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Spring 2019 Top Story

Celebrating excellence of alumni, faculty, staff and students

Our 2019 Awards Ceremony took place on Thursday, April 11, at the Center for Tomorrow on UB's North Campus.

Lee Vermeulen (BS '90) received the 2019 Willis G. Gregory Memorial Award, in recognition of his service and leadership as well as his innovative clinical practice.

Christopher Rubino (PharmD '96) received the 2019 Orville C. Baxter Memorial Professional Practice Award, in recognition of his impact on the profession of pharmacy and his support of UB and the school.

Tammie Lee Demler (BS '92 & PharmD '02), adjunct associate professor of pharmacy practice, received the SPPS Teacher of the Year Award.

Pamela Coniglio, IPPE Activities Coordinator, received the 2019 Staff Member of the Year Award.

Spring 2019 School News

Karl Fiebelkorn (BS ’78 & MBA '88) Senior Associate Dean for Student, Professional and Community Affairs, is the recipient of a 2019 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. The award is given for consistently superior service sustained over a multiple-year period to the local campus, the State University of New York, the community, the discipline-related professional organizations, and/or to faculty governance.

“Service is a way of life for Professor Fiebelkorn,” says James M. O’Donnell, PhD, dean. “He has natural leadership abilities and profound dedication to our students, our alumni and our community.”

Kristin Gniazdowski, associate dean for resource management and unit business officer, is the recipient a 2019 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, which recognizes consistently superior individuals who transcend the normal definition of excellence by repeatedly seeking to improve themselves, their campuses, and ultimately, the State University.

“[Her] efforts have positively positioned the school, providing us with both short- and long-term stability,” says James M. O’Donnell, PhD, dean.

Common medications prescribed to treat heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers are linked to increased risks for kidney failure and chronic kidney disease, found a recent University at Buffalo study led by David Jacobs (PharmD '11), assistant professor of pharmacy practice.

Jacobs was also featured in an American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) podcast, where he discussed Proton Pump Inhibitors and Risk of Acute and Chronic Kidney Disease.

Mary Kruszynski, residency program coordinator, Department of Pharmacy Practice, received the 2019 Unsung Hero Award for the University at Buffalo Employee Campaign for the Community. The award recognized her vital and significant work behind the scenes.

An international panel of the foremost researchers on infectious disease and antimicrobials created new guidelines on the use of polymyxins, a class of antibiotics employed as a last resort to treat deadly, drug-resistant bacteria. The guidelines set new standards for the clinical use of polymyxins, including maximum dosage, treatment strategies and best practice for use in combination with other antibiotics. The panel was co-led by Brian Tsuji, PharmD, professor of pharmacy practice.

UB, SPPS at the forefront of medication safety in the elderly

The University at Buffalo Center for Successful Aging (UBCSA) via its inaugural Seeds for Innovation in Successful Aging program has provided funding to The Deprescribing Network of Western New York for Successful Aging, to advance research collaborations among UB faculty with community-based partners to solve medication safety challenges facing older adult. SPPS faculty and alumni involved in the project include Robert Wahler (PharmD '00), clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice, Scott Monte (PharmD '06), clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice, David Jacobs (PharmD '11) assistant professor of pharmacy practice, Christopher Daly (PharmD/MBA '10) clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice, Esra Mustafa (PharmD '15) and Collin Clark (PharmD '17).

Team Alice, an innovative interdisciplinary research and advocacy initiative outreach program, was formally launched in March and focuses on deprescribing, reducing the prescribing of unnecessary and sometimes harmful medications in the elderly. Robert Wahler (PharmD '00),  clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice and Ranjit Singh, MD, associate professor of family medicine and director of UB’s Primary Care Research Institute are program leaders.


Dhaval Shah (PhD '10), associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, has developed a new method to more accurately predict tumor growth rates, a crucial statistic used to schedule screenings and set dosing regimens in cancer treatment. The mathematical method successfully estimated the doubling time for 12 types of cancer, ranging from breast and prostate cancers to melanoma.

Additional SPPS co-authors include Robert Bies, PharmD, PhD, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, and Keith Dolcy (PharmD/MS '17).

Dian Lin, PharmD '19, at a clinic in Ghana.

Dian Lin, PharmD '19, at a clinic in Ghana

Our school took part in several high-impact medical mission trips over winter and spring breaks. Reflecting on the experience, one PharmD student remarked, "This trip has challenged me to become more conscientious about how to identify and reach the community in need around me and how to bridge the gap in healthcare.”

CIGBS implements new global health initiatives

The University at Buffalo Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences (CIGBS) has established a new team of researchers and business leaders to advance health initiatives of low- and middle-income countries through academic research and capacity-building programs. CIGBS Director Gene Morse (BS '80 & PharmD '83), SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy Practice, serves as principal investigator.

CIGBS has also partnered with the University of the West Indies (UWI) to launch several research centers and networks to advance the study of infectious and non-infectious diseases in the Caribbean. In coordination with the State University of New York (SUNY), the University of the West Indies Health Research Task Force has established a Clinical Research Center Network, which includes a Health Research Informatics Network, Diabetes Management and Research Center, Oncology Center of Excellence, and a Cannabinoid Sciences Research Center.

William Jusko (BS '65 & PhD '70), SUNY Distinguished Professor, pharmaceutical sciences, and Donald Mager (BS '91, PharmD '00 & PhD '02), professor, pharmaceutical sciences, partnered with Michael Mayersohn (PhD ’71) professor at the University of Arizona, to present a five-day course in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in Shanghai, China. 60 attendees from various academic institutes and pharmaceutical companies in China participated in the program in memory of our distinguished emeritus professor, Dr. Gerhard Levy.

Tsuji hosts ISAP Annual Meeting

Brian Tsuji, PharmD, professor of pharmacy practice and president of the International Society for Anti-Infective Pharmacology (ISAP), hosted the ISAP Annual Meeting in Rotterdam in April. Highlights included a tribute session to Dr. Alan Forrest, the late research professor at UB, who was a trailblazer in PK/PD. The session was entitled “A Tribute to Alan Forrest: a PK/PD of a Giant of our Time.” There were 50 attendees from leading academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies around the world.

Chu Lecture.

Kathleen Hillgren, PhD, was the 2019 David Chu Lecture speaker. Her presentation was titled “Translation of In Vitro Transporter Data into the Clinic.” Hillgren is a Research Fellow in the Investigative Drug Disposition Group at Lilly Research laboratories.

School Notes

  • Karl Fiebelkorn (BS '78 & MBA '88), Senior Associate Dean for Student, Professional and Community Affairs, was re-elected to the Rho Chi Executive Committee, Region 1 Counselor.
  • Pharmacy Practice Clinical Assistant Professors Nicole Cieri-Hutcherson (PharmD '10) and Raymond Cha (BS '97 & PharmD '99) had chapters published in the textbook Women's Health Across the Lifespan. Cieri-Hutcherson wrote Chapter 5 (“Medication Use and Complementary Health Approaches”) and Cha wrote Chapter 29 (“Sexually Transmitted and Infectious Diseases”).
  • Juliane Nguyen, PharmD, PhD, associate professor, pharmaceutical sciences, received a Faculty Development Award from Empire State Development.
  • Nicholas Fusco (PharmD '10), clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice, was elected chair-elect of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Pediatric Pharmacy Special Interest Group.
  • Jaime Maerten-Rivera, assistant director of assessment, received the inaugural AACP Assessment SIG Collaborative Publication Award for contributions to the "Factors associated with cultures of assessment at US schools and colleges of pharmacy" manuscript.
  • Kristen Gniazdowski, associate dean for resource management and unit business officer, was elected Secretary of Knowledge Management, AACP Administrative and Financial Officers Special Interest Group.
  • Javier Blanco, Clin Biochem, PhD, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, and Denise Swiatek, BS, PharmD, clinical research pharmacist and adjunct assistant professor of pharmacy practice, collaborated with the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions on an article entitled Medication-enhanced behavior therapy for alcohol use disorder: Naltrexone, alcoholics anonymous facilitation, and OPRM1 genetic variation, published in May 2019. 

New hires, promotions and retirements

  • Ashley Woodruff was promoted to clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice.
  • Callie Maloney was hired as a project staff assistant.

Spring 2019 Student News

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

Farewell Celebration

The Office of Alumni Relations honored the graduating class of 2019 with a reception at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery on Friday, May 17. Class officers Richard Moore, Chung Chen and Deon Edinowe offered comments to their classmates and presented many of them with achievement awards. Calvin Meaney (PharmD '11), clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice, was presented with the Class of 2019 Faculty Recognition Award.


The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences held its Annual Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 18, 2019, where 167 PharmD, BS, BS/MS, MS and PhD students were recognized. John Pieper (PharmD '79), President of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, was the keynote speaker, and Renee Flemming (BS '85) offered comments on behalf of University at Buffalo Alumni Association Board.

Advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) students from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences partnered with the High Street Prescription Center in Buffalo, N.Y., to run a successful transitions of care (TOC) program aimed to decrease 30-day hospital readmissions. The findings were published in the March-April 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

Provost Charles F. Zukoski, National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship nominee Natalie Smith, and President Satish K. Tripathi

The annual University at Buffalo Celebration of Student Academic Excellence recognizes students’ exceptional scholarly and research pursuits. Several UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences students were honored at this year's event. PharmD student Nabilia Ismail, ‘19, was a finalist in the Fulbright program. Pharmaceutical sciences students Emily Bonacquisti and Natalie Smith were nominated for National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowships. 

UB SPPS students captured first and second place in the Business Plan Competition, and also won the poster competition at the PSSNY Mid-Winter Conference.

UB SPPS student representatives from the Student Pharmacists' Society of the State of New York (SPSSNY) and the Student Pharmacists' Association of Western New York (SPAWNY) traveled to the state capital on April 9 to advocate for the profession of pharmacy.

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) held its 2019 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Seattle, WA. An impressive number of UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences alumni, faculty, residents and students attended the event and were involved in its success.

Students present innovative final projects

Clinical Research Program

University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Clinical Research Program (CRP) students presented defenses for their theses on May 1. The CRP provides opportunity for third and fourth year PharmD students to elevate themselves for placement in fellowships and residencies via individualized research programs focused on excellent original clinical and translational research. 

Scholars Program

Fourth-year Scholars Program students presented posters on April 4, as part of the school's Residency Project Presentation Day. Our Scholars Program provides enhanced curricular and leadership experiences to better prepare students interested in residency training to excel in post-graduate training.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Program

University at Buffalo pharmaceutical sciences students presented on a variety of topics at Spring Poster Day on May 2.

The Omega chapter of Rho Chi Honor Society granted new membership to 27 second-year students at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences on Feb. 21.

Two faculty members were also honored: Calvin Meaney (PharmD '11), clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practicewas awarded the 2019 Rho Chi Excellence in Teaching Award, and William Prescott Jr. (PharmD '02), clinical professor and interim chair of pharmacy practice, was awarded the 2019 Rho Chi Outstanding Alumni Award.

The School of Pharmacy Student Association's annual Spring Networking Event gave more than 100 students the opportunity to network with local and regional professionals in areas such as: hospital, community, industry, and managed care. 

“This was a fantastic cross-section of pharmacy innovation,” said Elizabeth Patt, '21, SPSA secretary. “Wisdom and comfort can be taken from hearing pharmacists discuss the 'nitty gritty' of their career path: innovation, failures, doubts and opportunities. Learning what is out there is half the battle of learning what you want, and the Networking Event helps students to see this potential.”

Student Notes

  • Antari Khot, a PhD student in Dhaval Shah’s lab, received the prestigious Presidential Trainee and 2019 David Goldstein award from ASCPT for her work on whole-body PK and PBPK modeling of exogenous T-cells which was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
  • Krishna Daiya, '20, won the 2019 New York State Council of Health-system Pharmacists Student Essay Contest.
  • Peter Okozoro, '20, and Kathryn Gentz, '21, received WNY Prosperity Fellowships, awarded to students who demonstrate their commitment to the Western New York community.
  • The 2019 Halfway Gala was attended by nearly 200 people and raised over $2,000 for Hunter's Hope.

Spring 2019 Alumni News

John Pieper.

John Pieper, PharmD '79, speaks at commencement

John Pieper (PharmD '79) was the guest speaker at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2019 commencement. He discussed the profound impact the school had on him on his career and encouraged each graduate to incorporate creativity and originality into every aspect of the profession. He is currently the president of St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

UB Student College of Clinical Pharmacy (SCCP) members Jean Tian, '20, and Bryan Quinn, '19, met with Lee Vermeulen (BS '90) to discuss the current scope of pharmacy practice, and how pharmacists and students can expand our profession to provide the best collaborative healthcare possible.

LKS Alumni Dinner.

The Fourth Annual Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS) Alumni Dinner, held in February and gave LKS members the opportunity to meet and network with and show appreciation to alumni. Kent Lee (PharmD/MBA '17), guest speaker, discussed the importance of networking both in pharmacy school and post-graduation.

Alumni Notes

  • David A. Milling (BS '85) has been elected an at-large member of the executive board of the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).
  • Natalie Hathaway (PharmD '13) was included in the 2019 Buffalo Business First 30 Under 30.
  • Peter Fendt (PharmD/MBA '16) was promoted to Senior Manager, Global Market Insights (CAR-T and MM) at Celgene.
  • Kayla Andrews (PharmD '14, MS '15 & PhD '18), Discovery Project Scientist, Translational Discovery, Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, received a Top Poster award for "Retrospective Analysis Using Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Modeling and Simulation Offers Improvements in Efficiency in the Design of Volunteer Infection Studies for Antimalarial Drug Development" at the 2019 American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Meeting.
  • Collin Clark (PharmD '17) and Lisa Yamagishi (PharmD '17) had papers published in the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists' journal The Senior Care Pharmacist.
  • Vadryn Pierre (PharmD '14) started a new position at AstraZeneca as Senior Clinical Pharmacokineticist.
  • Susan Novotny-Cannata (BS '91) was profiled in the December 2018 edition of Drug Store News where she discussed her dual degree from the University at Buffalo. 
Save the Date! Alumni Reunion Weekend 2019

September 13-14, 2019

Celebrating the classes of 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014

In Memoriam

  • Samuel Lightman BS '42
  • Raymond Griffin BS '49
  • Edward Frank, '52
  • LaVerne Fisher BS '53
  • Joseph Mroczynski BS '53
  • Jean Frank BS '54
  • Allen O'Dell BS '54
  • Rocco Ballacchino BS '55
  • Carl Chase BS '58
  • John Thornton BS '60
  • Marvin Jainchill, BS '65

Upcoming Events

Student Scholarship Golf Tournament

Monday, June 10, 2019
River Oaks Golf Club
Grand Island, NY
Registration closes May 31st!

UB Night at the Bisons

June 22, 2019
Join fellow alumni for UB's most popular annual summer outing.
Registration closes June 14!

More information about UB Night at the Bisons

Pharmacy Summer Institute

For high school and college students
July 8-10, 2019
UB South Campus

More information about our 2019 Pharmacy Summer Institute


Thank you for reading our Spring 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 this summer.

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