UF College of Pharmacy Holds 27th Annual Research Showcase

The UF College of Pharmacy held its 27th research competition on Feb. 20, with nine graduate student presenters in the oral competition, and a record 67 posters were entered in three categories; graduate students, professional students, and postdoctoral fellows. Organized each year by William J. Millard, Ph.D., associate dean for administrative and research affairs, this year’s college research showcase was the largest in the history of the college. This year, Taimour Langaee, Ph.D., a research associate professor, also served as the 2014 Showcase Coordinator.

Keynote speaker, Deanna L. Kroetz, Ph.D., a professor of bioengineering and therapeutics science in the School of Pharmacy at the University of California San Francisco, presented her research, “Clinical and Functional Pharmacogenomic Studies in Breast Cancer.” Her research focuses on understanding the role of genetic variation in determining drug response and toxicity.


The annual Research Showcase is made possible through funding from these dedicated supporters:

Merck (Dr. Russell Weiner); Dr. Robert A. and Phyllis Levitt (class of 1961); Debbie Klapp Memorial Endowment; Dr. David W. Newton (class of 1976); Dr. Philip and Patricia Burton (class of 1981); Dr. Howard Thomas Karnes (class of 1984); PK-P’Dyne, Inc. (Dr. Kerry Estes); and Dr. Stephan Schmidt (class of 2008).

Poster Judges

Dr. Larisa H. Cavallari, associate professor of pharmacy practice, University of Illinois at Chicago; Dr. Eric A. Dietrich, assistant professor of pharmacotherapy & translational research, Dr. Yousong Ding, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry, Dr. Aline Hilzendeger, assistant research scientist in pharmacodynamics; Dr. Yanxia Liu, assistant scientist in medicinal chemistry; Dr. Haesuk Park, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, and Dr. Anzeela M. Schentrup, clinical assistant professor of pharmacotherapy & translational research from UF College of Pharmacy; Dr. Kevin Raisch, assistant professor of otolaryngology, UF College of Medicine; Dr. Carrie A. Lagassee, clinical specialist – drug policy, development and resource utilization, UF Health Shands Hospital; Dr. Marek Schwendt, research assistant professor of psychology, UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Oral Competition Judges

Dr. Robert Huigens, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry, Dr. Caitrin McDonough, research assistant professor of pharmacotherapy & translational research, and Dr. Stacy A. Voils, clinical assistant professor of pharmacotherapy & translational research, UF College of Pharmacy. Dr. Deanna L. Kroetz, Professor, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of California San Francisco.

Research Showcase Awards Ceremony

Oral Competition

Each participant receives a commemorative plaque and a cash award: winner $600; finalist $300.

Senior Division – winner

Bhargava Kandala, Pharmaceutics

Title: “Application of Modeling and Simulation in Clinical Dose Selection during First in Human (FIH) Phase-I Clinical Trial”

Senior Division – finalists

  • Erin Jackson, Medicinal Chemistry, Title: “Glucuronidation of Triclosan in Human Liver Microsomes and Expressed UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs)” 
  • Marina Kawaguchi-Suzuki, Pharmacotherapy & Translational Research, Title: “Pharmacodynamic Association of Pioglitazone and its Active Metabolites with Liver Outcomes among Patients Diagnosed with Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis”
Junior Division – winner

Mohamed Shahin, Pharmacotherapy & Translational Research

Title: “Integrating Pharmacometabolomics with Pharmacogenomics Reveals a Novel Biomarker Associated with Blood Pressure Response in Hydrochlorothiazide Treated Patients”

Junior Division – finalists

  • Michelle Suzanne Bousquet, Medicinal Chemistry, Title: “Probing the Cytoprotective Nrf2-ARE Pathway using Natural Product and Genomic Based Approaches” 
  • Ahmed Elshikha, Pharmaceutics, Title: “Therapeutic Potentials of Human α-1 Antitrypsin (hAAT) for the Treatment of Lupus-The Effect on Dendritic Cell (DC) Maturation and its Functions” 
  • Kaley MacFadyen, Pharmacodynamics, Title: “Oxytocin Inhibits Ethanol Intake Possibly via a Direct Effect on Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons”
Levitt Division – winner

Xinyue Liu, Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy

Title: “Development of a Novel Approach to Assess Psychotropic Polypharmacy in Administrative Databases”

Levitt Division – finalist

  • Wei Liu, Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, Title: “Utilization Pattern of Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors for Erectile Dysfunction among Commercially Insured Adults in the United States: Analysis of Health Plan Member Claims”


Poster Competition

Winners of the poster presentations are listed below in three categories. Each winner receives a $300 cash prize.

Professional Student Division

Emily McCleary, Professional Student/Gainesville Campus

Title: “Outcomes Associated with Clostridium difficile in Neutropenic Oncology Patients”

Graduate Student Division

Aline Bergesch Barth, Pharmaceutics

Title: “Levofloxacin Dose Optimization for Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis based on Lung Microdialysis in Patients”

Anandharajan Rathinasabapathy, Pharmacodynamics

Title: “Secretions of Adipose Derived Stem for the Treatment of Monocrotaline Induced Pulmonary Hypertension”

Lei Wang, Pharmacodynamics

Title: “Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 Acts in the Brain to Decrease Anxiety-like Behavior and Stress-induced Activation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis”

Guo Zhong, Medicinal Chemistry

Title: “Chloride and Other Anions Inhibit Dichloroacetate-induced Anactivation of Human Liver GSTZ1 in a Haplotype-dependent Manner”

Post-doctoral Fellow Division

Stephan Jahn, Medicinal Chemistry

Title: “The Roles of Chloride and GSTZ1 in the Metabolism of Dichloroacetate”

Issam Hamadeh, Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research

Title: “A Novel Simple Method for Determining CYP2D6 Copy Number and Identify Alleles with Duplication/Multiplication”