September 2015

Dear Alumni and Friends, 

This August marked the beginning of a new academic year as we welcomed our class of 2019. These future pharmacists represent the inaugural class of our new Pharm.D. curriculum, which is centered on preparing our students for team-based patient care while emphasizing personal and professional development.

The fall semester also marks the beginning of a new football season - Go Gators! At the college, we are all eager for a great football season, as well as our annual Pharmacy Alumni BBQ Reunion. I hope you received your postcard in the mail to "save the date" for November 7th. If you have plans to attend, please be sure to reserve your hotel room soon and register online by October 22 (click here for event, registration and hotel details). 

Our faculty, students and alumni continue to make us proud of the Pharmacy Gator Nation. At the annual Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists (FSHP) meeting, Dr. Lindsey Childs-Kean was honored with the Forerunner Award, and the Gainesville student chapter was recognized as the Student Society of the Year. Dr. Hartmut Derendorf, a distinguished professor of pharmaceutics, was selected the 18th Distinguished Alumni Professor by the UF Alumni Association. Dr. Derendorf will serve as an ambassador of the university's academic and research achievements to the Gator Nation. Moreover, our alumni continue to shine as Dr. John Murphy '79 received the prestigious Robert Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. You can also read below and watch the video of a truly amazing research experience bringing faculty, students and alumna, Debbie DeSantis '82, together in the waters of Key West!

We are excited to share all of the wonderful things that our alumni, faculty and students are accomplishing, and I hope to see you all this fall in Gainesville.

Go Gators!

Elizabeth Zipper
Director of Development and Alumni Affairs

Development and Alumni Affairs Updates

Join us at the 29th Annual Alumni BBQ Reunion

We are less than two months away from the 29th Annual Alumni BBQ Reunion on Saturday, November 7. Join us before the game for food, games, family fun and a chance to reconnect with your classmates while we celebrate our honored class years of '65, '70, '75, '80, '85, '90, '95, '00 and '05. After the BBQ, help cheer on the Gators as they take on the Vanderbilt Commodores for UF's homecoming game.

Please click here to register for your BBQ and football tickets now. Tickets are first come, first serve! The deadline to register is October 22. If you have any questions about this year's event, please contact our office at (352) 273-6605.


Exploring new depths in drug discovery

Exploring new depths in drug discovery

A mutual research interest brings together College of Pharmacy alumna and supporter Debbie DeSantis and Dr. Hendrik Luesch in search of cyanobacteria in the Florida Keys.




UF College of Pharmacy Gator Reception at FPA

On June 26, we hosted our Gator Reception at the Florida Pharmacy Association annual meeting in St. Augustine. More than 100 alumni and friends of the college joined Dean Johnson, our faculty and students at the event as she shared college updates and news.


Alumni and friends gather at FSHP Gator Reception

An enthusiastic group of Gators gathered in Orlando on Aug. 7 to enjoy the annual Gator Reception at the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists, or FSHP, annual meeting. John Gums, Pharm.D., FCCP, associate dean for clinical affairs, provided an update on recent news from the college and encouraged alumni to continue to show their support for the college.


College News 

New leadership named at the College of Pharmacy

The College of Pharmacy recently welcomed two familiar faces into leadership positions. Maureen Keller-Wood, Ph.D., assumed a new role as associate dean for research and graduate education on July 1, in addition to leading the department of pharmacodynamics as chair. In her new position, she is working with faculty to increase their research productivity and funding, oversee the graduate research education programs and increase collaborative grants within the college. She is also serving on the college’s Executive Committee and the Research Deans Committee at the university and Health Science Center levels.

Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D., was appointed chair of the department of medicinal chemistry on July 2. In his 10 years at the University of Florida, he has ascended through the academic ranks to a full professor position. His research program focuses on marine natural products drug discovery, and he currently holds the Debbie and Sylvia DeSantis Endowed Chair in Natural Products Drug Discovery and Development. He is one of two professors at UF appointed as a UF Foundation Preeminence Term Professor.


Former dean, Dr. Schwartz, celebrates 85th birthday and shares his life adventures at Oak Hammock event

Michael Schwartz, Ph.D., former dean and professor emeritus at the College of Pharmacy, was invited to share adventures from his life during the Institute Learning Retirement, or ILR, series at Oak Hammock at the University of Florida on Aug. 4. A near capacity crowd enjoyed his presentation that included his child years growing up in Brooklyn attending Dodgers’ baseball games at Ebbets Field to his later years at UF. Schwartz served 18 years as dean of the College of Pharmacy, from 1978 to 1995, and during his ILR presentation he highlighted the significant growth the college experienced in the number of faculty hired and external funding secured. The presentation coincided with Schwartz’s 85th birthday and many family and friends were in attendance to celebrate this occasion.



Dr. Aldrich selected to serve on Center for Scientific Review’s Drug Discovery for the Nervous System Study Section

Jane Aldrich, Ph.D., a professor of medicinal chemistry, has accepted an invitation to serve on the Drug Discovery for the Nervous System Study Section of the Center for Scientific Review. Members are selected based upon their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline. In the role, Aldrich will review grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health, make recommendations on these applications to the appropriate NIH advisory council or board, and survey the status of research in her field of science.


Dr. Schmidt receives ASCPT appointment

Stephan Schmidt, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of pharmaceutics, has been appointed as the vice chair of the Systems Pharmacology Community at the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, or ASCPT. In his role, he will lead efforts to develop a five-year strategic plan for how to better implement systems pharmacology approaches in drug development and regulatory decision making. He will also build relationships between ASCPT and other national and international organizations. Schmidt is a 2008 graduate of the University of Florida and works for the Center for Pharmacometics and Systems Pharmacology at the College of Pharmacy’s Lake Nona campus.


As you know, 2015 is a renewal year for pharmacists licensed in the state of Florida. Pharmacists must complete no less than 30 hours of approved courses within the 4 month period prior to the expiration date of the license. Ten of these hours must be live.

The University of Florida Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education is pleased to offer the following opportunities to help you meet your renewal requirements.

• Updates in Clinical Pharmacy

• Pharmacy Practice Hot Topics

Our office also offers several online courses. Below are our most popular!

•  HIV Courses

•  Medication Errors

•  Initial and Recertification Consultant Courses

•  See our other courses available!

Please check with the Florida Board of Pharmacy for additional information on renewing your license:

Once a Gator, Always A Gator.

You have an opportunity to enhance your professional practice with the convenience of the online Master of Science in Pharmacy Medication Therapy Management.

This innovative program is designed for pharmacists to explore new ways to improve medication outcomes through drug therapy review, patient education, and direction patient consultation.

Read more here about how you can:

•  Learn to impact the treatment of every patient

•  Discover advanced treatment of complex diseases and the business, communication and regulatory tools related to MTM

•  Study online- graduate in as few as two years

For more information, click here or call 800-431-6687.

Honors and Awards

UF Alumni Association selects Dr. Derendorf as its 18th Distinguished Alumni Professor

UF Alumni Association selects Dr. Derendorf as its 18th Distinguished Alumni Professor

Dr. Hartmut Derendorf will serve as an ambassador of the University of Florida's academic and research achievements in his new alumni role.



Dr. John Murphy, ʼ79, receives prestigious AACP award

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, or AACP, honored John E. Murphy, Pharm.D., FASHP, FCCP, a 1979 graduate of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, with the Robert Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award on July 12, during the opening general session at the AACP annual meeting. The recognition was given for Murphy’s excellence as a teacher, his outstanding achievements as an author and mentor and his overall impact on pharmacy education and the profession. He joined the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in 1991, and has served as associate dean and professor of academic affairs and assessment since 2005.

ACCP New Investigator Award to be presented to Dr. Smith

The American College of Clinical Pharmacy, or ACCP, will present Steven Smith, Pharm.D., MPH, BCPS, a clinical assistant professor in the departments of pharmacotherapy and translational research and community health and family medicine in the College of Medicine, with the ACCP 2015 New Investigator Award in October. The award recognizes a college member less than six years since completion of training whose research program is especially noteworthy in its theme and productivity. Smith’s research and clinical practice are in the area of cardiovascular pharmacotherapy and hypertension. He will accept the award and give a 30-minute presentation on his research during ACCP’s Global Conference on Clinical Pharmacy in San Francisco.

2015 Pharm.D. graduate published in U.S. Pharmacist

The May issue of U.S. Pharmacist, a peer-reviewed monthly journal, featured an article by Erika Giblin, Pharm.D., ʼ15, about the importance of selecting an oral prednisolone liquid for children. She authored the article after encountering a three-year-old asthma patient in the University of Florida Pediatric Pulmonary Clinic who refused to take a short course of prednisolone. Giblin researched the product and discovered the pharmacist dispensed prednisolone base which is more bitter than what the physician prescribed, prednisolone sodium phosphate. The pharmacy was unaware of the difference, so Giblin authored the article in U.S. Pharmacist to bring greater awareness to the issue. To read the article, visit:

Dr. Grundmann awarded Janet K. Poley Award for leadership and Innovation in Distance Education

Oliver Grundmann, Ph.D., clinical associate professor of medicinal chemistry, has received the Janet K. Poley Award for Leadership and Innovation in Distance Education during the American Distance Education Consortium 2015 symposium at Oregon State University. The award recognizes an individual from higher education who has- at an institutional or national level- set and and met innovative goals focused on online education and has been strategic in the planning, development, implementation and sustainability of programs aligned with the institutional mission.

Dr. Childs-Kean honored with FSHP Forerunner Award

The Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists, or FSHP, presented Lindsey Childs-Kean, Pharm.D., MPH, BCPS, a clinical assistant professor at the College of Pharmacy’s St. Petersburg campus, with the FSHP Forerunner Award during the organization’s annual meeting in Orlando. The award honors an individual who, through his or her dedication, interest, and enthusiasm, has made a significant contribution to the practice of pharmacy in Florida. Childs-Kean was selected based on her accomplishments in professional practice, leadership, education, and research within her first ten years of practice. FSHP highlighted several accomplishments, including but not limited to Childs-Kean’s establishment of a pharmacist-run Hepatitis C clinic at the Bay Pines VA Health Care system, her commitment to UF students as a faculty advisor, and her leadership within pharmacy organizations, namely FSHP and ASHP. Childs-Kean joined the College of Pharmacy in July 2014, and is a 2010 graduate of the college.

Student News

College of Pharmacy welcomes entering class of 2015

College of Pharmacy welcomes entering class of 2019

For 237 aspiring pharmacists, the four-year journey toward a pharmacy degree began with student orientation



College of Pharmacy well represented at upcoming ACCP meeting

The College of Pharmacy will be well represented with student award winners at the upcoming American College of Clinical Pharmacology, or ACCP, annual meeting in September. ACCP has selected the following students and their abstracts for presentation at the San Francisco conference.

• Jiexin Deng (Can drug-drug interactions be used to inform gene-drug interactions and vice versa?)

• Snehal Samant (A physiologically based pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model for evaluating clinically important drug-drug interactions and genetic polymorphisms: a clopidogrel case study)

• Mohamed Solayman (Association of Plasma MicroRNA with Anti-hypertensive Response to Beta Blockers)

The honor comes with a scholarship award and an invitation to attend the awards dinner.


ReTOOL event showcases student research

For nine future scientists, the culmination of three months of training and research in biomedical sciences was on display at the Research Training Opportunities for Outstanding Leaders, or ReTOOL, Research Showcase on July 31. The day-long event featured nine minority undergraduate students from three Florida universities presenting their research findings at a poster and oral session. The students have been conducting independent research with advanced biomedical and health scientists at the University of Florida. ReTOOL is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute P20 and the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program to create opportunities and promote prostate cancer research careers for minority scientists in Florida.



UF chapter named FSHP Student Society of the Year

The Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists, or FSHP, recognized the College of Pharmacy’s Gainesville student chapter as its Student Society of the Year during FSHP’s annual meeting in Orlando. Aklil Hiruy, a third-year Pharm.D. student and chapter president, accepted the award on behalf of nearly 20 University of Florida student representatives that attended the event. The Gainesville student chapter took home the top honors for the first time in an award category that debuted last year. The chapter aims to promote and engage students in hospital and health-system pharmacy careers and is an officially recognized student society of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Mark Your Calendar

Ocober 27- Gator Reception at AAPS in Orlando, FL

November 7-  29th Annual Alumni BBQ Reunion in Gainesville, FL

November 19-21- University of Florida's Grand Guard 50th Reunion in Gainesville, FL

December 7- ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in New Orleans, LA

Stay Connected!

Keep up with the exciting changes and accomplishments of the College of Pharmacy, its students, faculty, staff and alumni by viewing The Pharmily Connection and GATORx online!

Are you not receiving the GATORx? Contact the Development and Alumni Affairs office at or (352) 273-6605.

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