A pharmacy school curriculum by its very nature is under perpetual revision. At no time was this more evident than during this fall as the health care reform debate continued in Washington, DC and across the country. Thomas Buckley’s Public Health & Healthcare Policy course was “ground zero” for health care reform discussions on our campus. As he frequently told his students, “what I might tell you today, could change tomorrow.” His knowledge of health care politics and policy at both the state and national levels served to guide our students as they tried to understand the issues and their potential impact on them as both citizens and future pharmacists. It is faculty like Tom Buckley that is the strength of our school: practitioners and scholars who can bring their knowledge, clinical experience, and research into the classroom.
At the 2009 AAPS Annual Meeting, Dr. Michael Pikal, Pfizer Distinguished Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutical Technology, received the AAPS Distinguished Scientist Award. This eminent recognition, presented biennially, is awarded to a senior scientist in the pharmaceutical sciences and is the highest award presented by the AAPS. Dr. Pikal is widely regarded as the word’s leading expert in the lyophilization of drugs.
Dr. Pikal was also honored by a group of former students who established the Michael J. Pikal Graduate Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Technology to support a University of Connecticut graduate student whose research focuses on pharmaceutical technology and manufacturing science.
Dr. Robin Bogner was awarded the Ralph Shangraw Memorial Prize. This award is given annually for excellence in research focused on excipients by the International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council (IPEC).
Third-year pharmacy student Danielle Voisine was appointed to a national committee within the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), the Geriatric Academic Roundtable. She is the first student representative to ever be appointed to this committee.
For the second time this decade, two of our graduate students were selected as USP Fellows. Kristyn Greco, from Dr. Robin Bogner’s lab, and Archana Rawat, from Dr. Diane Burgess’s lab, were selected as a 2009-2010 USP Fellow. Selection as one of only six USP Fellows nationwide is a very high honor; to have two fellows from the same school is especially significant and speaks to the quality of our students, faculty, and graduate program generally.
Graduate Student Sudhir Verma was one of five winners of the Excipient Graduate Student Award presented by the International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council (IPEC) at the AAPS Annual Meeting.
Ph.D. graduate Sharad Murdande, now a principal scientist at Pfizer, received the Pfizer Global R&D Achievement Award (PGRD’s highest honor). Dr. Murdande commented that the educational and research training that he received at our institution and from Drs. Bogner and Pikal contributed significantly in making him a better scientist.
Our students hosted the Region I American Pharmacists Association/Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Midyear Meeting (MRM) in Hartford in early November. The meeting, a year in planning, included presentations and discussion of current issues in pharmacy and an opportunity for the students to develop policy statements to be considered by the APhA-ASP House of Delegates at the APhA Annual Meeting this spring.
We warmly welcome Drs. Ted Rasmussen, associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Stephanie Nigro, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, to our faculty family. Dr. Rasmussen’s research focuses on stem cells. Dr. Nigro’s area of specialty is primary/ambulatory care; her practice site will be at a community health center in New Britain.
Migrant Farm Worker Clinics
As an important component of their introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs), our pharmacy students have been working with other health care professional students on campus at migrant farm worker clinics in the state. Recently, we have begun to pair pharmacy alumni with our students at these clinics allowing them to work together in caring for this underserved patient population.
Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season!
Robert L. McCarthy, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor