UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences News

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Dr. AbouAlaiwi receives NIH Award

photo: Dean Early congratulates Dr. AbouAlaiwi

Dean Early congratulates Dr. AbouAlaiwi

Dr. Wissam AbouAlaiwi, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, received an R15 award as a primary investigator from the National Institutes of Health. The award, in the amount of $379,000, will support graduate and undergraduate learning in Dr. AbouAlaiwi’s lab, where he researches Polycystic Kidney Disease, Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension, and Primary Cilia function in Cell Division and Cell Cycle Regulation.

In Memory of Dr. Robert J. Schlembach

Dear alumni and friends of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences,

On Saturday, December 16, the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science lost a dear friend, and our community has lost a compassionate pharmacist. Dr. Robert J. Schlembach, affectionately known to us as “Doc,” passed away at the age of 93.

Doc’s journey at The University of Toledo began in the 1940s, when he was a pharmacy student. He went on to serve for 40 years as a faculty member and an interim dean of the College, officially retiring in 1999 at the age of 78.

Doc’s influence will live on in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences through scholarships and programs in his name, and through the ongoing achievements of those whose lives he touched. His commitment to pharmacy education was witnessed and felt by generations of pharmacy students at The University of Toledo and beyond.

From my first meeting with him in Wolfe Hall to the last College event that he attended, the annual scholarship dinner, Doc consistently showed his great concern for the profession and for students. Students who received his scholarships or benefited from the Dr. Robert & Mary Schlembach Leadership Fund (members of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, Lambda Kappa Pharmaceutical Fraternity, College Ambassadors and Phi Lambda Sigma) will forever bear his brand.

Gifts in memory of Doc may be made online at https://tinyurl.com/docschlembach. Read more about Doc in The Blade.


Johnnie L. Early II, PhD, RPh, Fellow NPhA
Dean and Professor
College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Rho Chi Initiation, Fall 2017

Dr. Amit Tiwari, an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, was among the 22 new members initiated into the UT chapter of Rho Chi, the academic honor society for pharmacy. Rho Chi’s vision is to “advance pharmacy through intellectual leadership.”

More Rho Chi initiation photos

CPPS co-sponsors International Pharmaceutical Conference

The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences held its third biannual International Pharmaceutical Conference in Amman Jordan, an effort jointly sponsored by Al-Zaytoonah Private University of Jordan. The conference, held in November 2017, featured Dr. Johnnie Early II, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, as the keynote speaker, with an address entitled, The Soul of Pharmacy, secundum artem. Dr. Wissam AbouAlaiwi, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, delivered a talk on cellular and molecular functions of primary cilia, while Dr. Frederick Williams, chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, delivered a talk entitled, “A novel pharmacological model of Alzheimer’s disease using okadaic acid in zebrafish and its use in drug discovery.” Dr. Youssef Sari, associate professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, delivered a talk on the neuropharmacology of tobacco cigarette smoke addiction.

20 Years of the Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences Program

The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences welcomed nearly 100 alumni and friends to a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences program.  The Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences program at The University of Toledo offers the nation’s most comprehensive selection of undergraduate majors in the pharmaceutical sciences. The nationally ranked College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is home to the nation’s only undergraduate program in Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design.

The celebratory program, at the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center on the Health Science Campus, featured an alumni, student and faculty reception co-sponsored by the college’s Alumni Affiliate.  Following the reception, a talk by Dr. Frank Gerberick of Procter & Gamble was attended by over 65 individuals.  Dr. Gerberick spoke on “The Evolution of Test Methods for Predicting the Allergenic Potential of Chemicals and Proteins.”

Throughout 2017-2018, the college will celebrate this unique degree program by recognizing the accomplishments of our graduates.

Student Wins Launchpad Incubation Pitch-n-Pour Award

Austin Horton, a Ph.D. candidate in Medicinal Chemistry, won second place ($3,000) at the Pitch-n-Pour Event, Northwest Ohio’s premier startup pitch competition, run by Launchpad Incubation.  Austin will use the award to continue drug development for Autism Spectrum Disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Isaac Schiefer, assistant professor of Medicinal Chemistry and associate director of the Shimadzu Laboratory for Pharmaceutical Research Excellence.

UT Student Selected for Scholars Program

UT Pharmacy student Angela Simon was selected for the PQA-CVS Health Foundation Scholars Program. The program’s goal is to “support and recognize student excellence in projects centered on quality-related initiatives; encourage, promote, and improve education surrounding quality measures and value-based models of care; and foster student interest and engagement in the development of quality-related initiatives.”

Angela receives a $1,250 scholarship to Scholars to attend the PQA Leadership Summit in November 2017, along with an invitation to present the results of her project at the PQA Annual Meeting in May. Angela’s research will focus on factors that influence the intent of community pharmacists to provide medication therapy management. Her thesis advisors, Dr. Sharrel Pinto, and committee members, Dr. Cindy Puffer and Dr. Sadik Khuder, will advise her during this project.

Source: http://pqaalliance.org/academic/scholars.asp

Celebrating the Class of 2017

Degrees Awarded

This year, the University held the Spring Commencement ceremony in the Glass Bowl to recognize the 2,000 graduates. At commencement, six students received the PhD in Medicinal Chemistry, 86 received the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, 15 received master’s degrees in medicinal chemistry or pharmaceutical sciences, and 132 received bachelor’s degrees in the pharmaceutical sciences.

Of the 132 baccalaureate degrees awarded to students in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 13 were Summa Cum Laude, 28 were Magna Cum Laude, and 33 were Cum Laude. In addition, three students earned departmental honors, one earned college honors and one earned both departmental and college honors.

College Convocation and Awards Ceremony

Dr. Ken Bachmann leads the faculty procession at the college’s Convocation and Awards Ceremony

The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences held a Spring Convocation and Awards Ceremony to recognize the achievements of pharmacy and pharmaceutical science students. In attendance were the college faculty and administration, along with UT administrators, Dr. Dorothea Sawicki, Vice Chancellor and Associate Dean for Graduate Health Science Studies, and Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. Professor Emeritus Kenneth Bachmann, the co-founder and VP for Pharmacoinformatics at CeutiCare, Inc., served as the Grand Marshal.


The valedictorian of the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences graduating class is Melissa Yamsek. Read Melissa’s remarks to the Class of 2017

Dongjin Kang and Casey Koester share the honor of being valedictorians for the 2017 Doctor of Pharmacy graduating class. In recognition of their accomplishments, each received a gold medal presented by the Beta Eta Chapter of Rho Chi and a valedictorian Louisville Mortar and Pestle. Read Dongjin Kang’s remarks to the Class of 2017


BSPS Valedictorian Melissa Yamsek’s Remarks

Melissa Yamsek, BSPS valedictorian, delivers her remarks

Over the past few years at the University of Toledo, we have each accomplished a lot. We’ve overcome great academic challenges, whether that includes spending hours at either Mulford or Carlson Libraries to do well on an exam, memorizing countless individual drugs and their mechanism of action, or fervently searching the recent literature for incorporation into a research project. But most importantly, we’ve each gathered lifelong friendships and experiences that will carry us into our futures.

Throughout my time here, I have gained valuable experiences that have helped to guide myself into a future career. When I first started at the University of Toledo, I had one clear-cut goal: go in, get my Pharm.D., and become a pharmacist. Not much more than a month into my college career, my organic chemistry lab TA advocated that I join a research lab. To be honest with you, at the time I was completely unacquainted with the notion that undergraduate research was even a thing, and I experienced considerable hesitation to take his advice. I began talking with some of the upperclassmen that I had befriended, who were a bit more familiar with the idea, and each of them presented encouragement and invigoration, in support of the opportunity. Taking my individual skill sets and interests into consideration, I decided that I would be well-suited as a researcher and that it would be a dignified opportunity, so I began talking with professors and became involved in research that next semester. From that moment on, my life had changed. I began spending extensive portions of my spare time in the lab, starting with simply afternoons and then growing to working entire days and even weekends. I’ve had several people come up and ask if I was a graduate student, or even if I actually lived in the lab. I became addicted to producing results and quickly began to realize that research was my true calling and that I need to be stimulated more at the research and discovery level, so I switched my career goals to include the earning of a Ph.D. in biochemistry.

Now I am sitting here at the end of my undergraduate career at the University of Toledo, and I’m about to migrate onto a new journey at The University of Chicago. While I am excited to be encapsulated in a highly academic environment, I’m not afraid to admit that I am also slightly apprehensive; however, I keep on reflecting back to how I felt my freshman year here at UT and what it has taught me about new explorations. Many of us encounter some sort of suspense or presentiments about starting new chapters within our lives, but we need to remember that change is what induces excitement within our lives, and what drives us to improve ourselves and ultimately, excel. It was the result of a great change in my life that allowed me to discover my inner devotion and eagerness towards biochemical research.

My time here at the University of Toledo has granted me invaluable experiences that have motivated me to continue my path to a future career as an independent researcher. My professors, fellow classmates, lab members, and family have served as vital sources of inspiration as I strived for my own self-discovery. Overall, my advice to all of you is to keep on pushing yourselves. Each and every one of you has attained great accomplishments during your time here at The University of Toledo, and while that’s worth undivided praise and celebration, don’t let that stop you from obtaining further aspirations or achievements. I am confident that each of you will make great strides to be greater than you were the previous day, and succeed within your future furthered education or careers. With that, I’d like to wish each of you the best as you venture on to a new point in your lives and express an immense gratitude to all of you who have been by my side this entire time.

PharmD Valedictorian Dongjin Kang’s Remarks

Excerpted from the valedictorian speech of Dongjin Kang

Dongjin Kang and Casey Koester, PharmD valedictorians

Before we graduate, and go on to become leaders in the world of pharmacy, let’s reflect on our past 6 years here at the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

We’ve been together for 6 years now, and it is hard not to form a close ties to each others, and after 6 years everyone become more less a family.

Out of all the times we spent together, I would never forget our third year, beginning with white coat ceremony, which marked as a transition from pre-professional years to professional years as we read back an Oath of Pharmacist. I would also never forget the seminar presentations we did, tests we took, tuitions we paid, and donation worth over $40,000 we pledged during our P3 years.

It is hard to believe we are sitting amongst families and loved ones here dress like wizards to begin careers as pharmacists by assuring safe and effective use of medications, especially only drugs I knew were Tylenol and Adderall when I first embarked on this journey.

Little did we know after next three years of didactic educations, we will be pouring out treatment guidelines, and conditions like hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes or surviving from caffeine overdose.

We’re very fortunate to have faculty members who take our feedbacks seriously, and use them to continue to innovate our curriculum and promote excellence both academically and professionally, but that’s only a part of story, see the truth is I think what truly drives our success is the decades of our college history and strong alumni support that made our college one of the finest pharmacy school in nation.

So, after 10 or 20 years down the road, when patients or colleagues ask us where we went to pharmacy school, I would say I went to the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy with all the confidence in the world as per Dr. Mauro would say, and continue to contribute to the ongoing legacy of excellence.

As we graduate today, we cross another bridge in our lives, it means it would not only get us out of this wonderful greater Toledo area for most of us, but also it means it separates us from being students to a real life, soon-to-be licensed pharmacist.

A number of us would continue our training through residency or fellowship programs because 8 rotations weren’t just enough, or others obviously little bit SABBY with personal finance would begin working at a community right away, or if you’re little be crazier, you would go on to PhD like I do. But regardless of whatever direction we choose to go, let’s cherish the moment we spent together and dedicate ourselves not only to life-long learning but also life-long bond we established with each other, and look forward to celebrate our successes on the other side. See you there, Cheers.