The University of Florida College of Pharmacy announced five faculty have been appointed to endowed professorships beginning Jan. 1, 2022. Endowed professorships are among the highest honors a college can bestow on a faculty member and are reserved for scholars of national and international acclaim.
The newly appointed faculty include:
- Larisa Cavallari, Pharm.D., BCPS, FCCP, to the Debbie DeSantis Term Professorship
- Eric Krause, Ph.D., to the Debbie DeSantis Excellence Professorship
- Jatinder Lamba, Ph.D., M.Sc., to the Frank A. Duckworth Eminent Scholar Chair
- Chris McCurdy, Ph.D., FAAPS, to the Frank A. Duckworth Eminent Scholar Chair
- Charles Peloquin, Pharm.D., to the Jack C. Massey Professorship
Larisa Cavallari joined the UF College of Pharmacy in 2014 and serves as a professor of pharmacotherapy and translational research and the director of the Center for Pharmacogenomics and Precision Medicine. Her research involves the discovery of genetic associations with drug response and their translation into practice to improve health outcomes. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the FDA, the American Heart Association and others. The Debbie DeSantis Term Professorship will support her work advancing precision medicine.
Eric Krause joined the UF College of Pharmacy in 2011 and serves as an associate professor of pharmacodynamics and director of the Center for Integrative Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease. His research utilizes an integrative approach toward investigating brain circuits governing physiology and behavior. He is currently funded on several grants through these National Institutes of Health agencies: the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging.
Jatinder Lamba also joined the UF College of Pharmacy in 2014 and is a professor of pharmacotherapy and translational research and leads an actively funded and highly collaborative research program in the field of genomics-driven precision medicine in oncology. She specializes in research focused on acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, which has been funded by the National Cancer Institute since 2008. Other funding agencies supporting her research include the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the American Cancer Society and St. Baldrick’s Foundation and the Florida Department of Health. The Frank A. Duckworth Eminent Scholar Chair will support her work advancing drug discovery and drug research.
Chris McCurdy joined the college’s faculty in 2017 and serves as a professor of medicinal chemistry and director of the UF Translational Drug Development Core. He is a broadly trained medicinal chemist, behavioral pharmacologist and pharmacist whose research focuses on the design, synthesis and development of drugs to treat pain and drug abuse. He is internationally recognized for his research and expertise related to Mitragyna speciosa, or kratom. McCurdy is currently funded by several National Institutes of Health grants as well as the Florida Department of Health. The Frank A. Duckworth Eminent Scholar Chair will support his work advancing drug discovery and drug research.
Charles Peloquin joined the UF College of Pharmacy in 2009 and serves as a professor and associate chair of pharmacotherapy and translational research and director of the Infectious Disease Pharmacokinetics Laboratory. His research focuses on therapeutic drug monitoring and clinical trials for patients with advanced mycobacterial diseases. He has served as a consultant to the FDA, CDC and WHO, and has contributed to national guidelines on the treatment of tuberculosis and the treatment of opportunistic infections in patients living with AIDS. Peloquin’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the FDA and others.
All of the professorships will be five-year appointments, except for the Debbie DeSantis Term Professorship, which features a three-year term.
About the Endowed Professorships
Frank A. Duckworth Eminent Scholar Chair
Frank A. Duckworth established the first endowed eminent scholar chair in the UF College of Pharmacy in 1989. Today, it supports advancements in drug discovery and drug research. Duckworth received a degree in pharmacy in 1942 and a juris doctor in 1948, both from UF. He taught in the UF College of Pharmacy and was awarded the college’s first Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1986. He was also instrumental in providing the vision and inspiration for the creation of Oak Hammock at the University of Florida. Duckworth passed away in 2002.
Jack C. Massey Professorship
Jack C. Massey began his entrepreneurial career as a retail druggist in 1930 after graduating with a degree in pharmacy from the University of Florida. His business expanded into a multi-city wholesale surgical supply operation, which was purchased by the A. S. Aloe Division of the Brunswick Corporation in 1961. He was a founder of the Hospital Corporation of America and served as chairman of the board, chief executive officer, chairman of the executive committee and a member of the board of directors. Massey was well known as the principal who purchased Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation and directed its growth to one of the world’s largest commercial marketers of prepared foods. He was also the founder of Winner’s Corporation. Massey became the first person in the history of the New York Stock Exchange to list three companies on the Big Board. He received a UF Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1986.
Debbie DeSantis Term and Excellence Professorships
For more than two decades, Debbie DeSantis has philanthropically supported the UF College of Pharmacy. Her latest gift in 2021 established the first endowed term professorship in precision medicine in the UF College of Pharmacy. DeSantis graduated with honors from the UF College of Pharmacy with a bachelor’s degree in 1982 and began her career as a pharmacist in a chain pharmacy and rose to the positions of chief and district supervisor. She later joined Rexall Sundown, where she became vice president of operations, and in 1997, began work in the product development department. DeSantis’ efforts earned her the position of senior vice president of product development at Rexall Sundown’s parent company, Nutricia USA. Her professional interests are in the field of pharmacognosy, which is the study of natural products. She received a UF Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2015.