February 2018

Dear Alumni and Friends,

The University of Florida College of Pharmacy has established itself as one of the top pharmacy colleges in the nation and has embarked on an aggressive campaign to recruit some of the brightest minds in pharmacy and science to join our team. Since July 2016, we have recruited 22 new full-time faculty members that are among some of the nation's most-respected researchers, clinicians and educators. These new faculty are having an immediate and profound impact on our college in many ways, from providing higher quality instruction to our students to increasing our annual research funding. The additional faculty allowed us to expand our graduate student enrollment to 100 students this year, eclipsing the century mark for the first time. We encourage you to read the story below and see why we are so excited to have some of the best and brightest in pharmacy and science join the UF College of Pharmacy.

The 2017-18 academic year has been remarkable for the college in many ways, including several student achievements worth noting. In the fall, we learned four of our Gainesville Pharm.D. students were selected as members of the United Nations Foundation Global Health Fellows inaugural class. Only 100 undergraduate and graduate students from universities across the country were selected for this honor, so it is quite an accomplishment to have four students from our college among this group. Additionally, 46 UF pharmacy students presented posters at the 2017 American Society of Health-System Clinical Midyear Meeting. This ranked UF among the Top 5 pharmacy colleges nationally for the number of students presenting a poster.

Finally, if implementing genomic medicine and pharmacogenomics in your health care setting is an interest of yours, then please consider registering for the 2018 UF Precision Medicine Conference, March 8-10, in Orlando. We've assembled a remarkable lineup of expert speakers and have new presentation formats this year, including TED Talk-style keynote addresses.

Go Greater,

Julie Johnson, Pharm.D.
Dean & Distinguished Professor

College and Alumni News 

22 new faculty hires helps the UF College of Pharmacy meet strategic priorities

An unprecedented 22 new full-time faculty hires have joined the UF College of Pharmacy since July 2016, helping the college meet several strategic priorities and position itself among the top pharmacy colleges nationally. UF has aggressively recruited some of the nation’s most-respected researchers, clinicians and educators to help shape the future of pharmacy. The collective expertise of these faculty members, combined with the talents of existing faculty, are elevating the college's prestige and enhancing the quality of education, research and clinical care we provide. Financial support for the new faculty hires was provided by the University of Florida, allocations from the state legislature and strategic partnerships within UF Health.


Register now for the 2018 UF Precision Medicine Conference

Registration is underway for the 2018 Precision Medicine Conference hosted by the University of Florida College of Pharmacy and the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program, March 8-10 in Orlando. This interactive conference will equip physicians, pharmacists and other providers with the training and knowledge to implement genomic medicine and pharmacogenomics in their health care setting. National experts in pharmacogenomics will host 17 sessions covering a variety of topics related to precision medicine. New for 2018 are inspiring TED Talk-style keynote presentations from renowned experts in the field; interactive Q&A sessions from practical advice on patient cases, complex challenges and proven implementation strategies; and multidisciplinary perspectives with registration open to physicians, pharmacists, medicine/pharmacy residents, fellows and trainees.


UF College of Pharmacy welcomes Dr. Jacques Turgeon as associate dean of the Orlando campus

Jacques Turgeon, B.Pharm., Ph.D., joined the University of Florida College of Pharmacy as a professor of pharmaceutics and associate dean of the Orlando campus on Jan. 1, 2018. As the academic and administrative leader in Orlando, he will support the college’s Doctor of Pharmacy program, facilitate research and graduate education, provide guidance for the Center for Quality Medication Management and enhance collaboration amongst UF College of Pharmacy faculty and others in Orlando.

Prior to joining UF, Dr. Turgeon has held numerous leadership roles. These include serving as Dean of the School of Pharmacy, and Vice-Rector of Research (equivalent to Vice President of Research at UF) at the University of Montreal, along with Director of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center and then Chief Executive Officer of the University of Montreal Hospital.  More recently he served as the Chief Scientific Officer of Tabula Rasa Healthcare and Dean of Tabula Rasa Healthcare University.

Dean Julie Johnson named to Clarivate Analytics’ list of Highly Cited Researchers

University of Florida College of Pharmacy Dean and Distinguished Professor Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., has been named a 2017 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher in Pharmacology and Toxicology for the third consecutive year. The honor is given to the world’s leading scholars in the science and social sciences and is earned by being among the top one percent most cited researchers in a subject field.

Johnson is one of 10 University of Florida scientists honored as a 2017 Highly Cited Researcher. She is recognized internationally as one of the leading researchers in the field of pharmacogenomics. During her academic career, she has secured more than $40 million in funding as a principal investigator and authored more than 250 original articles.


Dr. Stephan Schmidt installed into Certara Endowed Professorship

Stephan Schmidt, Ph.D., F.C.P., an associate professor in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, was installed as the inaugural Certara Endowed Professorship recipient at UF Health's sixth annual Celebrating Distinction ceremony Oct. 26.

Schmidt is an associate chair of the department of pharmaceutics and the associate director of the Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology at the Lake Nona campus. The professorship he received was established by Certara, the global leader in model-informed drug development and regulatory science. It will strengthen the relationship between the college’s academic program and industry to drive innovation and enhance the application of leading-edge science to solve current challenges.

Dr. Chris McCurdy featured in CNN report on kratom

Chris McCurdy, Ph.D., a professor of medicinal chemistry, was featured in a CNN report Oct. 25, about kratom and its potential to treat pain and opioid withdrawal. Airing in primetime programming on the show Erin Burnett Outfront, McCurdy’s interview addressed his research involving kratom and offered insight into the regulatory needs and medical potential of the plant.


Crisafi Challenge raises unprecedented $100,000 

An unprecedented $100,000 was raised for student recruitment scholarships during the 2017 Crisafi Challenge. Included in the total was a $40,000 match from Dr. Bob Crisafi, a 1956 graduate of the College of Pharmacy and founder of the challenge. The amazing results were possible thanks to the 165 donors who contributed to this year’s challenge. Every dollar raised will go directly to pharmacy student scholarships for the class of 2022. Thank you to everyone who generously supported the Crisafi Challenge in 2017!

UF College of Pharmacy’s 1967 graduating class celebrates Grand Guard

Six members of the UF College of Pharmacy class of 1967 reunited at the University of Florida in November for their Grand Guard, a celebration of their 50-year anniversary since graduation. Joining them were three 1966 graduates, who together enjoyed a private luncheon with Dean Julie Johnson and leadership in the college. The reunion offered them the opportunity to share memories from college days and to learn about recent developments in the UF College of Pharmacy. The 1967 graduates also participated in several activities sponsored by the UF Alumni Association, including the Grand Guard Induction Ceremony, where they dressed in traditional orange and blue graduation robes and were formally inducted in the Grand Guard Society. Those who participated in the UF College of Pharmacy’s Grand Guard celebration included: Lou Mueller, ‘67, Robert Wilson, ‘66, John Balkcom, ‘66, Terry Reid, ‘66, Robert Bonanno, ‘67, David Newton, ’67 (also MSP ’72 & Ph.D. ’76), Carol Wilson, ‘67, Claudia Brill, ‘67, and not pictured: Wendell Kiser, ‘67.

Join us at "Dean's Night Out" at APhA in Nashville

UF College of Pharmacy Dean Julie Johnson invites alumni, faculty and students of the UF College of Pharmacy to the annual "Dean's Night Out" reception and dinner during the American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting in Nashville. This year's event will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., March 17, at ACME Feed & Seed restaurant, located at 101 Broadway in downtown Nashville. If you plan to attend, please RSVP by March 9.


Become an Alumni Ambassador for the UF College of Pharmacy

A program at the College of Pharmacy needs alumni volunteers to help welcome incoming pharmacy students to the college. The Alumni Ambassador program aims to connect alumni volunteers with newly admitted students to welcome them to the Gator pharmacy family. Ambassadors will congratulate the student on admittance to the college, invite any questions about the college or the pharmacy profession and share meaningful experiences as a Gator pharmacist. With more than 300 pharmacy students admitted annually, there is a significant need for volunteer ambassadors to help the program reach its intended goal of matching each new student with an alumnus or alumna. To join the program visit: http://pharmacy.ufl.edu/alumni-giving/get-involved/alumni-ambassadors/. For questions, contact Carinda Feild, Pharm.D., FCCM, a program liaison and a clinical associate professor of pharmacotherapy and translational research, at cfeild@cop.ufl.edu.

Student Spotlight

Four UF pharmacy students among the inaugural 100 UN Foundation Global Health Fellows

The United Nations Foundation has selected four University of Florida College of Pharmacy students as members of its inaugural class of Global Health Fellows. The four are among 100 fellows selected from universities across the United States to participate in a seven-week online program that promotes advocacy for global health programs.

The U.N. Foundation selected 100 undergraduate and graduate students from among hundreds of applications. The students comprising the inaugural class of fellows represent a variety of majors, including pharmacy, public health, law, economics and many more.

The selected UF College of Pharmacy students are all from the Gainesville campus:

• Clara-Jessica Rances, a fourth-year student

• Marry Vuong, a fourth-year student

• Joseph Washington, a first-year student

• Rubaiyat Zinat, a fourth-year student


UF ranks in Top 5 for number of student posters presented at ASHP Clinical Midyear Meeting

With 46 students presenting, the University of Florida College of Pharmacy ranked among the Top 5 pharmacy colleges nationally for the number of students presenting a poster at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, or ASHP, Clinical Midyear Meeting in Orlando, Dec. 3–7.

The meeting, which is the world’s largest pharmacy event in the world, brought together more than 25,000 pharmacy professionals. It featured former first lady Michelle Obama as the keynote speaker and included sessions about combatting opioid abuse and programming for small and rural hospitals.

The poster sessions, which took place over three days, included 1,970 poster presentations from across the nation.



Gator pharmacists make a splash at APhA-ASP midyear regional meeting

Gator student pharmacists made a splash at the American Pharmacist Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists, or APhA-ASP, Midyear Regional Meeting in Charleston, S.C., Nov. 3-5. UF College of Pharmacy students brought home Region 3 awards for Operations Diabetes and GenerationRx.


Mark Your Calendar

March 8-10  UF Precision Medicine Conference – Orlando, FL

March 17  "Dean's Night Out" at APhA – Nashville, TN

March 23  ASCPT Gator Reception – Orlando, FL

April 7  White Coat Ceremony – Gainesville, FL

May 7  Commencement – Gainesville, FL

Stay Connected!

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