an instructor from 1990 to 2001. The UB SPPS is so proud of the Crimaldi-Madejski family legacy and we look forward to being part of their extended family for years to come.

SPPS Alumni Lend Leadership and Support to UB Recruitment Events

SPPS Alumni assisted far and near with student recruitment events. These events were both at the graduate and undergraduate levels where alumni attended recruitment events and talked with students and families about their experiences as a pharmacist as well as provided information on our pre-pharmacy and PharmD programs.  We thank the alumni below for the attendance at these events as well as their dedication and support of the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

  • Ann Mack '71: Florida Atlantic University, 10/22/14
  • Brian Salvas '11 and Andrew Wroblewski '15: New York City, SUNY Center for Student Recruitment, 3/12/15
  • Helen Wong '86: Westchester County area, 3/15/15
  • Carolyn Hempel '11: University at Buffalo, 3/28/15
  • Sarah Passafiume '13: University at Buffalo, 3/28/15
  • Stephanie Wiegand '14: Central New Jersey Courtyard Edison, 3/31/15

The SPPS Office of Admissions and Advisement is always looking for alumni to assist with these types of programs.  If you are interested, please contact the Admissions Office.

McGlynn Blogs for the Huffington Post on International Womens Day and AIDS

Margie McGlynn '82, CEO of International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, recently blogged for the Huffington Post regarding the high impact AIDS has on women internationally.  AIDS is the world's leading cause of death among women of child bearing age and this tragic statistic has great negative impact on the families, socities and economies all women support across the globe.

Margie's work through the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative is bringing together women leaders throughout science, health care and advocacy to bring the world an AIDS vaccine.  In this article she profiles four dynamic women who are making a difference in areas such as India, Kenya, Nairobi and South Africa.  The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative envisions a world without AIDS and recognizes the valuable contributions of these women and many others on International Women's Day.

Class Notes

Tammie Lee Demler '92 & '02
Recognized by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (AACP) for her authorship and significant contributions to the 2013-2015 Ambulatory Care Self-Assessment Program.     

Heather Rodman '13 
Accepted a position as a pediatric pharmacist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

In Memoriam

Sherwin Miller '52

Robert Winship '52

Ronald Culp '55

Judith Niemie '90

Faculty/Staff Notes

Morse and UB Team Accepted as a Center of Excellence, Global Virus Network Scientific Review Board

Global Virus Network Logo

In January 2015, the University at Buffalo was accepted as a Center of Excellence in Antiviral Clinical Pharmacology by the Global Virus Network (GVN) Scientific Review Board.  The GVN is a coalition of the world’s leading medical virologists from more than 25 countries, where global scientific teams focus on key problems leading to the formation of Centers of Excellence showcasing expertise in 2-3 viral areas. GVN press release.   

The effort, led by Dr. Gene D. Morse, SUNY Distinguished Professor, demonstrates the strength of the UB HIV and HCV Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory as an internationally recognized leader in antiviral pharmacology and therapeutics.  As the newest GVN Center of Excellence member, the team brings together the expertise and research resources available at UB, the NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, the SUNY Global Health Institute, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University of Rochester, SUNY Downstate, University of Zimbabwe, the University of the West Indies, the Jamaica Ministry of Health, and the National Association of Jamaican & Supportive Organizations. 

This recognition further solidifies the team's continuing commitment to conducting innovative HIV and HCV clinical and translational research, investigating novel biomatrices and compartments for the measurement of antiviral activity, integrating pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics with human and viral genomics and proteomics to facilitate and accelerate drug development research, and promoting capacity building to train translational scientists and build global research infrastructure for antivirals and associated co-infections.

Krzyzanski Organizes Pharmacometric Workshop, February 4–5, 2015

Wojciech Krzyzanski, associate professor, pharmaceutical sciences, organized a two day pharmacometric workshop, "R for Pharmacometrics" with guest speaker, Dr. Coen van Hasselt  from Leiden University, Netherlands.  This workshop was an introductory course for the use of R to support data formatting, analysis and visualization, specifically tailored for researchers and students in pharmacometrics and pharmaceutical sciences and was well attended by students and faculty.

Awards and Recognitions

Ying Xu:
Recipient of the 2015 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy New Investigator Award.  This award provides $10,000 in support of Dr. Xu's research proposal Targeting PDE2 to Treat Memory Loss Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Presentations and Publications

Murali Ramanathan:
Co-author: Effects of diet on brain iron levels among healthy individuals: an MRI pilot study Neurobiol Aging. 2015 Jan 17. pii: S0197-4580(15)00043-3. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2015.01.010.  This pilot study investigated the possible association of high brain iron levels with neurological diseases and how environmental factos such as diet, might impact these levels.  Results showed differencs between and men and women based on consumption of vegetables and dairy.


Jennifer Hess:
Promoted to Associate Dean for Admissions, Enrollment Planning and Pre-Pharmacy Advising.

Student Notes

Half-Way Gala Raises Funds for Camp Good Days and Special Times


2015 Half-Way Gala

The PharmD Class of 2017 hosted the annual Half-way Gala in support of Camp Good Days and Special Times, providing a recreational camp for families whose lives have been touched by cancer where all programs and events are offered free of charge.  Liza Booz, regional director for Camp Good Days and Special Times attended and accepted a donation of $2,867.70 from the School.

The over 260 attendees danced the night away and took photos in the popular photo booth and won basket raffles! Class of 2017 Class Officer wouldl like to thank Decoration Committee members: Heather Pasley, Courtney Cardinal, Lauren Nigrelli, Bethany Wattengek, Erin Wattengel, Victoria Gawronski and Elisa Torres for the great work.  Thanks also goes to the Class of 2017 Class Officers and SPSA Officers for their help!

Thanks also goes to those who donated and sponsored the Gala:

Rochester Drug Cooperative: Samsung 46" Class LED HDTV

Pharmacists Association of Western New York: Four Sabres vs Devils tickets 

UB SPPS Alumni Association: $500.00 donation

The Fiebelkorn Family: Samsung 32" Class LED HDTV

United Frontier Mutual Insurance Company: Samsung 32" Class LED 720p 60Hz HDTV

PharmD Students Help Pre-Pharm Club with Interview Techniques

The recent UB Pre-Pharmacy Interview Skill Session on Jan. 28, coordinated by Hao-Min (Howie) Chang '18, was a great success with 92 pre-pharm students in attendance.  Howie organized a mock interview program where speakers from UB Career Services gave students instruction on professional interview techniques and pre-pharmacy students did mock-trial interviews with current UB SPPS pharmacy students.  Pre-pharmacy students received feedback on their interview and also were given tips to overcome anxiety with public speaking and interviewing.    

AAPS Student Chapter and Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Association Winter Event

AAPS students ice skating

Pharmaceutical Science Students Ice Skating at Northtown Center, Amherst

University at Buffalo - American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences Student Chapter and the Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Association hosted their annual winter event on Feb. 28, 2015. An ice-skating event was held at Northtown Center at Amherst. The student organizations provided for skate rentals, ice time and pizza and pop following skating. Many students participted it as good fun and a nice break for the students from classes and research. 

APhA-ASP Spring Events

The APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists has been busy programming events for the spring semester:

Operation Heart supported National Go Red for Women Day on Feb. 6, 2015 to bring attention to the cardiovascular risks faced by women.  P1 and P2 students paid a $1.00 to 'dress down' all proceeds were sent to the American Heart Association Go Red for Women fund.  

Operation Heart and Operation Immunization, along with the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation and American Society of Health-System Pharmacy – UB Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists held a wellness clinic on Feb. 13, 2015, at the Audubon Library in Amherst.  Community members were invited and patient counseling and medication therapy targeted to cardiovascular diseases states as well as general wellness occurred.    

SPAWNY Holds CV Builder Workshop

The Student Pharmacists' Association of Western New York offered a CV critique session on Feb. 11, 2015 in Kapoor Hall.  P1, P2 and P3 students were invited to bring their current resume to the session have it reviewed by local SPPS alumni.  Dinner was also offered.  The program was well attended and gave students insight into how to best present information within their resume.