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Fall 2017 Top Stories

Alumni Reunion Weekend 2017


Class of 1982 at the 2017 reunion dinner

We honored the classes of 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012 at this year's alumni reunion. The weekend's events included a continuing education program on hepatitis C, tours of our building, dinner at the downtown Buffalo Marriott HarborCenter and UB Bulls Football. Thank you to all alumni who attended and special thanks to all those who assisted as class representatives!

Juliane Nguyen, assistant professor, pharmaceutical sciences, is principal investigator on a $1.58 million R01 grant to develop zip code-like biomaterials that are capable of interrupting pathological communication mediated by cancer cells. The grant, entitled “RNA EXO-Codes: A novel way to reprogram pathological exosomes,” is sponsored by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and is a multidisciplinary effort between the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

In remembrance of Dr. Gerhard Levy

The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Gerhard Levy.

Nearly his entire career was spent at the University at Buffalo, having joined as Assistant Professor of Pharmacy in 1958 and retiring as University Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutics in 2000.

He was an inspirational role model, colleague, friend and mentor, and is widely considered a pioneer in the fields of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD). He was the first pharmacist named to the prestigious Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, in 1980. The principles developed by Levy and his students and colleagues in PK/PD formed the underpinnings of drug development and rational drug dosing.

Pharmaceutical sciences faculty honored by the University at Buffalo


Robert Straubinger, professor, pharmaceutical sciences, has been named a University at Buffalo Distinguished Professor.


Sathy Balu-Iyer, professor, pharmaceutical sciences, has been selected as a 2017 recipient of the Exceptional Scholar Award for Sustained Achievement.


Juliane Nguyen, assistant professor, pharmaceutical sciences, has been selected as a 2017 recipient of the Exceptional Scholar Award for Young Investigators.

The first annual Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP) Symposium was held on Saturday, Oct. 7. The event brought together over 60 scientists to discuss contemporary approaches, including the challenges and opportunities for advancing the science and practice of QSP. Invited speakers from industry, government agencies and academia presented on a variety of topics and the program concluded with a poster session and reception. Donald Mager, '91, '00 & '02, professor, pharmaceutical sciences, and Robert Bies, associate professor, pharmaceutical sciences, chaired the event.

2017 Preceptor Awards

The 9th Annual UB SPPS Preceptor Recognition Social was held on June 21 at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery. Congratulations to these exceptional preceptors:

  • J. Fred Bennes Outpatient Care Preceptor of the Year Award
    Nicholas Hopwood, '14 (Walgreens Pharmacy)
  • Pharmacy Practice Faculty Preceptor of the Year
    Scott V. Monte, '06 (SUNY Buffalo / Sheridan Medical Group / ECMC / Mobile Pharmacy Solutions)
  • Professional Practice Elective Preceptor of the Year
    Danielle Banaszak, '97 (Excellus BlueCross BlueShield of WNY)
  • Inpatient Care Preceptor of the Year
    James Parrott (Southside Hospital)
  • IPPE Outstanding Contribution Award
    William Goral, '98 (Sam’s Club Pharmacy)

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Fall 2017 Student Notes

PharmD Class of 2021 welcomed at White Coat Ceremony

Class of 2021.

133 PharmD students took their first public step toward becoming pharmacists at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Annual White Coat Ceremony.

The White Coat Ceremony symbolizes passage into the initial stages of the profession of pharmacy practice and represents a contract for excellence in providing compassionate patient care. The event also highlights the importance of scientific scholarship and emphasizes the highest principles of moral, ethical and legal conduct.

The keynote address was delivered by Matthew Schnupp, PharmD ’12, Lieutenant, U.S. Public Health Service consumer safety officer for the Food and Drug Administration.

Students also attended a two-day orientation that included overviews of the school's departments, programs and facilities. Kristen Fodero, '14, Nicole Cieri, '10, Matthew Schnupp, '12, and Jessica Isaac, '14, participated in an alumni panel discussion about their careers in pharmacy. Students also had a chance to meet their faculty advisor at a Buffalove luncheon.

Thanks to our Orientation and White Coat Ceremony sponsors: Walgreens, Tops Friendly Markets, Rite Aid, Collegiate Village, Pharmacists Association of Western New York (PAWNY) and the Pharmacy Society of Rochester (PSR).

Deci awarded third place at 15th International Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium


Pharmaceutical sciences PhD candidate Michael Deci was awarded the 3rd place prize for his poster entitled "The Effect of CCR2 Targeted scFv on Macrophage Polarization and Migration" at the 15th International Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium (NanoDDS) in Michigan. The NanoDDS is an international conference where leading investigators come together to discuss the next generation delivery vehicles and nanomaterials. Included in the prize package is an invitation to submit an article featuring his research in Dr. Juliane Nguyen's lab to a special NanoDDS edition of the Journal of Controlled Release.


Justin Bui, '19, has been elected National Public Relations Liaison for the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA). As National Public Relations Liaison, Bui will be handling content on SNPhA's official website and social media platforms. He will also be in charge of the creation and distribution of Signatura, SNPhA's newsletter.

High school students get broad scope of learning experiences at summer camp

Summer Camp.

High school students from across the nation got a glimpse of the pharmacy profession through the second annual University at Buffalo Pre-Pharmacy Summer Camp. Participants participated in a broad scope of learning experiences that included hands-on activities such as compounding, visits to local clinical practices and research labs, and lectures by UB faculty. Alumni Patrick Comerford, '07, Deanna Scibilia, '10, Natalie Edbauer, '13, and Jessica Isaac, '14, also spoke to the summer camp students about their careers in pharmacy.

UB students recognized at ACCP 2017 Annual Meeting

Four students from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences were recognized at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ.

  • Shirley Chen, '18, presented her research as a poster and platform, titled “Association of cytochrome P450 3A4*1-beta genotype and tacrolimus pharmacokinetics in stable African American and Caucasian renal transplant patients." Shirley was one of four national finalists for the Best Student Poster award.
  • Wai Yin (Haddy) Leung, '18, presented her research as a poster and platform, titled “Incidence and Risk Factors for Healthcare Utilization among Patients Discharged on Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT)." Haddy was one of four national finalists for the Best Student Poster award.
  • Anna Slavinsky, '18, presented her research as a poster and platform, titled "Pravastatin in patients with diabetes mellitus and solid tumors - are all statins created equal?"
  • Jess Greger, '19, received the Pharmaceutical Industry Practice Research Network Student Travel Award. The award encourages student and postgraduate trainee attendance at ACCP meetings and promotes future involvement in ACCP.

PharmD students recognized as AACP Walmart Scholars


Sarah Dascanio, '17, and Rachael Cardinal, '18, were selected as American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Walmart Scholars. The goal of the scholarship program is to strengthen the recipient’s skills and commitment to a career in academic pharmacy through their participation at the AACP Annual Meeting.

APhA-ASP receives Patient Care Award

The UB chapter of American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) was awarded the Region 1 Operation Heart Award at the Mid-Year Regional Meeting. Laurie Plewinski, '21, and Stephanie Lanza, '20, were also elected to serve as Region 1 regional officers.

Election results from the Student Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (SPSSNY) show all five leadership positions are now held by students from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

More Student Notes

  • Keith Dolcy, '17, Jessica Isaac, '14, and Jathiyah Lewis, '11, were recipients of the 2017 CSTEP Graduates Exemplifying Major Success (GEMS) award The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) is a grant-funded program sponsored by the New York State Department of Education to support talented underrepresented students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), licensed professions and health-related professions.
  • The SPPS student chapter of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) collaborated with the University of Houston College of Pharmacy to provide disaster relief to schools affected by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Students took part in medication therapy management (MTM) clinics set up by the Erie County Falls Prevention Coalition as part of a Falls Prevention Seminar Series.
  • SPPS students provided blood pressure reading, medication therapy management and wellness education on diabetes and hypertension to over 100 senior citizens at the annual Senator Mike Ranzenhofer Family Health Fair on Aug. 5.
  • The SPPS chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) hosted its first wellness clinic of the year. As part of SNPhA's Power to End Stroke Initiative, student members educated patients on the signs and symptoms of a stroke and healthy living habits for risk reduction.

Fall 2017 Alumni Notes

Alumni Awards nomination deadline: Dec. 1, 2017

Every April, we proudly recognize outstanding faculty, staff, students, and alumni who, over the past year, have contributed significantly to the school's mission, the profession of pharmacy and scholarly achievements. Please consider nominating an alumnus/alumnae for our most prestigious alumni awards noted below. The deadline for nomination for our 2018 awards is Dec. 1, 2017.

Willis G. Gregory Memorial Award:

Bears the name of our school's fourth dean and is given annually to an outstanding alumni pharmacist who personifies the ideals of service, integrity, and who, in the eyes of his or her associates, personifies the profession of pharmacy. This is the Alumni Association's most prestigious award.

Orville C. Baxter Memorial Professional Practice Award:

established in 1992, bears the name of a long standing faculty member who was extraordinarily dedicated to the professional practice of pharmacy. This annual award is given to recognize an outstanding practicing alumni pharmacist who demonstrates high ideals of professionalism and whose practice demonstrates genuine concern for patients.

The recipient must be a practicing pharmacist with at least five years of experience and have a BS in Pharmacy or a PharmD degree from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.


Gayle Brazeau, PhD '89, was selected as the 2017 recipient of the Douglas. H. Kay Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award. The award, named after Maine’s most celebrated and nationally recognized pharmacy educator, recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to pharmacy education in Maine. Brazeau was recognized for her teaching, mentoring and precepting of students along her research and scholarly activities related to pharmacy.


C.K. “David” Chu, PhD ’75, was presented with the Antonín Holý Memorial Lecture Award, which recognizes significant contributions in medicinal chemistry, at the annual meeting of the International Society of Antiviral Research held recently in Atlanta.


Collin Clark, '17, is the recipient of a prestigious post-doctoral research fellowship in the University at Buffalo Primary Care Research Institute as a first-year National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellow, with funding through the National Institutes of Health, T32 Institutional Training Grant Program.

More Alumni Notes

  • Alumni and friends from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences gathered for a reception at the American Conference on Pharmacometrics (ACoP8) on Oct. 16 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • Arnold Ladis, '63, is retired and enjoying volunteering with the San Diego Airport and the San Diego Police Traffic Division.
  • Stewart Siskin, '68, was the guest speaker at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy's (AMCP) first speaker event of the fall semester.
  • Mario L. Rocci Jr., BS '76, PhD ’81, has co-edited a book entitled “Regulated Bioanalysis: Fundamentals and Practice,” published in May 2017. Leading scientists in the field participated in the development of this “one of a kind” contribution to the field, that places fundamental bioanalytical science in context with current practice, its challenges and ongoing developments.
  • Tricia Lee Wilkins, '08, started a new position as Director of Pharmacy Affairs at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.
  • Jill Limberg, '10, started a new position as Clinical Pharmacist Educator at RxPrep.
  • Jeff Balsam, '12, started a new position as Informatics Pharmacist Manager at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Nicholas Hopwood, '14, started a new position as Pharmacist at Buffalo General Medical Center.
  • Justin Bader, '15, started a new position as Assistant Director, Outcomes Research at Institute for Clinical Pharmacodynamics.
  • Wesley Kufel, '15, started a new position as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • Amy Lee, '15, was reappointed to the ASHP New Practitioners Forum Practice Advancement and Advocacy Advisory Group (PAAAG) as a Member. This advisory group, established by the ASHP New Practitioners Forum Executive Committee, is responsible for providing feedback and suggestions to the Executive Committee regarding benefits and services for ASHP new practitioner members.
  • Jacob Reaser, '15, started a new position as Assistant Professor at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
  • Kerry Archer, '17, co-authored an article for Pharmacy Times entitled "Pharmacogenetics: Medications Do Not Have Doses, People Do."

In Memoriam

  • Gertrude (Mroczynski) Cyran, '45
  • Florence (Stephan) McMahon, '51
  • Charles Barone, '54
  • Mary Ann (Janiga) Krawiec, '58
  • John Scelsi, '66
  • Kelly (Ross) Wilson, '15

Fall 2017 Faculty and Staff Notes


Javier G. Blanco, Clin. Biochem., PhD, professor, pharmaceutical sciences, received a medal of honor from the Argentine Society of Genetics (SAG) during its 46th annual meeting in Catamarca, Argentina. He was recognized for his research in the fields of pediatric cancer pharmacogenetics and epigenetic control of therapeutic antibody drugs.


David Jacobs, '11, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, is the recipient of a 2017 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The award allows Jacobs to build and sustain his research career in pharmacy and community health to promote health, prevent disease and advance public health policies.


SUNY Distinguished Professor Gene Morse, ’80 & ’83, participated in a panel discussion on “A Healthy Caribbean” at Caribbean Action 2030. Morse is co-author, along with Jeffrey Lombardo, '04, research assistant professor, pharmacy practice and associate director of the Empire State Patient Safety Assurance Network and research assistant professor, pharmacy practice, and Brian Tsuji, associate professor, pharmacy practice, on an abstract entitled "Dual University System Health Research Partnership as a Foundation for Sustainable Development Goals."


Following in the generous footsteps of the late faculty member Thomas J. Bardos, alumni, friends and colleagues have collectively donated over $50,000 to create the Dr. Thomas J. Bardos Scholarship. The award will be given annually to a deserving student in either the Doctor of Pharmacy or one of the Pharmaceutical Sciences programs.

AACP Annual Meeting poster presentations

SPPS faculty and staff presented a wide array of posters at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Annual Meeting:

  • Impact of IPPE on Student Comfort in Performing APPE Pharmacy Practice Skills
    Authors: Peter M. Brody, Jr., BS, PharmD; Jaime Maerten-Rivera, PhD; Fred Doloresco, PharmD, MS
  • An Examination of the Relationships Between PCOA and NAPLEX Subtopic and Total Scores
    Jaime Maerten-Rivera, PhD (co-author)
  • Assessment of an Academic and Career Advisement Program to Evaluate Program Satisfaction and Services Utilized
    Karl Fiebelkorn, MBA, RPh; Christine Stumm, EdM; Jaime Maerten-Rivera, PhD; Fred Doloresco, PharmD, MS; Jennifer Rosenberg, PhD
  • Comparison of Two Procedures Used to Screen PharmD Applicants for Acceptable Oral English Communications Skills
    Robert Wahler, PharmD; Christine Stumm, EdM; Erin Slazak, PharmD; Jennifer Rosenberg, PhD
  • How Much Are They Learning? Modeling Pharmacy Student Content Knowledge Growth on the PCOA
    Jaime Maerten-Rivera, PhD (co-author)
  • Design, Implementation, and Assessment of a Program to Equip PharmD Students for Postgraduate Training
    William Prescott, PharmD; Fred Doloresco, PharmD, MS; Gina Prescott, PharmD; Erin Slazak, PharmD; Ashley Woodruff, PharmD; Peter M. Brody, Jr., BS, PharmD
  • Development of a Pharmacy Faculty/Student-Led Medication Literacy Workshop for Refugees
    Gina Prescott, PharmD
  • Multi-Modal Approach to Teaching Cultural Competency
    Gina Prescott, PharmD

More Faculty and Staff Notes

  • Christopher Daly, '12, received the Excellence in Innovation Award from the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and Upsher-Smith Laboratories.
  • Kris Jordan, coordinator, advanced pharmacy practice experience program, was honored by University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi for her 30 years of service to UB and SPPS.
  • Robert Wahler, '00, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, was featured on the local TV show "Be Well Buffalo," where he discussed medication safety. Watch the show here.

New Hires and Promotions

  • Javier Blanco: Promoted to Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Donald Mager: Appointed Vice Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • William Prescott: Appointed Interim Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice

Upcoming Events

Interprofessional Education Day

"Confronting Opioid Dependence: An Interprofessional Strategy," a forum sponsored by the UB Office of Interprofessional Education


Nov. 9, 2017
UB South Campus

Memorial Tribute to Gerhard Levy

Join your fellow UB pharmaceutical sciences alumni, students, faculty and friends at the AAPS Annual Meeting as we remember Dr. Levy and his exemplary career as a pioneer and leading contributor in the areas of biopharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Nov. 13, 2017
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

ASHP Mid-Year Alumni and Friends Reception

Please join us for our UB reception during the ASHP Midyear Meeting and Exhibition, the largest gathering of pharmacy professionals in the world.

Dec. 4, 2017
5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Rosen Plaza Hotel
Orlando, FL


Thank you for reading our Fall 2017 edition of Buffalo Pharmacy eNotes. Please stay in touch! Send us updates on your own personal and professional accomplishments by filling out our alumni update form.

Look for our next edition of eNotes in early 2018.

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