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.


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.


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


Dr. Martin Ohlinger receives national recognition

Dr. Ohlinger delivers his talk: “Shock in Atrial Fibrillation: Which Pharmacologic Agent Should I Use?”

Dr. Martin Ohlinger, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and director of both the College Honors Program and the Critical Care Residency in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was recognized at the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Annual Congress. More than 6,000 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other critical care professionals attended the meeting, held Jan 21-25 in Honolulu this year.

Dr. Ohlinger was invited to speak about “Shock in Atrial Fibrillation: Which Pharmacologic Agent Should I Use?”. At the meeting, he was awarded the Presidential Citation for contributions to SCCM, including serving on the American College of Critical Care Medicine Credentials Committee, which selects new fellows each year; he was also recognized at the meeting during the Convocation of Fellows & Society of Critical Care Medicine Awards and Grants Presentation for “SCCM members who have made extraordinary contributions of time, energy, and resources to SCCM during the previous year.”

In addition, Dr. Ohlinger, who is a board certified critical care pharmacist (BCCCP), was selected as one of 15 critical care specialists from across the US to serve on the Board of Pharmacy Specialties’ (BPS) national working group to complete a Role Delineation Study that outlines the standards for being a Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist.


Professional development events available to women in science

By Rebecca Schwan

University of Toledo female students, staff and faculty interested in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) fields are encouraged to take advantage of upcoming Association for Women in Science (AWIS) opportunities.

“The Association for Women in Science is the largest multidisciplinary organization for women working in STEMM,” said Dr. Susanne Nonekowski, associate lecturer in the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry and president of the AWIS Northwestern Ohio Chapter. “These events are designed to support equity and full participation of women in all science-related disciplines and across all employment sectors.”

A workshop for preparing a professional social media profile titled “How to Craft the Perfect LinkedIn Profile in 30 Minutes” will take place Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Martin Conference Room of the Frederick and Mary Wolfe Center on Health Science Campus.

Mary Jo Borden, practicum coordinator in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, will share best practices for creating a presence online and explain how to use LinkedIn’s search functions to build a professional network. A photographer also will be on hand to take professional headshots.

“This workshop will be valuable to students, faculty and staff,” Nonekowski said. “Whether you are new to LinkedIn or if it has been a while since you updated your profile, this event will have you looking your best online.”

The group also is seeking individuals interested in becoming members of its Mentorship Circle.

“We are looking for anyone interested in connecting with other women in the STEMM fields in order to build relationships and learn from those who were once in their shoes,” Nonekowski said. “Mentors can be from any science-related career field, whether academic or professional. We want individuals who are motivated and interested in supporting other women as they grow in STEMM careers.”

Mentors and mentees will be paired according to career interest and meet once a month throughout the academic year.

“The Mentorship Circle is in the planning stages, but we want to be sure that everyone who is interested has the chance to join us before mentoring teams are established,” she said. “There have been several successful Mentorship Circles across the country, and we are excited to bring this program to the Toledo area.”

Nonekowski said UT is an institutional partner with AWIS, which means any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in a STEMM field can register with the organization for free at awis.org/utoledo. When registering, students should be sure to choose the Northwestern Ohio Chapter to be notified of local activities.

“We are grateful to the University for their support of AWIS,” Nonekowski said. “This partnership is instrumental to the support of female science students and professionals across northwest Ohio.”

For more information about AWIS, to join the Mentorship Circle, or to register for the LinkedIn event, call 419.530.1979 or email susanne.nonekowski@utoledo.edu.


UT pharmacists remind patients to discuss medications during awareness month

Oct. 19, 2016
Rebecca Schwan

Nearly half of all Americans have taken at least one prescription medication and 20 percent have used three or more prescription drugs in the last month. But according to a National Council on Patient Information and Education survey, more than half report not taking their medications as prescribed, putting them at risk for serious health concerns.

During October, which is American Pharmacists Month and Talk about Your Medicines Month, University of Toledo pharmacists are encouraging patients to build a relationship with their pharmacist in order to learn how to take medications properly, manage multiple prescriptions and reduce prescription costs.

“Your pharmacist is likely the most accessible health care provider you have,” said Lindsey Eitniear, clinical pharmacist. “Yet not enough people take the time to talk to their pharmacist about their health. That is truly unfortunate, because we can provide many services to help our patients understand and manage their medications better.”

More than 12,000 prescriptions are filled each month across UT’s three outpatient pharmacies and pharmacists work directly with patients who are recovering in the UT Medical Center or being treated in several of UT’s clinics.

“We educate patients about taking their medication properly, identifying potential side effects and managing chronic conditions,” Eitniear said. “We also work to resolve insurance concerns and explore options for reducing out-of-pocket expenses.”

New legislation also allows a physician to permit pharmacists to make adjustments to medication dosages including those for blood pressure and diabetes at the pharmacy.

“We work closely with physicians to suggest simplifying medications or to clarify what has been ordered,” Eitniear said. “This extra communication ensures patients know how to take their medications correctly and is an added safety for patients.”

Eitniear said it is safest when patients use the same pharmacy each time they need a prescription filled, particularly if the patient takes multiple drugs.

“We can track some controlled medicines and a few others are tracked through insurance companies, but there is no one database that holds all patient prescription information,” she said. “Even a seemingly simple antibiotic can cause severe interactions with some medications. Pharmacists can spot these potential hazards if prescriptions are filled in the same location.”

Consistent use of the same pharmacy also allows a relationship to form between patient and pharmacist.

Holly Smith, UTMC Outpatient Pharmacy manager said patients should talk about all medications they are taking at each doctor’s appointment. She said printouts of all prescribed medications can be requested from the pharmacy and shared with physicians and family members.

“I tell patients to carry the list in their purse or wallet so they always have it with them,” she said. “It’s also important that there is at least one designated family member who knows your health history and medications in case of emergency.”

This also is a good time to take inventory of any leftover or expired medications. Pharmacists can advise patients the proper methods for disposing of old prescription and over the counter medications.

“We accept unwanted medications in a drop box in the emergency department of UTMC,” Smith said. “Patients with injectable medications should follow the directions on their sharps container for proper disposal.”

Smith said unused medications also can be mixed with used kitty litter or coffee grounds and disposed of in the trash. Medicated patches should be folded over and stuck together before being thrown away.

“I would advise anyone getting a prescription filled to take a minute to ask a few questions about the medication you will be taking. You can even call your usual pharmacy to review medications and discuss any concerns,” Smith said. “It is our goal as pharmacists to do the best we can by our patients so they are able to care for themselves and stay well.”


Walgreens Pharmacy Camp jump-starts careers

Pharmacy Summer Camp, sponsored by Walgreens, is more than just a fun way to spend a few nights on a college campus; it is also an on-ramp to a career in pharmacy.

At The University of Toledo, three faculty members in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences can attest to the power of Pharmacy Summer Camp. Drs. Anthony Pattin, Michelle Schroeder and Michelle Serres, faculty members in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, all came to the college in the early 2000s as rising high school juniors, eager to learn about pharmacy.  Their career paths demonstrate a love for the profession of pharmacy that was initiated during the camp experience.

Dr. Anthony Pattin

As a Toledo native, Dr. Anthony Pattin had the opportunity to attend pharmacy camp during the summer of 2002. Helping an elderly neighbor organize her medications sparked Dr. Pattin’s interest in becoming a practitioner, and a subsequent job at a pharmacy sealed the deal for him. Even then, he enjoyed patient interactions and counseling.

Today, Dr. Pattin is an alumnus of The University of Toledo, having completed his Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from The University of Toledo in 2007 and 2009, respectively. He completed a PGY-1 community pharmacy residency at The University of Toledo in 2010 and began his career as a clinical assistant professor at the Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Last year, Dr. Pattin accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position at The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Dr. Pattin’s research and pharmacy practice interests include expansion of community pharmacists’ services, including vaccinations, medication therapy management, and medication adherence monitoring. The first African-American PharmD faculty member in the history of The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Pattin mentions how the experiences at pharmacy camp inspired him to pursue pharmacy “full steam ahead”. He is thankful for Walgreens and their continued sponsorship of Pharmacy Summer Camp.

Dr. Michelle Schroeder

Dr. Michelle Schroeder participated in the 2004 session of Pharmacy Summer Camp. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Ohio Northern University in 2011 and completed the community pharmacy residency program at The University of Toledo in 2012. Dr. Schroeder joined the faculty in 2012 as a clinical assistant professor of Pharmacy Practice and was a part-time Kroger Pharmacist for four years. Her primary practice site is with the diabetes education program through The University of Toledo Center for Diabetes Self-Management, Education, and Training. She is involved with the program as the program coordinator and as a certified diabetes educator (CDE).

In addition to working with the diabetes education program, Dr. Schroeder is also involved in experiential teaching of ambulatory care pharmacy for APPE’s, IPPE’s and pharmacy residents. She continues to be involved with the Pharmacy Summer Camp, leading a glucose monitoring activity in which the students learn about glucose meters and participate in a hands-on exercise checking their own blood glucose.

Dr. Michelle Serres

Dr. Michelle Serres is a clinical assistant professor of Pharmacy Practice and Director of Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) at The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Serres completed the Walgreens-sponsored Pharmacy Summer Camp in the summer of 2003 and went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2008 and Doctor of Pharmacy in 2010 from The University of Toledo. She completed a post-graduate year-one (PGY1) pharmacy residency in primary care with the W. W. Knight Family Medicine Program at The Toledo Hospital and joined the faculty in 2011. Dr. Serres earned Board Certification of Advanced Diabetes Management (BC-ADM) in December 2011, received Board Certification in Ambulatory Care Pharmacy in 2012, and is a certified insulin pump educator.

Currently the director of Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences, where she coordinates and manages P1-P3 student pharmacy and community experiences, Dr. Serres works with preceptors, students and sites to create and manage college relationships. She serves on and leads several college committees as a representative for experiential education, including the Admissions Committee, the Academic Performance Committee and is co-chair of the Professional Conduct Committee. In addition, she implemented, and was the former director of, The University of Toledo Diabetes Education, Self-Management and Training Program, accredited by AADE, based out of the Department of Endocrinology at The University of Toledo Medical Center. Dr. Serres now serves in clinical practice at the Center for Health Services, where she works with and manages patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and other chronic disease states in an outpatient primary care setting. Dr. Serres is also the president elect of Toledo Academy of Pharmacy (TAP).

The careers of these faculty members grew from their own motivation to pursue the profession, paired with the generous and ongoing support of Walgreens at the start of their career exploration. The philanthropy of Walgreens has included  direct support of Pharmacy Summer Camp for fifteen years, along with generous diversity grants.


Sister to Sister: Science runs in the family

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Yasmine and Samar Ayoub in the laboratory of Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich

For Yasmine and Samar Ayoub, research and patient care are a family affair. Yasmine is a P2 PharmD student, and her sister Samar is a high school student who plans to become a physician.

Samar attends high school in Sylvania, Ohio and, through a Department of Chemistry grant from the American Chemical Society Project Seed Program and the National Science Foundation, she is conducting a summer research project in the laboratory of Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, associate professor of medicinal chemistry. She initially became interested in science and research through a local Women in Science program she attended in seventh grade. Yasmine, who had taken a class with Dr. Bryant-Friedrich, suggested that Samar work with Dr. Bryant-Friedrich on a research project.

“Dr. Amanda was my professor for Med Chem II, so I was familiar with her teaching style and eagerness to help students understand topics that may be more difficult to comprehend. I thought that it would be a good idea for my sister to learn the basics of organic chemistry at such a young age so that once she begins college, the material won’t be as foreign to her as it was to me,” Yasmine said.

Both sisters benefitted from early exposure to laboratory science through high school coursework. In these courses, they were able to design experiments and apply their findings to real-world problems. As a high school senior, Samar has already gained quite a bit of laboratory experience and participated in symposia. Samar has enjoyed receiving feedback from academics regarding her high school research projects and has used their advice to plot a career path. Her summer research with Dr. Bryant-Friedrich allowed her to delve deeper.

“I had the freedom to make my own decisions on how I want my experiment to go, even though it was my first time being exposed to organic chemistry and the synthesis of molecules,” Samar said. “Having an expert like Dr. Amanda ask what I want to do, allowing me to control the experiment, truly was an honor. I also enjoyed analyzing my results. Trying to figure out what exactly my compound was and using tools such as NMRs and mass spectroscopy allowed me to try to put all the puzzle pieces together to see exactly what I was looking for.”

When she entered college in 2011, Yasmine chose pharmacy because of the diversity of career choices within pharmacy and the opportunity to educate patients as a way of improving patient health. At UT, she has conducted research on cancer, green tea polyphenols and inflammation in the laboratory of Malathi Krishnamurthy (Department of Biological Science). In ten years, Yasmine would like to be a practicing pharmacist who conducts oncology research.

“I hope to see more patient/pharmacist interactions throughout the years. In addition, I plan to continue on with research to play a role in a medical breakthrough,” Yasmine said.

The Ayoub sisters have other health professionals in their family. Their cousin is a cardiologist in Miami, Florida, and their aunt is a pharmacist. Yasmine believes in the importance of role models, particularly for women in science.

“It is important to have someone to look up to for motivation for success, even when it may seem difficult. My mom and dad are my role models,” Yasmine said.


Legendary: Dean Early to be honored by local nonprofit

Author and entrepreneur Steve Saint once said, “Your story is the greatest legacy that you will leave to your friends. It’s the longest-lasting legacy you will leave to your heirs.”

In this spirit, Dean Early adds his story to that of the African American Legacy Project, a local nonprofit that is dedicated to “documenting and preserving the history of Northwest Ohio’s African American communities and their impact and influence upon Toledo and the greater world community”.

This fall, the AALP will honor Dr. Early with its Legend Award, recognizing his achievements in leadership, service and academia as part of Toledo’s history. Nominated for his decades-long career as a pharmacy dean as well as his ongoing service to the pharmacy and African American communities, Dr. Early lives his commitment to diversity and student success. His story, which carried him from humble beginnings in a small Georgia town to national leadership positions in pharmacy organizations, is indeed worthy of recognition.

“I am honored to receive this recognition,” Dr. Early said. Most important to my personal legacy are student-centeredness, global outreach and diversity, all of which are cornerstones of our college’s mission and goals.”

Dr. Early will be recognized alongside three other honorees at a gala celebration on October 3-4, 2014.

To learn more about AALP or to place an advertisement in the program for the gala event, visit africanamericanlegacy.org.