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March 2017


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

Message from the Dean

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

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Please look for our next edition of eNotes in June.

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

Top Stories

UB lands $1.8M grant to test new seek-and-destroy cancer treatment

The University at Buffalo has received a $1.8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to test new strategies for improving the delivery of potent toxins to cancer cells. The study, “Catch and Release Immunotoxins: CAR-Bombs for Cancer,” is led by Joseph Balthasar, PhD, professor and associate dean for research in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

PharmD/MBA students win business plan competition

Four dual degree students from the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the School of Management won first place at the 2017 Pharmacist Society of the State of New York (PSSNY) Business Plan Competition. PharmD/MBA class of 2017 students Laura Bielecki, Stacy Fredrick, Cassandra Nicolia and Olivia Dioguardi were presented with a challenging case: a pharmacy owner in Saratoga Springs was looking to sell his pharmacy. The team was tasked with offering a purchase price and analyzing how they would improve the struggling pharmacy.

UB welcomed into Global Virus Network as a Center of Excellence in the fight against HIV and other viruses

The Global Virus Network recently announced the induction of the University at Buffalo as one of its newest Centers of Excellence, making it one of the world’s premier virology research centers. Gene Morse, '80 & '83, SUNY Distinguished Professor and professor of pharmacy practice, is leading these efforts on behalf of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the university.

Anderson selected to receive Outstanding Service Award

Wayne Anderson, professor and dean emeritus of the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the University at Buffalo Alumni Association Philip B. Wels Outstanding Service Award.

Student Notes

Half-Way Gala raises $xxx for Friends of Night People


The PharmD Class of 2018 hosted the annual Half-way Gala in support of Friends of Night People on Feb. 7.

PhD student Scott Ferguson elected co-chair of GRC seminar

Scott Ferguson, BS '13, a PhD student in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was elected co-chair of the Gordon Research Seminar on Extracellular Vesicles in 2018.

Mintskovsky, '18, accepted into VALOR program

Maria Mintskovsky, '18, has been accepted into the Veteran's Administration Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) Program at the Syracuse VA Medical Center.

SPPS students collaborate in Drug Metabolism Focus Group

Nadia Mansouri, PharmD '18, Khyatiben Rana, PharmD '18, and Erik Hefti, PharmD, MS, PhD '17, collaborated with Javier Blanco, associate professor, pharmaceutical sciences, on an article in the Drug Metabolism Focus Group (DMFG) December 2016 newsletter titled "An Overview of Preemptive Pharmacogenetics."

UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences participates in interprofessional mission trips to Dominican Republic, Belize, Haiti

The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences took part in several mission trips in Jan. 2017 to assist underserved populations.

Student recognitions

  • The School of Pharmacy Student Association (SPSA) held its annual Spring Networking Event at the Foundry Suites in Buffalo. Over 50 students attended to speak with professional pharmacists from around Western New York and to create connections in the pharmacy field.
  • SPPS organizations Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS) and the Student Society of Health-systems Pharmacists (SSHP) hosted their annual Valentine's Day card event at the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB).
  • Members of the National Community Pharmacists Association Student Chapter at UB held a wellness clinic on cold and flu prevention tactics.

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

Alumni Notes

UB pharmacy alum presents Chu lecture

L-R: Joseph Balthasar, associate dean for research and professor, pharmaceutical sciences; Lisa Benincosa; William Jusko, SUNY Distinguished Professor; James O'Donnell, dean

Lisa Benincosa, PhD ’93, delivered the 2017 David Chu Lecture “Evolution of Translational PK/PD: A Pharma Perspective" on March 7 in Kapoor Hall. She is vice president and global head of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics and bioanalytical research and development for Roche Pharmaceutical Research and Early Development in Basel, Switzerland.

The David Chu Lectureship was established at UB in 2011 through the generosity of David and Jane Chu.

Alumnus Lee Vermeulen, '90, honored with prestigious ASHP award

Lee C. Vermeulen, BS '90, is the recipient of the American Society for Health-Systems Pharmacists 2016 Donald E. Francke Medal. Established in 1971, the American Society for Health-Systems Pharmacists' (ASHP) Board of Directors’ Donald E. Francke Medal honors pharmacists who have made significant international contributions to advance pharmacy practice.

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

  • Shannon Rudolph, '16, currently a PGY1 resident at UNC, received an Iowa Pharmacy Association Executive Fellowship position. The Executive Fellow works to expand IPA’s clinical initiatives, attend state and national pharmacy meetings, gain exposure to all aspects of association work, and provide insight and assistance to the association.

In Memoriam

Ralph T. Behling, '40
Francis J. Enzinna, '51
Leonard D. Gold, '52
Ronald H. Ginsberg, '58
Tom W. Hallifax, Jr., '58
Maurice VanSice, '61
Dawn A. Acquaviva, '67
Ellen M. Ottoway, '88

Faculty and Staff Notes

Marilyn Morris appointed pharmaceutical sciences department chair

The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has named SUNY Distinguished Professor Marilyn E. Morris as chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Morris has been interim chair since early 2016 and will assume the position of chair as of March 1, 2017.

“We are lucky to have such a wonderful scientist and colleague, and a dedicated mentor to our students. I congratulate her on this advancement,” says James M. O’Donnell, dean, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Dunn, Paladino awarded grant to study pharmacy practice model advances

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Research and Education Foundation awarded $20,000 in funding to University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences investigators to study pharmacy practice model advances through the 2015-2016 New Investigator Research Grant Program. Terry Dunn, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, is new investigator on the study. Joseph Paladino, clinical professor, pharmacy practice, and director, clinical outcomes and pharmacoeconomics, is senior investigator on the study.

Shah makes progress in the way cancer is treated

Dhaval Shah has spent the past three years searching for the Holy Grail of medicine: a cure for cancer. He now leads cutting-edge research focused on protein therapeutics and the engineering of proteins for medical use.

Staff recognized at UB Campaign for the Community Celebration

Pamela Coniglio, Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) activities coordinator, was honored with the William R. Greiner Award at the 2016 University at Buffalo Employees Campaign for the Community Celebration. Mary Kruszynski, residency program coordinator, pharmacy practice, was also recognized for sharing her story to help promote the campaign’s impact.

Faculty and Staff Recognitions

  • A story on WKBW-TV reported on the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences' substantial assistance to an experiment being sent to the International Space Station, part of Oncolinx's 43North success. Dhaval Shah, '10, assistant professor, pharmaceutical sciences, discussed his lab's contributions to the experiment.
  • Pharmacy practice department chair and clinical associate professor Ed Bednarczyk spoke to People Magazine about the cardiovascular effects of cannabinoids.
  • Kathy Boje, associate dean for academic affairs, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, and AACP Academic Leadership Fellow, participated in a debate entitled "Enrollment in Turbulent Times. Must Aggressive Action Be Taken?" as part of INfluence 2017: The 2017 AACP INterim Meeting.
  • A story on WBFO reported a new UB study That examines the medical benefits of marijuana, and interviewed SUNY Distinguished Professor Gene Morse, director of the Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “It’s one thing to take the plant, extract it and see what’s in there,” he said. “It’s another thing to take that extract, make it into a medicine that someone is going to take orally and know that those same things are actually absorbed and get into your body. That part hasn’t really been well-studied.”
  • Karl Fiebelkorn, '78, senior associate dean for student, professional and community affairs, was featured in a USA Today investigative report on the opioid epidemic in upstate New York.

New Hires and Promotions

  • Marilyn E. Morris, SUNY Distinguished Professor, was appointed chair of the department of pharmaceutical sciences as of March 1, 2017.
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