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Winter 2018 Top Stories

Clinical Assistant Professor Terry E. Dunn, PharmD; Edward M. Bednarczyk, PharmD, clinical associate professor and director of the SPPS Center for Health Outcomes, Pharmacoinformatics and Epidemiology (cHOPE); Marsha Nelson, Department of Pharmacy Practice Program Director and Administrator, for the UB SPPS Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education

The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Opioid Prescriber Training Program successfully trained more than 38,000 licensed prescribers, nearly 40 percent of licensed prescribers in New York State.

The program was a collaboration between the pharmacy school’s Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education, faculty from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).

Donald Mager, BS '91, PharmD '00 & PhD '02, professor, pharmaceutical sciences, has been named a fellow of three prominent academic societies: the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) and the International Society of Pharmacometrics (ISoP). Mager also received the 2017 ISoP Innovation Award. Both the award and fellowship acknowledge individuals whose scientific and innovative contributions have advanced the field of pharmacometrics.

The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has formed new collaborative agreements with Erie Community College, SUNY Adirondack, Columbia Greene Community College, SUNY Broome, Nassau Community College, Rockland Community College, Tompkins Cortland Community College and Dutchess Community College. The 2+4 agreements allow students to complete two years of undergraduate study at community colleges in an associate’s degree program and then apply to UB’s PharmD program.

ASHP Midyear Meeting

Our students, alumni and friends enjoyed a networking reception during the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Meeting in Orlando, FL. 

Winter 2018 Student Notes


Students from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences made a big impact at the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) 2017 Annual Meeting. 

  • Geoff Brown, '18, won the award for Best Poster for his poster entitled "Preliminary Evaluation of the Efficacy, Safety and Costs Associated with the Treatment of Chronic Pain with Medical Marijuana in the Elderly."
  • "A Review of Surreptitious Anticholinergics: Unknowingly Increasing Anticholinergic Burden in the Elderly. The Consultant Pharmacist," was presented by Catherine Gawronski, '18, and Robert Wahler, '00, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice.
  • "Falls Risk Prevention Through Inter-Professional Collaboration," was presented by Richard Moore, '19, Madalyn Rossi, '19, Kristin Markiewicz, '19, Mary Hejna, '20, Jessica Mason, '20, and Robert Wahler, '00, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice.

Laurie Plewinski, '21, was elected Regional Member-at-large, and Stephanie Lanza, ’20, was elected Midyear Regional Meeting Coordinator for Region 1 of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). 

As Regional Member-at-large, Plewinski will serve as moderator for sessions at the APhA-ASP Midyear Regional Meeting, APhA Annual Meeting and APhA-ASP Summer Leadership Institute. 

As Midyear Regional Meeting Coordinator, Lanza is responsible for assisting APhA staff in planning, promoting, and executing the APhA-ASP Midyear Regional Meeting.

On October 28, over 65 University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences students participated in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which offers a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse and medications.

Samad, '19, featured on Pharmacy Leaders Podcast

Syed Samad, '19, was recently featured on the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast, where he discussed his passion for community and global outreach.

Hosted by the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and sponsored by the UB Office of Interprofessional Education, “Confronting Opioid Dependence: An Interprofessional Strategy” gave UB’s health professions students in 10 different programs of study an opportunity to work together on an urgent public health problem.

Student Pharmacist Local Compounding Competition winners

The winners of the UB Local 2017-2018 Student Pharmacist Compounding Competition are:

  • Cynthia Mgbeojirikwe, '19
  • Taoran Wang, '19
  • Jingwen (Grace) Zhang, '19
  • Yingping Li, '19 (alternate)

The team will represent the school in the 2018 MEDISCA National Student Pharmacist Compounding Competition in Aventura, FL, March 17-18.

This annual event provides an educational experience for student pharmacists and offer exposure to the pharmaceutical compounding industry. By participating, students and faculty members benefit from the unique opportunity to learn the key elements of a high quality compounding pharmacy practice, network with esteemed industry professionals, and develop essential skills in pharmaceutical compounding to meet the growing needs of the patient population.

Students network with potential employers at Career Day

A student career networking event and interview day was held on Dec. 9. The event gives students the opportunity to network with potential employers and obtain information about career and employment options.

Companies and organizations participating included:

  • CVS Health
  • Pharmacists Society of the State of New York
  • Rite Aid
  • US Army Healthcare Recruiting
  • Walgreens

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

  • The work of pharmaceutical sciences PhD candidate Scott Ferguson, BS '13, entitled "The microRNA regulatory landscape of mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes: a systems view," was accepted for publication in Scientific Reports.

Winter 2018 Alumni Notes

Fendt, '16, collaborates with IPhO


The UB chapter of the Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO) hosted the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship Program with guest speakers Dr. Peter Fendt, PharmD/MBA '16, Rutgers fellow at Celgene, and Dr. Lilly Jiang, Rutgers fellow at Johnson and Johnson. Fendt also hosted IPhO eBoard members at Healthcare Professionals Day at Celgene.

Walter Ludwig, BS '81, has been named CEO of Kenmore Mercy Hospital. Ludwig joined the hospital eight years ago, just after James Millard became CEO. The two worked side by side to manage hospital operations, with Ludwig taking the hospital through a multi-year campus reconfiguration that included a new emergency department, a knee and hip center and an ambulatory surgery unit.

Dean's Alumni Ambassadors recognized for 10 years of service

The following alumni were recognized for 10 years of service as a Dean's Alumni Ambassador. Dean's Alumni Ambassadors interact with prospective students through activities including mentoring pre-pharmacy students, reviewing applications and interviewing, and representing the school at graduate fairs.

  • Patrick Comerford, Jr., PharmD '07
  • Karen Brim, BS '82
  • Michele Hudak, PharmD '02
  • Jordan Csati, PharmD '08

Tributes to Dr. Gerhard Levy at AAPS Annual Meeting

At the 2017 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting in San Diego, a memorial reception was held in Dr. Gerhard Levy’s honor and memory. Over 100 former colleagues, students and friends attended, several of whom made poignant remarks about Levy’s impact on them both personally and professionally.

More Alumni Notes

  • Amy Nash, PharmD '05, was featured in two Buffalo Business First articles about her role as president of Reliance Rx, which provides specialty pharmacy products to patients nationwide for such conditions as multiple sclerosis, oncology, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
  • Amy Wojciechowski, PharmD '12, was recently appointed infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship coordinator at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

In Memoriam

  • Donald G. Opera, BS '60
  • Charles H. Nightingale, PhD '70

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Winter 2018 Faculty and Staff Notes

Robert Wahler, PharmD ’00, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). This recognition honors Wahler’s excellence in pharmacy leadership, practice, and education as demonstrated by his sustained involvement with and contributions to ASCP on a state and national level, the ASCP Foundation and the Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy (CCGP).

Assistant Dean of External Affairs Rebecca H. Brierley, EdM, has been elected chair-elect for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Administrative Services Section. The AACP Administrative Section fosters the development of excellence, innovation and leadership in all professional endeavors including administration, practice, scholarship and service within the organization, the larger academic community, and the healthcare professions.

Gina Prescott, clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice, gave a lecture entitled “Pharmacy Without Borders: Experiences Around the Globe,” as part of the University at Buffalo’s International Education Week. The lecture explored how the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is promoting and improving global health education.

2017 Department of Pharmacy Practice Awards

The Department of Pharmacy Practice recognized the following individuals for their contributions over the course of the past year during the department’s annual December holiday event:

  • Faculty Citizenship Award
    Irene Reilly
  • Faculty Research Award
    Robert Wahler, PharmD '00
  • Faculty Service Award
    Edward Bednarczyk, BS '84
  • Faculty Teaching Award
    Fred Doloresco
  • Staff Team Work Award
    Kris Jordan
  • Staff New Initiative Development Award
    Marsha Nelson

More Faculty and Staff Notes

  • Oncolinx, the 2016 winning team from the 43North competition, is continuing its investment in Buffalo. Dr. Ashwni Verma was recently hired as a full-time post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Dhaval Shah, PhD '10, assistant professor, pharmaceutical sciences, to investigate novel antibody-drug conjugates and immuno-oncology agents that harness the potential of the immune system to eradicate cancer cells.
  • Javier G. Blanco, Clin. Biochem., PhD, professor, pharmaceutical sciences, participated in the 2nd Latin American Congress on Pharmacogenetics and Personalized Medicine in Mexico, presenting a plenary conference entitled "Identification of Pharmacogenetic Determinants for Long-Term Toxicities in Survivors of Pediatric Cancers" and coordinating a symposium on cardiovascular pharmacogenetics.
  • Edward Bednarczyk, BS '84, Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Director of the Center for Health Outcomes, Pharmacoinformatics and Epidemiology (cHOPE), was featured in a WalletHub article entitled "The Real Cost of Smoking by State."

Upcoming Events

Annual Halfway Gala

Saturday, February 10, 2018
Pearl Street Brewery

This annual dance and charity gala is organized by the P2 Class early in the spring semester. The purpose of the event is to socialize with other students, faculty, and staff and to raise money for a select charity as voted by the P2 class. 

More information on the Halfway Gala

School Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Center for Tomorrow, UB North Campus

Recognizing 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.

More information on the Awards Ceremony

Class of 2018 Farewell Celebration

Thursday, May 18, 2018
Pearl Street Grill and Brewery

We welcome graduating students and their guests to join faculty and staff for a final evening of celebration before commencement.

More information on the Farewell Celebration

Commencement 2018

Friday, May 19, 2018
Center for the Arts, UB North Campus

A university-wide tradition celebrating the accomplishments of our graduating class.

More information on commencement


Thank you for reading our Winter 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 this spring.

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