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December 2016


University at Buffalo
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
284 Kapoor Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214-8033

Message from the Dean

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The fall semester is coming to a close and our faculty, staff and students are wrapping up finals and getting ready for the spring semester. At this time of reflection, I look back with pride on all we have accomplished in 2016, from the launch of our Pre-Pharmacy Summer Camp Program for high school students, to hosting UB's first Interprofessional Education Day for over 900 health-related students, to the ambitious implementation of regional opioid abuse prevention programs. These initiatives demonstrate the continued innovativeness and dedication of our faculty, staff and students.

I hope this holiday season gives you the opportunity to connect with those who are important to you and allows you time to reflect on all for which you are thankful. The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences appreciates all you do to support our efforts, which allow us to have a positive impact on our students and the communities we serve. 

Please look for our next edition of eNotes in March. In January, you will be receiving our annual print newsletter, Buffalo Pharmacy, which further highlights the accomplishments of all members of our school.

My best wishes to you for a healthy and happy 2017!

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

P.S. Please stay in touch. Send updates on your own personal and professional accomplishments to phm-alumni@buffalo.edu.

Top Stories

Pharmacy Legislative Advocacy Invitational Day brings together students and legislators


Pharmacy Legislative Advocacy Invitational Day (PLAID) took place on Wednesday, Nov. 30, in Kapoor Hall on the University at Buffalo South Campus. This annual event is an opportunity for pharmacy students to discuss new legislation that affects health care with area legislators. Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, Senator Timothy Kennedy, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, Assemblyman Raymond Walter, Assemblyman Michael Kearns and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes conversed with nearly 150 pharmacy students on a variety of current topics.

Dean James O'Donnell named AAAS Fellow


James M. O’Donnell, PhD, dean of the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

O’Donnell, honored in the Section on Pharmaceutical Sciences, was recognized for his distinguished contributions to the field of molecular and translational neuroscience, particularly for using modern approaches to study allosteric modulators for psychiatric disorders.

Shah partners with 43North winner Oncolinx

Shah lab

Oncolinx, winner of the $1 million top prize in the 2016 43North competition, has partnered with Dhaval Shah, assistant professor pharmaceutical sciences, and the National Cancer Institute on efforts to target cancer cells without harming healthy cells and without the side effects of chemotherapy.

The company plans to conduct drug research and development in Buffalo and hire more researchers and graduate students, fueled by licensing revenue from its pharmaceutical partners. "We followed good science to the University at Buffalo and the School of Pharmacy there,” said Sourav Sinha, Oncolinx CEO and co-founder.

Student Notes

Robust SPPS representation at the ASCP Annual Meeting and Exhibition


UB had one of the largest student chapter delegations at the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Dallas, TX.

Interprofessional education forum addresses opioid epidemic

With leadership from pharmacy faculty, nine hundred University at Buffalo students from the health professions, social work, law and management learned how they can best work together to tackle the opioid epidemic ravaging the nation at UB’s first annual Interprofessional Education (IPE) Forum on Nov. 7, in Kapoor Hall on the South Campus.

In three consecutive sessions of the program, “Confronting Opioid Dependence: An Interprofessional Strategy,” 300 UB students at a time from nine professional programs participated in discussions that involved developing a treatment plan for a fictional patient, driving home the concept that quality, patient-centered, cost-effective health care requires collaboration among all professions.

Lambda Kappa Sigma students celebrate the season of giving


Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS) students celebrated the season of giving through a number of volunteer initiatives across Western New York.

LKS members volunteered at Club Adventure, a non-profit organization that devotes its resources to making sure special needs children in our community have a safe place to enjoy themselves when away from home. "Bring in something you are thankful for" was the theme of the project—LKS students worked with the children to create Christmas ornaments to hang on their giving tree.

Lambda Kappa Sigma students also dedicated their time to Weinberg Campus, a retirement community, to help serve a Thanksgiving meal to the residents and their families. Seventeen students participated in what they called "a memorable experience."

SNPhA educates students in the community

On Oct. 20, students from the University at Buffalo Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) were welcomed to Kapoor Hall to learn about the field of pharmacy and on how to apply to pharmacy school through the Rx for Success event hosted annually by the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA).

On Oct. 27, the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) collaborated with the Boys and Girls Club to host their very first Chapstick Compounding event.

Student recognitions

  • Charisse Chehovich, '18, and Melissa Dhanraj, '20, are winners of the 2016 Maureen R. L. Mussenden Scholarship. The scholarship is given to first-generation students, with priority given to female students attending one of UB's five health science schools.
  • PhD students Rutwij Dave, Xin Miao and Charvi Nanavati received Graduate Student Research Awards from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Research/Pharmacokinetics section.
  • Maya Holsen, '17, won the Best Student Poster Award at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Annual Meeting for her work entitled "The Utility of Procalcitonin to Support Clinical Decision Making in Critically Ill Pediatric Patients." Coauthors included: Shirley Chen, '18; Nicholas Fusco, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice; Amanda Hassinger, clinical assistant professor, pediatrics; and David Jacobs, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice.

Visit our all-new Student News feed for more information on what our students are up to!

Alumni Notes

ASHP Midyear Alumni and Friends Reception

In conjunction with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting, SPPS hosted a Alumni and Friends Reception on Monday, Dec. 5, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Over 120 people attended this popular annual event. Look for us in Orlando in 2017!

Alumni Ambassadors Needed!

Our alumni play a valuable role in the recruitment, application and enrollment process by sharing their positive experiences and advice with prospective students.

Dean's Alumni Ambassadors interact with prospective students through activities including mentoring pre-pharmacy students, reviewing applications and interviewing, and representing UB SPPS at graduate fairs.

Alumni Recognitions

  • Ryan LaVarnway, '00, recently opened a new independent pharmacy in Attica, NY.

In Memoriam

Hyman Nemirov, '44

Paul Shephard, '55

Ronald Joseph, '58

Robert Gerel, '65

Linda Edelman, '66

Joseph Szpylman, '69

Faculty and Staff Notes

Wahler named to SPCP Board of Trustees


Robert Wahler, '00, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, has been voted in by the Society of Palliative Care Pharmacists (SPCP) general membership as a Board of Trustee member representing the specialty practice of hospice.

Mager presents at global education conference

Don Mager

The first ever Global Conference on Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Education took place in Nanjing, China in November. Donald Mager, '91, '00 & '02, professor, pharmaceutical sciences, participated in a session that explained the evolution and envisioned education for pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists based on current and future needs for the discovery, development, distribution, and responsible use of medicines. Mager was also a member of the conference's worldwide planning committee.

The Global Conference on Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Education makes significant contributions to improved global health outcomes by ensuring that the pharmacy workforce is appropriately educated and competent to close gaps in the development, distribution, and responsible use of medicines. It is hosted by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and supported by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

SPPS study shows value of pharmacist-provided services

A recent article in Pharmacy Times explored a study led by Nicole Albanese, clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice, and Scott Monte, '06, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice. The study found providers appreciate pharmacists' "medication counseling, medication reconciliation, adherence assessment, polypharmacy assessment, and drug information most" when it comes to diabetes management.

Faculty and Staff Recognitions

  • At the 2016 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Marilyn Morris received the Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism (PPDM) Research Achievement Award, which recognizes an outstanding scientist who has demonstrated significant impact in his or her respective field.

New Hires and Promotions

  • Nicole Albanese was promoted to Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice.
  • Gina Prescott was promoted to Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice.