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Fall 2019 School News

The more than 1,200 recently hospitalized patients had been discharged and sent home. For many, it was a time of confusion and uncertainty: patients missed taking their medications or were uncertain about their dosage, had been reluctant to make follow-up appointments and also may have wondered if a return trip to the hospital was in their near future. One by one, these patients were getting phone calls from about two dozen University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences fourth-year advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) students who worked vigorously to prevent lapses in care. 

In Memoriam: Julie Kopfer.
In Memoriam: Julie Kopfer

It is with profound sadness that the Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education shares the loss of Julie Kopfer. Julie served as the program coordinator for the CE office over the past nine years, and brought her dedication, energy, and passion to programs impacting the improvement in patient care. Julie was the first to volunteer whenever there was a need. Her passion was in the area of service, demonstrated as she served on a number of boards and as public relations officer for Western New York charity organizations.

We will miss our colleague and friend.

School Notes

  • Gina Prescott, clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice, was recognized as a top 10 poster presenter for her poster entitled "Teaching cultural awareness to pharmacy students through a refugee education training session" at the ACCP Annual Meeting.
  • Robert Wahler (PharmD '00), clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, was featured in a Buffalo News article about his work with Team Alice and drug deprescribing in the elderly.
  • Javier Blanco, professor, pharmaceutical sciences, was named a new member of the Trisomy 21 Research Society.
  • Dhaval Shah, associate professor, pharmaceutical sciences, was featured in the Amuza Neuroscience newsletter for his work with pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of therapeutic antibodies and antibody drug conjugates.
  • Tammie Lee Demler (BS '92 & PharmD '02), adjunct associate professor, pharmacy practice, was honored with an Education Award from the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier at the 2019 Niagara Awards Dinner, A Tribute to Women.
  • William Prescott (PharmD '02), interim chair and clinial professor, pharmacy practice, authored a study on immunization education in U.S. pharmacy schools.
  • Nicholas Fusco (PharmD '10), clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice, co-authored an article that outlines treatment recommendations for infections in pediatric patients.
  • Jill Fiedler-Kelly, adjunct professor, pharmaceutical sciences, was named President of the Cognigen division at Simulations Plus.

New hires, promotions and retirements

Fall 2019 Student News

Four University at Buffalo PharmD/MBA students have been named 2019-20 Western New York Prosperity Fellows. The fellowships, which are made possible through support from the Prentice Family Foundation, are awarded to college and graduate students with an entrepreneurial drive who want to make a difference in Western New York.

In January, seventeen UB PharmD students will be traveling to Belize, Dominican Republic, Ghana and Haiti. Your gift will help offset travel expenses for our students and send them with enough medical supplies to treat all of those in need that they encounter. They are very close to their fundraising goal!

In the Fall 2019 episode of the UB Student College of Clinical Pharmacy podcast, students talk about a new class of monoclonal antibodies that help prevent migraines with Dr. Shivang Joshi from the Dent Neurologic Institute.

Fall 2019 Alumni News

Burrano and Tripathi.

UB President Satish K. Tripathi and Marty Burruano

Burruano honored as Graduate of the Game

Marty Burruano (BS '86), Vice President of Pharmacy Services at Independent Health, was honored as the University at Buffalo Office of Alumni Engagement's "Graduate of the Game" on October 26. Marty was recognized for being a consistent donor for the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, supporting UB Athletics through football season tickets and Bricks for Bulls, hosting our pharmacy students at his worksite, and being an avid supporter of our student scholarship golf tournament for many years.  UB President Satish K. Tripathi presented Burruano with a football signed by the UB Bulls Football team.

Nominations now open for 2020 Alumni Awards

Our annual School Awards Ceremony, held every April, recognizes 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 2020 awards is Dec. 1, 2019.

Willis G. Gregory Memorial Award Nomination Form
This 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 and integrity in the profession of pharmacy. This is the Alumni Association's most prestigious award.

Orville C. Baxter Memorial Professional Practice Award Nomination Form
This award bears the name of a long-standing faculty member who was extraordinarily dedicated to the professional practice of pharmacy. It is given to 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.

Alumni Notes

  • Gary Pollack (PhD '84) was named dean of The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • John Pieper (PharmD '79) was awarded fellowship in the International Pharmaceutical Federation.
  • Wesley Kufel (PharmD '15) was named the 2019 New York State American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Educator of the Year. Kufel is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • Marty Burruano (BS '86) Vice President of Pharmacy Services at Independent Health, and Donald Mager, professor and vice chair, pharmaceutical sciences, were featured panel members at Health Care in 2020 and Beyond, a forum hosted by the University at Buffalo School of Management and the Healthcare Executive Forum. Their discussion was entitled “Addressing Increasing Pharmaceutical Costs.” 
  • Steve Giroux (BS '81) was a featured panelist at the UB Blackstone Launchpad Entrepreneurs Festival. He discussed being an independent pharmacy owner and offered tips on establishing a business.
  • Peter Fendt (PharmD/MBA '16) was featured in the Fall 2019 edition of Buffalo Business Magazine, where he discussed his dual degree from UB.
  • Richard Towne (PharmD '19) was a speaker at the first Industry Pharmacists Organization Speaker Series of the fall semester. Towne is currently a Clinical Content Manager for Antidote Technologies, a start-up digital health company that focuses on increasing patient engagement and recruitment in clinical trials.
  • The UB chapter of the Student Association of Specialty Pharmacy welcomed Sheila Arquette (BS ’89), executive director of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy, for a guest lecture.
  • Sarah LaFalce (PharmD '11), Kari Wilkens (PharmD '05) and Kimberly Zammit (BS '86 & PharmD '00) served on a pre-pharmacy panel discission about professionalism in the pharmacy field.

In Memoriam

  • Fong-Laun Hong, BS '50
  • Anthony Passannante, BS '52
  • John DeBalski, BS '53
  • Jack Osborne, BS '65
  • Peter Ciesla, BS '68
  • John Santarsiero, BS '71
  • Bernard Barth, BS '84
  • Daniel Hom, BS '98

Upcoming Events

UB Night at the New Resurgence Brewing

December 3, 2019

Enjoy the latest Resurgence craft beers with the company of fellow UB alumni!

More information:
UB Night at the New Resurgence Brewing 

ASHP Midyear Meeting Alumni and Friends Reception

December 10, 2019

Join fellow alumni for a reception during the American Society of Health‑System Pharmacists Mid-Year Meeting.

More information:

UB Alumni Winter College: Naples, FL

January 19-21, 2020

A fun-filled learning getaway with classes, speakers, golf and sunshine with your UB family.

More information:

UB Pharmacy 2020 Reunion

June 4-7, 2020

Classes of 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 & 2015

Reconnect with your former classmates and enjoy campus and city-wide events!

More information:


Thank you for reading our Fall 2019 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 early next year.

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