UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences News

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Dr. Tiwari’s Komen grant to find a cure for triple-negative breast cancer

Dr. Tiwari, assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, received a Komen grant for his research on drug-resistant triple-negative breast cancer, one of the most aggressive and difficult to treat cancers.

Click image below to see video from WTOL’s broadcast.

 


Alumni Advice for the Incoming P1 Class

In their address at spring Convocation, 2018 PharmD valedictorians Drs. Emily To and Corissa Piatka shared memories about the journey through pharmacy school. This week, the college welcomes its new class of P1 students, and their sage advice is a great reminder to cherish the journey.

On to the Next

Drs. Corissa Piatka and Emily To, 2018 PharmD Valedictorians

When Emily and I first started to think of ideas for this address, we were not really sure where we were going with it. We struggled with the ideas of how sentimental or emotional it should be. We were worried that our attempt to be motivational would fall completely flat. The question of what theme to use was asked multiple times. We then turned to the two most commonly used, non-LexiComp resources of pharmacy students: our own experiences and Google.

The Google search terms of “greatest college commencement speeches” returned about 1.4 million results. We sifted through the first few links of Top 10 lists. Some of the common names on these lists were Admiral William McRaven, the Obamas, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and author JK Rowling. But the address that stood out to us most was that of Steve Jobs, who spoke to the Stanford Class of 2005. This highly quoted speech contained many lessons and a lot of advice applicable to graduating students.  But the advice that stood out to us most was this:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

This idea definitely resonated with us. Reflecting on the entirety of our pharmacy experience, we can see many dots.

Some of those dots are highly sequenced. Looking back, the progression is very clear.

We went from learning how to navigate LexiComp to finding clinical trials on PubMed. We evaluated those single PubMed trials in our SET tables and, before we knew it, successfully delivered an entire seminar project.

The SIG codes “BID”, “TID”, “QHS” all started as a foreign language. But they quickly became second nature as we progressed our way through compounding lab. Now, we are able to read prescriptions with ease and translate those codes into medication directions for our patients.

The towers of meds and terms flashcards were once enough to trigger a vasovagal response. Initially, we could not even pronounce the drug names. But our fluency in brand and generic names built up, along with our knowledge of side effects, dosing and formulations. We progressed to counseling patients on their medications and conducting comprehensive medication reviews.

APhA, SCCP, SSHP and AMCP, at one point, were just a mumbo jumbo of pharmacy alphabet soup.  With the help of our classmates and reassurance of upperclassmen, we pushed ourselves to run for an e-board position as a P1. By P3 year, we were president or chair and were a senior member of said e-board.

From IPPEs, we quickly progressed to APPEs.  And on our APPEs, we grew from rounding with our preceptor to rounding independently. The medical team began to ask US, the P4 intern, questions regarding patient care over our preceptor.

While these dots seemed to progress in a linear order, some of them represented stand-alone obstacles. We share many of these problem dots and were able to overcome them to push ourselves forward.

We found a way to make it to class when the Toledo streets were icy, pot holes attempted to demolish our cars, and there was absolutely no parking outside of Collier.

We stumbled through plenty of IRATS to realize how many questions we missed during the GRAT 5 minutes later.

We survived the eight minute Windows update just two minutes prior to an ExamSoft Exam. We managed our non-functioning clickers, and we learned where the functioning printers were. We handled coffee spills on our computers the day before assignments were due and the convenient Blackboard crash at the precise moment that we submitted an assignment.

There were times when we felt our procrastination or lack of discipline on an assignment was certainly the beginning of the end; a plummeting GPA was imminent. Perhaps you took comfort that your highly organized, Type A best friend had not started either….but you reached deep, forgot about sleep and pulled that assignment together.

Then, there were those horrific moments when your recommendation got rejected on rounds because you were simply wrong or when you completely missed a crucial lab value or culture result.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, are those dots and lines that we did not share in common. Events that were personal to our lives. Some were visible to others and some were not. Those regarding family, finances, health, relationships, and other aspects of our lives. It is these that most likely define our unique strengths and will influence our future directions in a way that we do not yet understand.

We are here today because we have all connected the dots up until this point.  We are now standing on the same collective dot of graduation. And it is now when things will greatly change.

We are all moving on to the “next dot” and they will be widely spread. No one’s “next dot” will be the same as anyone else’s. It is exciting, sad, exhilarating and scary all at the same time.

While it feels like you may be lost or wandering off your line as you move forward, you can certainly trust in a few things. First, trust in yourself. Appreciate all that you have made sense out of, overcome and accomplished during our journey here in pharmacy school. Take pride in the fact that you have connected a lot of dots. From this, you can trust that the unfamiliar, unpredictable present will eventually fall into order on the line forming behind you. Trust that your next venture will get you where you need and are meant to go.

In closing, thank you to all of those who have helped us on this journey. Thank you to our family and friends for your unconditional support and faith in us. Thank you to our professors and preceptors for your instruction and guidance. And thank you to our classmates. All of us helped to make the ordinary days more interesting, the bad days less discouraging, and the good days that much better. Thank you for your support of one another during these past six years and as we move on to the next.


Students participate in the Kent State Neuroscience Conference

A graduate student from the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry, Daniyah A. Almarghalani, presented her poster, “The role of cofilin in neuroinflammation”.

Four graduate students from the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics also presented posters:

  • Chen Y, Tran H, Muskiewicz D, Hall FS. High ambient temperature increases 3,4-methylendioxymethamphatemine (MDMA0- and methcathinone-induced lethality. Sixth Annual Neuroscience Symposium at Kent State University, 2018.
  • Wisner A, Williams F, Hall FS. Methamphetamine-induced lethality despite the absence of hyperthermia in the ectothermic zebrafish (Danio rerio). Sixth Annual Neuroscience Symposium at Kent State University, 2018.
  • Muskiewicz DE, Frommann N, Patel B, Simmons A, Hall FS. Influences of experimental conditions and stress on the escalation of ethanol consumption in male and female mice. Sixth Annual Neuroscience Symposium at Kent State University, 2018.
  • Resendiz-Gutierrez F, Muskiewicz DE, Patel B, Chaker O, Hall FS. Performance of heterozygous dopamine transporter mice in a 5-choice serial reaction time test for studies of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Sixth Annual Neuroscience Symposium at Kent State University, 2018.

Ohio’s pharmacy deans advocate for pharmacist reimbursements

Deans of Ohio’s colleges of pharmacy met with Senator Matt Dolan to discuss his bill, SB 265, which supports insurance reimbursements for pharmacists. The bill permits certain health insurers to provide payment or reimbursement for services lawfully provided by a pharmacist and to recognize pharmacist services in certain other laws.

The narrative of the meeting was around how majoring in pharmacy is a pathway towards the middle class and that pharmacists serve as pillars in many communities throughout Ohio.  The pharmacy deans are working on providing a white paper for Senator Dolan and members of each College’s legislative delegation.


PGY2 Critical Care Residency celebrates 20 years

The PGY2 Critical Care residency is celebrating its 20th year. The resident provides patient care services to the most critically ill patients of the University of Toledo Medical Center, while both serving as the senior resident mentoring the 12 PGY1 residents and representing UTMC on the Graduate Medical Education Senior Resident Forum. The Critical Care resident performs over 2,000 interventions annually, almost 10 per day, improving patient care by providing evidence-based recommendations to improve outcomes, educate multi-disciplinary learners, and promote the most cost-effective therapy.

The PGY2 Critical Care resident conducts and presents research, serves on committees and participates in quality improvement and patient care projects, in addition to clinical work that includes on-call coverage at UTMC. Within the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the resident is responsible for didactic teaching in the PharmD program, precepting Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) students, and advising students in the PharmD Seminar.


Dr. Erhardt gives talk at national medicinal chemistry meeting

The Center for Drug Design and Development’s director, Dr. Paul Erhardt, spoke at the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry’s (IUPAC) Medicinal Chemistry Division meeting, held in conjunction with the American Chemical Society’s Medicinal Chemistry meeting, in Nashville.

He delivered a presentation that summarized completion of a long-time IUPAC project pertaining to “Glossary and tutorial of xenobiotic metabolism terms used during small molecule drug discovery and development,” which has also been submitted as a 200-page document for publication in Pure and Applied Chemistry


Pharmacists Practice at Glendale Medical East

Aaron Lengel, PharmD, BCACP, Michelle Seegert, PharmD, BC-ADM, BCACP, and Megan Kaun PharmD, RPh, BCACP, all UT alumni and faculty members in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, have a new role with the University of Toledo Medical Center. These board-certified pharmacists are part of the care team at Glendale Medical East, a UT Health Family Medicine facility. Their certifications indicate their training and skill to function at the highest level of patient care in this setting.


Annual Golf Outing to Support Scholarships

Come join us on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 for the Annual TAP Scholarship Golf Outing to be held at the Bedford Hills Golf Club. Registration starts at 10 am and shotgun starts at 11 am.

Proceeds from this event will benefit talented and promising pharmacy students at The University of Toledo.

Enjoy an 18 hole scramble filled with fun and various contests including longest drive and closest to the pin. Following golf, there will be a delicious dinner provided by Shorty’s Barbecue along with a prize raffle and auction!

Not a golfer? Come for dinner only or sponsor students to play for the day! There are many ways to be involved in this worthwhile event. Please also consider supporting the Toledo Academy of Pharmacy Fund with a donation that will be used for student scholarships.

We appreciate your commitment and support to The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Toledo Academy of Pharmacy.

Registration is open at WWW.TAPH.ORG


NIH Award for Breast Cancer Research

Dr. L.M. Viranga Tillekeratne

Dr. L. M. Viranga Tillekeratne, associate professor of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry, received his first R15 award as a primary investigator from the National Institutes of Health. The award, in the amount of $449,000, will support graduate and undergraduate learning.
NIH Grant Number: 1 R15 CA213185-01A1
Principal Investigator: Tillekeratne, Viranga
Project Title: Novel Small Molecule Ferroptotic Compounds to Target Mesenchymal Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Stem Cells
Award Issue Date: 12/25/2017 for $449,000


NIH Award for Cilia Research

Dr. Wissam AbouAlaiwi

Dr. Wissam AbouAlaiwi, an Assistant Professor Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at The University of Toledo, 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.