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Fall 2018 Top Stories

Kidney research.

African-Americans are four times more likely to experience chronic kidney disease and failure than Caucasians. Kidney transplants have more than doubled in recipients above 65 years of age from 2000-08. And the prevalence of end-stage renal disease, or kidney failure, in the United States has continued to increase, particularly among elderly patients and African-Americans. Despite knowledge of the disparity, researchers and clinicians are seeking to better understand why the age and race gap exists.

A new University at Buffalo study led by Kathleen Tornatore, PharmD, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, aims to answer these questions by exploring the effects of age, race and sex on immunosuppressive medication and immune responses of renal transplant patients.

Funded by a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Aging, the study aims to bridge the gap between current, non-specific clinical methods and personalized medicine for high-risk patients.

The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences now offers an innovative MS program in Pharmacometrics and Personalized Pharmacotherapy.

The program is directed by SUNY Distinguished Professor William Jusko, BS '65 & PhD '70, internationally renowned pharmaceutical scientist and expert in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical pharmacology, and quantitative pharmacology.

The program focuses on advanced training in pharmacometric principles of advanced pharmacokinetics (study of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs) and pharmacodynamics (study of drug effects and toxicity in treatment of diseases). Conceptual training, combined with hands-on computational training integrating health and biomedical data, will allow students to partner with internationally-renowned faculty in high-level research and garner real-world job experience while still completing coursework.

The University at Buffalo has accepted the first cohort of fellows into the Global Infectious Diseases Research Training Program, a $1.1 million program formed to train 15 scientists from the Caribbean in viral infection research.

Supported by a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center, the program will produce the first of a new generation of virology researchers in Jamaica, improving the study of Zika, dengue, HIV, hepatitis and other viruses.

2018 Buffalo Pharmaceutics Symposium attendees

The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences hosted scientists and researchers from around the world for a series of pharmaceutical sciences symposia held July 26-30, 2018.

The symposia series was comprised of the Quantitative Systems Pharmacology Symposium, the Buffalo Pharmaceutics Symposium and the Center for Protein Therapeutics Symposium. 

SPPS makes an impact at AACP Annual Meeting

Faculty, students and staff made their presence known at the 2018 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.

Our first-place Pharm4Me Innovation Challenge team was recognized for their award-winning initiative entitled OpiEducate, a multifaceted program designed to help pharmacy students provide opioid education to high school students and enhance the role of the pharmacist in the community.

Jennifer Rosenberg, Associate Dean and Director of Admissions, Enrollment Planning and Pre-Pharmacy Advising, received the AACP Administrative Section Award for Innovation in Practice for her creativity in providing innovative solutions to increase productivity, fostering student success, and bettering pharmacy education at the school.

Calvin Meaney, PharmD '11, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, was recognized as an AACP Teacher of the Year.

Rebecca Brierley, assistant dean, Office of External Affairs, was elected chair-elect for the AACP Administrative Services Section.

Several faculty members contributed to the meeting through presentations and posters:

  • Gina Prescott, clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice
    Presentation: Global Pharmacy Education SIG: Integrating global health into the PharmD curriculum
    Poster: An International Collaboration on Sustainable Workforce Development and Implementation of a Doctor of Pharmacy Program
    Poster: Development and Implementation of an International Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience to Model Student  Exchange
  • Kathy Boje, associate dean, academic affairs; associate professor, pharmaceutical sciences
    Poster: Micro-credentials and Masters: Engaging Pharmacy Students in Research Projects
  • Fred Doloresco, director, assessment and outcomes; clinical associate professor, research assistant professor, pharmacy practice
    Presentation: Innovative Uses of Technology to Enhance Teaching and Learning: Using Random Number Generation to Create Unique Clinical Cases
  • Jamie Maerten-Rivera, assistant director, assessment and outcomes
    Poster: An Examination of the Implementation of Co-Curriculum Programs in US Schools and Colleges of Pharmacy
  • Nicholas Fusco, PharmD '10, clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice
    Poster: Training the Trainers: A Preceptor Development Program Targeting Interprofessional Collaboration Competencies

Pharmaceutical sciences students and faculty participate in Globalization of Pharmaceutics Education Network conference

Robert Jones.

Robert Jones gives a podium presentation

Pharmaceutical sciences PhD candidate Robert Jones received Best Podium Award (1st prize) at the 2018 Globalization of Pharmaceutics Education Network (GPEN) conference in Singapore for his presentation on "Metabolomic/proteomic analysis of orphan transporter monocarboxylate transporter 6 (MCT6): evidence of a role in lipid metabolism."

PhD candidate Scott Ferguson presented a poster at the conference, "The microRNA regulatory landscape of MSC-derived exosomes: A systems view."

Pharmaceutical sciences faculty members Sathy Balu-Iyer, professor, and Juliane Nguyen, assistant professor, also attended the GPEN conference. Nguyen presented a short course on the challenges and progress in drug delivery titled "Using exosomes as natural carriers for nucleic acid transfer: an activity-composition analysis."

GPEN aims to increase exposure to science and culture at an international level to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, fostering and facilitating international scientific exchange in the pharmaceutical sciences.

Students, faculty present at ACCP Global Conference

PharmD students presented a variety of posters at the 2018 American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Global Conference, held in Seattle, WA.

  • Emily Hart, '19 - Best poster finalist
    Proton pump inhibitors and the risk of acute and chronic kidney disease: a retrospective cohort study
  • Syed Samad, '19 - Best poster finalist
    The impact of a pharmacist-managed epoetin alpha dosing and monitoring service for hospitalized chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients at an academic medical center and Interpretation and understanding of prescription warning labels by refugees
  • Dominick Varis, '19
    Evaluating the management of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent therapy in end-stage renal disease patients during transitions of care: a retrospective cross-sectional study
  • Shahrier Hossain, '19
    Hemoglobin Cycling In ESRD: An Elucidation on factors
  • Stacie Yi, '19
    Outcomes of Staphylococcus aureus infections in critically ill children: do vancomycin trough concentrations matter?

Several faculty members were involved in the ACCP conference as well.

  • Calvin Meaney, PharmD '11, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, presented three posters:
    • Contrast Induced Nephropathy: Comparison of Agents and Definitions
    • Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents Post-Renal Transplantation: Hemoglobin Response and Adverse Events
    • Immunologic outcomes of erythropoiesis stimulating agents in renal transplant recipients
  • Gina Prescott, clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice, was the moderator for the Global Health Focus Session titled Global Health in Our Backyard: Recognizing the Health Care Needs of Underserved Migrant, Refugee, and Native American Communities
  • Tyler Mullen, PharmD '16, Global Health and Implementation Research fellow, presented the poster Integrated Drug Information and Introductory Principles of Research Course, Kingston, Jamaica, in collaboration with Gina Prescott, clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice, and SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy Practice Gene Morse, BS '80 & PharmD '83
  • Brian Tsuji, professor and Director of Clinical Research, presented the new polymixin guidelines.

Fall 2018 Student News

Escape rooms have reached the college classroom.

To improve teamwork and communication between nursing and pharmacy students, the School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have turned to the popular, mystery-themed game for interprofessional training.

Rather than a prison cell or abandoned home, groups of students are placed in a simulation medical clinic in Wende Hall on the South Campus. Their goal: solve various puzzles to discover what ails their patient and provide the proper treatment.

PharmD Class of 2022.

PharmD Class of 2022

One hundred and twenty-seven students took their first step toward becoming pharmacists when they participated in the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Annual White Coat Ceremony.

The program took place on Aug. 23 at 3 p.m. in the Center for the Arts on the UB North Campus.

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.

This event also highlights the importance of scientific scholarship and emphasizes the highest principles of moral, ethical and legal conduct. UB PharmD students taking part in this tradition are welcomed to begin study among the ranks of pharmacy professionals.

The keynote address was delivered by Patrick Comerford, PharmD '07, partner at Mobile Pharmacy Solutions.

Pharmaceutical sciences students recognized at ACoP9

Three pharmaceutical sciences students received awards and recognition at the American Conference on Pharmacometrics (ACoP9), held in San Diego, CA.

  • Peter Bloomingdale received the ACoP9 Trainee Award for his abstract Machine Learning Models for the Prediction of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Vivaswath S. Ayyar received the ISoP QSP SIG Student Award for his abstract Evaluating Sex Differences in Methylprednisolone Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacogenomics: A Quantitative Systems Pharmacology Approach
  • Sihang Liu presented a poster titled A Machine Learning, Genetic Algorithm Based Approach to Model Selection for Tumor Growth

For the past five years, our students have participated in short term global health mission trips to provide medical care in an interdisciplinary team setting in rural areas that have limited resources and fragmented healthcare.

Our students learn how to provide culturally-competent care in a global healthcare setting, setting up “mobile” pharmacies and clinics, dispensing medications, counseling patients, and assisting providers with medication selection. These experiences not only give them hands-on training, but teach a level of compassion and patient care that cannot be learned in a classroom.

In 2019, our students will be traveling to Ghana, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Belize and Jamaica and they need your help! Please join us in our first-ever crowdfunding campaign to help offset travel expenses for our students and send them with enough medical supplies to treat all of those in need that they encounter.

Mary Hejna, PharmD ’20, and Jessica Mason, PharmD ’20, have been selected as 2018 Feldman Scholars and both ranked as a Top Five Student Ambassador by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). The Arnold S. Feldman Memorial Senior Care Pharmacy Scholarship Program allows interested students to learn about consultant pharmacy and network with leaders in the field. As Feldman Scholars, Hejna and Mason will also receive complimentary registration to the 2018 ASCP Annual Meeting in National Harbor, MD.

Pharmacy student Renae Gozelski talks with a client at the medication therapy management clinic program at the Gloria Parks Community Center.

Pharmacy student Renae Gozelski talks with a client at the medication therapy management clinic program at the Gloria Parks Community Center.

Students from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences recently provided Buffalo-area seniors with fall risk assessments and bone density screenings through the school’s medication therapy management clinic program.

The clinic, held at Gloria Parks Community Center in Buffalo on Sept. 27, offered balance and strength assessments, and assessments of medications’ risk of increasing falls. Students also performed bone density screenings to identify participants at risk for osteoporosis or osteopenia.

Career Day

Career Day.

A student career networking event and interview day was held on Sep. 22. The event gives students the opportunity to network with potential employers and obtain information about career and employment options.

Companies and organizations participating included Buffalo VA Medical Center, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, Rite Aid, Tops Markets, Walgreens and Wegmans.

Student Career Interview Day is coordinated by the school's Office of Postgraduate Professional Education and Office of Student, Professional and Community Affairs.

More Student Notes

  • PharmD/MBA student Neel Patel was the third place winner in the 2018 Summer Buffalo Sandbox project, an initiative presented by Blackstone LaunchPad at UB that allows students to work with a venture coach and attend eight weeks of facilitated learning sessions based on an entrepreneurial curriculum. 

Fall 2018 Alumni News

Alumni Reunion 2018

We honored the classes of 1953, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1978, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1998, 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013 at this year's alumni reunion. The weekend's events included recognition of the Beta Phi Sigma fraternity, a continuing education program on FDA Black Box Warnings, tours of our building, dinner at the Embassy Suites, and a Saturday morning walking tour of downtown Buffalo mansions. Thank you to all alumni who attended and special thanks to all those who assisted as class representatives:

  • Class of 1968: Gail (Black) Proctor, Gary Reynolds, Stew Siskin and Alan Levitt           
  • Class of 1978: Karl Fiebelkorn and Nick Honcharik       
  • Class of 1983: Renee (Rizzo) Fleming
  • Class of 1988: Linda (Germain) Equinozzi and Evelyn (Schulenklopper) Reda
  • Class of 1993: Amy Burke, Kimberly (Yunker) Maier and Gerald Wemple 
  • Class of 1998: Paul Grew

Alumni Awards nomination deadline: Dec. 1, 2018

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, 2018.

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.

More Alumni Notes

  • Matthew Zak, PharmD '06, was elected Director of Chapter Services for the New York State Council of Health-system Pharmacists (NYSCHP).
  • Kathleen Giacomini, PhD '79, was recognized as the 2018 American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education Mentor of the Year.
  • Ashley Zuppelli, PharmD '10, was recognized by the Rochester Business Journal as a Forty Under 40 honoree.
Alumni: Please send us your news and updates!

We love hearing from our alumni! Please fill out our online form and let us know what you're up to!

In Memoriam

  • Robert J. McIsaac, BS '49
  • John H. Hackney, BS '51
  • Martin L. Quinn, BS '51
  • Elliott Rivo, BS '54
  • Donald C. White, BS '62
  • Hikel F. Karam, BS '65
  • Richard A. Hochmuth, BS '69

Fall 2018 Faculty and Staff News

Marilyn Morris.

Marilyn Morris, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, is the recipient of the 2018 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Distinguished Service Award. 

The AAPS Distinguished Service Award brings recognition and public appreciation to an AAPS member for a lifetime of service to the organization. Distinguished Service Award recipients have demonstrated the inclusive, collaborative volunteer leadership that AAPS values and depends on.

Mager receives Allen J. Sedman lecture award

Don Mager.

Donald Mager, BS ’91, PharmD ’00 & PhD ’02, professor and vice-chair, pharmaceutical sciences, received the Allen J. Sedman lecture award from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. His lecture was titled "Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology in Oncology."

The Allen J. Sedman lecture series is held annually and emphasizes pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics, pharmacometrics, biopharmaceutics, drug metabolism, drug transport and targeting, and pharmacogenomics.

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of former UB faculty member Dr. Alan Forrest on August 25, 2018.

Forrest was a University at Buffalo faculty member and a research professor in the department of pharmacy practice and biostatistics from 1989 to 2015. He was renowned in the field of antimicrobial pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and toxicodynamics (PK/PD/TD) as a researcher and educator for almost 40 years.

Carl Peck, MD, presents at 2018 Gerhard Levy Distinguished Lectureship

Carl Peck, MD, Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at the University of California at San Francisco, and Chairman, NDA Partners, LLC, was the guest presenter at the 2018 Gerhard Levy Distinguished Lectureship on Monday, Oct. 22, where he presented “Can We Abandon the p-value?” to faculty and students.

He is most noted for his work in optimizing drug development and regulation using advanced concepts of clinical pharmacology, trial designs, and pharmaco-statistical modeling to generate causal evidence of effectiveness and safety.

More Faculty and Staff Notes

  • Javier Blanco, professor, pharmaceutical sciences, chaired a symposium titled Implementation of Preemptive Pharmacogenetics: Opportunities, Challenges and Successes, at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Annual Meeting. As part of the symposium, Blanco presented on "A Snapshot of Pharmacogenetic Testing in the State of New York."
  • Denise Swiatek, project support specialist and adjunct assistant professor, pharmacy practice, and Nicholas Bosso, '19, published an article in US Pharmacist titled "Naltrexone for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder in the Primary Care Setting."

New hires, promotions and retirements

  • Jason Sprowl, PhD, was appointed Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • Raymond Cha, BS '97, PharmD '00, was appointed Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice.
  • Nicholas Fusco, PharmD '10, was promoted to the rank of Clinical Associate Professor and appointed Interim Director of Experiential Education.
  • William Prescott, PharmD '02, was promoted to Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice.
  • Brian Tsuji, PharmD, was appointed Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Sciences.
  • Joseph Paladino, clinical professor, pharmacy practice, retired in August 2018.
  • Alyssa Caruso was hired as Senior Staff Assistant for Research Administration.
  • Corinne Cardy was hired as a Staff Assistant for Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Upcoming Events

ASHP Midyear Alumni and Friends Reception

December 4, 2018
5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Marriott Anaheim
Anaheim, CA

More information about the ASHP Midyear Alumni and Friends Reception


Thank you for reading our Fall 2018 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 2019.

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