New cohort of 23 graduate students arrive for fall semester

A new cohort of Ph.D and residential master’s students began their fall semester at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy Aug. 31. The incoming class features 21 Ph.D. and two residential master’s students, from nine states and four countries. Nine additional international students will join the class in the spring.

Ph.D. CohortDean Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., and Associate Dean for Research and Education Maureen Keller-Wood, Ph.D., welcomed the students to campus during orientation Aug. 19. The half-day session allowed the cohort to meet their classmates and learn about life as a graduate student in the college. In her opening remarks, Dean Johnson said the college has worked hard to create a welcoming environment for graduate students and encourage collaboration between departments.

Alexandria Senetra and Alexis Smith are among nine new medicinal chemistry students joining the department this fall. The pair was impressed by the diverse research opportunities within the college and the support faculty provide to graduate students.

“I met Dr. [Chris] McCurdy when he spoke last fall at Rowan University, where I was completing my master’s degree,” Senetra said. “He encouraged me to look at UF, and I found the faculty here are really leading some interesting research around neuropeptides, which is my research area.”

Smith wanted to pursue graduate training in drug discovery and has an interest in anti-cancer therapies. Her undergraduate advisor at the University of Dayton attended UF and encouraged her to consider the College of Pharmacy.

“What really impressed me about UF were all the grant-funded projects,” Smith said. “Faculty have multiple grants for different projects, and I could see myself fitting in well here.”

Here is how the fall 2020 class of new graduate students breaks down by department:

Medicinal Chemistry – 9 Ph.D.
Phamaceutical Outcomes and Policy – 4 Ph.D., 1 master’s
Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research – 3 Ph.D., 1 master’s
Pharmacodynamics – 3 Ph.D.
Pharmaceutics – 2 Ph.D.