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July 2016


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


Nick Smith, '17, winner of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) Program Award

Message from the Dean

July 2016

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The summer months give us all a chance to recharge and assess new goals and objectives for the fall. This summer, we have been actively reviewing our strategic planning as well as examining how we can enhance engagement with our community and clinical partners. These key initiatives allow the SPPS to maintain its national leadership position within our academic, research and scholarly arenas.  

The many ways we secure our standing as a top pharmacy school are evidenced below. The success and accomplishments of our faculty, alumni, students and staff are key factors in our ability to continue to advance our mission.

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

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

Top Stories

Smith wins ASM ICAAC Program Award

Nick Smith, '17, received the American Society for Microbiology Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) Program Award. Six scientists were chosen out of the 11,000 attendees and Nick was the only pharmacist, the only pharmaceutical PKPD scientist, the only student and the youngest! His advisor was Brian Tsuji, associate professor, pharmacy practice.

The project he presented at Microbe was titled "Probability of Target Attainment of Meropenem and Polymyxin B Combinations in Carbapenem-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii." This project, and the other projects surrounding it that his team is working on in the lab, revolves around better understanding the pharmacodynamics of antibiotic combination therapy to treat highly resistant superbugs. These infections are typically resistant to the vast majority of antibiotics available, and thus require novel approaches for their treatment. In many cases, clinicians are resorting to polymyxin antibiotics as a last-resort treatment to help fill the void, but the knowledge base on how to use them in combination is still lacking.

"Overall, we hope to discover novel regimens that optimize patient therapy through maximization of bacterial killing, minimization of adverse effects, and suppression of bacterial resistance," Smith said.

Two pharmaceutical sciences faculty to be honored with UB Exceptional Scholar Awards

Two faculty members at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have been selected to receive University at Buffalo Exceptional Scholar Awards.  These awards will be bestowed at the UB Celebration of Academic Excellence Ceremony to be held this fall.


Murali Ramanathan, professor, pharmaceutical sciences, and director, graduate studies, has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Exceptional Scholar Sustained Achievement Award. Ramanathan has been a member of the SPPS faculty since 1994, achieving rank of full professor in 2010.



Dhaval K. Shah, assistant professor, pharmaceutical sciences, has been selected as the recipient of ‪the 2016 Exceptional Scholar Young Investigator Award. A former PhD student in the pharmaceutical sciences department, Shah joined the SPPS faculty in 2013 after returning from Pfizer Inc.

Bednarczyk president-elect for APhA-APRS


Edward Bednarczyk, department chair and clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice, was elected president of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science (APhA-APRS) for the 2017-18 term. 

2016 Golf Tournament photos and winners

The school’s 13th Annual Golf Tournament was held on Monday, June 6, at the Lockport Town and Country Club and raised over $26,000 for student scholarships! Thank you to all who attended and to our generous sponsors:

Grand Sponsor
Rochester Drug Cooperative

Platinum Sponsor
Rite Aid Pharmacy

Silver Sponsors
Hilton Family Pharmacy
Lockport Home Medical
McKesson, RX Health Mart
Middleport Family Health Center
Oakfield Family Pharmacy
Rosenkrans Pharmacy
Summit Park Pharmacy
Transit Hill Pharmacy
Wurlitzer Family Pharmacy

Bronze and Refreshment Cart Sponsors
Cuba, Fillmore, Fisher's Pharmacies
J. Rutowski & Sons Pharmacies, Inc.

Bronze and Putting Green Sponsor
Independent Health

Bronze Sponsors
Forster's Pharmacy
Quality Care Pharmacies
Tim Hortons/Kelton Enterprises, LLC
Woodmark Pharmacy




  • 1st Place Winning Foursome (with a score of 59):
    Mark Jaccarino
    Nick Norgard
    Bill Prescott, '02
    Patrick Smith
  • 2nd Place Winning Foursome (with a score of 60):
    Dean Arthur
    Don Arthur
    Steve Giroux, '81
    Zach Giroux
  • 3rd Place Winning Foursome (with a score of 67):
    Ken Andrus, '94
    Pete Brody, '02
    Rick Scherer
    Dean Trzewieczynski, '98

First Annual Pre-Pharmacy Summer Camp

High school students from across the nation got a glimpse of the pharmacy profession through the first University at Buffalo Pre-Pharmacy Summer Camp. This unique three-day camp, hosted by the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, taught nearly 60 students the ins and outs of pharmacy practice through activities that simulated combining and dispensing medications, counseling patients and more. Students also visited the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, Buffalo General Medical Center and Mobile Pharmacy Solutions.

"This camp really helped me to get to know what pharmacists really do and how important pharmacists are in our society. I will definitely apply for UB pharmacy." -Camp attendee

Alumni Notes

Reunion Weekend 2016


The UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2016 Reunion Weekend will take place Friday, Sept. 23, and Saturday, Sept. 24. Activities currently planned include educational programs, tours of Kapoor Hall, an all-alumni cocktail party at the Hotel Lafayette in downtown Buffalo, private class dinners, and a tailgate party before the UB Bulls v. Army football game.

The classes of 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011 will be celebrated.

Registration now open! RSVPs close Sept. 16, and discounted hotel rates end Sept. 2.

UB Night in Buffalo

The President of the University at Buffalo invites you to the alumni event of the season!

UB Night in Buffalo at the Pierce Arrow Museum
Thursday, August 25, 2016
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
263 Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14203

Mingle with alumni and friends, enjoy food and beverages and meet UB President Satish Tripathi and other faculty, staff, and UB leadership. The dress is business casual, and the registration fee for this event is $10.00. Hosted by the UB Alumni Association.

Alumni Recognitions

  • Susan Ksiazek, '82, was elected treasurer of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
  • Joseph Saseen, '94, member of Professionals Accelerating Clinical and Educational Redesign (PACER) project’s steering committee. PACER is a national interprofessional primary care faculty development 3-year program, building high functioning faculty teams that prepare trainees to work together in high performing patient centered medical homes. Joseph is representing pharmacy education and clinical practice.
  • Clare Carroll, '14, has been named Pharmacist, Clinical and Account Management, for Independent Health's Pharmacy Benefit Dimensions. 
  • Amy Lee, '15, was appointed to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) New Practitioners Forum Practice Advancement and Advocacy Advisory Group (PAAAG). She was also elected to the Board of Directors for the Wyoming Pharmacists Association.

In Memoriam

Alvina Morse, '30

Robert Case, Sr., '52

Mark-Richard Butt, '65

John Malke, '65

James Dugas, '83

Faculty and Staff Notes

Preceptor Profile: Michael Ott, PharmD

"Michael Ott is involved year-round with our UB students and residents advancing clinical pharmacy practice at one of our main local hospitals and is a strong advocate for our profession."
Peter Brody, '01 & '02, director, experiential education, and clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice

Michael Ott graduated from Ohio Northern University in 2003 with a PharmD and then completed his pharmacy practice residency at Buffalo General Kaleida Health in 2003-2004. 

Upon completion of his residency, he took a position as the first Clinical Coordinator at Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Forum Health, a 250-bed, level 3 trauma center in Warren, OH. At Trumbull Memorial, he developed a clinical pharmacy service including daily ICU rounding, renal dosing and IV to PO. He then became the interim director of pharmacy. After his time as director, Ott took the position that he currently holds at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) where he is the Clinical Coordinator for Pharmacy Services, the transplant pharmacist, and PGY1 residency program director.

He precepts APPE students during the 18-week longitudinal rotation at ECMC. During this rotation, students round with him on the inpatient transplant service, where responsibilities include ensuring proper use of medications for all patients, counseling patients post-operatively on their new medications for regimens, and teaching them how to fill their pill boxes. Students also learn how to evaluate medication therapy of patients who may be listed for transplant.

"My position at ECMC gives me the opportunity to interact with a wide range of patients and staff. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with students, residents, and other learners," he said.

Ott sits on the UB SPPS residency advisory committee where we develop policies and guidance for the residency program. He has also held various positions in the Western New York Society of Health System Pharmacists, culminating in his role as president in 2013-2014.

2016 Preceptor Awards

The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences held its annual awards ceremony for preceptors on June 2, 2016, at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery.

Award Winners:

  • IPPE Outstanding Contribution Award
    John R. Belz, '05
    Walgreens Pharmacy
  • Professional Practice Elective Preceptor of the Year
    Lisa M. Leising
    CVS Pharmacy
  • J. Fred Bennes Outpatient Care Preceptor of the Year Award
    Tonimarie Fleming, '99
    Kaleida Health Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo - Home Care Pharmacy
  • Inpatient Care Preceptor of the Year
    Judy Hyatt
    VA WNY Healthcare System – Buffalo
  • Pharmacy Practice Faculty Preceptor of the Year
    Carolyn Hempel, '11
    SUNY Buffalo / Kaleida Health – Buffalo General Medical Center

Univera gift to help patients take their meds

To help ensure patients take their medications as prescribed, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, has received a $30,000 gift from Univera Healthcare.

The gift will support “A Collaboration to Improve Medication Adherence and Health Outcomes Among High-Priority Patients in Western New York,” a new pilot program that aims to evaluate novel community pharmacy-based solutions to overcome common barriers to medication non-adherence.

The three-year pilot, led by Scott Monte, clinical assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, will partner with Western New York-based Mobile Pharmacy Solutions, located on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, to provide personalized adherence services for to up to 200 patients with Univera health insurance

UB establishes Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences

The University at Buffalo has established a new international hub for addressing global health challenges through pharmacological research and drug and vaccine development.

The new Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences (CIGBS), directed by Gene Morse, PharmD, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, brings together faculty from research, clinical and applied programs to tackle the world’s most pressing health issues.

Training the WNY refugee community on medication safety

refugee training

Gina Prescott, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, is working with SPPS students to train the WNY refugee community on medication literacy, including prescription label reading and why it is important to take medications as prescribed. The initiative, entitled Development of a Sustainable Medication Literacy Program in the Refugee Community, was recently chosen for funding by the University at Buffalo President's Circle. To date, the initiative has trained 44 refugees from 15 countries.

AACP Annual Meeting Faculty and Staff Presentations

The school was well represented by faculty and staff presentations at the 2016 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Annual Meeting, held in Anaheim, CA this past week.  Robert Wahler, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, was also recognized at the meeting as the school's AACP Teacher of the Year.   

  • James O'Donnell, dean, presented to the AACP Academic Research Fellows Program with Kristen Keefe, interim dean, University of Utah College of Pharmacy. The topic of their presentation is "Challenges and Opportunities in Developing T32 Training Programs."
  • Nicole Paolini Albanese, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, organized and moderated "Teachers Seminar Track 2: Preparing Students with a Foundation for Great Patient Care."
  • Jaime Maerten-Rivera, assistant director of assessment, and Christine Stumm, registrar and director, admissions and advisement, presented a poster entitled "Implementation of a Faculty Advisement Program for Students (FAPS) Using Academic and Career Advising." Poster authors also include Karl Fiebelkorn Senior Associate Dean for Student, Professional and Community Affairs, and Jennifer Rosenberg, associate dean, admissions and advisement.
  • Ying Xu, research assistant professor, pharmaceutical sciences, presented a poster entitled "Targeting PDE2 to Treat Memory Loss Associated with Alzheimer's Disease."
  • Marilyn Morris, SUNY Distinguished Professor and interim chair, pharmaceutical sciences, presented at "Trends and Transformations within Graduate Education," part of the Graduate Education SIG Forum.
  • Gina Prescott, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, presented the poster "Student Perception of a Global Health Elective in a PharmD Program."
  • Gina Prescott, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice; Alyssa Nobel, '18; and Christopher Daly, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice; presented "Development of an Inventory Management System within a Dominican Republic Medical Clinic Pharmacy."
  • William Prescott, department vice-chair and clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice, presented the poster "Student Perceptions of a Blended-learning Model Designed to Teach Patient Assessment Skills in a PharmD Program."
  • William Prescott, department vice-chair and clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice; Gina Prescott, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice; Fred Doloresco, director of assessment and clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice; Nicole Paolini Albanese, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice; and Ashley Woodruff, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice; presented the poster "Academic Performance among PharmD Students in a Patient Assessment Course Sequence Utilizing a Blended-learning Model."
  • Nicholas Fusco, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, presented at the session "Simulation-Based Learning to Teach Pediatric Pharmacy: It's the Educator's Turn to Play with the Toys."

Not Just Dispensing: The Unique Role of Pharmacists in an Outpatient Research Pharmacy

From Pharmacy Times, 5/24/16:

Pharmacists can serve as essential members of a research team in a role that involves much more than traditional dispensing functions. Cognitive input from pharmacists based on their medication expertise can be a valuable asset for principal study investigators. The vast array of services and work that pharmacists can accomplish on a study protocol can be implemented through a research pharmacy.

For example, the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences research pharmacy, founded in 1995 and led by Christopher Daly, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, is an outpatient pharmacy registered and licensed in New York State. This secure, closed-door pharmacy features compounding equipment, a safe, refrigerator/freezer, lab benches, scales, and a laboratory fume hood. It also has an extensive history of care with involvement in more than 40 local and nationwide clinical studies.

UB Pharmacy team makes an impact at the Tour de Cure


Team UB Pharmacy participated in the 2016 Tour de Cure in Niagara Falls, NY.

Peter Brody, '01 & '02, director, experiential education, and clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, and Erin Brody (pictured left) participated in the 5K. Edward Bednarczyk, '84, department chair and clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice, and Jonathan Navratil, lead programmer analyst, (pictured right) participated in the 30-mile bike ride.

Edward Russak, senior research scientist, pharmacy practice, supervised the APhA-ASP student education booth during the event with Stacy Fredrick, '18, and Morgan Lebrecht, '18. American Pharmacists Association (APhA) students helped raise $314 of the team’s $2,760.50 total, which ended up being the second-highest fundraising club/organizational team overall!

New Hires and Promotions

  • Donald Mager, '91, '00 & '02, was promoted to the rank of Professor, pharmaceutical sciences.
  • Marilyn Morris, SUNY Distinguished Professor, was appointed interim chair, pharmaceutical sciences.

Faculty and Staff Recognitions

  • Calvin Meaney, '11, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, had a letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine, titled "Belatacept and Long-Term Outcomes in Kidney Transplantation."
  • Julie Kopfer, project coordinator, pharmacy practice, was elected to the board of the Public Relations Society of America, Buffalo Niagara Chapter. She is the advocacy chair and an assembly delegate and will represent the chapter at the National Assembly in Indianapolis in October.
  • Cindy Konovitz, assistant dean, informatics and support services, and director, apothecary and historical exhibits, was featured in a UB Reporter article about the Citizens Police Academy. She is a 2009 graduate of the academy. Read the article.

Student Notes

Congratulations to our 2015-2016 residency program graduates!


L-R: Benjamin Kematick, Sonja Grinfeld, Amanda Pinski, Esra Mustafa, Kimberly Mulcahy, Marisa Censi, Samantha Will, Caitlin Hoar, Drew Cates

Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (PSSNY) Annual Conference highlights

  • Lukas Brightman, '19, Kevin Lavery, '18, Kelsey Volanti, '18, and alumnus Keith Rowe, '10, won the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Self-Care Jeopardy Challenge.
  • Kelsey Volanti, '18, won first place in the PSSNY counseling competition.
  • Brittany Len, '19, won second place in the PPSNY counseling competition.

L-R: Brittney Len, Liz Riegel (D'Youville), Kelsey Violanti, Lukas Brightman, Kevin Lavery

The following SPPS students were elected officers of the PSSNY Student Chapter:

Kevin Lavery, '18 - President

Lukas Brightman, '19 - President-Elect

Kelsey Violanti, '18 - Vice-President

Brittany Len, '19 - Treasurer

Ilana Cypes, '19 - UB Liason

Student Recognitions

  • Peter Fendt, '16, accepted a two-year post-doctoral fellowship through the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship Program. He will be working in Global Market Insights at Celgene Corporation.
  • Maya Holsen, '17, was elected student representative on the Board of Directors for the New York State Council of Health-System Pharmacists (NYSCHP). She was also elected chair of the Student Society Development Advisory Group for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
  • Catherine Gawronski, '18, and Kristen Gawronski, '10, authored a review article titled "Vitamin A Supplementation for Prevention of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia: Cornerstone of Care or Futile Therapy?" that was published in Annals of Pharmacotherapy.
  • Pharmaceutical sciences student Daniel Ferguson presented a poster entitled "Identifying MicroRNA Determinants of Neonatal Fc Receptor (FcRn) Expression in Humans" at the 2016 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) National Biotechnology Conference in Boston, MA.
  • Brian Voorhees, '18, was one of 10 pharmacy students chosen from across the country to participate in the 2016 CVS Summer Leadership Development Program in Washington, DC. In this unique opportunity, Brian was able to network with market leaders in corporate CVS, attend educational seminars and receive hands-on experience working in a role similar to that of a district pharmacy supervisor.