UF Health recognized 33 endowed professors and chairs across the six academic colleges at a special Celebrating Distinction ceremony on Oct. 13. The event included four newly endowed professors from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy who were installed in 2022.
- 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
Appointment to a professorship or chair is one of the highest honors a college can bestow on a faculty member and is reserved for scholars of national and international acclaim. The honors would not be possible without the generosity of donors who choose to invest in the UF College of Pharmacy’s faculty and their programs.
Meet the Endowed Professors
Eric Krause was appointed to the Debbie DeSantis Excellence Professorship. He 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. Specifically, he studies connections within the nervous system that contribute to stress-related diseases, like neuropsychiatric, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. The ultimate goal of the research is to identify novel targets for therapeutic interventions. Krause 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 was appointed to the Frank A. Duckworth Eminent Scholar Chair. She 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 was appointed to the Frank A. Duckworth Eminent Scholar Chair. He 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 pharmaceutical scientist and pharmacist whose research focuses on the design, synthesis and development of drugs to treat pain, mental health and substance use disorders. He is internationally recognized for his research and expertise related to 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 was appointed to the Jack C. Massey Professorship. He 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.
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 into 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 Excellence Professorship
For more than two decades, Debbie DeSantis has philanthropically supported the UF College of Pharmacy. Her latest gift in 2021 established the first endowed 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.