UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences News

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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.


Annual Golf Outing Registration Now Open

The Toledo Academy of Pharmacy/ University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Annual Scholarship Golf Outing is fast approaching.  June 14th is right around the corner and we want to see you out on the greens! As in years past, this will be an 18 hole scramble and you will receive both a boxed lunch and a Shorty’s BBQ dinner.  Registration begins at 10:00with a shotgun start at 11:00. There will be contests, prizes, and an auction as well!  Not a golfer?  Come for the dinner only, sponsor a hole or students to play for the day, or make a donation to the Toledo Academy of Pharmacy Scholarship Fund!  We also have corporate sponsorship opportunities available as well.  Please click here to register today!

Thank you for your support!​

Tole​​do Academy of Pharmacy Golf Outing Committee


State of the College 2016

Since 2013, Dean Early has delivered a State of the College address each fall at the Honors and Awards Convocation, a ceremony that recognizes student achievement and honors the donors and friends of the college. This year’s address focused on the return on investment seen by donors, new academic programs, the uniqueness of the college’s programs, and research.

Slideshow of presentation


International Conference on Emerging Healthcare Materials and Advancement in Toxicology 2016

Emerging HealthCare Materials & Advancement in Toxicology, 1-3 September 2016, Radisson Hotel, Health Sciences Campus, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio

ECAT Conference participants

ECAT Conference participants

An International Conference on Emerging Healthcare Materials and Advancement in Toxicology 2016 was held at Radisson Hotel, The University of Toledo Health Science Campus, Toledo, Ohio, USA, from September 1 – 3, 2016. The conference was organized by Dr. Zahoor A. Shah and Dr. Frederick E. Williams from College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in collaboration with Dr. Iqbal Ahmad, The University of Manchester, UK.

This conference was the first of its kind focused on emerging healthcare materials and advancements in toxicology. The city of Toledo was selected due to its proximity to big cities like Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus and Ann Arbor. The main focus of this conference was to bring researchers from academia, industry, government and non-governmental organizations onto one platform to discuss the emerging research on nanotechnology and healthcare medicine and its effects on human health. This opportunity facilitated new collaborations and networking benefits to researchers working and studying hard to make healthy use of nanotechnology. Imminent scientists/researchers across the country participated in the conference and the key note/distinguished and invited speakers list is below.

OPENING PLENARY LECTURE: ROBERT L. TANGUAY, Distinguished Professor of Molecular Toxicology Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

TITLE: Rapid In Vivo Assessment of the Nano/Bio Interface to Help Develop Safer Nanomaterials.

DISTINGUISHED LECTURE: MARK BANASZAK HOLL, Professor of Chemistry; Director of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, An Arbor, MI

TITLE: Fluorescent Materials For Biological Imaging.

 

OTHER INVITED SPEAKERS:

JOHN P. WISE, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine, University of Louisville. Louisville, KY

TITLE:  Of Whales and Men:  Lessons Learned about Global Pollution from Great Whales.

MICHAEL CARVAN, Professor, School of Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, IL

TITLE: Developmental Methylmercury Exposure Leads to Transgenerational Adult Neurobehavioral Defects—Using Zebrafish to Understand Mechanism.

YANG H. YUN, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH

TITLE: The Application of L-Tyrosine Polyphosphate in Nanomedicine.

MOHAMMED O. ALJAHDALI, Professor of Ecological Physiology, King Abdulaziz University Rabigh, Saudi Arabia.

TITLE: Sesamin Ameliorates STZ Induced Free Radical Mediated Oxidative Stress in Diabetic Retina.

ANDREW P. AULT, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Chemistry, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, An Arbor, MI

TITLE: Rapid Size and pH-Dependent Modification of Silver Nanoparticles in Simulated Gastrointestinal System

KATSUHISA KUROGI, Assistant Professor, University of Miyazaki, Japan

TITLE: Investigation of the Metabolism of Steroids-Related Compounds Through Sulfation Using the Zebrafish.

TARIQ HAMID, Assistant Professor, School, Cardiovascular Disease Center, School of Medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL

TITLE: Anticancer Drug Imatinib, Stem Cells and Myocardial Regeneration.

JERRY NESAMONY, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

TITLE: Exploring Multiple Strategies to Develop Nanostructured Systems For Use in Drug Delivery.

SCOTT HALL, Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

 


Soligenix Appoints Alumna Karen Krumeich, BSP ’77, as Chief Financial Officer

PRINCETON, N.J., June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: SNGX) (Soligenix or the Company), a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products to treat rare diseases where there is an unmet medical need, announced today that it has appointed Karen Krumeich, as its Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.  Ms. Krumeich has over 25 years of diverse experience in the financial and strategic management of emerging growth life science companies. She has a proven track record and expertise in corporate financial operations, equity financings, and business development, including partnerships, mergers and acquisitions.

Most recently, Ms. Krumeich served as a consultant providing finance, investor relations, and business development services to the Company and other healthcare companies. Previously, she worked as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for several development-stage life science companies, including Cerecor, Inc. and Mela Sciences, Inc. where she was responsible for equity financings, corporate administrative functions, and investor relations. In addition to these positions, Ms. Krumeich was a healthcare consultant partner with Tatum, LLC, a national consulting firm, specializing in their life science practice. Prior to these positions, she held positions of increasing responsibility with several healthcare companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb Company where she was Director of Health Systems and as Vice President of Finance for a national pharmacy provider. Ms. Krumeich began her career as a pharmacist and transitioned into finance after successfully completing the CPA exam.

Ms. Krumeich earned a BS in Pharmacy from the University of Toledo, Ohio and completed her post graduate work in accounting and finance at Cleveland State University while pursuing her career as a pharmacist.

“We are delighted to welcome Karen to our team, as we leverage her extensive financial expertise in leading our strategic corporate programs,” stated Christopher J. Schaber, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Soligenix.  “As we continue to execute our growth strategy, we are clearly building momentum and the talent we are attracting is an absolute reflection of our solid progress to date.  Karen’s unique experiences in both science and finance will be instrumental to us as we advance our multiple late-stage development programs.”

Mr. Joseph Warusz, who has served as Vice President, Finance and Acting Chief Financial Officer since February 2012, will be retiring from the Company effective June 30, 2016. On behalf of the Company and its Board of Directors, we would like to thank Joe for his many contributions during the past five years.

About Soligenix, Inc.

Soligenix is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products to treat rare diseases where there is an unmet medical need. Our BioTherapeutics business segment is developing SGX301 as a first-in-class photodynamic therapy utilizing safe visible light for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, proprietary formulations of oral beclomethasone 17,21-dipropionate (BDP) for the prevention/treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders characterized by severe inflammation including pediatric Crohn’s disease (SGX203) and acute radiation enteritis (SGX201), and our novel innate defense regulator technology dusquetide (SGX942) for the treatment of oral mucositis.

Our Vaccines/BioDefense business segment includes active development programs for RiVax™, our ricin toxin vaccine candidate, OrbeShield®, our GI acute radiation syndrome therapeutic candidate and SGX943, our melioidosis therapeutic candidate. The development of our vaccine programs incorporates the use of our proprietary heat stabilization platform technology, known as ThermoVax®.  Currently, this business segment is supported with up to $57 million in government grant and contract funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

For further information regarding Soligenix, Inc., please visit the Company’s website at www.soligenix.com.


Rising in the Ranks

Recently, the U.S. News and World Report updated its rankings of pharmacy schools. Always highly regarded, the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was first ranked by this publication in 2012 as a result of concerted efforts by the college to expand external communications and spread the word about our programs and people.

The newest rankings show an improvement for the college, from number 62 among over 80 ranked colleges to number 60 of over 100 ranked schools, indicating the persistently high regard for the program, even in a time of fiscal austerity.

The College continues to engage in the activities that moved it onto the lists of ranked colleges through its learners, faculty and staff and their efforts in academics and service in key roles in state and national pharmacy organizations.  The college’s complex and comprehensive program of twelve curricula pioneered the Pharmacy Summer Camp as a recruitment tool for pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences.  An added offering is the teaching certificate for pharmacy residents.

The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences attracts high achieving learners to its BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences majors in cosmetic science and formulation design, pharmacology and toxicology, pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, and pharmacy administration (with a minor in business).  Future practitioners enroll in the college’s highly competitive PharmD program and study in the clinics and pharmacies of the University of Toledo Medical Center.  Learners who are focused on research continue in the MS and PhD programs, the latter of which include medicinal chemistry and experimental therapeutics.  Students have the opportunity to earn dual-degrees, including the BSPS/MS degree in medicinal chemistry, the PharmD/MS in health outcomes and socioeconomic sciences or the PharmD/PhD in medicinal chemistry.  The PharmD/MBA is the college’s newest dual-degree program. Learners also enhance their clinical skills in the PGY1, PGY2, or Kroger Community Pharmacy residency programs.


Dean Early leads in Leadership Fellows program

Dean Early is currently serving as a Leadership Facilitator for the Academic Leadership Fellows Program (ALFP). He was selected by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy as a result of his highly successful leadership career and his experience and insight into leadership. The role of the Leadership Facilitator is to provide guidance and feedback on the Fellows’ individual personal and professional goals, as well as team projects.

The Academic Leadership Fellows Program is focused on the development of leaders in academic pharmacy and higher education. Fellows build relationships with colleagues from other institutions and from within the college and university. Each ALFP cohort has 30 Fellows, most of whom are mid-level faculty in pharmaceutical science, pharmacy practice, or Social and Administrative Sciences and have some type of current or projected leadership role in their college/school of pharmacy.

This year’s cohort of Fellows includes one UT faculty member, Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, an associate professor of medicinal chemistry and director of the newly established Shimadzu Laboratory for Pharmaceutical Research Excellence. A UT alumnus, Oscar Garza, is also a fellow this year. Dr. Garza earned a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences at The University of Toledo and is now an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems at University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.


Congratulations to Drs. Petite and Pattin

Dr. Sarah Petite, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, is now a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS).

Dr. Anthony Pattin, also an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, is the inaugural recipient of the advanced faculty scholars program, which is a joint venture between the NACDS Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.


Pharmacy Photo of the Month

Cone

Mary Cone, daughter of the late Gilbert Siegel, recently brought her family to visit UT’s Main Campus and see the display in Wolfe Hall that honors her father. Gil, a member of the Class of 1928, also served on the faculty. While on campus, Jeffery and James Cone, Mary’s sons, presented the college with a check of $3000 in honor of Mary and in Memory of Gilbert and Janeice Siegel. The support will be applied to the Siegel Endowed Scholarship fund.


Have No Fear: Advice for students and recent grads

Drs. Maureen Converse and Carl Buchwald

Drs. Maureen Converse and Carl Buchwald

Maureen Converse and Carl Buchwald, the co-valedictorians of the 2015 PharmD graduating class, jointly offered the following remarks to their classmates at this spring’s commencement.

It is well known that when something is done for the first time, such as the first exam P1 year, or your first day as an intern…it is perfectly normal to feel nervous. Feeling nervous is the best indicator that you care too much to let your goals slip away. If you feel nervous, it usually means you are challenging the status quo, and you are putting yourself on the path to new experiences. Do not be afraid of that feeling. Embrace it, and use it to propel yourself into new directions and experiences.

We have experienced many firsts throughout these years, like the first steps in our professional careers when we walked across the stage for our White Coats. The first time you wore that white coat to compounding lab you probably thought, “How will I ever know as much as these teaching assistants in two years?” Then, before you know it, the time arrives when you become that TA or P3 intern and are expected to be that mentor to the underclassmen.

The first time you did a blood sugar finger stick on a patient at a Kroger Wellness and they didn’t say “ouch”; the first time you gave a patient (or a very nervous fellow-student) a flu shot, and they promised they didn’t feel anything; the first time a family member called you for drug advice; how about your first manual blood pressure reading on a real patient, or the first time you accomplished eight final exams in one week and then felt the need to do it again next semester? Then there was first time you rounded without your preceptor and the attending physician, not just the resident, asked for recommendation and expected a prompt answer without hesitation.

Don’t get us wrong, there were also moments that didn’t make you feel like you just smashed an entire bottle of Gavilyte: the first time we got together P1 year and bonded as a class. The presumed first time you played with coloring books between classes during Pharmacy Recess. The first time you attended the Mr. PharmD Pageant and laughed uncontrollably at your classmates.  The first time you wore that bright orange Dubin’s-inspired WenckeblockeRxs class t-shirt.

It has been said that hindsight is always 20-20. Looking back, it’s easy to remember or see how things could have gone differently, but what about the road that lies ahead? What will you be doing two, five, or even 20 years from now?  We will all be faced with many new challenges and many new first experiences: the first prescription you verify on your license, the first time you call a doctor to make a change and they expect a recommendation, your first time on call as a resident, or when a pressing ethical dilemma forces you to make the decision that isn’t black or white. For the soon to be P3s: that next big exam, working out your ideal APPE schedule, or your first day of rotations.  Remember, those jitters that you feel are only a reminder that you care. Never mistake that feeling for fear.

J.R.R. Tolkien said it best when he wrote, “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”  Fear keeps us in our comfort zone and holds us back from what we can fully achieve. Looking back on these four, six or however many years, I’m sure that we can all identify the times that we have missed our mark, but we can also look upon the great memories we have made.  Whatever the case, remember that our pasts do not define us; they only shape the person we can be.  In the end, we challenge you to not forget what is gone behind you, but also to never fear what lies on the road ahead.