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Fall 2021 School News

Mitochondrial dysfunction in vulnerable neurons in the brain can be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease, yet the underlying molecular mechanisms remain misunderstood. 

Ying Xu, MD, PhD, research associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, has received a $3.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging to deepen the understanding of how phosphodiesterases (PDEs), in particular PDE2A, regulate cognition.

University at Buffalo researchers have developed a new treatment that uses reverse vaccination to pre-expose the body to medications and build immune tolerance. The novel treatment pairs essential proteins and enzymes with lysophosphatidylserine (Lyso-PS), a fatty acid that helps the immune system tolerate foreign substances, reducing adverse reactions to the drugs.

Diclofenac and other non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may limit the passage of gamma hydroxybutyric acid (a narcolepsy medication and illicit party drug commonly known as GHB) to the brain, decreasing the potential for fatal overdose, according to a University at Buffalo study.

In 2017 New York State mandated pain management courses for all prescribers of controlled substances. A team of researchers at the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences deployed a multi-professional online educational program to help address this mandate and the ensuing opioid epidemic.  The results of this initial project, including the training of over 55,000 clinicians over a four month period, were recently published in the Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

School Notes

  • Nicholas Fusco, PharmD '10, clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice, received the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Pediatric Practice and Research Network (PRN) Chair Award. This award is given annually to a member of the PRN who has made sustained contributions to ACCP and the Pediatric PRN.
  • Brian Tsuji, PharmD, Professor and Associate Dean, Clinical and Translational Sciences, received the Editor’s Choice Award from Pharmacotherapy for his paper International consensus guidelines for the optimal use of the polymyxins. Recipients of this award are selected by the editor-in-chief of Pharmacotherapy and has the support of the scientific editors and board members. 
  • Nicholas Smith, BS ’15, PharmD ’18, MS ’18 and PhD ’21, assistant professor, pharmacy practice, is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for his project titled “Establishing Next Generation Therapeutic Drug Monitoring by Incorporating Special Patient Populations and Mechanism-based Pharmacodynamics."
  • Nicole Cieri-Hutcherson, PharmD '10, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, was re-elected as the New York State Council of Health-System Pharmacists (NYSCHP) Director of Education and Professional Development.
  • Robert Wahler, PharmD '00, clinical associate professor, pharmacy practice, was elected to the Society of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacists (SPPCP) Executive Officers as the incoming treasurer.
  • Amanda Foster, postdoctoral associate, pharmacy practice, Christopher Daly, PharmD/MBA '12, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, and David Jacobs, PharmD '11, PhD '18, assistant professor, pharmacy practice, had their abstract “A Novel Social Determinant of Health Program Integrated into Community Pharmacy Settings” accepted for presentation at the Annual Research Day of the UB Community Health Equity Research Institute. 

Fall 2021 Student News

On August 26, eighty-eight PharmD 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, in Slee Hall.

The school’s new dean, Gary M. Pollack, PhD ’84, was the invited speaker and offered encouragement to the future pharmacists. “There is no better time to be entering the profession of pharmacy or the sciences that compose pharmacy right now,” he said. 

PharmD and Pharmaceutical Sciences students also attended a variety of orientation programs to learn about school policies, spend time with student organizations representatives, and meet with faculty and staff who will help support their academic journey.  

Student Notes

  • Ali Zahid, PharmD '22, was appointed Member-at-Large for the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) National Student Network Advisory Committee. Members of this committee have an integral role in the development of new programs and services for student members.
  • Aleksandra Lomakina, PharmD '22, and Drake Meaney, PharmD '22, won the local Student Society of Health System Pharmacists (SSHP) Clinical Skills Competition. They will go on to represent UB SPPS at the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear National Clinical Skills Competition.
  • Olivia Denny, PharmD '22, received a Kruse Memorial Scholarship Award. This scholarship is awarded to eligible Allied Health Professional applicants in their final year of training who have rotations scheduled/completed at Cleveland Clinic.

Fall 2021 Alumni News

Alumni Reunion.

The classes of 1960, 1970, 1971, 1980, 1981, 1990, 1991, 1995, 2005, 2006 and 2011 were warmly welcomed back to campus to celebrate their reunion with highly anticipated in-person events. The weekend kicked off with guided tours of the Pharmacy Building and UB’s South Campus, followed by UB’s Homecoming football game. The festivities concluded with a cocktail reception. 

Award.
Nominations now open for 2022 Alumni Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for our prestigious alumni awards: the Willis G. Gregory Memorial Award and the Orville C. Baxter Memorial Professional Practice Award. The deadline for nomination for our 2022 awards is December 1, 2021.

Our Willis G. Gregory Memorial Award 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.

Our Orville C. Baxter Memorial Professional Practice Award is given to an outstanding practicing alumni pharmacist who demonstrates high ideals of professionalism and whose practice demonstrates genuine concern for patients. 

The school was saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Dustin Nemec, PharmD '20, who was killed in an automobile accident in September. Nemec graduated cum laude from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences with a Doctorate of Pharmacy in May 2020 and worked as a pharmacist for Tops Friendly Markets.

The PharmD Class of 2020 has set up a memorial scholarship in Dustin's honor. Learn more here.

In Memoriam

  • Clark Potter, BS '52
  • Irwin Woldman, BS '55
  • Paras Parekh, BS '96

Alumni Notes

  • Joseph Twist, BS '75, gave a presentation entitled Career Opportunities for Pharmacists in the Pharmaceutical Industry on October 27, as part of the UB SPPS Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO) fall speaker series.
  • Heidi Polek, BS '89, was recognized by Drug Store News as a Top Woman in Health, Wellness and Beauty. Polek is a clinical subject matter expert at Dr. First and has 30 years of experience in the retail pharmacy sector and pharmaceutical industry.

Do you own or lead a business? Our new online Bulls in Business Directory is exclusively for the UB alumni community. Post your information and showcase your business in Western New York and around the world. 

Enjoy a fun-filled learning getaway with your UB family—socializing, classes, great food, sunshine and more! Join us January 29-31, 2022 at the Hyatt Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, FL.

Upcoming Events

Dean Gary Pollack.

Thank you for reading our Fall 2021 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.

Regards,
Gary Pollack, PhD '84
Dean and Professor