University of Houston College of Pharmacy - the STEM Digital Village

University of Houston College of Pharmacy - the STEM Digital Village

University of Houston College of Pharmacy


Vol. 7 | No. 2 | Fall/Winter 2010


The Great Industrialist Henry Ford once said “Coming together is a beginning, staying

together is progress, and working together is success.” We often speak of collaboration

when discussing our College’s teaching, scholarship and service missions. We are

fortunate to have many quality partners assisting us in the fulfillment of our mission.

There are far too many to list in the confines of this article. I would like to share a few

recent examples of collaborative projects that we are currently working on.

The UHCOP is currently partnering with students and faculty from the Baylor College

of Medicine’s (BCM) medical school and Texas Women’s University’s (TWU) nursing

program in the area of patient simulation training. This new multidisciplinary teaching

program will allow medical, nursing and UH pharmacy students to work together as a

multidisciplinary patient-care team prior to their respective advanced clinical rotations

involving live patients. The program will utilize the state-of-the-art, 50-bed TWU

patient simulation center. The students will undergo a socialization phase prior to

beginning their work together. Studies have demonstrated that this socialization phase

enhances the team-building phase and ultimately integrated patient-care outcomes. This

is also a great example of precious state funding benefitting many different healthcare


The UHCOP also is partnering with many prominent research institutions, including

Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, Rice University, the Michael E.

DeBakey VA Medical Center, and many others to apply for a prestigious NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). A

national consortium of medical research institutions, funded through Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), is working

together to improve the way biomedical research is conducted nationwide. Consortium members share a common vision to reduce

the time it takes for laboratory discoveries to become treatments for patients, engage communities in clinical research efforts and

train clinical and translational researchers for the future.

Finally, the UHCOP has many collaborative partners in the area of health-services delivery. This past year UHCOP faculty and

students administered H1N1 vaccinations to more than 12,000 at-risk patients in the greater Houston area. These partners included

the Texas Medical Center H1N1 Task Force, the Harris County Health Department, the Humble

Health Fair and many others.

Research Universities need to mirror the world in all of its complexity and splendor. I look

forward to updating you concerning many other collaborative opportunities being developed

at the UHCOP, including our upcoming Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the

nation of Panama. The UHCOP is very proud to have such an outstanding cadre of high-quality

collaborative partners and supporters. As Henry Ford pointed out, “They are absolutely vital to

our future success.”

F. Lamar Pritchard, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Pharmacy

Dean Pritchard recently met with Dr.

Nestor Sosa, Director of the Gorgas

Memorial Research Institute in Panama

City, Panama, to discuss teaching and research

collaboration opportunities.


University of Houston College of Pharmacy Publisher F. Lamar Pritchard, Ph.D.

Editor David “Chip” Lambert

Copy Editor Shara Zatopek

Designer David “Chip” Lambert

On the Cover: Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst lauded UH College of Photography Joe Gayle, Mark Lacy, Jerry Powers, Matthew White

Pharmacy graduates for their vital role in delivering quality care to Texans;

Send correspondence to: Interactions Editor, University of Houston

Pharm.D. graduates recite the Oath of the Pharmacist; Dean Lamar

College of Pharmacy, 141 Science & Research Bldg. 2, Houston, TX

Pritchard congratulates ‘Golden Cougar’ Andrew Hunter (Kaszycki); and

77204-5000 or email

Pharm.D. graduate Kyana Stewart is welcomed into the profession by

faculty member and UHCOP alumna Lynn Simpson.

Articles and photos may be reprinted only with permission. The University

of Houston is an EEO/AA institution.

2 University of Houston College of Pharmacy

College NEWS

Council Plans Active Role in Funding, Building Initiatives

Focused on achieving UH College of Pharmacy Dean Lamar

Pritchard’s vision for the college, the Dean’s Advisory Council

(DAC) has undergone a transformation in its mission and


Co-chaired by alumni Bruce Biundo, R.Ph. (B.S. ’61), and

Joyce A. Tipton, R.Ph. (B.S. ’79), MBA, FASHP, the new DAC

is expanding in size

and function with

a mix of new and

continuing members

as well as experts

outside of the


“We are evolving

from a ‘knowing’ body to a ‘doing’ body, with

every DAC member assigned to one of three

committees that will each focus on a broad

goal for the college,” Tipton said. “These

committees will be responsible for developing

strategy and achieving outcomes. At our DAC

meetings, we will spend less time hearing

reports – as these will be shared electronically

in advance – and we will spend more time

tackling real issues in committee break-out sessions.”

The Mission Committee, chaired by Carole Hardin-Oliver,

R.Ph. (B.S. ’83), will develop strategies for taking advantage of

opportunities and addressing challenges that will contribute

to continually improving the college’s teaching, research and

service missions.

The Funding Committee, chaired by Carrie M. Sacky, R.Ph.

(B.S. ’80), has been charged with assisting the college to increase

its level of funding. This charge is critical to the future of the


“At our DAC meetings, we will spend less time hearing reports ...

and we will spend more time tackling real issues ...”

— DAC Co-chair Joyce Tipton, R.Ph. (B.S. ’80), MBA


The Facility Committee, chaired by Julie Spier, R.Ph. (B.S. ’86),

has been tasked with leading the effort to assist the college to

secure a new stateof-the-art

facility for

the UHCOP that will

enable the program

to meet the extensive

goals of a Tier I

teaching and research


Biundo said the new focus for DAC will be to actively engage

members, who in turn will serve as ambassadors for the college

through political action, professional outreach and community


“At first, I was a little skeptical of the

effectiveness of a board larger than, say 16-20

people; however, I’ve come to recognize the

opportunities and advantages of having 40-50

strong advocates working toward very specific

goals,” he said. “If we are going to move the

college forward, both for its own good and in

support of the university reaching Tier 1, we Biundo

need to make sure that everyone understands

the issues and remains sharply focused and united on the goals

and objectives.”

College Mixes Boots, Beakers

for DAC Dinner, Tour of Labs

UH College of Pharmacy hosted a western-themed dinner

and walking tour led by Pharm.D. students for Dean’s

Advisory Council (DAC) members and their guests at the

college’s Science & Research Building 2 on the UH main

campus in October. Before sitting down to a barbecue

dinner, DAC members had the opportunity to see the new

Learning Resource Center (see story on page 28) and

talk with UHCOP researchers about their current projects. Clockwise,

DAC member and UHCOP alumnus Pat Downing, R.Ph.

(’70), shows off the Texas-sized cowboy hat from fellow DAC

member Michael Smith for his birthday, which coincided with

the DAC dinner. DAC members and Assistant Professor Bradley

McConnell share a laugh while discussing his research, which is

supported by the National Institutes of Health, into potential new

therapeutic targets for patients with cardiovascular disease. Assistant

Professor Joydip Das explains his NIH-funded study of a

neural receptor that could yield a new target for treating alcohol

abuse and alcoholism.

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 3

Pritchard Announces Administrative Leadership Changes

UH College of Pharmacy Dean Lamar Pritchard, Ph.D.,

has announced several new appointments to the college’s

administrative leadership team.

Andrea L. Smesny, R.Ph., Pharm.D. (’97),

M.P.H., has been appointed Associate Dean

of Academic Affairs. A faculty member

in the Department of Clinical Sciences &

Administration (CSA) since 1999, Smesny

previously served as Associate Dean of

Academic & Student Affairs for the Pharm.D.


program. Smesny has oversight of curriculum

development and delivery, the admissions

process, academic standards, faculty/student relations, and the

offices of Experiential Programs and Student & Professional


Shara L. Zatopek, R.Ph. (B.S. ’74), M.A., has

been appointed Associate Dean of Operations.

A faculty member since 1992, Zatopek has

held various administrative positions at the

college, including most recently serving as

Associate Dean of Administration. In her

new role, Zatopek is responsible for oversight

of universal program assessment within the

college, as well as facilities management,

technology programs, and graduate programs.


Barbara Tatum Lewis, R.Ph. (B.S. ’74), M.A.,

L.P.C., , has been promoted to Assistant Dean

of Student & Professional Affairs. A CSA

faculty member and Director of Counseling

& Advising for the Pharm.D. program

since 1994, Lewis is responsible for the

development, implementation and oversight


of Pharm.D. student services (including

financial aid and graduation), student

professional development and support of the admissions


Nancy Ordonez, R.Ph., Pharm.D. (’98), BCPS, has been

appointed Assistant Dean of Experiential Programs, which

oversees the college’s introductory and advanced pharmacy

practice experience programs involving more

than 700 preceptors. Before her promotion,

Ordonez had served as a CSA faculty member

and director of the institutional based

experiential program since 2000. Ordonez

succeeds the recently retired Ray Hammond,

Pharm.D., BCPS, Associate Dean for Practice

Ordonez Programs. The college’s Office of Practice

Programs also has been renamed the Office of

Experiential Programs.

After serving as Chair of the Department

of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical

Sciences for five years, John and Rebecca

Moores Professor Yuen-Sum (Vincent)

Lau, Ph.D., recently stepped down from the

administrative position to focus on teaching

and his research on Parkinson’s disease full

time. Douglas C. Eikenburg, Ph.D., an


associate professor and researcher in the PPS

department, has been appointed Interim Department Chair

while the college conducts a national search for a permanent

successor. A UHCOP faculty member for 30 years, Eikenburg

served as PPS Chair from 1995 to 2005.


In addition, Associate Professor Brian J.

Knoll, Ph.D., has stepped down as Director of

Graduate Education, which oversees the Ph.D.

in Pharmacology and Pharmaceutics degree

program and the graduate program portion

of the Pharm.D./Ph.D. combined program.

Associate Professor Tahir Hussain, Ph.D., has

been appointed to succeed Knoll, as well as

serve as Vice Chair of the PPS department.

Michael L. Johnson, Ph.D., an assistant

professor and researcher in CSA, has been

appointed Director of Graduate Studies, which

oversees the graduate and combined programs

leading to Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Pharmacy

Administration. A UHCOP faculty member

since 2006, Johnson succeeds Associate

Professor Sujit S. Sansgiry, Ph.D., M.Pharm.


Closure of CE Office to Allow College to Focus on Experientials

On Aug. 1, UH College of Pharmacy closed its Office of

Continuing Education (CE) in order to focus its resources on the

growth and enhancement of the college’s Experiential Program.

The cost of maintaining CE accreditation through the

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the current

and forecasted state budget restrictions, and the availability

of CE credits through other professional organizations and

institutions were also among the factors in the decision to close

the CE office.

However, the college is continuing to deliver select CE programs

for preceptors in collaboration with other accredited CE


The college presented the first such collaborative CE program,

the UHCOP Invitational Preceptor Continuing Education

Conference, at its Texas Medical Center campus in November.

Co-sponsored by the Texas Society of Health-System

Pharmacists, the program was provided free of charge to more

than 130 UHCOP preceptors.


University of Houston College of Pharmacy

SLEH, UHCOP Center Earns ASHP Best Practices Award

The Department of Pharmacy at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital,

in conjunction with the University of Houston College of

Pharmacy, recently received recognition from the American

Society of Health-System Pharmacy (ASHP) for Best Practices.

This honor was earned for the collaborative efforts with St.

Luke’s Center for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Epidemiology

(CASE): Improving Patient Care Through Clinical Service,

Teaching and Research.

CASE is devoted to improving patient care, training the next

generation of infectious diseases pharmacists, and changing

local and national policy through high-level, cutting-edge

research. Clinically based research initiatives performed by

the CASE team have been published in leading infectious

diseases journals and resulted in changes to local and nationally

recognized standards for

antimicrobial use that could

potentially save lives and

prevent the rise of drugresistant


“The goal is to optimize the

use of antimicrobials, eliminate

the overuse of inappropriate

drugs and limit antibiotic

selection pressure,” said

Angela A. Shippy, M.D., vice

president of Medical Affairs,

St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital.

“This prestigious recognition

is a testament to the St. Luke’s

pharmacy team’s dedication in

achieving excellence in all that

they do for our patients and

their families.”

CASE was formed in 2008 with

the purpose of improving the

quality of care for patients as it

relates to antimicrobial therapy,

as well as furthering clinical

research and training the next generation of clinical infectious

diseases pharmacists. With antimicrobial resistance and the

cost of antibiotics skyrocketing, the members of CASE say the

group was developed as a collaborative approach with leadership

from pharmacy, infectious diseases physicians, infection control,

microbiology and nursing interventions. The goal is to detect

the inappropriate use of antibiotics, screen patients and initiate

antifungal therapy to those at high risk of dying, and otherwise

assess disease severity to guide drug therapy.

“Our CASE team has demonstrated the valuable contribution

they have made for patient care through their commitment to

clinical service, research and fostering the training of future

pharmacists,” said SLEH Clinical Manager Kimberly Putney,


CASE team member Kevin Garey, Pharm.D., M.S., UHCOP

associate professor and SLEH clinical specialist, said healthcare

photos courtesy of St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital

Members of the Center for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Epidemiology

include, front row, Elizabeth Hirsch, Dhara Shah, Hannah Palmer, Layne Gentry,

Joyce Tipton, Cecilia Tran and Katherine Lusardi; middle row, Jessica Cottreau,

Craig Frost, Kimberly Putney, Miguel Salazar and Nicholas Beyda; and, back

row, Vincent Tam and Kevin Garey.

institutions across the globe walk a fine line in how to best treat

patients with a limited arsenal of antimicrobials and avoid the

development of resistance by bacterial and fungal pathogens.

“With the slow pace of new antimicrobial drugs being approved

and introduced, it’s imperative that we make the most logical,

scientifically backed decisions about when, how and how much

we use what’s available today,” Garey said.

UHCOP Dean Lamar Pritchard, Ph.D., proudly noted the

involvement of several college alumni and faculty members on

the CASE team.

“The fact that a collaborative program such as CASE can

progress from start-up to being a nationally recognized ‘Best

Practice’ in only two years is an overwhelming affirmation

of the synergy between the

clinical expertise at St. Luke’s

and the research expertise

at UH College of Pharmacy,”

Pritchard said. “Not only does

St. Luke’s serve as a clinical site

for our faculty, but CASE and

our other collaborations also

encompass jointly supported

infectious diseases pharmacy

residents and fellows,

experiential training sites for

our students and professional

practice sites for many UHCOP


The award was presented at

the 35,000-member ASHP

Midyear Clinical Meeting &

Exhibition in Anaheim, Calif.,

in December.

Credited with the success of

the CASE initiative were:

SLEH: Hannah Palmer,

Pharm.D., BCPS, Jaye Weston,

M.S., R.Ph. (BS ’80), Layne Gentry, M.D., Miguel Salazar,

Pharm.D. (’06), Ph.D., Kimberly Putney, Pharm.D., Craig

Frost, R.Ph. (BS ’92), M.B.A., and Joyce Tipton, R.Ph. (BS ’79),

M.B.A., FASHP (now with Memorial Hermann Memorial City);

UHCOP: Jessica Cottreau, Pharm.D., BCPS, Kevin Garey,

Pharm.D., M.S., Vincent Tam, Pharm.D., BCPS;

SLEH/UHCOP Fellowship Program: Elizabeth (Betsy) Hirsch,

Pharm.D., Dhara Shah, Pharm.D. (’08), Cecilia Truc Tran,

Pharm.D. (’08), Nicholas Beyda, Pharm.D.;

PGY2 Infectious Diseases Residency Program: Kimberly

Halton, Pharm.D., and Katherine Lusardi, Pharm.D.; and

PGY1 Residency Program: Frank Le, Pharm.D., Cary Rogers,

Pharm.D. (’08), Raymond Yau, Pharm.D., James Tyler,

Pharm.D. (’09), and Ran Xu, Ph.D., Pharm.D. (’09).

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 5

Graduation 2010

UH College of Pharmacy’s May 2010 Commencement included such highlights

as Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst as Commencement Speaker, the return of

Class of 1960 “Golden Cougars” and nearly 140 graduates, including the first

Pharm.D./M.S. combined program graduate. Below, Dewhurst, who praised

graduates for the important role they will play in delivering cutting-edge

healthcare for the citizens of Texas, is joined by UH System regents and UH

alumni Nandita V. Berry and Nelda Luce Blair, and UH System Senior Vice

Chancellor for Academic Affairs and UH Senior Vice President for Academic

Affairs and Provost John J. Antel.

Above: Golden Cougars Daniel Earl Morse, Andrew Hunter

(Kaszycki) and Ralph C. Turner, Jr., pictured with Dean Pritchard,

represented the college’s Class of 1960 at the May 2010


1 2

The 2010 Preceptor Awards recipients

were Anna Kwan, R.Ph. (BS ’89), Wal-Mart

Pharmacy; Susan Lam, Pharm.D. (’05),

Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital; and Thuy

Doan, R.Ph., Methodist Hospital.

1: Faculty member Jeff Sherer and Chitra Desai.

2: Peter Akinwunme, the first Pharm.D./M.S.

combined program graduate, and Pritchard.

3: Pharm.D. graduates Danny Nguyen and

Hollie Nguyen.

4: Ph.D. graduates Liza George, Pharm.D. (’09),

Guarav Patki and Trinh Tran.

5. Tran with advisor Karim Alkadhi.

6. Pharm.D. graduate Ali-Reza Shah-Mohammadi

and faculty member Yuen-Sum (Vincent) Lau.

7. Pharm.D. graduate Badal Patel and faculty

member Lynn Simpson.

3 4



Doctor of Philosophy

in Pharmacology/


Ibrahim A. Alhaider

Liza Elezabeth George

Kaustubh H. Kulkarni

Gaurav Patki

Rashim Singh

Trinh Tuyet Tran

Master of Science in

Pharmacy Administration

Peter Oluseyi Akinwunmi

Sandipan Bhattacharjee

Satabdi Chatterjee

Ravi Kumar Goyal

Swapna Uday Karkare

Angelica Aquipel Klinski

Dilip Umeshkumar Makhija

Hemalkumar Bhupendrabhai


Rohan Chandrakant Parikh

Jeetvan Gautam Patel

Harshali Ketankumar Patel

Ankur R. Patel

Darshan Navnitrai Sangani

Mo Yang

Doctor of Pharmacy

Peter Oluseyi Akinwunmi

Husna Ali

Elizabeth Marie Araujo

Paige Leanne Austin

Anurekha Azeem

Matthew Ryan Baker

Shannon Faith Baker

Jissi Balon

Simrit Kaur Bassett

Galicia Cristina Beltran

Mustafa Abid Bhimani

Clayton Reece Boyd

Emily Alyce Bradley

Lindsay Ann Carlson

Christina Marie Cattley

Eric Lupping Chan

Billy Chang

Karen Kai-Wen Cheng

Angela Hyun Chi

Sara Louise Cleveland

Stacie Sacky Dacus

Minh-Duc Dang

Melissa Ann Deaver

Johnna Marie Dees

John Brian Dela Cruz

Bradley Peyton Delaney

Christopher J. Demmeck

Chitra Girish Desai

Nancy Elisa Dinero

Crystal Kay Dixon

Gurumeet S. Doshi

Amber Wave Dwairy

Yelena Alekseyevna Dymnikova-Rook

Laura Elizabeth Edmundson

Arianne Ellena Edwards

Miguel Angel Fernandez, Jr.

Douglas Michael Gage

Meghan Elizabeth Goodson

Anjum Haq

Angel D. Hinojosa

Tommy H. Ho

Winston Hsu

Jonathan Y. Huang

Gloria Ka Wun Hui

Kandi Kaylene Icenhower

Joseph A. Isbell

Aeliya Fatima Jaffar

Gerald Hwan Kim

Nikolos Aanon Kleepbua

Aileen Ray Korulla

Kevin Kratz

Kristi Ann Kubosh

Stephanie Nicole Lao

Brandon Michael Lee

Kanchan Likhari

Valerie Renee Mack

Sunita Reddy Madadi

Audra Michelle Mata

Elisabeth Marie Alonso Napierkowski

Ngoc Nguyen

Danny Kim Nguyen

Hollie Thuy Nguyen

Linh Nguyen

Thao Huynh Nguyen

Minhtri Nguyen

Tochi Joy Nwosu

Clayton Philip Otto

Laura Chayoung Paik

Katerine Elizabeth Palacios

Allison Lee Palmer

Essie Samuel Parankimamvila

Christine Rene’e Parker

Shreya Kaushik Patel

Badal N. Patel

Sruti Rameshchandra Patel

Shawn Delisle Patterson

Chian Nguyen Pham

Thanh Ngoc Phan

Ngocanh Huu Phan

Michael Kam-Yin Poon

Hannia Zaheer Qureshi

Erin Marie Ressler

Rachel K. Rochelli

Kathryn Antoine Rucker

Derek Alexander Sachitano

Sara Danielle Schepcoff

Adrienne Brett Sevin

Ali-Reza Shah-Mohammadi

Kyana Detroneice Stewart

Melissa Willhoft Thomas

Siem Lee Tieu

Arnold Tieu

Le-Minh Duy Tran

May Kim Tran

Anhtuan Thien Tran

Annie Tran

Michael Tien Tran

David Edward Trindle

Dan Truong-le

Liza Mary Varghese

Betsy Elizabeth Varghese

Aimee Villalon

Tuan Anh Vo

Julie Hien Vu

Janet Starnes Way

Thomas Weber

Stephanie Louise Weightman

David C. Woods

Nedayka Wright

Rolise Wright

Erika Lynn Zezulka

Yading Zhou

Jon Phillip Zweifel

B.S. in Pharmaceutical


Phuong Le

Hannah H. Abu-Ain

Karlis L. Butler

Samuel Yh Chung

Sang Cao Dang

Chris Martin Green

Rania Emily Harmoush

Sho-Jung Kuo

Trinh Tu Lam

Karen W. Liang

Tatiana Thu-Thao Nguyen

Erin Elizabeth Ploch

Hoda Pourzargham

Yenny Lorena Weissfisch




6 University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Texas Children’s Hospital Joins M.S./Residency Partnership

As the concurrent M.S./Residency program between UH College

of Pharmacy and several health systems in the Texas Medical

Center (TMC) enters its third year, the program is welcoming a

sixth TMC institution: Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH).

Launched in 2009, the program is designed to prepare

pharmacists with the knowledge and skills necessary to assume

positions of management and leadership in health care. Students

will be awarded a M.S. in Pharmacy Administration with a

focus on pharmacy leadership from UHCOP and concurrently

complete PGY1/PGY2 residency training (as a new program,

it is not yet accredited by ASHP). In addition to UHCOP, the

other founders of the program are the Michael E. DeBakey

Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Harris County Hospital District,

Memorial Hermann Health Care System, The Methodist

Hospital, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital.

“Texas Children’s Hospital will undoubtedly add a much-needed

Administrator Helps Faculty

Spend More Time on Research,

Less Time on Funding Reports

With UH College of Pharmacy faculty grant submissions – and

success in receiving awards – at an all-time high, the college

recently hired a Research Administrator to not only assist our

faculty in sustaining the high quality and quantity of proposals,

but also ensure that the grants awards follow proper business

office, university and funding agency guidelines.

Research Administrator Marianne Sherman

joined the college in July 2010 after serving

as Grant Coordinator at the UH National

Wind Energy Center since April 2009.

Sherman graduated with honors from

UH’s College of Education in 2009, with a

B.S. in Interdisciplinary Education with a

specification in mathematics. A member of


Chi Omega and the National Association of

Women MBAs, she is currently enrolled in the M.B.A. program

at UH’s Bauer College of Business.

dimension to our program,” said Divya Varkey, Pharm.D., M.S.,

SLEH pharmacy operations manager and chair of the program’s

steering committee. “This only expands the opportunities

provided to not only future candidates for the program, but

current residents should they be interested in gaining experience

in the pediatric setting.”

Katie M. Scholz, Pharm.D. (’07), M.S., TCH pharmacy manager,

said the concurrent M.S./residency program will be a natural

complement to the PGY-2 pharmacy administration residency

program established at TCH three years ago.

“TCH Pharmacy is excited to join the program while it is still in

its early phase,” Scholz said. “Some of the unique opportunities at

Texas Children’s include experience at our new community-based

hospital in West Houston, as well as an opportunity to participate

in the opening of the new maternity hospital and in our extensive

investigational pharmacy services.”

UH Grads Continue to Exceed

National, State Pass Rates on

Mandatory Licensure Exams

UH College of Pharmacy graduates once again have

exceeded the state and national average pass rates among

first-time test-takers on the North American Pharmacist

Licensure Examinations (NAPLEX) and the National

Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE).

On the NAPLEX, UH Pharm.D. graduates taking the test

for the first time achieved a pass rate of 98.11 percent,

compared to average pass rates for Texas and the U.S. of

95.00 percent and 95.31 percent, respectively. On the

MPJE, UHCOP graduates taking the test for the first time

achieved a pass rate of 97.18 percent, compared to an

average pass rate of 94.92 percent and 95.50 percent for firsttime

Texas and U.S. test-takers, respectively. The National

Association of Boards of Pharmacy data covers first-time

test-takers from May to August 2010.

College Finalizing Self-study Report for ACPE Accreditation Visit

UH College of Pharmacy’s work on its Self-study Report, which

is one of the first steps required for accreditation for another six

years by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, is

nearing completion and scheduled to be submitted by February


Before the final document and supporting appendices are

submitted, the Self-study Report will be ratified by the college’s

faculty in January. The report will be posted to the college’s

Web site when it is submitted to ACPE. The accreditation

review team’s site visit is scheduled for March 29-31, 2011.

ACPE is expected to make a final determination on the college’s

accreditation status by late spring/early summer 2011.

“Not only is Self-study exercise mandatory for accreditation, but

it’s also an excellent opportunity to assess the state of the college,

the progress we’ve made since the prior report and the steps

we’re taking to prepare the college and its students for the future

healthcare environment and workplace,” said J. David Hayes,

Pharm.D. (’97), BCPS, clinical associate professor and chair of the

Self-study Taskforce. “The feedback from our students, alumni,

faculty and staff members has been both constructive and

essential in providing a gauge of where the college is headed and

the challenges we need to overcome as we plan for the future.”

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 7

Faculty News

Rajender R. Aparasu, Ph.D., professor,

served as editor and chapter author of Research

Methods for Pharmaceutical Practice and Policy

(2011, Pharmaceutical Press, London). UHCOP

colleague Michael L. Johnson, Ph.D., also

contributed a chapter to the book.

Mohammad Asghar, Ph.D., research assistant

professor, has been appointed as a Center

for Scientific Review panel member for the

National Institutes of Health/Italian Ministry of


Elizabeth A. Coyle, Pharm.D., BCPS, clinical

associate professor, has been appointed to serve

as Infectious Diseases faculty member on the

2011 American College of Clinical Pharmacy

Preparatory Review Course for pharmacists

seeking the Ambulatory Care Specialty.

E. James Essien, Dr.P.H., M.D., associate

professor, served as a grant reviewer on two

Special Emphasis Panels for the National

Institutes of Health’s Center for Scientific

Review in June and July.

Romi Ghose, Ph.D., assistant professor,

received a $4,000 Faculty Development

Initiative Program from UH’s Office of Faculty

Development and Instructional Support to

develop a standardized, multimedia module to

train graduate students in core laboratory skills

for conducting research activities.

Amalia M. Issa, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate

professor, served as a member of the Special

Emphasis Panel (Study Section) for the

NIH’s National Centers for Biomedical

Computing in June, and as an invited

panelist at the International Society for

Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE) Aug. 20 in

Brighton, U.K. Issa also was elected 2010-11

co-chair of ISPE’s Molecular Epidemiology and

Pharmacogenomics Special Interest Group.

Yuen-Sum (Vincent) Lau, Ph.D., has

been reappointed UH John and Rebecca

Moores Professor in the Department of

Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Claire M. Mach, Pharm.D., clinical assistant

professor, served as a moderator and presenter

at the 12th Annual Symposium of the

International Society of Oncology Pharmacy

Practitioners in Prague, Czech Republic.

Bradley K. McConnell, Ph.D., assistant

professor, has been appointed to a five-year

term on the editorial board of World Journal of

Biological Chemistry.

Jeffrey T. Sherer, Pharm.D., M.P.H., clinical

associate professor, has been appointed

Associate Editor of Tarascon Pharmacopoeia as

well as a peer reviewer for BMC Geriatrics and

Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

Abughosh, Hirsch, Masilamani

and Pitman Latest Faculty to

Join College’s CSA Department

Santhi Masilamani, Pharm.D., CDE, M.B.A., has

joined the college as a Clinical Assistant Professor

and Director, Ambulatory Based Advanced Pharmacy

Practice Experiences. Masilamani served as a Primary

Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at the Harris

County Hospital District (HCHD) from 2002 to 2005

and as HCHD Pharmacy Clinical Manager since

2005. Masilamani earned her Pharm.D. and B.S. in Masilamani

Pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma Health

Sciences Center and her M.B.A. from Texas Woman’s University.

A past president of the Houston Area Pharmacy Association,

Masilamani received HAPA’s Pharmacist of the Year Award in 2008 and

her department at HCHD earned the UH Clinical Preceptor Site of the

Year Award in 2008. Masilamani’s academic and research interests are in

chronic disease medication therapy management and clinical pharmacy

services justification, and she is one of only 12 national faculty serving on

the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Patient Safety and

Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative (see story on page 10).

Paige Pitman, Pharm.D., M.B.A., has returned to the

college as a Clinical Assistant Professor and Director,

Institutional Based Advanced Pharmacy Practice

Experiences. She served as a UHCOP faculty member

and Director of Admissions and Recruiting from 1999

to 2007, when she joined St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital

(SLEH) as Clinical Coordinator for Staff Development

Pitman before being promoted to Pharmacy Manager. Pitman

earned her Pharm.D. from the University of Florida

College of Pharmacy, and her M.B.A. and B.S. in Pharmacy from UH.

Pitman’s research/academic interests are in hospital pharmacy practice

and management and hospital pharmacy practice models.

Elizabeth B. “Betsy” Hirsch, Pharm.D., BCPS, has

joined the college as a Research Assistant Professor

working with Associate Professor Vincent H. Tam.

A Pharm.D. graduate of Creighton University in

Omaha, Neb., Hirsch recently completed the twoyear

UHCOP/SLEH Infectious Diseases Pharmacy

Fellowship program. Her research interests include the

mechanisms of bacterial resistance and antimicrobial




Susan Abughosh, Ph.D., has been appointed Assistant

Professor of Pharmacy Administration after serving

as a Lecturer in the college since 2009. In addition to

teaching graduate students, Abughosh has research

interests in behavioral risk factors; persistence to

long-term therapies; treatment of chronic diseases

in elderly populations; effects of health-care policies

on health outcomes; and cost-effectiveness of drug


8 University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Eikenburg, Hussain Among UH’s Top Teachers, Scholars

Two UH College of Pharmacy associate

professors – Douglas C. Eikenburg,

Ph.D., and Tahir Hussain, Ph.D. – were

among the honorees for the university’s

top awards in teaching and scholarship

and research.

A faculty member and

researcher at the college

since 1979, Eikenburg

was one of five faculty

members campuswide

to be recognized

with the 2010 UH


Excellence in Teaching

Award. Eikenburg

said the recognition is somewhat ironic,

considering he never intended to be a

teacher and didn’t give his first lecture

until his last semester of graduate school.

“I was terrible, but I decided that I liked

the academic environment,” he said. “I

came to UH knowing nothing about

teaching, and my first students in the

early ’80s would tell you the same thing.

One day, I realized I was the reincarnation

of the worst math professor I ever had. I

taught one way, and thought that it must

be the students’ fault if they didn’t get it.”

Eikenburg said the epiphany caused him

to change his entire outlook on teaching.

“Now I approach it as a challenge every

semester to get as many students as

possible to understand, regardless of the

difficulty of the subject,” he said. “I also

try to get them excited about what they

are learning, try to keep it light, and ask

questions to engage them.”

A National Institutes of Healthfunded

investigator and teacher in

the professional and graduate degree

programs, Hussain was one of two faculty

members at the Associate Professor

level to earn the 2010 UH Excellence

in Scholarship and Research Award.

Hussain, who joined the college in 1995,

was promoted to Associate Professor with

tenure in 2007.

Working on his second multi-year grant

from the National Institute of National

Institute of Digestive, Diabetes and

Kidney Diseases, Hussain is exploring

the mechanism of angiotensin II (AT2)

receptor regulation and their contribution

to the development of hypertension in

obesity and type 2 diabetes.

“Obesity is the mother

of many diseases,

including diabetes,

hypertension and

cardiovascular diseases;

even high incidences of

cancer are associated

with obesity,” Hussain Hussain

said. “Despite more

awareness and efforts to reduce obesity,

the waistline is increasing.

“It’s an area that requires more research.”

During his career, Hussain has authored

or contributed to more than 50 abstracts

and more than 75 journal articles in such

publications as the American Journal

of Physiology, Journal of Biological

Chemistry, Hypertension and Clinical

Experimental Hypertension (for which he

also serves as an associate editor).

“When peers recognize your work, it

authenticates,” Hussain said. “We humans

sometime need a little pat on the back to

propel us to the next stage.”

Eikenburg, Ruan and Sherer Earn

Faculty Awards for Excellence in

Teaching, Research and Service

UH College of Pharmacy faculty members recently singled out

three of their peers for excellence in teaching, research and


The 2010 award recipients are:

• Service Excellence Award – Associate Professor Douglas C.

Eikenburg, Ph.D.;

• Research Excellence Award – Professor Ke-He Ruan, M.D.,

Ph.D.; and

• Teaching Excellence Award – Clinical Associate Professor

Jeffrey T. Sherer, Pharm.D., M.P.H.

In May, several faculty members were recognized for their

years of service to the college. The honorees were: Mustafa F.

Lokhandwala (35 years); Doug Eikenburg (30 years); Julianna

Szilagyi (25 years); Tahir Hussain (15 years); and Elizabeth

Coyle, J. David Hayes, Raymond Hammond, Cathy Hatfield,

Brian Knoll and Nancy Ordonez (10 years).

Rho Chi Names Teachers of Year

UH College of Pharmacy’s Rho Chi Society named Aditi Marwaha, Ph.D. (’05),

lecturer in the Department of Pharmacological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

(PPS), and Lynn Simpson, Pharm.D. (’97), R.Ph., Clinical Associate Professor in

the Department of Clinical Sciences & Administration (CSA), as the recipients

of the 2009-10 Teaching Excellence Awards at the Sept. 15 Robert L. Boblitt

Lecture. Receiving Honorable Mentions were PPS Associate Professor Douglas

C. Eikenburg, Ph.D., and CSA Clinical Associate Professor Jeffrey T. Sherer,

Pharm.D., M.P.H.

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 9

Hammond, Pedemonte Retire

After Combined 30 Years of

Teaching, Research at College

UH College of Pharmacy recently said farewell to two of its

most passionate voices as Raymond Hammond, Pharm.D.,

BCPS, FCCP, and Carlos Pedemonte, Ph.D., retired after nearly

three decades combined in teaching, research and service at the


A UHCOP faculty and staff member since 1999, Hammond

graduated from the college in 1973 with a B.S. in Pharmacy (he

later earned a Pharm.D. from the University of Tennessee). A

retired captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, Hammond

wore several hats during his UHCOP career, including Associate

Dean for Practice Programs, Clinical Associate Professor,

Continuing Education Administrator and Director of the

TxPHARM non-traditional Pharm.D. program.

“I think my best contribution was in providing a high standard

for experiential training,” said Hammond, who credited the

work of former experiential directors Nancy Ordonez, Pharm.D.

(’98), and May Woo, R.Ph. (’91), in helping to ensure the

success of the experiential programs. “I think some students are

defensive when they are going through the program (because

of) the anxiety they feel in striving to acquire a vast amount of

knowledge and skill in an often stressful environment, learning

through multidisciplinary experience with physicians and other

highly skilled health professionals. After they have been in

practice for a couple of years, I think our graduates appreciate

the standards we set for them.”

Above, Professor Carlos Pedemonte chats

with graduate students at his retirement

lunch in August. Left, Ray Hammond sizes

up the cane outfitted with a horn and ‘caution

sign’ he received as a humorous farewell gift

at his August retirement celebaration.

A UHCOP faculty member since 1992, Pedemonte secured

more than $4 million in research support (including $1.8 million

from the National Institutes of Health) for his investigations

into hormone regulation in the renal sodium-pump mechanism.

Pedemonte authored/contributed to more than 50 journal

articles in such publications as the American Journal of

Physiology, the British Journal of Pharmacology, and Proceedings

of the National Academy of Sciences.

“At the college, I could always voice my opinion – even if no one

agreed with me – but I could always voice my opinion,” joked

Pedemonte at his retirement luncheon. “I could not have asked

for a better situation.”

Masilamani on HRSA Pharmacy Collaborative’s National Faculty

Santhi Masilamani, Pharm.D., MBA, CDE, Clinical Assistant

Professor and Director of Ambulatory Based Advanced

Pharmacy Practice Experiences, is among a select group of

national expert faculty members for the Health Resources and

Services Administration’s Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy

Services Collaborative (PSPC) 3.0.

The goal of the PSPC is to develop a patientcentered,

inter-professional service delivery

system for high-risk patients that will produce

improved patient safety, improved patient

health outcomes and integration of costeffective

clinical pharmacy services.

The yearlong program provides a knowledge Masilamani

and implementation platform for improving

the health status and safety of patients with

multiple chronic diseases, high-risk drug therapy, complex drug

regimens and multiple care-delivery sites.

Masilamani, who also serves as the PSPC’s national expert on

reimbursement issues, was selected as one of only 12 “founding”

faculty members for the project while serving as a Pharmacy

Clinical Manager for the Harris County Hospital District

(HCHD). The district’s primary care practice model, which

embedded a pharmacist in all of HCHD’s community health

centers, was among the “Best Practice Models” for the first PSPC

cycle. Masilamani then was recruited to serve as a field coach in

the PSPC 2.0 to help participants implement their initiatives.

“In my new academic faculty role in the current cycle, I’m

responsible for gathering data on the outcomes and publishing

the results,” Masilamani said.

The collaborative teaches a team of healthcare providers how to

rapidly take major practical steps to provide patient integrated

care in a primary health care home with sustainable and

measurable delivery of clinical pharmacy services (CPS), which

ranges from patient access to services and medications, patient

counseling, provider education, medication reconciliation, chart

reviews, and disease state management to medication therapy


The PSPC is a program of the Pharmacy Services Support

Center, a partnership between HRSA and the American

Pharmacists Association. UHCOP alumna Lisa Scholz,

Pharm.D. (’01), M.B.A., Vice President of the Support Center, is

scheduled to deliver a presentation on the program at the 2011

Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists Annual Seminar &

Expo April 15-17 in San Antonio.


University of Houston College of Pharmacy

NIH Supports Tam’s Project

to Characterize Components

in Antibiotic of ‘Last Resort’

In the fight against drug-resistant infections, UH College of

Pharmacy Associate Professor Vincent H. Tam, Pharm.D.,

BCPS, is working to understand the various components of a

potent antibiotic of “last resort” in an effort to develop safer, more

effective formulations of the drug and better strategies for its use.

Research NEWS

The antibacterial drug Polymyxin B – which attacks bacteria

by altering the permeability of the outer membrane, leading to

cell death – was introduced for clinical use in the late 1950s,

before federal regulations required manufacturers to file detailed

documentation on their products’ composition and formulations.

Polymyxin B and many other drugs developed before the advent

of modern disclosure regulations were “grandfathered” in, and

manufacturers were not required to disclosure the specific

components in their formulations.

Although highly effective against many gram-negative bacteria,

Polymyxin B is considered an antibiotic of “last resort” because

it has the disadvantage of being more toxic, particularly to the

kidneys, than newer drugs. However, as bacterial strains develop

resistance to all other antimicrobial agents, more toxic drugs

like Polymyxin B may be called upon to treat severe, persistent


“If we were to develop this drug today, there is no way it could get

approved by the current approval standards because there is so

much we don’t know about it,” Tam said. “We now have a medical

need for this drug, which makes a compelling argument to study

its basic properties so we know how to most optimally use it.”

In addition to studying the individual components in

commercially available formulations of Polymyxin B, the project

team will evaluate whether new formulations or new strategies

could be developed to reduce toxicity while maintaining efficacy.

For example, strategies employing a combination of such factors

as dose, dosing frequency and duration of therapy could be

Matt White photo

Associate Professor Vincent Tam and graduate student Kamilia Abdelraouf are

working to characterize the components of Polymyxin B, an older antibacterial

that is highly effective against bacterial infections but also more toxic to the


used to control the infection with minimal collateral damage to

the kidneys or other organs. Another option could involve premedicating

or buffering the kidneys before Polymyxin B is used to

protect the tissue from damage.

Tam is collaborating with UHCOP Professor Ming Hu, Ph.D., on

the project, which is being funded by a three-year, $450,000 grant

from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Tam is believed to be the first Pharm.D. translational researcher

within the college to receive a direct NIH award as principal

investigator in the past decade.

NIH Grants $353K Supplement to Asthma Project by Bond, Knoll

The investigation by UH College of Pharmacy researchers

into the use of beta-blockers as a therapeutic for mild, chronic

asthma recently received a welcome boost, with the National

Institutes of Health providing a $353,000 administrative

supplement for the project.

Earlier this year, Professor Richard A. Bond, Ph.D. (’88), B.S.

(’83), and Associate Professor Brian J. Knoll, Ph.D., received a

two-year, $682,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy

and Infectious Diseases for their study into the mechanisms that

resulted in decreased airway hyperresponsiveness and produced

broad anti-inflammatory effects in animal models of asthma.

The decrease in airway hyperresponsiveness also was seen in

two small clinical trials treating mild asthmatics.

In one segment of the project, the lab of longtime collaborator

Burton F. Dickey, M.D., professor and chair of the Pulmonary

Medicine department at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, will

produce transgenic mice to test the team’s hypothesis that

a primary target cell for the effect of beta-blockers are the

epithelial cells lining the airway instead of the underlying

smooth muscle tissue as suggested by some researchers.

The supplement brings the total support for this phase of

their research to $1.04 million, which was funded through

the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka

“Stimulus Package”).

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 11

Faculty Sets New College Record of $6M in Research Awards

UH College of Pharmacy recently set a new college record

of more than $6 million received for basic and translational

research projects in Fiscal Year 2010.

The milestone was achieved largely thanks to more than $4.3

million in direct awards from the National Institutes of Health,

including $2.1 in awards through the American Recovery and

Reinvestment Act of 2009. Professor Ming Hu, Ph.D., with $1.25

million and Assistant Professor Bradley K. McConnell, Ph.D.,

with $1.04 million, led UHCOP’s faculty in total funding from all

sources – including NIH funding – in FY10.

However, the new record also can be attributed to the

productivity of the entire UHCOP faculty, with the number of

proposals submitted to research-funding organizations in FY10

also at its highest level in at least five years. The number of

proposals submitted to funding organizations in FY10 also at its

highest level in at least five years. A total of 102 proposals were

submitted in FY10 vs. 70 applications in FY06.

In addition to the NIH, other federal institutions and national

research foundations that provided research support for

UHCOP investigators included the American Heart Association,

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Cure Alzheimer’s

Now Foundation, PhRMA Foundation and NASA. Funding

from private/industry sources included such organizations as

Achaogen Inc., Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co., Merck

FY 2010

FY 2009

FY 2008

FY 2007

FY 2006

University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Sponsored Funds Received

$2,411,257 $799,088


$2,112,367 $985,411


$2,281,766 $1,397,479


$2,434,127 $483,171


$4,715,996 $1,171,456


$0 $1 million $2 million $3 million $4 million $5 million $6 million

Total Federal Total State Total Other

Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, and Ortho-McNeil

Janssen Scientific Affairs.

“I am really pleased with our research productivity this year,

particularly during times such as these when funding is tight

and there is so much other demand on our time,” said Mustafa

F. Lokhandwala, UHCOP executive vice dean for research and


Bench Notes

Karim A. Alkadhi, Ph.D., professor, presented an update

on his research at the 4th Annual Bazelides Research

Symposium Aug. 4 at The University of Texas School of

Public Health.

Rustin D. Crutchley, Pharm.D., clinical assistant

professor, was invited to participate in an oral discussion of

his poster entitled, “Risk Factors for Vitamin D Deficiency

in HIV-1 Infected Adults in the South-Central United

States,” at the XVIII International AIDS Conference

July 18-23 in Vienna, Austria. At the completion of the STAR Health

Disparities Fellowship Program at the University of North Texas Health

Science Center in Fort Worth in May, Crutchley’s research proposal

entitled, “Assessing the Effects of Antiretrovirals on Changes in

Vitamin D Levels in Treatment-Naïve HIV-Infected Individuals,” won

first place among the 10 proposals submitted by program fellows.

Kevin W. Garey, Pharm.D., M.S., associate professor,

has received a one-year, $23,233 UH Grants to Enhance

and Advance Research award for his project, “A Cell

Culture Model System for Evaluating Biomarkers of Severe

Clostridium difficile disease.”

Romi Ghose, Ph.D., assistant professor, has received a

one-year, $25,000 UH Grants to Enhance and Advance

Research award for her project, “Hepatic Drug Metabolism

in Inflammation.”

Suja Rajan, M.H.A., M.S., Ph.D., assistant professor, was invited to

give an oral presentation of her abstract entitled, “Effects

of primary prophylactic G-CSF use and duration of use

on neutropenia hospitalizations for elderly breast cancer

patients receiving chemotherapy,” at the International

Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes

Research’s 15th Annual International Meeting in Atlanta, Ga. Rajan

also has received an 18-month, $21,871 award from UTHealth for a

collaborative project entitled, “Texas Breast Cancer Screening, Early

Detection and Treatment Program Outcomes Study.”

Ke-He Ruan, Ph.D., M.D., professor, has received a

two-year, $140,000 grant from the American Heart

Association-South Central Affiliate for his project entitled,

“Thromboxane A2 Receptor: Structure and Function


Vincent H. Tam, Pharm.D., BCPS, associate professor, has

received a one-year, $140,161 grant from Ortho-McNeil

Janssen Scientific Affairs LLC for his project, “Doripenem

Combinations Against KPC Infections”; and a two-year,

$35,606 grant from Merck & Co. for his project entitled,

“Gram-negative resistance trends after introduction of

ertapenem into hospital formulary.”

MariVi Tejada-Simon, Ph.D., M.Ed. (’07), assistant

professor, was invited to present an update on her

research into the Fragile X syndrome, entitled “Modifying

behavioral responses in Fmr1 knockout mice using

pharmacological and genetic strategies,” on Aug. 13 at the

University of Frankfurt, Germany.

12 University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Alcohol Mechanism Project Draws NIH Support for Das

By Lisa Merkl

With the ultimate goal to discover a

drug that one day treats alcoholism, UH

College of Pharmacy Assistant Professor

Joydip Das is working on pinpointing the

mechanisms in the brain that respond to


Das recently received a three-year,

$450,000 grant from the National Institute

on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. In the

end, his team hopes their research will

help lead them to a way to prevent people

from drinking to excess.

“Defining targets and elucidating the

molecular mechanism of their actions is

needed for effective intervention,” Das

said. “Once we understand the target,

then we design drugs based on that


Das explained that addictions are related

to the brain, with protein kinase C (PKC)

– particularly of the PKCε subtype –

being mainly expressed in the brain and

playing a key role in this process. Previous

observations have indicated as much as a

75 percent reduction of alcohol drinking

in mice using knockout technology,

demonstrating that knocking out the

PKCε protein cuts desire.

Jerry Powers photo

Assistant Professor Joydip Das, Ph.D., has received

a $450,000 grant from the National Institute

of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse to define the

molecular mechanisms by which alcohols exert

their action on the signaling pathways in the brain.

As it’s difficult to pinpoint where alcohol

acts and what its target is, his team’s

objective is to find the target and then

determine how it interacts with ion

channels to affect the addiction.

“We’re looking at the significance of the

interaction between the alcohol molecule

and PKCε protein,” Das said. “How the

alcohol molecule binds with the target is

the key. This binding has implications in

addiction, so our intent is to design drugs

to curb the desire for more than a small

amount of alcohol so that people stay

away from excessive drinking.”

Trained at MIT and having worked in the

anesthesia department at Massachusetts

General Hospital, Das has a particular

interest in this area, saying that alcohol

also is an anesthetic, with PKCε being one

of its many targets.

“Our focus is brain chemistry. In our

study, we have seen that PKCε and

alcohol interacts and have pinpointed

the binding side,” he said. “Now, we must

determine the molecular mechanism of

the interaction. To do so, we are looking

at how those two interact in the neuronal

cells, which are the impulse-conducting

cells in the brain.”

The next steps for the group, which

includes postdoctoral fellow Satyabrata

Pany and UH undergraduate student

Khoi Ly, will be to progress to animal

trials with the mouse model and then

ultimately to clinical trials with humans.

Graduate Students Earn International, National Travel Awards

Two UH College of Pharmacy graduate students recently earned

travel awards to international and national meetings, where

they delivered oral presentations on their research findings in

collaboration with UHCOP faculty members.

Pharmacy Administration doctoral student

Mo Yang, who received her M.S. in Pharmacy

Administration in August, was selected to

deliver an oral presentation of her work

with Associate Professor Amalia M. Issa,

Ph.D., M.P.H., at the International Society

for Pharmacoepidemiology’s 26th Annual

Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology and

Therapeutic Risk Management Aug. 19-22 in

Brighton, U.K.


The presentation abstract, entitled “Assessment of the costeffectiveness

of pharmacogenomic diagnostics for breast cancer,”

will be published in a 2010 issue of Pharmacoepidemiology

& Drug Safety. Yang and Issa conducted an evaluation and

comparison of the cost-effectiveness of two commercially

available gene expression-profiling tests – OncotypeDx

and MammaPrint – used to predict the likelihood of breast

cancer recurrence and guide adjuvant treatment decisions to

potentially spare patients at low risk for recurrence the toxicity

and morbidity of chemotherapy. Their analysis concluded that

MammaPrint is more cost-effective than OncotypeDx.

Pharmacology graduate student Odelia

Bongmba was selected to deliver an oral

presentation of her work with Assistant

Professor MariVi Tejada-Simon, Ph.D.,

M.Ed. (’07), at the Society for Advancement

of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science

meeting Sept. 30-Oct. 3 in Anaheim, Calif.

Bongmba’s travel award from the Federation of Tucker

American Societies for Experimental Biology is

supported by the Minority Access to Research Careers Program,

a National Institute of General Medical Sciences initiative.

Her presentation abstract, entitled “Inactivation of the rac1

gene affects the formation of dendritic spines,” revealed that

suppression of rac1 gene in mice alters the normal morphology of

neuronal connections. The results suggest that Rac1 also might

be responsible for the distorted connectivity observed in mental

retardation and other neurological disorders affecting learning.

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 13

UH, UT Target Alzheimer’s

with Novel Nanotechnology

‘Peek-and-Treat’ Approach

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund recently awarded the University of Texas

Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the University

of Houston a $150,000 grant to fund innovative research on

Alzheimer’s disease, which currently affects more than 5 million

Americans and their families and is the most common cause of

dementia in the elderly.

The grant will allow UTHealth and UH researchers to accelerate

their use of nanotechnology and new imaging techniques to study

the effects of certain compounds of Amyloid-Beta, a protein that

is commonly linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, on the

brain. Most importantly, the team will focus on the creation of

new intravenous delivery mechanisms for compounds such as

gamma secretase modulators, which are believed to have the

potential to protect against the development of the debilitating


Through their “Peek-and-Treat” approach of developing

nanocarriers to deliver therapeutic and diagnostic-imaging

agents, the novel drug-delivery system could provide enhanced

Magnetic Resonance Imaging at a resolution far exceeding

current capabilities.

It also could be used for the targeted delivery of a variety of

therapeutic agents, according to co-investigators Jason Eriksen,

Ph.D., UHCOP assistant professor of pharmacology, and

Ananth Annapragada, Ph.D., Robert H. Graham Professor of

Entrepreneurial Biomedical Informatics and Bioengineering at

The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at

Houston, a part of UTHealth.

Jerry Powers photo

Assistant Professor Jason Eriksen, second from left, and his UTHealth

collaborators are developing nanoparticles to help diagnose and treat

Alzheimer’s disease. Members of Eriksen’s lab include, from left, technician

and UH undergraduate student Rania Goradia, UH undergraduate student

Amanda Hanna, UTHealth postdoctoral fellows Eric Tanifum, Ph.D., and Indrani

Dasgupta, Ph.D. (NSM ’08), and technician Hoda Pourzargham (BSPS ’10).

“These nanocarriers allow us to deliver a nearly unlimited variety

of compounds to the brain,” Eriksen said. “Since we can perform

high-resolution imaging of Amyloid-Beta with this technology,

we will be able to determine if a drug treatment effectively hits its

target, early on in the disease process.”

“The pioneering research being done at UTHealth and UH

on Alzheimer’s disease is helping to better understand this

devastating disease and could lead to better ways to reverse its

effects and even find a cure,” said Tim Armour, president and

CEO of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, a public charity established

to provide funding for targeted research into the causes of

Alzheimer’s disease. “Finding a cure and better treatments

for Alzheimer’s can only be achieved by gaining a better

understanding of the disease.”

Pharmacy Faculty Help SURF Students Ride Wave of Success

UH College of Pharmacy laboratories

continue to serve as high-quality learning

environments for not only graduate

students, but also undergraduate students

from across the UH campus.

Faculty members Joydip Das, Ke-He

Ruan, Samina Salim and Svetlana

Caroline Lowry, UH biology major and SURF

program mentee of UHCOP’s Ke-He Ruan, won

one of 13 Outstanding Poster Awards at the UH

Undergraduate Research Day.

Tikunova mentored four students from

UH’s Biology, Biochemistry, Anthropology

and Psychology programs as participants

in the 2010 Summer Undergraduate

Research Fellowship program.

Ruan’s mentee – Biology undergraduate

Caroline Lowry – took home one of

13 Outstanding Poster Awards among

more than 80 submissions at the UH

Undergraduate Research Day Oct. 14.

Co-authored by UHCOP doctoral student

Annirudha Chillar and Ruan, Lowry’s

project was entitled “Drug Discovery:

Integrated Virtual Screening and High-

Throughput Screening for identification

of novel candidates as antagonist drugs

targeting prostaglandin E 2 subtype-1


Lowry isn’t the first undergraduate

May 2010 UH Nutrition program graduate Nada

Sarraj, left, and Research Assistant Professor

Samina Salim meet U.S. Rep. John Culberson at the

Posters on the Hill event in April.

researcher to find success after working

in the college’s labs, as Salim’s 2009 SURF

student – Nada Sarraj, who graduated

in May – was selected to present their

research at the “Posters on the Hill” event

in Washington, D.C., in May 2010.


University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Lewis Explores Interplay of Host Immunity, Drug Resistance

A new investigation of how the immune system interacts with

antifungal drugs by UH College of Pharmacy Associate Professor

Russell E. Lewis, Pharm.D., BCPS, and his longtime collaborator

Dimitrios Kontoyiannis, M.D., D.Sc., professor at the University

of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, may have broad

implications for the future of therapeutics to combat fungal and

bacterial infections, particularly from drug-resistant strains.

Lewis recently received a $292,000 grant from Merck Research

Laboratories to examine how changes in the fungal cell wall that

are associated with drug resistance can either enhance or reduce

a pathogen’s capacity to escape detection by host immune cells.

Bacterial and fungal pathogens trigger the immune response

when proteins and sugars found in their cell wall activate

receptors expressed on cells in the human body. For example,

humans and fruit flies utilize many of the same receptors to

detect bacteria and fungal species that are the leading cause

of serious infections in hospitalized patients. Many of these

pathogens also have the capacity to mask immunogenic proteins

and sugars in their cell wall, changing their microbial “signatures”

and making them less recognizable by host immune cells.

Lewis and Kontoyiannis became interested in how these

microbial signatures change in resistant pathogens after

observing that infections caused by drug-resistant pathogens

in cancer patients often produced different clinical syndromes

compared to infections caused by susceptible strains.

“We would encounter a patient with severe bloodstream infection

that would typically send him to the ICU, yet the patient is

walking around for days without any complaints or fever, despite

millions of drug-resistant yeast cells in their blood,” Lewis said.

“Yet, we’ve also encountered bacteria that are resistant to only one

class of antimicrobials, yet the infection progresses relentlessly

despite efforts to control it with multiple antibiotics. Cases like

these convinced us to not only look at resistance from the drug

perspective, but also from the perspective of host immune cells.”

The team’s general hypothesis is that the resistance mechanisms

that are most difficult to treat are mutations that allow pathogens

Matt White photo

UH College of Pharmacy’s Russell E. Lewis and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s

Dimitrios P. Kontoyiannis have done extensive research on how the host

immune response in fruit flies and mammals is altered against drug-resistant


to not only escape from antibiotic action, but also evade the

host immune response. Their project will involve testing drugresistant

microbes in human and mouse immune cells, as well as

common fruit flies, which their previous research has shown to

be an efficient and inexpensive, yet highly reliable, animal model

for resistance and immune response studies. The team also will

employ new technologies to identify potential drug candidates

that “uncloak” resistant isolates to the immune system that might

otherwise be disregarded based on current screening methods.

“Traditionally, our focus has been on the antimicrobial side of

the equation in treating multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogens,

yet the host’s immune response is what drives the ultimate

outcome; antibiotics are just the crutch,” Lewis said. “There may

be a strategy with a resistant pathogen where, instead of giving

more toxic drugs, it may be safer for the patient – and decrease

the likelihood of further resistance – to boost their immune

response against the pathogen. This could be an especially

important strategy in immunosuppressed cancer patients at risk

for infection with MDR pathogens.”

Alumna, Fellow Wins ACCP Poster Award for Antifungal Study

UH College of Pharmacy alumna Dhara Shah, Pharm.D. (’08),

who is in the second year of the UHCOP/St. Luke’s Episcopal

Hospital (SLEH) Infectious Diseases Pharmacotherapy

Fellowship, won the Best Resident and Fellow Poster Award

at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s 2010 Annual

Meeting Oct. 18-22 in Austin.

Shah’s poster, entitled “Utility of fluconazole

as de-escalation therapy in patients with

fluconazole-susceptible candidemia,” was

recognized out of more than 360 accepted

posters in the category. Her co-authors

were SLEH’s Raymond Yau, Pharm.D.; Jaye

Weston, M.S., R.Ph. (BS ’80); Todd Lasco,


Ph.D.; Miguel Salazar, Ph.D., Pharm.D. (’06); Hannah Palmer,

Pharm.D.; and UHCOP’s Kevin W. Garey, Pharm.D., M.S.

Antifungal susceptibility testing may provide guidance on the

proper use of antifungals in hospitalized patients, but is not

commonly performed in U.S. hospitals. The study’s purpose

was to assess de-escalation to the narrow-spectrum antifungal

fluconazole based on the results of susceptibility testing. In this

retrospective cohort study, 130 out of 161 patients (81 percent)

identified had fluconazole-susceptible Candida species.

De-escalation (or transition) to fluconazole was uncommonly

performed when a fluconazole-susceptible Candida species is

reported, making it a major potential target for antimicrobial

stewardship efforts.

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 15

A Decade of Service

College Marks 10 Years of Care to Unique Patient Communities

Although most UH College of Pharmacy

students and alumni will spend most of

their education and careers providing

care to a diverse patient population in

the community or health-system setting,

the college recently marked 10 years of

service in collaborative programs with

organizations focused on very distinct,

unique members of the community.

Camp C.A.M.P.

The experiential rotation at Camp C.A.M.P.

(Children’s Association for Maximum

Potential) was initiated after alumnus

and former faculty member Larry

McClaugherty, R.Ph. (B.S. ’72), M.P.H.,

began taking his late son, Neal, to the

program for special-needs children and

adults near San Antonio.

“In the second year we took Neal to CAMP,

I noticed there weren’t any pharmacists

among the medical support staff, so

developing a rotation seemed like a great

opportunity for the mutual benefit of the

organization and our students,” he said.

The program offers special-needs children

and adults the opportunity to experience

things that many take for granted: floating

in a pool, canoeing, horseback riding,

attending a dance, or singing campfire

songs. Conversely, camp offers what is

the only respite for many parents and

guardians responsible for round-the-clock

care during the rest of the year.

Judy Foster, B.S.N., R.N., chief health

officer/head nurse for Camp C.A.M.P., said

a pharmacy student is assigned to each

Clockwise from top left, Ting Ren provides

medication mixed in applesauce to a CAMPer;

Kristin Beard and Kimberly Hoang learn the

ins and outs of ostomy bags; Sarah Wisecup

reviews the medication records of a CAMPer;

and Beard organizes supplies in the infirmary.

— photos courtesy of Kristin Beard,

Kimberly Hoang and Ting Ren

medication-preparation area to support

the medical staff and volunteers, who

administer up to 1,000 medications each


“Since we have doctors from many areas

of medicine and they may not be familiar

with some of the medications our campers

are taking, the pharmacy students are

often called on to answer questions about

medication interactions, dosage, and more,”

Foster said. “I can’t count how many times

I say, ‘Ask your Pharm student,’ each week.

Besides their obvious knowledge and skills,

I have been very impressed by their work

ethic, compassion and enthusiasm.”

Like dozens of students before them,

the 10th year’s contingent of students –

Kristin Beard, Kimberly Hoang, Ting

Ren and Sarah Wisecup – raved about the

practical knowledge and personal growth

afforded by the experience.

“I learned about the action of drugs not

typically used in the pediatric population,

how to give G-tube feedings and the use

of different nutritional supplements,” Ren

said. “There were obstacles to overcome

when it was time to give CAMPers their

medications, so I learned how to be patient,

think on my feet, and be creative.”

Pharmacy students not only serve as

members of the medical team, but also get

involved in the recreational and creative

activities offered at the camp.

“I gained an understanding of the patience


Neal McClaugherty

Special Personality

Inspires Playground

for All, Scholarship

for UHCOP Students

Although the physical body that bound Neal

McClaugherty to a wheelchair his entire life

passed away in May 2010, his spirit, laughter

and smile live on through the projects and

programs he inspired during his 27 years.

The son of UH College of Pharmacy

alumnus and former faculty member Larry

McClaugherty, R.Ph. (B.S. ’72), M.P.H., and

UH Clear Lake alumna Kathy McClaugherty,

R.N., B.S., Neal indirectly was responsible

for the college’s participation in the Camp

C.A.M.P. experiential rotation, which recently

marked its 10th year (see story above).

An avid basketball fan, Neal won the hearts

and support of his hometown Friendswood

Lady Mustangs basketball team. Despite being

a nonverbal quadriplegic due to cerebral palsy,

Neal sang the national anthem before games

with the help of a communication device and

even sank a half-court shot with the help of

special equipment rigged to his wheelchair.

Such inspirational events led to the passage

of a 2005 resolution in the Texas House of

Representatives co-sponsored by UHCOP

alumnus Chuck Hopson, R.Ph. (’65), and a

Texas Emmy-nominated news segment.


University of Houston College of Pharmacy

education, H.O.M.E.S. Clinic offers the best

opportunity to make this realization clear.”

Humble Health Fair

and love involved in the care of children

with special needs,” Hoang said. “I walked

into camp with a strong sense of what I

could offer in service, but I left inspired by

the life lessons they have taught me.”

H.O.M.E.S. Clinic

The Houston Outreach Medicine,

Education and Social Services (H.O.M.E.S.)

Clinic is a student-run multidisciplinary,

multi-institutional free clinic for Houston’s

homeless population.

Since the clinic’s opening, hundreds of

students and preceptors from UHCOP,

Baylor College of Medicine, the University

of Texas (UT) Health Science Center and

UT School of Public Health have served

thousands of patients. Clinic service gives

pharmacy students the opportunity to

counsel and develop care plans for patients

who typically don’t receive regular medical

attention and often have complex health


UH pharmacy students provide a variety of health

screenings as well as immunizations each year at the

Humble Health Fair. Clockwise from left, Yen Phan

delivers a flu immunization; Tiffany Glover performs a

blood pressure check; Christina Johnson explains the

diabetic foot screening; and Kyle Wilcox takes a blood

sample for screening.

“I have come away (from HOMES) feeling

more comfortable talking with patients and

a stronger confirmation that, by practicing

pharmacy, you have the opportunity to

truly help people in need,” said Pharm.D.

student Chris Henges. “As a volunteer

as well as a future pharmacist, it is so

important to realize that I am dealing with

real people with real issues. Thus far in my

Student volunteer Ninu Varughese and faculty

member Dave Wallace counsel a patient at the

HOMES Clinic; right, volunteers Tricia Tran and

Chris Henges retrieve medication and review the

indications before counseling a patient.

In 2010, the college also marked the 10th

year of providing immunizations and a

range of health screenings at the Humble

Senior Health Fair in Humble, Texas.

Sponsored by the Memorial Hermann

Northeast Hospital Foundation, the event

attracts 600-800 seniors each year.

“Without the support of the college and

their students, hundreds of senior citizens

could not get what we think is a very

valuable service: flu shots, cholesterol and

glucose testings,” said Tom Broad, manager

of community relations at the hospital. “Just

as important, the faculty and students also

offer our seniors the opportunity to learn

more about their health. They counsel

each one about healthy lifestyles when the

students read the results to the seniors.”

“This relationship has enabled faculty to

enhance traditional learning models with

real-life, hands-on experience for the

students as well as foster a concern for

social problems and develop professional

and patient relationships,” said Andrea

Smesny, M.P.H., Pharm.D. (’97), UHCOP

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Several years ago, the McClaughertys started

a scholarship for UHCOP students in Neal’s

name at the Texas Pharmacy Foundation. For

information about contributing to the TPF

“Neal” McClaugherty Scholarship, please

contact Joy Kovar at 512-615-9144 or jkovar@

Recently, the McClaughertys and their church

community embarked on a campaign to develop

an accessible playground in Neal’s memory

in their hometown of Friendswood, Texas

(visit for more


“Neal had a sweet spirit like Mr. Rogers, but a

sarcastic and funny personality that was like a

cross between (cartoon character) Garfield and

(’80s TV character) Alf,” Kathy McClaugherty

said. “You had to be flexible, but he taught us a

lot about life.”

Larry McClaugherty said, “He had his good days

and bad days just like everyone else, but he never

stayed down for long because he just loved to

laugh and smile. We’re thankful for the time that

God gave us with him because he really was a

special young man who impacted more lives

than most of us could ever hope.”

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 17

Student NEWS

UH SNPhA Chapter, Students Earn National Recognition

The UH chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical

Association brought home several honors – including election

to national and regional offices as well as placing as national

finalists for the top chapter and chapter leadership – from the

organization’s 2010 National Conference in Seattle, Wash.

UH College of Pharmacy students shined

through individual elections and leadership

recognition, including the election of Leshawn

Smith as 2010-11 National President-Elect,

and Angel Trieu as Region

IV Facilitator for 2010-11.

Trieu’s election marks the

Smith second consecutive year that

a UH student will serve in

the position. Smith, Trieu and Nancy Chung,

the 2009-10 Region IV Facilitator, also were

honored with national SNPhA scholarships.


In other individual recognition, UH Chapter

President Amin Esmaily-Fard was honored

as a runner-up for the SNPhA-Rite Aid

Community Leader of the Year Award.

UH SNPhA members’

creativity also earned

Esmaily-Fard national kudos: Amy Dinh

won second place against

20 other schools nationwide in the chapter

scrapbook competition, and the logo created

by Tung Nguyen for the national diabetes

initiative placed third in the nation.

The UH Chapter of SNPhA was among the three national

finalists in the Large Chapter category for the SNPhA-RiteAid

Chauncey I. Cooper Chapter Excellence Award. The chapter

Above, members of UH’s SNPhA chapter show their support for fellow Cougar

Leshawn Smith’s candidacy for National President-Elect at the organization’s

annual conference with T-shirts and pom-poms. Below, Amy Dinh won second

place in the National Chapter Scrapbook Competition.

was recognized for its community

outreach projects, including

collecting supplies for the Haiti

earthquake relief effort and

assisting with free on-campus HIV

testing for World AIDS Day.

Three resolutions proposed by

the UH chapter were passed on

the national level and are now

part of SNPhA’s national bylaws.

The chapter also received national

recognition for its Chronic

Kidney Disease, Power To End Stroke, HIV/AIDS, Operation

Immunization, and Diabetes Patient Care Initiatives.

Goins, UH ASP Take Patient Counseling, Chapter Awards at TPA

UH College of Pharmacy students took

home two first place awards at the 2010

Texas Pharmacy Association Rxperts

Conference & Expo July 14-18 in Austin.

UH’s Academy of Student Pharmacists

took first place in the inaugural TPA-ASP

Chapter Achievement Award presented by

the Texas Pharmacy Foundation. The new

program is based on student activities in

such areas as patient care, advocacy for the

profession, and community or professional


The UH chapter was credited for

providing H1N1 and seasonal flu

immunizations, health screenings, and

health education at health fairs and


clinics, as well as participating in local

fund-raising and awareness events

in conjunction with national health


In addition, Pharm.D. student Heath

Goins won first place in the Patient

Counseling Competition. The finalists,

which included fellow UH student

Mallory Gessner, were presented with a

pain-management case.

“Once I got in the prep room and saw the

case, I got a little rattled because it was

a much more difficult case than I’d ever

had,” Goins said. “But, I just tried to relax

and rely on my experience, knowledge,

and people skills.”

UH pharmacy students Heath Goins and Mallory

Gessner show off their first-place and finalist

certificates from the 2010 Patient Counseling

Competition at the TPA Rxperts Conference & Expo.


University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Cougars Go Global at World Pharmacy Congress in Slovenia

UH College of Pharmacy’s went global this summer, as two UH

College of Pharmacy students traveled to Ljubljana, Slovenia,

to attend the 56th International Pharmaceutical Students’

Federation (IPSF) World Congress.

Amin Esmaily-Fard, one of three official U.S. delegates of the

American Pharmacists Association, and Lauren Williams

were among only 13 pharmacy students nationwide to attend

the 10-day Congress comprised of assemblies, symposia,

workshops and social events. The sessions offered

opportunities for students to learn from international health

experts as well as exchange experiences among the nearly 400

students representing 45 countries.

“Many were impressed by what we as UHCOP students have

been able to accomplish in the community and praised us for

our work in the vast number of patient care and public health

initiatives that we have undertaken,” Esmaily-Fard said. “Being

able to represent UHCOP and discuss our accomplishments

with pharmacy students from all around the world was an

unforgettable and rewarding experience. I’m proud to be a part

of a program that

allows students the

opportunity to go out

into the community

and make a difference

with the knowledge

they have gained in the


Phi Delta Chi Makes Chapter History

UH’s Alpha Tau chapter of the Phi Delta

Chi professional pharmacy fraternity

set a new record in its 57-year history

by finishing second place in the national

Thurston Cup competition.

This year’s competition at the PDC

Leadership Development Seminar

in Madison, Wis., drew 61 chapters

nationwide. Scoring for the Thurston

Cup is based on points scored in several

individual categories comprising the

Achievement Awards Program.

Alpha Tau’s 100 percent Participation rate

in the program included second place in

Service and Professionalism, third place

in both Brotherhood and Scholarship, and

Marking his second

Congress, Esmaily-Fard

Alpha Tau Places Second for National Thurston Cup

fifth place in both Leadership and Chapter


Among the highlights of the chapter’s

activities were more than 2,100 hours

dedicated to service projects; nearly

$6,000 raised for various organizations; the

development of a leadership lecture series;

and the introduction of several programs

aimed at ensuring and recognizing high

academic performance by members.

The national honor caps an impressive

two years for the chapter, following the

election of Pharm.D. student Ashley

McFalls Polk to Phi Delta Chi Regional

Correspondent of the South Central

region at the regional conference in

Lauren Williams and Amin Esmaily-Fard’s itinerary while in Slovenia included

exploring a lead and zinc mine (above) and visiting Europe’s third oldest

pharmacy, which is located in monastery. Below left, Esmaily-Fard attends a

symposium on gene therapy during the Congress meeting.

came home from the trip with more than souvenirs and photos:

an appointment to Chairperson of the IPSF Pan-American

Regional Office.

“My main responsibilities for the upcoming year will be to work

with my team of officers to establish and maintain relations

with professional pharmacy organizations in North, South,

and Central America and oversee the implementation of IPSF

projects and activities in these regions,” Esmaily-Fard said. “It is

my hope that we will spark new interest in IPSF from students

and show them that we as pharmacy students and pharmacists

have endless opportunities to make a difference in the world.”

Achsah Philip, Worthy Chief Correspondent for the

UH Alpha Tau chapter of Phi Delta Chi, accepts the

second-place award in the Thurston Cup national

competition from national Grand President Brandon

J. Sucher, Pharm.D., CDE.

Oxford, Miss., in April 2010, and the

chapter’s national third-place showing in

the 2009 Thurston Cup competition.

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 19

First-year Students

Share Fun, Heritage

at International Day

International Day, the annual firstyear

class fundraiser organized and

operated by UH College of Pharmacy

professional program students, offers

students, faculty and staff members

from across UH the opportunity to

experience the diverse cultural heritage

represented within the college.

The festival-like atmosphere featured

a mix of live music and dance

performances, games of knowledge

and chance, feats of physical skill,

international cuisine, displays of

traditional dress, and many other fun

diversions. Making special appearances

this year were Dean Lamar Pritchard

and Clinical Associate Professor David

Wallace, who volunteered as human

targets for pie-wielding students, faculty

and staff in exchange for donations.

All proceeds from International Day

are used to benefit the entire first-year

class, which in the past has included

purchasing texts required in the second

year of the curriculum.

‘Bridge to Doctorate’ Program Brings Volunteer EMT to UH

First-year graduate student Kirk Braggs is the first student at

UH College of Pharmacy to earn a “Bridge to the Doctorate”

Fellowship through the National Science Foundation-supported

Houston-Louis Stokes

Alliance for Minority


Supported by a $1 million

grant from the NSF, the

initiative is aimed at

increasing the number

of black and Hispanic

students in science and

engineering degree

programs. The “Bridge”

covers tuition and fees

as well as a stipend for the first two years of graduate study to

allow students to concentrate on their coursework and research.

In addition to maintaining academic eligibility, recipients

are expected to participate in mentoring and professional

development workshops.

Braggs joined UHCOP after he earned his B.S. in chemistry

from Langston University in Langston, Okla., where he also

received scholarship program through a similar program aimed

at undergraduates. During the summers, Braggs participated in

research experiences that offered a glimpse of the opportunities

and within pharmaceutics.

‘Pharmaceutics has a great

translational aspect, and I wanted

to be involved in something that

will help people in the immediate


— Graduate student Kirk Braggs

“Pharmaceutics has a great

translational aspect, and I

wanted to be involved in

something more concrete than

abstract that will help people

in the immediate future,” said

Braggs, a graduate of Taylor

High School in the Katy school

district west of Houston.

When he wasn’t in the

classroom or laboratory at Langston, Braggs was volunteering as

a certified emergency medical technician (EMT).

“It’s a small community, but the nearest ambulance service was at

least 15 minutes,” Braggs said. “I’d like to become a full paramedic

and volunteer again, but it’s not something I’m interested in as a

career. It’s an exciting way to get a break from the books and help

people who are injured or in some kind of medical emergency.”

20 University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Student Sings Way into Musical Based on Vietnamese Epic

UH College of Pharmacy second-year

Pharm.D. student Khanh Le recently traded

the view from behind the counter to in front

of the curtain as she took a leading role in

a live-theater musical production based on

an internationally lauded epic rooted in the

native homeland of Vietnam that she shares

with the author.

Le landed the role in a bilingual community

theater adaptation of “The Tale of Kieu”

after she chanced upon a commercial

advertising an open-casting call dubbed

“Kieu Idol” and decided to try out for the

three-day audition, which required singing

in both English and Vietnamese. Although

she always had an interest in singing and

acting, Le’s previous experience on stage

was limited to singing in her high school


“I feel a little closer to my native culture

(after performing in the musical), but I’m

very Americanized, so I feel like I have

the best of both worlds,” said Le, who

immigrated to the U.S. with her family when she was 7. “We had

rehearsals four times a week, so it was a full-time commitment,

but I was glad to be able to make friends outside of school and

Jerry Powers photo

Second-year Pharm.D. student Khanh Le at

the final performance of ‘The Tale of Kieu” at

Houston Baptist University.

introduce the story and the cultural setting

to others.”

Fluent in English, Vietnamese and Spanish,

Le received her undergraduate degree in

chemistry from the University of Texas at

Austin. She is one of three Dallas-raised

siblings in pharmacy school: one brother

attends the University of the Incarnate

Word in San Antonio and the other attends

Southwestern Oklahoma State University in

Weatherford, Okla.

It was through their mother that Le and her

siblings not only maintained their cultural

connection, but also were introduced the

pharmacy profession.

“My mother was a home-care provider, and a

lot of her clients happened to be pharmacists

that really enjoyed their job,” said Le, whose

first job was as a pharmacy technician. “In

my family, education comes first. I originally

considered medical school, but it wasn’t for

me after doing a hospital rotation.

“I like the fact that as a pharmacist, I can work anywhere and

have a balance between life and work, while still making a

positive impact on people’s health.”

College Welcomes 108 Students

into UH Pharm.D. Class of 2014

Donning of the symbolic white of the pharmacy

profession, 108 students were welcomed into UH

College of Pharmacy’s Pharm.D. Class of 2014.

Ceremony sponsor CVS/pharmacy provided the entire

incoming class with leatherbound portfolios, pens and

USB flash drives, all adorned with the UHCOP logo.

The featured speaker was St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital

Informatics Pharmacist Andrew “Andy” Laegeler,

Pharm.D. (’08).

Above, incoming students prepare to

take the Pledge of Professionalism.

Right, Dean Lamar Pritchard presents

Amy Lehnert with a leatherbound

portfolio with the UHCOP logo.

Aaron Nelson photos

Walmart Sponsors Series for

Pharm.D. Students to Develop

Leadership, Networking Skills

Building on the success of the first Networking Reception and

Etiquette Banquet workshop offered to Pharm.D. students

last year, UH College of Pharmacy and Wal-Mart Pharmacy

developed a three-part Professional Development series

designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge

necessary for success in the professional world.

“Our goal is to help the student to better prepare themselves

to become more productive in terms of skills which may not

be taught in a normal collegiate setting,” said Sharon Early,

Pharm.D., R.Ph., Walmart Regional Talent Specialist for Texas.

“I would like for the participants to walk away with the tools to

follow our first basic belief at Walmart: The ability to influence

and communicate with others by having the skills to build

trusting, cooperative relationships and alliances.”

The series comprises a Strengthfinders Workshop, which

encourages students to leverage their strengths and focus

on their uniqueness; a second helping of the Networking

Reception and Etiquette Banquet, which offers hands-on

guidance in proper, effective networking and dining etiquette;

and a Communications Workshop, which presents tools and

techniques to ensure clarity in communication.

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 21

Alumni NEWS

Cougars Ready to Mobilize

Diverse Profession to Fight

for Patients and Livelihood

In the wake of the Texas Pharmacy Association elections last

summer, UH College of Pharmacy alumni are pouncing on the

opportunity to represent their respective practice areas while

seeking common ground among their diverse membership to

protect and advance the profession.

Leading the pack from UH is Bruce Biundo, R.Ph. (B.S. ’61),

pharmacy consultant for PCCA Inc. and co-chair of the UHCOP

Dean’s Advisory Council, who was elected TPA Vice President.

“TPA is one of the finest state organizations in the country, but

it’s going to take strong leadership, as well as educating, engaging

and listening to members at the local level and non-members

at every level in order to remain – and expand as – a viable,

inclusive organization at a time when pharmacy is increasingly

specialized,” said Biundo, who previously served as a TPA Board

Representative for the Academy of Compounding Pharmacists.

Carole Hardin-Oliver, R.Ph. (BS ’83), who was elected Chair-

Elect of the Academy of Chain Pharmacists, said she will be

working to increase participation in TPA by her constituents.

“It is time for our contributions to be made,” said Hardin-Oliver,

a Houston-area Pharmacy Supervisor for Walgreens. “We are

the largest group of pharmacists, and have an unimaginable

effect on the lives and health of so many Texans... it is time that

we began to shape our profession. My goal is to increase the

participation of our Academy, increase the Scope of Practice of

pharmacists in the State of Texas, and address billing disparities

that block access to health care in Texas.”

Molly Graham Minze, Pharm.D. (‘05), R.Ph., elected Director

of the Academy of Clinical Pharmacists, said a task force will be

working on redefining the role of the pharmacist to include more

clinical aspects in everyday responsibilities.

“I practice in the ambulatory care setting, and consider myself a

physician extender, much like a PA (physician’s assistant) or NP

(nurse practitioner),” said Graham Minze, a Clinical Assistant

Professor at Texas Tech University Health Science Center in

Abilene. “Pharmacists are in a unique role to manage chronic

disease states burdened with heavy medication use for patients.

Starting, stopping, or adjusting medications is within the

training realm of pharmacists; therefore, pharmacists should be

able to provide patient care at a higher level than only dispensing

medications to the patient.”

In the Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, alumni A.J.

Day, Pharm.D. (‘07), R.Ph., Manager of Pharmacy Consulting

at PCCA, and Jennifer Downing, R.Ph. (BS ‘97), pharmacist

at Med Shop Total Care Pharmacy in Longview, were elected


Mark Lacy photo

As the Texas Pharmacy Association’s 2010-11 Vice President, alumnus Bruce

Biundo is working to ensure the organization continues to actively represent all

interests within the diverse profession of pharmacy.

“I have always wanted to represent the profession but wanted to

take some time learning about what all is involved with being on

the board of an Academy within TPA and how I could provide

the most meaningful impact,” said Day, who also was elected

to the Texas Pharmacy Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “We

are promoting and protecting the art of compounding through

ongoing involvement in the community and legislative means.

Communicating with compounders on issues that will affect

them and raising funds to advance our efforts in the legislation.”

Joseph Maxwell, R.Ph. (BS ’78), owner and pharmacist-incharge

of Maxwell Pharmacy in Frankston for 25 years, said the

Academy of Independent Pharmacists is expanding services to

its members through a new Web site and weekly updates.

“Some of the issues independent owners are most concerned

about is preventing reductions in Medicaid payments,

preventing attempts to put Medicaid into a PBM (pharmacy

benefit manager) for the state, and deterring mail-order

prescriptions,” said Maxwell, AIP Director. “We also want

to continue to recruit more preceptors and encourage new

graduates to become independent owners as the older

generation of pharmacy owners enter retirement.”

In addition to the newly elected Cougars, alumna May Woo,

R.Ph. (B.S. ‘91), was installed as TPA Speaker of the House,

which includes a seat on the TPA board.


University of Houston College of Pharmacy

May Graduate Earns TPA’s Distinguished Student Honor

Although she earned her Doctor of Pharmacy in May, Stacie

Sacky Dacus rounded out her years as a student pharmacist by

receiving the Texas Pharmacy Association’s highest honor for

students: the 2010 Distinguished Student Pharmacist Award.

After passing the MPJE and NAPLEX exams and earning her

professional pharmacy license over the summer, Dacus is now a

full-time practitioner for CVS/pharmacy in Houston.

Her association with both TPA and CVS spans several years

and even a generation. Before entering the Pharm.D. program,

Dacus worked as a CVS pharmacy technician and served in both

director and delegate positions in TPA’s Academy of Pharmacy


As a student at UHCOP, Dacus not only served as a delegate in

the Academy of Student Pharmacists, but she also was elected to

represent ASP on the TPA Board of Directors during the same

term in which her mother and now-fellow CVS pharmacist,

Carrie M. Sacky, R.Ph. (B.S. ’80), served as TPA Vice President.

“It was a great honor to serve my fellow student pharmacists

across the great state of Texas, as well a privilege to serve

alongside my mother,” said Dacus, who also served as a student

representative on the UH Pharmacy Alumni Association Board

of Directors. “As I transitioned into the role of pharmacist, I soon

realized how thankful I was to have had the experiences and

opportunities that were provided to me by UHCOP. From my

clinical experiences, I have been able to provide my patients with

better understanding and management of their disease state.”

Although her immediate goal is to get settled into her new

responsibilities as a full-time pharmacist, Dacus said she is

committed to staying involved with organizations such as TPA

Mark Lacy photo

Stacie Sacky Dacus, who received her Pharm.D. degree from UHCOP in May

and earned her pharmacy license over the summer, is now a full-time pharmacist

with CVS/pharmacy in Houston.

and APhA – and encouraging students and fellow practitioners

to join – after seeing the positive impact that advocacy and

activism can mean for the profession and for patients.

“I look forward to serving my fellow pharmacists with that same

passion for pharmacy as I progress throughout my career,” she

said. “It is my responsibility, my obligation, my privilege as a


“I hope practicing pharmacists, as well as students, don’t take

the legislative or advocacy efforts of TPA, APhA, and local

pharmacy associations for granted, for it is through their efforts

that I am able to provide aspects of my clinical training within

the community setting, such as providing immunizations.”

TPA Cougars in Austin

Austin served up a plate of hospitality for UH College of Pharmacy

alumni and friends during the Texas Pharmacy Association’s 2010

Rxperts Meeting & Expo. More than two dozen UHCOP alumni,

spouses and guests reminisced about their campus days, swapped

photos of children and grandchildren, and shared their support for

UH’s Tier I drive and Dean Lamar Pritchard’s vision for the college.

— photos courtesy of May Woo

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 23

alumni mailbox

Lydia Aguilera, Pharm.D., R.Ph. (B.S. ’80), was named Interim

Assistant Dean for the University of Texas College of Pharmacy/UT-Pan

American Cooperative Pharmacy Program in June. Aguilera has served

as clinical assistant professor in the program since 2009.

Karem H. Al-Zoubi, Ph.D. (’05), has been promoted to Chairman

of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Associate Professor of

Pharmacology at the Jordan University of Sciences and Technology in

Irbid, Jordan.

Kathleen J. Cross, Pharm.D. (’04), B.S. (’95), R.Ph., staff

pharmacist for Christus St. John Hospital in Nassau Bay,

Texas, had two articles – “Ethics in Daily Practice” and

“Understanding Everyone” – in the compilation, “On Being

a Pharmacist: True Stories by Pharmacists,” published by

the American Pharmacists Association in March 2010.

Molly E. Graham, Pharm.D. (’05), R.Ph.,

married Cody Minze, on Jan. 1, 2010,

in Katy, Texas. The couple is happily

residing in Merkel, Texas, while Molly

continues teaching at Texas Tech

University Health Sciences Center

School of Pharmacy in Abilene.

Barbara Hayes, Ph.D. (’84), Dean and Professor of the College of

Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Texas Southern University, and Dong

Liang, Ph.D. (’95), professor and chair of the college’s Department

of Pharmaceutical Sciences, received a $567,123 grant in September

from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Research

Resources in support of the RCMI Institute for Biomedical and Health

Disparities Research at TSU.

Chuck L. Hopson, R.Ph. (B.S. ’65), was elected to a sixth term as

District 11 State Representative in the Nov. 2 election. Owner of May

Drug Store in Jacksonville, Hopson has served in the Texas House of

Representatives since 2001.

Bamrom H. Jonathan, Pharm.D. (’02), R.Ph., has been promoted to

Director of Pharmacy Clinical Services with Universal American.

Bonnie A. Labdi, Pharm.D. (’02), R.Ph., recently joined Memorial

Hermann Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, Texas,

as Clinical Pharmacy Manager. Labdi previously served as Clinical

Class Reunions

Pharmacy Specialist at Houston’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Andrew P. “Andy” Laegeler, Pharm.D. (’08), R.Ph.,

and his wife, Molly, welcomed their second child,

Zachary Joseph, into the world on July 11. Laegeler

joined St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston as

an Informatics Pharmacist after completing a PGY-1

pharmacy practice residency at SLEH. (photo courtesy

of Baldwin Photography)

Jeff Mouakket, R.Ph. (B.S. ’97), M.P.H., has been

promoted to the rank of Commander in the U.S. Public

Health Service. Jeff is currently the Regional Pharmacist,

assigned to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid

Services in Dallas.

Long Nguyen, Ph.D. (’09), has joined M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as

a postdoctoral fellow.

Maureen (Macalos) Powers, R.Ph. (B.S. ’93),

and husband Sean Powers (B.S. ’93) recently

returned to Kazakhstan to adopt their second

son, Michael Alexei, on July 22, 2010, at the age

of 10 months. Big brother James was adopted

from Kazakhstan in 2007. Maureen is employed

with Healix Infusion Therapy Services Inc.

Renee Prescott, Pharm.D. (’02), R.Ph., has been promoted to Director

of Education at PCCA.

Amy Maxwell Savarino, Pharm.D. (’08), R.Ph.,

and husband Mark Savarino welcomed Addison

Mae Savarino on Sept. 20, 2010, in College

Station, Texas, where Savarino currently serves

as Small Animal Pharmacist at Texas A&M

Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Joyce A. Tipton, R.Ph. (B.S. ’79), M.B.A., FASHP, co-chair of the

UHCOP Dean’s Advisory Council, has joined Memorial Hermann

Memorial City Hospital as Director of Pharmacy.

Stephanie Weightman, Pharm.D. (’10), R.Ph., a PGY-1 pharmacy

practice resident at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, received a

travel award to attend the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s

2010 Annual Meeting in Austin.

Members of UH College of Pharmacy’s Class of 1970 – from

left, Duane Williamsen, Josephine Dimech Williamsen, Paul

I. Protas, Albert Stavinoha, Candace Barron Simons, and

Max Elkins – recently gathered in the Cayman Islands, where

the Williamsens’ daughter were attending their daughter’s


Members from UHCOP’s classes

of 1961-63 recently caught up in

Lafayette, La. Top left, Bill and Margie

Morgan with Dean Lamar Pritchard;

bottom left, Charles and Mona Trahan,

Robert and Ree Mere, and Pritchard.

Above, late UHCOP Professor Robert

Boblitt with the classes of ’62 and ’63.

Please e-mail to contribute to the alumni mailbox! Photos are also welcome and appreciated!

24 University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Pharmacy Golf Tournament Scores $14,500 for 48 Students

Through individual and corporate sponsorships and player

registrations, the 31st Annual UH Pharmacy Alumni & Friends

Scholarship Golf Tournament in June generated $14,500 in

student awards for the 2010-11 academic year.

A total of 48 awards ranging from $1,000 to $250 each will be

awarded this fall, in addition to two $2,700 scholarships from the

Golf Endowment.

The top teams with the Low Net Score were: First Place – Louis

Williams, Kip Lackey, Donald Lackey (’81) and Michael Furlich;

Second Place – Jimmy Washburn, Mark Kramer (’90), David

Curlee (’75) and Dan Metzen (Bauer MBA ’07); and Third Place

– J.P. Monteverde, Christophe Monteverde, Tommy Edick and

Linzay Kelly (’91). The top teams with the Low Gross Score

were: First Place – Dick Schneider, Rick Schneider (’04) and Kyle

Schneider; Second Place – Mike Pede (HRM ’89), Brad Hovious,

Jim Bolt and Bill Cousins; and Third Place – Joe Murillo, Jeff Hall

(’02), Brian Parrish and Larry Jones. The award winners of the

individual competitions were: Closest to the Pin – Metzen and

Jessica Lee; and Longest Drive – Forrest Eikenburg and Liz Coyle.

This year’s tournament sponsors were:

Gold ($2,500) – PCCA and Walgreens;

Silver ($1,000) – Brookshire Bros., Marshall Clouser (’66),

Continental Airlines, LLW Consulting Inc., McKesson

Pharmaceutical, Pharmcare Pharmacy;

Red & White ($500) – Golf Galaxy, Donald Lackey (’81), Kip

Lackey and Medicine Chest;

Cougar ($100) – Robert Brown, Consulting Matters, Inc., W.C.

Grier, Chuck Kneip (’92), Randall Prince, Jim Rutan (’92) and

Tanglewood Pharmacy; and

In-Kind Donations & Other Gifts – Bruce Biundo (’61),

Clear Creek Golf Club, Cupcakes Rx, Golfsmith, Grand Lux

Café, Hermann Park Golf Course, Julianna Szilagyi, III Forks

Steakhouse and Seafood, The University of Houston Alumni

Association, UH College of Pharmacy, UH Hilton Hotel, Wildcat

Golf Club and Shara Zatopek (’74).

“For many of us, it was our first year of hands-on involvement

in planning and running the tournament, although we had a

lot of invaluable guidance from the founders, members of the

committee and UHAA,” said tournament co-chair Ziad Ghanem,

Pharm.D. (’04), the 2009-10 UH Pharmacy Alumni Association

President. “Thanks to the support of the players and our generous

sponsors, we’re all proud of the support we were able to provide

to many deserving students.”

Top right, Louis Williams, Kip Lackey, Donald Lackey and Michael Furlich

captured the Low Net Score. Second from top, Dick Schneider, Rick Schneider

and Kyle Schneider took first place in Low Gross Score. Third from top,

Dean Pritchard’s team comprised UH Cougars Linebacker Matt Nicholson,

UH Cougars Quarterback Case Keenum, and Porter Everts. Bottom right,

tournament organizers Ziad Ghanem, back row far left, and Renee Prescott,

front row right, with some of the 50 students who received support from the

endowment and proceeds from this year’s tournament.

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 25

Giving NEWS

With Open Hearts and Home,

Malacoffs Assist Students on

Path to Success in Education

Although they technically may not be a full-fledged “Cougar

Mom and Dad,” the support Lena and Marc Malacoff

have shown for UH College of Pharmacy and its students

unquestionably qualifies them as a “Cougar Aunt and Uncle.”

Already members of the college’s Mading Society, the Malacoffs

recently joined the university’s 1927 Society after naming

the college as a beneficiary in their wills. The Malacoffs, who

recently celebrated their 18th anniversary, took divergent career

paths but their enthusiastic support of education – particularly

pharmacy education – is a shared passion.

“We like to think that pharmacy adopted us, so we have adopted

pharmacy students in return,” Marc said.

Born and raised in Port Arthur, Lena Malacoff received her

bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from The University of Texas and

worked for various grocery store-based pharmacies for 30 years.

“I always wanted to do something where I could help people, and

I truly believe that our profession is there to help our patients

every day,” Lena said.

A chance request from the college through the Houston Area

Pharmacy Association (then the Harris County PA) during her

term as president landed Lena back in the classroom eight years

ago. Continuing to serve as a preceptor and relief pharmacist

in the Houston area, Lena teaches pharmacy skills, aseptic

techniques and other modules in the Pharm.D. curriculum as an

adjunct faculty member of the college.

“I never had a desire to be a teacher, but something told me to

say, ‘yes,’ and I’ve never had any regrets,” Lena said. “The students

are such a joy to work with, and I feel like I learn as much from

them as they do from me.”

A native New Yorker, Marc Malacoff took his interest in

technology to the University of Florida College of Engineering,

where he earned a degree in computer and library science, and

a 30-year career at Halliburton (and its predecessors), where he

now serves as an IT Security Manager with advanced certificates

in information security administration.

“The analytical aspect of figuring out a problem and answering

questions in a programmatic – as well as a curiosity about where

all of this was going – was very inviting to me,” said Marc, who

hopes to also return to the classroom one day as an information

technology teacher.

Over the years, the Malacoffs have opened their hearts and their

homes to pharmacy students. Currently offering a “home away

from home” to a Texas Southern University pharmacy student

from Dallas, they previously have “adopted” a one-time UHCOP

pharmacy student who eventually graduated from UH with a

Jerry Powers photo

Longtime supporters of UH College of Pharmacy, Lena and Marc Malacoff have

ensured future aid to the college through their planned gift.

computer science degree and Spanish pharmacy student on an

exchange program.

The Malacoffs established the Marc and Lena Malacoff Endowed

Scholarship at the college in 2005 and recently made a planned

gift to the college – both of which have been matched by

Halliburton. The couple is now in the process of establishing an

endowment for pharmacy students at Lena’s alma mater, UT.

In addition, Lena serves on the Texas Pharmacy Foundation

Board of Trustees and as co-chair of the TPF Silent Auction,

which found Marc taking three days of vacation to help auction

co-chair Shara Zatopek run the event. Such mutual support for

each other’s volunteer activities is a common practice for the


They also are active members of Houston’s Jewish community.

At their synagogue – Congregation Brith Shalom in Bellaire

– through which the two met, Marc serves on the Board of

Trustees and Lena is President of its Sisterhood Auxiliary. Lena

also serves on the Governing Board for the Houston section of

the National Council of Jewish Women.

“It’s a good feeling when we run into a pharmacy student who

has been out of school one or two years and see that they’ve

become successful,” Marc said.


University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Lau Family Growth Fund Offers New Endowment Option

The University of Houston College of Pharmacy has introduced

a new way to support students, faculty members, programs, and

the general operations of the college through The Lau Family

UHCOP Growth Fund Endowment.

The Lau Family Growth Fund provides an extended-funding

option for starting an endowment at the college. Currently,

UH requires a minimum of $25,000 to fund

an endowment. Individuals may start an

endowment with a gift of $1,000 and fund the

balance of $24,000 over a maximum period of

five years.

As these requirements may be prohibitive for

many individuals who would like to start an

endowment at the UH College of Pharmacy,

the Lau Family Growth Fund provides a new

mechanism for donors to fund an endowment

over as many years as they wish.

The Fund is in itself a fully funded endowment

with a gift of $25,000 from the Lau Family.

Those who wish to join The Lau Family

Growth Fund to start their own endowment

need only provide an initial gift of $1,000 or

more in one lump sum or over any period not exceeding 12

months. Donors may continue adding contributions until the

minimum of $25,000 in total gifts is reached.

While contributions are being funded into the account, all

distributable interest income will support the college’s greatest

need, such as facility or technology improvements. Through the

unique nature of the Fund, donors already will be contributing

an annual gift to the college.

When the account reaches full funding at $25,000, it is extracted

from the Fund to establish the stand-alone endowment. Donors

may elect to dedicate the endowment to support a scholarship,

a program, or any area of interest within the

college. Family and friends also can contribute

to the account at any time, either while it is

within The Lau Family Growth Fund or after

the endowment has been established at the

minimum funding level. Gifts can be made to

commemorate or celebrate special events such

as a birthday or a retirement.

The fund was established by and in honor

of the “small, but extended family” of Sze

Wah Johnny Lau, Ph.D. (’92), senior clinical

pharmacologist at the U.S. Food and Drug

Administration, UHCOP Mading Society

member and recipient of the college’s 2010

Distinguished Alumnus Award.

“My family set up the fund to aid the University

of Houston College of Pharmacy in becoming a first-rate,

nationally renowned college in the U.S.,” Lau said.

For more information about setting up an account within The

Lau Family Growth Fund, please contact Sara Tovar, Director of

Development, at or at 713-743-0823.

Relief Campaign, Tournament Contribute to Scholarship Records

Although the total amount of scholarship support received by

UH College of Pharmacy students this year fell short of breaking

the college record set in 2009, the 2010-11 academic year

toppled the college’s records set last year in the total number of

awards and total number of recipients.

This year, the college distributed $110,800 through an all-time

high of 272 awards to a record-setting 224 students. Although

endowment earnings continued to suffer from the sluggish

U.S. economy, the college achieved the new records largely due

to the generosity of alumni and friends who responded to the

Scholarship Relief Campaign – which raised $20,300 in gifts –

and the 2010 UHCOP Scholarship Golf Tournament (see story

on page 25).

“With escalating educational costs, it becomes more important

to monetarily support the students,” said Susan Lerma, R.Ph.

(B.S. ’84). “Pharmacy has been such a rewarding career for me

that it is only natural to want to give back in any way possible.”

Alumni and Mading Society members Paul Lott, R.Ph. (B.S. ’84),

FASCP, and Angela Andries Lott, R.Ph. (B.S. ’84), were among

the Relief Campaign contributors and golf tournament sponsors.

Donors Renee Prescott, front left, and Bourjois Abboud, front right, with some

of the more than 200 students who received scholarships this year.

“We felt that it was important to provide additional help this

year because, regardless of the economy, our students continue

to need our support in order to reach their professional goals,”

Paul Lott said. “Beyond the current students, additions to the

endowments also help the University in its quest for Tier I

Status. We can’t overstate the importance of this goal.”

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 27

Walmart PEF Helps College

Claim University Record of

10 PEFs, $550K in Support

With recent expiration of the matching-gift opportunity

in establishing Presidential Endowed Fellowships (PEFs),

alumni and friends of UH College of Pharmacy helped set a

universitywide record 10 PEFs for professional and graduate


A $25,000 gift to establish the Walmart Health and Wellness

Presidential Endowed Fellowship and a $25,000 supplement

to the Diana Chow PEF from Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Inc. –

both matched dollar-for-dollar by a special fund set up two years

ago – has pushed the total value represented by the college’s

PEFs to $550,000.

“We are so proud to be a supporter of academia,” said Ami

Bhatt, Pharm.D., director of Wal-Mart Talent Acquisitions–

Health and Wellness. “We at Walmart Health and Wellness

believe education is the foundation to a strong career.”

The new Walmart Health and

Wellness PEF, named after

the company’s initiative for

customers and employees to

improve access to healthcare,

reduce health disparities and

promote healthy lifestyles, will provide assistance to Pharm.D.

students throughout their four-year education.

“By supporting education, Walmart ensures that the leaders of

tomorrow have access to the quality education opportunities

they need to be successful today,” said Sharon Early, Pharm.D.,

R.Ph., Regional Talent Specialist for Texas

Otsuka Pharmaceuticals manufactures IV Busulfex® (Busulfan),

a conditioning agent for stem-cell transplantation in leukemia

patients co-invented by UHCOP Professor Diana S-L. Chow,

Ph.D. Used in more than 75 percent of all such procedures in the

U.S., the drug has greatly reduced post-transplantation mortality.

Modern Dispensing System

from Kirby Lester to Enhance

Student Training in Care Lab

In the midst of UH College of Pharmacy’s modernization

project for the Pharmacy Care Laboratory, Kirby Lester

Inc. recently gave a counting and verification device to the

college for use in training student pharmacists.

The Kirby Lester KL16 unit that was donated to the college

supports the company’s mission to provide pharmacies

with solutions to enhance

productivity and quality control

while minimizing dispensing

errors. Valued at approximately

$10,000, the KL16 is a complete

dispensing system for oral solids

and unit-of-use medications.

The device uses advanced

counting technology as well as

bar-code scanning, biometrics

and on-screen medication

images to enhance dispensing accuracy, improve

efficiencies and prevent medication errors.

“Kirby Lester has a strong tradition of working with

schools of pharmacy spanning almost four decades,” said

Christopher Thomsen, Kirby Lester’s vice president

of Business Development. “Today’s pharmacy students

understand the value of technology and automation

and how it will best be utilized to move the pharmacy

profession forward.”

More than 30,000 pharmacies worldwide rely on Kirby

Lester for their counting needs. Established in 1971, Kirby

Lester counters are used to dispense prescriptions in retail,

mail order, hospital and long-term care pharmacies and

manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and in 35 countries

around the world.

Dean’s Society Gifts Offer Support for Teaching, Service Missions

Faced with the prospect of further

cutbacks in funding for public higher

education, UH College of Pharmacy has

launched the Dean’s Society of Annual

Giving to encourage and recognize

support for many of the college’s most

basic programs through gifts of $1,000.

The funds provided by Dean’s Society

members will be used to support the

college’s Teaching and Service missions,

but not its Research mission.

Among the areas that will be supported

The funds will be used to

support the college’s Teaching

and Service missions, but not its

Research mission.

by Dean’s Society membership are

faculty development, student and alumni

programs, equipment and furnishings

to enhance the student’s educational

experience, and other programs and

initiatives that generally advance the


“Our current and forecasted budget

cutbacks will likely reduce the college’s

ability to maintain key educational

initiatives unless we are able to find

external assistance through such

initiatives as Dean’s Society Fund,” said

UHCOP Dean Lamar Pritchard.

Each April, the Dean’s Society members

will be invited to a dinner in which

Pritchard will provide a report on how

the society’s funds are being used.


University of Houston College of Pharmacy

SR2 Pharmacy Library Move

Opens Space Designated for

Study Zones, Artifact Display

In response to student concerns about a shortage of study,

organization and lounge space in the Science & Research

Building 2, UH College of Pharmacy recently embarked on a

three-phase renovation project to ensure students have adequate

space for learning as well as a home for the college’s pharmacy


Phase I involved the relocation of the Pharmacy Library

collection to the main UH library and converting the vacant

space into a new Learning Resource Center (LRC), which is

comprised of two main areas equipped with wireless access for

computers and a “pharmacy museum.”

The individual study area provides individual desks with power

outlets, while the group study area offers round tables to

accommodate students for collaborative work as well as a new

bank of computers and printers. This area of the LRC also will

house displays of the rich UHCOP pharmacopeia as a “Pharmacy

Museum” along the walls.

Access to the LRC is being controlled by an electronic key-card

system, which ensures only UHCOP students are admitted

(unlike the open-access library policy that led to overcrowding

when non-pharmacy students used the Pharmacy Library that

previously occupied the space). The total project cost for the

development of the LRC and museum is $70,000.

The new Learning Resource Center

provides spaces for group and individual

study, as well as computer workstations,

printers and wireless connectivity. The LRC

also will house the college’s collection of


The college also is developing an expanded lounge space to

accommodate a larger number of students to take breaks and

eat between classes. In addition, a large dedicated office that

will provide an administrative home for student organizations

is being developed next door to the expanded student lounge.

Completion of the lounge/office project will cost $50,000.

UHCOP alumni and friends are invited to assist in the campaign

at the following giving levels: LRC/Museum – Asclepius Level

($10,000) or Hygieia Level ($5,000); and Lounge/Organizations

Office – P4 ($10,000), P3 ($5,000), P2 ($1,000) or P1 ($500).

Tyler, DFW, San Antonio and Houston Alumni Host Receptions

Dean Lamar Pritchard continues to crisscross the state to meet with UHCOP

alumni and friends at Meet the Dean (MTD) Receptions. Dean’s Advisory

Council (DAC) member and alumnus John Stephenson, R.Ph. (B.S. ’68),

and his wife, Linda, hosted a reception at their Tyler home. Right, John

Stephenson offers a tour of the lake with, back row, Linda Stephenson, Billie

Hopson, State Rep. Chuck Hopson, R.Ph. (B.S. ’65), Judy Pritchard, Dean

Pritchard and Jan Downing. Bottom right, alumna and DAC member Carrie M.

Sacky, R.Ph. (B.S. ’80), with daughters Sara Sacky and Stacie Sacky Dacus

(Pharm.D. ’10) and Pritchard, at the Dallas-Fort Worth Area reception. Bottom

right, UH alumni John Espinoza (Technology ’77), and Mary Espinoza, R.Ph.

(B.S. ’80), far right, welcomed the Pritchards, fellow alumni and students

into their San Antonio home. Alumnus Daniel E. Morse, R.Ph. (B.S. ’60), also

opened his home in Houston’s Galleria area to Pritchard and fellow alumni,

including brother George Morse, R.Ph. (B.S. ’70).

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 29

Donor Roll Call (Jan. 1, 2009 - Dec. 31, 2009)

$50,000 +

Mr. Bourjois S. Abboud (1996) and

Mrs. Micheline Abboud

Alzheimer’s Association

American Heart Association -

National Center

FRAXA Research Foundation

Gilead Sciences Europe Ltd.

Merck & Co., Inc.

$49,999 - $25,000

Dr. Lydia Aguilera (1980)

Dr. Karim A. Alkadhi and

Dr. Ann L. Bragdon

Mr. Sunny Chin (1971) and

Mrs. June Chin

Dr. Diana S-L. Chow

Mr. Celso Cuellar, Jr. (1965)

Progressive Medical, Inc.

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists


$24,999 - $10,000

Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CVS Corporation

Mr. David DeVido (1964)

Mr. John P. Gee (1971) and

Mrs. May Kan Gee

H-E-B Grocery Company

Jerome Lejeune Foundation

Mrs. Catherine F. Neill (1979) and

Mr. William J. Neill

WalMart Stores Inc.

$9,999 - $5,000

Mr. Pat Downing, Jr. (1970)

Mr. Alton G. Kanak (1969) and

Mrs. Sandra K. Kanak

Mr. Kenneth R. Korthauer (1966) and

Mrs. Patty Korthauer

Medwell Foods, Inc.

Northeast Hospital Foundation

Randall’s Food Markets, Inc.

Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc

Mrs. MaryBob Smith and

Mr. Michael J. Smith

Mrs. Joyce A. Tipton (1979)

Viropharma Inc.

$4,999 - $1,000

Albertsons LLC

Mr. Johnny E. Benitez (1986)

Mr. Bruce V. Biundo (1961) and

Mrs. Ann Biundo

Mrs. Shirley S. Buckley

Dr. Lance Campbell (2001)

Cardinal Health

Mr. Mark Carranza (2003)

Ms. Lourdes M. Cuellar (1973, 1979)

Mr. Robert J. de Lachica, Sr. (1964)

Mr. Joe Clay Fischer, Jr. (1986)

Fasken Foundation

Mr. Perry Flowers (1990)

Mr. Ruben Pablo Fonseca (1979)

Mr. W. Benjamin Fry (1972)

Mr. Wayne Martin Gentsch (1955) and

Mrs. Dolores H. Gentsch

Gilead Sciences

Mrs. Tonya L. Goode and

Mr. Eddie Goode

Dr. Raymond W. Hammond (1973) and

Mrs. Sandra L. Hammond

Mrs. Maria Elena V. Hesbrook (1974)

and Dr. James G. Hesbrook

Dr. Tahir Hussain

Johnson & Johnson

Dr. Sze Wah Johnny Lau (1991)

Dr. Thomas L. Lemke and

Mrs. Patricia Lemke

Ms. Susan G. Lerma (1984)

Mr. James Henry Livingston, Jr. (1971)

Dr. Mustafa F. Lokhandwala (1975)

and Mrs. Sanu M. Lokhandwala

Mr. John J. Lovoi, Sr. (1962) and

Mrs. Paula Lovoi

Mr. Vincent A. Luparello (1973) and

Mrs. Kaye Luparello

Mr. James T. McCarty (1952) and

Mrs. Mary Lou McCarty

Mr. Larry McClaugherty (1972)

National Association of Chain Drug

Stores Foundation

Mrs. Lananh T. Nguyen (1998) and

Mr. Tho V. Nguyen

Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Co.

Dr. F. Lamar Pritchard and

Mrs. Judy Pritchard

Mrs. Carrie McClain Sacky (1980)

Dr. Lynn A. Simpson (1996)

Dr. Andrea L. Smesny (1997)

Mr. L. David Sparks and Mrs. Kay Sparks

Mr. and Mrs. John P. Stephenson (1968)

Dr. Julianna E. Szilagyi and

Dr. David R. Caprette

Texas Federation of Drug Stores Inc.

Texas Pharmacy Association

Dr. David A. Wallace (1998) and

Dr. Sarah E. Wallace (2000)

Ms. May J. Woo (1991)

Ms. Shara L. Zatopek (1974) and

Mr. H. Porter Everts

Up to $100

Ms. Mary Jean Adams (1975)

Antonio’s Mexican Grill

Mrs. Joyce Lynn Arizpe

Mr. John Keith Askew (1977)

Mrs. Margaret A. Babin (1980) and

Mr. Danny P. Babin (1980)

Mr. James W. Bailey and

Mrs. Sandra Bailey

Mr. Melvin Thomas Beddoe (1964)

Mr. Michael Neil Bias (1979)

Dr. Keely Nicole Boudreaux

Ms. Roxanne Braswell (1986)

Mr. Jerry Cole and Mrs. Linda Cole

Mr. Frank Joseph Conte (1962) and

Mrs. Barbara A. Conte

Mr. Arthur L. Contreras

Mr. James R. Cothren and

Mrs. Angela Cothren

Mr. M. Earl Davis and Mrs. Merry J. Davis

Mrs. Gloria E. Davis-Brackins

Mr. John Allen Dennison, Jr.

Dr. Ngoc-Giao T. Dinh (2008)

Mr. Dennis Joseph Duhon (1976)

Ms. Doris C. Ebo (1993)

Mr. Floyd E. Edwards (1957)

Mr. Jason T. Epker and

Mrs. Melissa Ogden Epker

Mr. Patrick D. Flynn (1972)

Mr. James T. Foley and

Mrs. Charlotte Foley

Mr. Robert Thompson Gampe, Jr. (1981)

Mr. John S. Giglio

Mr. Gilberto Gonzalez, Jr. (1998)

Mrs. Melissa N. Grantham (1977)

Gregory Real Estate

Mr. Charles M. Griffin (1962)

Mr. Frank Neal Griffin (1967)

Mr. Candelario Guerrero (1977)

Mrs. Jan D. Hasson (1983) and

Capt. Vester M. Hasson, III


University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Dr. Sharathcha S. Hegde (1990)

Mr. Barry Brent Hodges

Mrs. Debbie Hodges (1978)

Mr. Rickey A. Holderrieth (1976) and

Mrs. Linda Holderrieth

Mr. Ed L. Hunter (1974) and

Mrs. Cynthia C. Hunter

Mrs. Sadia K. Ijaz (1997)

Mr. Mario Barrios Jaramillo (1994) and

Mrs. Susanna S. Jaramillo

Mrs. Fehmida A. Karachiwala (1981)

Ms. Christine Marie Kelley

Mrs. Martha M. Key and

Mr. William O. Key

Mrs. Michelle L. Lacy (1996)

Mr. Richard Lee Lenz (1975) and

Mrs. Carol Lenz

Mr. Richard D. Lozano (1977) and

Mrs. Petronila Lozano

Ms. Ann Phi Luu (1996)

Ms. Linh Dang My Luu (1994)

Mandola’s Deli

Mr. Andreas Martinez (1985)

Mrs. Jeane P. Massey (1975) and

Mr. John L. Massey

Ms. Lucila Willingham McMillion and

Mr. Robert A. McMillion

Mr. Benjamin R. Monette (1980)

Dr. Michelle U. Murillo (2002)

Mrs. Pamela S. Murphy (1992)

Mr. Ketan C. Naik (1989)

Mr. Raymond A. Nastoupil (1951)

Dr. Linh Kristi Nguyen (2002)

Ms. Nickie Lee Nicholas (1966)

Mr. Edward D. Nussbaum (1954)

Ms. N. Pauline Thomas Parks

Mr. Vipool Chimanlal Patel (1983)

Dr. Philip A. Perales (2001) and

Mrs. Anna Perales

Mr. Gregory Pierson

Ms. Carol J. Potts (1994)

Mr. Justin L. Pritchard

Mr. Paul I. Protas

Mrs. Myrna N. Protas (1970)

Dr. Joseph J. Provenzano, Jr. (1977) and

Dr. Lisa Provenzano

Dr. Edgar Rios

Mr. David Romero (1991)

Mr. George D. Rook and Mrs. Kay Rook

Mr. Harry Rosenzweig (1963)

Dr. Thomas A. Singletary

Mrs. Marjorie Singletary (1980)

Mr. Jeffrey Walton Spearman (1976) and

Mrs. Debra Spearman

Dr. Stephen E. Sussman (1982)

Mr. Mark L. Templet (1978)

Mrs. Linda Esther Trodlier

Mrs. Uloma Ujoatu

Ms. Pallavi Ukidwe (1998) and

Mr. Animesh Ukidwe

Ms. Sammie L. Van Winkle

Dr. Joseph Vazhappilly, Jr. (2000)

Mr. James Lawrence Venarske (1972)

Dr. Jacinto Villarreal, Jr. (2001)

Dr. David J. Wagner (1979)

Mr. Mark Waldron (1977)

Mr. Emory J. Walker, Jr. (1953) and

Mrs. Bonnie Walker

Mr. Larry Lane Watson

Mr. Jaye Scott Weston (1980)

Ms. Sui-Fong Lam Wexler (1976)

Mrs. Judith F. Wright (1986) and

Mr. Randall Wright

Ms. Bou-Chai Yang

Ms. Lois E. Yawman

Mrs. Christine Lee Yep (1973)

Dr. Jenean A. Young (1981)

Giving by Class (Jan. 1, 2009 - Dec. 31, 2009)

Year Total Giving by Class

1996 $51,045.00

1980 $28,541.00

1965 $25,400.00

1979 $17,725.00

1971 $14,010.00

1964 $11,650.00

1969 $6,725.00

1966 $6,375.00

1974 $5,800.00

1972 $5,773.37

1970 $5,125.00

1973 $4,440.00

1997 $4,430.00

1991 $4,362.50

1961 $4,000.00

1962 $3,925.00

1986 $3,105.00

1998 $2,725.00

1984 $2,650.00

Year Total Giving by Class

1977 $2,375.00

2003 $1,950.00

2001 $1,650.00

1955 $1,500.00

1990 $1,450.00

1968 $1,350.00

1983 $1,350.00

2005 $1,150.00

2000 $1,050.00

2008 $1,025.00

1952 $1,000.00

1989 $875.00

1963 $850.00

1981 $725.00

1992 $700.00

1975 $610.00

1988 $600.00

1982 $593.74

1985 $570.00

Year Total Giving by Class

1976 $535.00

1999 $500.00

2006 $500.00

1960 $400.00

1967 $400.00

2002 $400.00

1994 $390.00

1954 $250.00

1995 $250.00

2004 $250.00

1950 $200.00

1978 $200.00

1993 $175.00

1953 $150.00

2009 $150.00

1958 $100.00

1951 $50.00

1957 $50.00

University of Houston College of Pharmacy 31


University of Houston

College of Pharmacy

141 Science & Research Bldg. 2

Houston, Texas 77204-5000

Non-Profit Org.

US Postage


Houston, Texas

Permit No. 5910





u College News . . . . . . . . 3

• Dean’s Advisory Council Sets New Priorities

• Pritchard Announces Leadership Changes

• Texas Children’s Joins MS/Residency Program

• UH, SLEH Project Named ASHP Best Practice

u Faculty News . . . . . . . . . 8

• Eikenburg, Hussain Among UH Honorees

• CSA Welcomes New Faculty Members

• Hammond, Pedemonte Retire from College

u Research News . . . . . . 11

• Faculty Set New College Record for Research

• NIH Supports Alcohol, Antimicrobial Studies

• Alumna Wins Best Poster Award at ACCP

March 23-March 24, 2011

Spring Dean’s Advisory Council Dinner & Meeting

Contact: Sara Tovar, or


March 29-March 31, 2011

ACPE Accreditation Team Site Visit

Contact: Jerie Creal, jcreal@uh.ed or 713-743-1300

Sept. 23, 2011

Scholarship Event, 4 p.m., UH Hilton

Contact: Sara Tovar, or


Format of Mading Society Event Changed

Due to Forecasted Budget Reductions

Due to the current economic climate and forecasted

budget reductions, UH College of Pharmacy has

elected to change the format of the annual Mading

Society Induction Reception to a private gathering

for only the new inductees. UH College of Pharmacy

would like to thank its Mading Society members

for their continued support and understanding of

the difficult economic decisions facing the college.

For more information, please contact Sara Tovar at or 713-743-0823.

u Student News. . . . . . . . 18

• National Honors for SNPhA, Phi Delta Chi

• Students Attend World Pharmacy Congress

• UH Takes First Place in TPA Competitions

u Alumni News. . . . . . . . 22

• Cougars Installed in TPA Leadership Posts

• TPA Honors 2010 ‘Distinguished’ Graduate

• Scholarship Golf Tournament Results

Top left, Dean Lamar Pritchard shares his vision for the college with alumni and friends at the Dallas-Fort Worth Area

Meet the Dean Reception hosted by Carrie Sacky (’80); top right, Dean Pritchard gets to know alumnus and State Rep.

Chuck Hopson (’65) at the Tyler reception; below left, Mary Espinoza (’82), left, co-hosted a reception in San Antonio

for Dean Pritchard and alumni, including Denise Randall (’09), Amber Dwairy (’10) and Angela Chi (’10); and, below

right, Ed Talley (’62), Bruce Biundo (’61), and Bill Morgan (’63) catch up at the Fall Dean’s Advisory Council dinner.

u Giving News . . . . . . . . 26

• Malacoffs Join The 1927 Society

• Lau Family Growth Fund Offers New Option

• Record Presidential Endowed Fellowships

• Meet the Dean Receptions Across Texas

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