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Pharmacist Winter 2012 ■ Volume 35, Number 1

Institute for Tuberculosis Research hunts a predator

Also Inside ➟Bacteria chit-chat ➟Welcome, Class of 2015!

Happy Holidays

One of this season's true joys is to thank you for your friendship and good will. In this spirit, we wish you a prosperous New Year.Â

Table of Contents


A Publication for the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy Alumni and Friends

Winter 2012 ■ Volume 35, Number 1


In This Issue Into the World of Quorum Sensing


Tracking a Killer


Reunion 2011


Michael Federle and his team eavesdrop on bacteria.

Researchers at the UIC Institute for Tuberculosis Research stalk a deadly slayer.

Time stands still as the College celebrates history and raises a glass to the future.



White Coats 2011


Welcome, Class of 2015!

Cover “Infection Day” by Dirim Arslan, winner of first place in COP’s Images of Research Competition. See page 14 for details.

In Every Issue 03 05 07 10 16 18 22 40 42 46 48 50

Dean’s Message News Flash Lab Notes Rising Stars Faculty Fanfare Brilliant Futures The Rockford Files Gallery Class Notes Obituaries Over the Counter In the Loop

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 1

editorialcredits Publisher Jerry L. Bauman, bs ’76, pharmd Dean

Vice Dean, Rockford Regional Program David W. Bartels, pharmd

Editor Jessica A. Canlas Assistant Director of Communications

Executive Associate Dean Janet Engle, pharmd ’85

Copy Editor Rob Hoff UIC Office of Publications Services Contributing Editors Sonya Booth Hugh M. Cook Samuel Hostettler Photography Joshua Clark Barry Donald Roberta Dupuis-Devlin Kathryn Marchetti Ben Stickan Designer Kimberly Hegarty UIC Office of Publications Services College of Pharmacy Administrative Officers Department Heads William Beck, phd Biopharmaceutical Sciences Judy Bolton, phd Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy

UIC PHARMACY ONLINE Visit our online home for the COP Office of Advancement and Alumni Affairs! View our calendar and register for events online. Connect with alumni, students, and faculty. Find out what’s going on at the College and on UIC’s campus, and post your updates.

Associate Deans Clara Awe, phd, edd Diversity Affairs Follow our feed to keep up with COP happenings and pharmacy and healthcare industry news.

James Bono, mha Business Development and Administrative Affairs Network with the best in the business­—COP alumni making their mark in the field, award-winning students, and faculty advancing the practice. Find job listings and post your company’s openings.

Marieke Schoen, pharmd ’88 Academic Affairs Thomas TenHoeve III, phd Student Affairs Assistant Deans Debra Agard, pharmd ’92, mhpe Student Affairs Suzanne Rabi, pharmd ’04 Academic Affairs UIC Pharmacist (MC 874) 833 South Wood Street, Room 184M Chicago, Illinois 60612 Phone: (312) 996-7240 Fax: (312) 413-1910 E-mail: View photos from College events like white coats, commencement, and reunion. Download images and order prints and albums online. Watch video of the latest goings-on at the COP. Subscribe to our channel! find at Read the full-text issue of your favorite alumni magazine online!

In Box

©2011. All rights reserved.

Nicholas Popovich, bs ’68, ms ’71, phd ’73 Pharmacy Administration Janet Engle, pharmd ’85 Pharmacy Practice

UIC Pharmacist would like to hear from you, and we welcome your letters:

UIC Pharmacist (MC 874) 833 South Wood Street, Room 184M Chicago, Illinois 60612 Phone: (312) 996-7785 E-mail: Letters may be edited for length and clarity. All reader correspondence to the magazine and its editorial staff will be treated as assigned for publication unless otherwise specified.

2 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

In Memoriam UIC Pharmacist: I am deeply saddened to read of the passing of Dr. Ralph Morris and Herb Carlin (UIC Pharmacist, Summer 2011). I was an undergraduate pharmacy student at UIC from 1962 to 1966 and was very fortunate to know both of these outstanding pharmaceutical innovators. As pharmacy director, Mr. Carlin provided a strong sense of professionalism to the students and underscored the importance of pharmacists as part of the healthcare team. He was certainly a visionary. Dr. Morris was one of the significant people in my life, influencing my future direction in the profession of pharmacy. As most students in the ’60s, I initially intended to work in retail. In 1964, Dr. Morris offered me a position assisting him with some of his research. It was my first exposure to research and with his and Dr. Siegel’s formulation knowledge, I decided to pursue a PhD in R&D. The rest is history as I did receive that advanced degree and, for the next 40 years, worked in the pharmaceutical industry and served as a pharmaceutical development consultant. It is interesting how external influences affect one’s life, and, certainly, Dr. Morris was one of those individuals. The profession of pharmacy is indebted to Dr. Morris and Mr. Carlin for their many contributions. Jeff Rudolph, bs ’66

From the Dean

Happy Homecoming I was honored to be asked by our chancellor to serve as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs (VCAA) and provost of UIC for about nine months during 2011. Many are not familiar with this position and ask me to contrast it with being dean. The two positions in a university are compared below:


Report to:



Direct reports:

Vice Provosts and Deans (e.g., Medicine, Business, etc)

Associate Deans and Department Heads

Scope of job: Curricular worry:

All academic affairs, all budget and space at UIC

Still trying to figure that out

Math 101


Money worry:

Will the State be able to pay us?

Will UIC be able pay us?

Common speech:

Welcoming remarks

Welcoming Remarks

Link to pharmacy: What’s pharmacy?


Education, research, and practice

In all, it was a wonderful experience, and I certainly learned a great deal. It was interesting and rewarding to work directly with Chancellor Allen-Meares and President Hogan during these particular times in higher education. In turn, our college (for better or worse) has become quite visible within the University of Illinois system! I must thank Steve Swanson for leading the college (with the capable assistance of Marieke Schoen and Jan Engle) during my absence. I am quite happy to be back home in the College of Pharmacy. What I missed in my time away can be summarized in the list below: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Our pharmacy students and their zeal for the profession Our exceptional faculty and staff Our loyal alumni and pharmacists in Illinois Professional issues in pharmacy The interesting temperature variations and water leaks in our building

Well done and done—on to issues in the College. We have great plans to renovate parts of the College, embark on curricular revision, invest in student-centered needs such as career counseling, and consider a new strategic plan! Please let us know if you would like to be engaged in our activities.

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 3

From the Dean

Pharmacies: Put out the cigarettes

I recently had the opportunity to tour a redesigned pharmacy. I have been critical of the physical layout of many pharmacies for a variety of reasons, including that the patient rarely sees the pharmacist who seems to be buried somewhere behind the counter or on the phone and they simply aren’t private. I’ve unwittingly and uncomfortably learned of my neighbor’s medications (and disorders) at our local pharmacy as I waited in line to drop off refills—that should absolutely not happen. But this pharmacy was different. It was modernly aesthetic and exuded a heathcare environment rather than a predominantly commercial one. There was a triage person at a desk who directed patients to areas (new Rx? Refill? OTC?). The pharmacist was at a desk in a white coat—not in the pharmacy—and, in fact, never touched the prescription until the patient handed it to her for counseling and checking (by video). There was a nurse practitioner clinic attached and the pharmacist and nurse appeared to actually interact. The rest of the store had a healthcare theme—healthy snacks, diabetes care, etc. I was impressed and the owners were quite proud. But as I was leaving, I saw it—the display of cigarettes behind the checkout counter.

of San Francisco said, “Pharmacies should be places where people go to get better, not where people go to get cancer.” Pretty good point, eh? Boston, along with a few smaller cities, followed suit. In Illinois, legislation was proposed in 2009 but died a quick and silent death. Can you imagine other healthcare settings and practitioners selling cigarettes? “Gee, I just went to the dentist for a crown and picked up a pack of Merit Ultralights on the way out of the office.” Some will say that pharmacies will lose revenue and customer traffic and they are probably right. But there is a moral line here. Pharmacies don’t sell guns in Illinois (I must admit I haven’t looked into states such as Texas or Arizona), and there is more than likely healthy profit here to be had with firearms. If we really want pharmacies to be viewed as promoting good health and wellness, and if we really want to be viewed as healthcare professionals who can bill for their services to patients, then we should lose the tobacco products—voluntarily. Some pharmacies offer smoking cessation programs and sell cigarettes at the checkout counter—sort of like giving a patient metoprolol and isoproterenol at the same time. Time for pharmacists to give up the habit—quit selling cigarettes.

Major buzz kill. In October of 2008, the city of San Francisco passed legislation that prohibits the sale of cigarettes in pharmacies. Just before the law passed, the mayor 4 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Jerry L. Bauman, bs ’76, res ’77, pharmd, fccp, facc Dean and Professor

News Flash

College to develop programs for improving patient safety by Sam Hostettler

The College of Pharmacy has received a $4.25 million federal grant to develop programs for safer medication use, including tools for detecting drug risks, training physicians, preventing medication errors, and making drug information easier to understand. “Patients are not as safe as they should be,” says Bruce Lambert, professor of pharmacy administration and director of UIC’s Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTS), which will manage the program. “Medication errors and inappropriate use of medicines, by health professionals and patients, cause a great deal of harm.” The center will develop, test, and distribute tools and training materials in four areas: statistical methods for largescale studies of comparative drug safety and effectiveness, opioid prescribing and dosing for acute pain; methods for preventing and detecting drug name confusion errors; and plain-language drug information. The grant is a continuation of a study that began in 2007, when UIC was named one of 10 new CERTS organizations throughout the nation. Funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, UIC was tasked to design and

test systems to optimize drug choice, drug monitoring, and drug safety. The new grant is one of only six that were awarded in the current round of funding and the only center of its kind headquartered in a college of pharmacy. The CERTS program was authorized by Congress in 1997 to examine the benefits, risks, and cost-effectiveness of therapeutic products and to educate patients and caregivers. The mission of CERTS is to conduct research and provide education that will advance the optimal use of drugs, medical devices, and biological products; increase awareness of the benefits and risks of therapeutics; and improve quality while cutting the costs of care. UIC will continue to host the center and will be assisted by Rush University Medical Center; Northwestern University; University of Chicago; the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston; the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Horsham, Pennsylvania; and the National Patient Safety Foundation, Boston.

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 5

News Flash The 24 principles of conservative prescribing: • T  hink beyond drugs: Consider nondrug therapies

Conservative prescribing could save lives, money

such as diet, exercise, or physical therapy; look for and treat underlying causes rather than just masking





prevention rather than treatment. • Practice 



by Sam Hostettler According to a new study from the College of Pharmacy, lives and money could be saved if a more cautious approach were taken by medical professionals who



treatment if drugs can be safely started after a trial of nondrug therapy; avoid frequent drug switching; be circumspect about unproven drug uses; start treatment with only one new drug at a time. • W  atch for adverse effects: Suspect drug reactions when patients report problems; be aware of withdrawal syndromes; educate patients about side effects so they can anticipate and report reactions. • E  xercise caution regarding new drugs: Seek out unbiased information sources; wait until drugs have proven safe on the market; be skeptical of markers such as improved laboratory-test values rather than true clinical benefits; avoid stretching to include patients or diseases different from those in the clinical trials; avoid seduction by molecular studies that have no proven outcome benefits; beware of reporting that highlights positive trials and hides those that fail to show benefit. • W  ork with patients for a shared agenda: Do not automatically yield to patient requests for drugs; consider nonadherence before adding additional drugs; avoid restarting previously unsuccessful treatments; discontinue any medications that are not needed or not working; and respect patients’ own reservations about drugs. • C  onsider long-term, broader impacts: Weigh short-term benefits against long-term outcomes and ecologic impacts; recognize that improved prescribing and better monitoring may outweigh marginal benefits of new drugs.

prescribe drugs. The study appears in the online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine as part of the journal’s “Less is More” series. Several studies over the past decade have concluded that the use of many new and frequently prescribed medications was either harmful or not beneficial to patients, says Bruce Lambert, coauthor of the paper and professor of pharmacy administration. Using existing research as a guide, 24 principles were developed that can help prescribers avoid excessive and harmful prescribing, says Lambert, who directs UIC’s Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics. “None of these principles are particularly novel, nor should they be terribly controversial,” he says. “But taken together, they represent a radical shift in the way clinicians think about and prescribe drugs.” The radical shift is known as “conservative prescribing,” and if adopted by every prescriber, could save many lives and dollars, Lambert says. Physicians need to move away from the mindset that leads them to heavily prescribe the “latest and greatest” new drugs, to one where “fewer and more time tested is best,” says Gordon Schiff, associate professor of medicine at Harvard University and a coauthor of the report. Medical and pharmacy schools should not solely teach the pharmacology of drugs, but principles that would make practitioners better and more cautious prescribers and users of drugs, he says. The UIC Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics is one of 14 such centers in the United States to study how consumers and clinicians make critical treatment decisions about therapeutic products and interventions. The program is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Other coauthors of the study are William Galanter, associate professor of clinical medicine; Amy Lodolce, clinical pharmacist, pharmacy practice; and Michael Koronkowski, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice.

6 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Lab Notes Lycopene may help prevent prostate cancer in African Americans by Sam Hostettler Lycopene, a red pigment that gives tomatoes and certain other fruits and vegetables their color, could help prevent prostate cancer, especially in African-American men, according to research at the College.

50 to 83 who had a physical abnormality in their prostate were recruited from Chicago’s Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and the University of Illinois Hospital. The men were scheduled for a prostate biopsy due to the abnormality and an elevated PSA, or prostate specific antigen level.

Lycopene is a potent antioxidant, and some studies have shown that diets rich in tomatoes may lower the risk of certain cancers, especially those of the prostate, lung, and stomach. “We’re not setting out to treat cancer, but to prevent it, and we’re hoping to do so with lycopene,” says Richard van Breemen, professor of medicinal chemistry and lead researcher on the study, published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. According to Van Breemen, the new study was the first of its kind to look solely at African-American men. Patients aged

Since the biopsies were scheduled three to four weeks in advance, it gave Van Breemen and his coworkers the opportunity to do a 21-day study without interfering with the patients’ care. Each day, half of the 105 participants received two gel capsules containing 30 milligrams of lycopene, while the other half received placebo capsules that contained only soybean oil. The lycopene approximated the amount that can be ingested daily by eating foods rich in tomato sauce, such as spaghetti and pizza, Van Breemen says. The researchers wanted to see if lycopene would rise in the blood and prostate tissue and if it could lower markers of oxidative stress—a factor in many diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, and in the body’s normal aging process. Oxidative stress injures cells within the body, while antioxidants help cells cope against the damage, Van Breemen says.

Courtesy of Joshua Clark

After receiving lycopene or placebo for three weeks, all subjects underwent needle biopsies to diagnose BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate) or prostate cancer. Two additional biopsies were taken to measure lycopene and DNA oxidation, Van Breemen says. The pathology indicated that 51 men had prostate cancer while 65 had BPH.

The potent antioxidant lycopene, found in tomatoes, could lower the risk of prostate cancer, especially for African American men, says Richard van Breemen, professor of medicinal chemistry.

Men who received lycopene showed “a significant increase” of the antioxidant in the blood, Van Breemen says, compared to the placebo control group. The research was funded through a grant from the National Cancer Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health. Van Breemen presented the research at the 16th International Symposium on Carotenoids in Krakow, Poland, this past July. UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 7

Lab Notes

Shared mass spectrometry facility an asset to campus researchers by Mary Keen

The Mass Spectrometry, Metabolomics, and Proteomics Facility (MMPF), headed by Academic Director Richard van Breemen, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, is a research core at UIC’s Research Resources Center (RRC). It facilitates the analysis of a wide variety of molecules ranging from low-molecular-weight volatile compounds to proteins. It provides investigators access to many instruments optimized for use in proteomics, metabolomics, biomarker discovery, and other quantitative studies. While some comprehensive research centers have access to just two to three mass spectrometers, the MMPF shared resource at UIC has 14 mass spectrometers, representing almost every type of analyzer (see inset below). 1 hi-res hybrid line ion trapw/ ETD 1 single quadrupole SFC-M

trap-Fourier Transf ICR LC-MS/MS w/ECD 1 hi-res Qq-TOF tandem LC-MS-MS with ion

3 triple quadrupole  LC-MS-MS

mobility 1 hi-res IT-TOF LC-MS/MS

One of the most valuable features of the RRC, whose function is to maintain and support high-tech scientific equipment for use by UIC research faculty and staff, is the fact that it has skilled professionals on board to help with the use of research resources. They offer training to users, or they can assist researchers at various stages in their work. RRC specialists are capable of doing a one-time analysis or can handle samples from start to finish. Researchers may also use the instruments unassisted, which can be very economical. According to Van Breemen, “The cost of an assisted analysis can be double that of a do-it-yourself approach.”

1 single quadrupole LC-MS

OrbiTrap Velos LC-MS/SS 1 hi-res hyb linear ion

of its older instruments. Five have been retired in the last few years and replaced by new models with superior performance and new capabilities.

1 quadrupole ion trap LCMS/MS

1 hi-res MALDI-TOF

1 linear ion trap LC-MS/MS

1 hi-res MALDI-TOF/TOF

1 hi-res magnetic sector GC-MS

This MMPF is also maintained at the state of the art, so advanced that the resource has already begun retiring some 8 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

The MMPF was transformed from modest origins to a cuttingedge, multiuse lab and shared resource because of a Van Breemen’s and the RRC’s vision. After arriving on campus in 1994, Van Breemen began to acquire mass spectrometers. The RRC had also accumulated some mass spectrometers through grants. Joining forces, the two combined their shared instruments into one resource with a coordinated approach to instrument acquisition. The economy of scale produced by this merger was a tremendous advantage, and the MMPF has since excelled and has continued to grow and maintain its cutting-edge capacity. “The MMPF is an essential part of discovery and development of new therapeutic agents from the lab to the clinic,” says Van Breemen.

Lab Notes Recently funded research

• G  regory Thatcher, professor, medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, received five-year, R01 funding from the NIH National Cancer Institute for his project, “Biointeractions of Antiestrogens with Nitric Oxide.” • L  arisa Cavallari, associate professor, pharmacy practice, and adjunct associate professor, biopharmaceutical sciences, received a subcontract from University of Chicago for her National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute–funded project, “Comprehensive Studies of Novel SNPs Affecting Warfarin Dose in African Americans.” • H  yunwoo Lee, phd ’03, research assistant professor, Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, received an NIH R56 Bridge Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for his project, “Peptide-Based Quorum Sensing Controlling Virulence in Bacillus anthracis.” • S  tephanie Crawford (PI), associate professor, pharmacy administration, and Daniel Touchette, associate professor, pharmacy administration, received $310,000 from the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, Inc. for the first known empirical study to evaluate face-to-face and telephonic medication therapy management (MTM) intervention in community-based settings. Study partners include UIC; SUPERVALU (JewelOsco) Pharmacies; Competitive Health Analytics (CHA, Inc., subsidiary of Humana); and HumanaRxMentor, which is also providing in-kind support for project activities. • M  aria Barbolina, assistant professor, biopharmaceutical sciences, received an NIH R21 grant from the National Cancer Institute. Her project, “Role of the Fractaline Signaling in EOC,” began August 1 and will continue for two years. She also received funding from the American Cancer Society’s Illinois Division for her project, “Function of Lymphotactin Receptor-Ligand Interaction in Ovarian Carcinoma.” • M  ichael Federle, assistant professor, medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, received an NIH R01 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. His project, “Mechanistic Dissection of Pheromone-Dependent Regulation

of Group A Streptococcal Virulence,” began July 1 and will continue for five years. • D  ouglas Thomas, assistant professor, medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, received an NIH R01 grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. His four-year project, “The Role of Dinitrosyliron Complexes in Cancer Etiology,” began July 1. • B  rian Murphy, assistant professor, medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, and affiliate of the Institute for Tuberculosis Research, received a Research Starter Grant from the American Society of Pharmacognosy for his proposal, “Fermentation of Marine Actinomycetes to Produce Novel Ovarian Cancer Drug Leads.” • P  avel Petukhov, associate professor, medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, received funding for his project, “Mapping the Binding Site of HDAC2 for the Design of Novel HDAC Inhibitors Lacking Zinc Binding Group.” Funding is provided by an affiliate of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF). The ADDF catalyzes and funds drug discovery and drug development for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. • P  rofessor Richard van Breemen, medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, was awarded $600,000 for “Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer for Biomedical Research.” This NIH NCRR– funded, high-resolution mass spectrometer will be located in the Chicago Biomedical Consortium/UIC RRC Proteomics and Informatics Services Facility and serve researchers at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and UIC. • H  yun-Young Jeong, pharmd ’01, phd ’04, assistant professor, pharmacy practice, received an NIH R01 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Her five-year project, “Altered Drug Metabolism in Pregnancy,” received funding of nearly $1.8 million.

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 9

Rising Stars APhA-ASP in pictures Chicago Marathon APhA-ASP members Andrea Pierce, P3; Ginnie Kim, P2; Mike Kenes, P3; Cathy Palladino, P3; Jane Janik, P3; and Farah Barada, P2, volunteered alongside other health-professions students, as well as licensed attending physicians, residents, EMTs, RNs, DPMs, PTs, and ATCs. Together they served 48,000 runners as part of the medical team for the 34th Chicago Marathon. Prior to the race, students attended a training session and assisted in making 20,000 ice bags for the runners. During the race, students stationed at the finish line triaged runners for runner’s collapse, altered mental status, and assistance to medical tents.

APM OCC OP Heart During American Pharmacists Month in October, the APhA-ASP Operation Heart team, including Jane Janik, P3; Dominic Paguio, P1; and Lianna Serbas, P1, conducted blood-pressure screenings and educated patients about cardiovascular disease at UIC’s Outpatient Care Center.

APM OCC OP Immunization During American Pharmacists Month in October, the APhA-ASP Operation Immunization team, including Alex Goncharenko, P2, and Amy Secord, P2, educated UIC Outpatient Care Center patients on the pneumococcal, influenza, and zostavax vaccines.

APM Rockford Billboard APhA-ASP designed and purchased a billboard in Machesney Park, Illinois, near Rockford, in honor of American Pharmacists Month this past October. The billboard displayed towards both northbound and southbound traffic.

All photos courtesy of Cathy Palladino 10 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Rising Stars Kenes and Schultz win Granat Scholarship

APha-ASP named UIC Org of the Year

Mike Kenes and Neil Schultz, both P3s, were selected as recipients of the Alan Granat Memorial Scholarship Award sponsored by the Illinois Pharmacists Association (IPhA) Foundation. Established as a memorial tribute to Alan Granat, who served as executive director of IPhA from 1979 until his death in 1989, the award is presented annually to pharmacists and/or pharmacy students who have exhibited a commitment to pharmacy and community, as evidenced by membership and participation in pharmacy organizations and community involvement. An active member of the American Pharmacist AssociationAcademy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), Kenes began his involvement as the APhA P1 liaison his first year and is now APhA vice president of professional affairs in his third year. A staunch advocate for the profession, Kenes recently had the privilege of completing a highly sought-after internship in Alaska for the second year in a row. Neil Schultz, also an active APhA-ASP member, served as IPhA liaison during his P2 year and is now legislative liaison for the group. As a student, he cocreated the “Law in 60 Seconds” campaign with his chapter and is committed to advancing the role of the pharmacist in modern healthcare.

At the Chancellor’s Student Service and Leadership Awards ceremony this past spring, more than 40 COP students were recognized. Among those were Class of 2011 members Carolyn Sharpe, Khyati Patel, Daniel Wojenski, and Ben Le who received University of Illinois Alumni Association Awards. Samantha Keca, a prospective 2015 graduate, earned the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the highest student award conferred at our university. Finally, APhA-ASP was awarded the UIC Organization of the Year, which is a first for any COP organization.

COP shines at ISPOR At the 16th Annual International Meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, held this past May in Baltimore, Maryland, Sapna V. Rao, ms ’11, phd ’11, and doctoral candidates Fang-Ju Lin; Olaitan Ojo, pharmd ’01; Vardhaman Patel; Shengsheng Yu, ms ’09; and Lin Zhan, along with Assistant Professor Daniel Touchette, were recognized as scientific poster finalists for their project titled “A Decision Modeling Approach to Evaluate the Cost-Effectiveness of Prasugrel vs. Clopidogrel in Patients with Planned Precutaneous Coronary Intervention.” Lin was also recognized as a scientific poster finalist for her project titled “Impact of Cognitive Impairment on Functioning, Medical Resource Utilization, Adherence, and Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients with Schizophrenia.”

SNPhA stands out at national conference

Christina Berberich, P4, was one of 34 pharmacy students named Outstanding Student Chapter Member of the Year by the National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation. Berberich was nominated by her peers and was honored at the foundation’s 113th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in October.

Courtesy of Brianne Parra

Berberich named Ouststanding Student

Courtesy of Brianne Parra

At this year’s Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) Conference, UIC’s chapter placed in the top three in competition for the Rite Aid Chapter Excellence Award. In addition, Nicole Avant was awarded the SNPhA-Kroger Scholarship, and Brianne Parra received the SNPhA-Wilbert Bluitt Endowed Scholarship. Shirley Yu was appointed to a National Executive Board position as a Region 3 facilitator. Finally, UIC’s chapter won third place in the National Scrapbook Competition.

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 11

Rising Stars Astellas VP speaks at annual Ebert Lecture by Alex Kantorovich Albert Ethelbert Ebert was a graduate of what is now the UIC College of Pharmacy and, in my opinion, was one of the greatest pharmacists of all time. He devoted his life to organized pharmacy and strived for the best interests of his fellow pharmacists. He was not only a pharmacist, but also a scientist, educator, and powerful leader in American pharmacy, having served as both the vice president and president of the American Pharmaceutical Association. He was a universal contributor to pharmacy, and his ideas became guiding principles for the uniform and ethical practice of the profession. Each year, the Phi Chapter of the Rho Chi Society at UIC hosts the wellattended Albert Ebert Memorial Lecture, which focuses on the future of the profession, in April. This year, the Phi Chapter was very fortunate to welcome guest speaker William Fitzsimmons, bs ’83, pharmd, ms, senior vice president of U.S. Development at Astellas Pharma Global Development, Inc. After completing his bachelor’s in pharmacy at UIC, Fitzsimmons went on to earn his PharmD from Virginia Commonwealth University and his master’s in clinical research design and statistical analysis from the University of Michigan. He is a registered pharmacist in Illinois and has authored more than 50 peerreviewed publications. A member of the American Society of Transplantation, Fitzsimmons is also chairman of the board of the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization and sits on the Dean’s National Advisory Board for the College. Fitzsimmons’ talk, “Working Towards Better Patient Care: Personalized Medicine and the Pharmacist,” focused on using diagnostic tests to design medication regimens, the intervariability patients may have to specific medications, and what may lie in the near future for clinicians in terms of choosing therapies for patients. Afterward, attendees were invited to a Q&A luncheon with Fitzsimmons. Overall, the 39th Annual Albert Ebert Memorial Lecture was a great success. The lecture would not Alex Kantorovich, P4, Rho Chi President; Bill have been possible without the hard Fitzsimmons, bs ’83; Dean Jerry Bauman; and Rho Chi Advisor Patricia West-Theilke, pharmd ’97, attended work of the entire Rho Chi executive this year’s Ebert Lecture. board, the Office of Advancement at the College of Pharmacy, and Fitzsimmons, who serves as motivation for all of us students to strive to not only succeed for ourselves, but also for our profession. On behalf of the Phi Chapter of the Rho Chi Society, we look forward to seeing you at the 40th Annual Ebert Lecture on March 30, 2012. See back cover for details. 12 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

UIC triumphs at ISPOR At the 16th Annual International Meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, held this past May in Baltimore, Sapna V. Rao, ms ’11; Shengsheng Yu, ms ’09, phd ’11; and doctoral candidates Fang-Ju Lin, Olaitan Ojo, pharmd ’01, Vardhaman Patel, and Lin Zhan; along with Assistant Professor Daniel Touchette, were recognized as scientific poster finalists for their project titled “A Decision Modeling Approach to Evaluate the Costeffectiveness of Prasugrel vs. Clopidogrel in Patients with Planned Precutaneous Coronary Intervention.” Lin was also recognized as a scientific poster finalist for her project titled “Impact of Cognitive Impairment on Functioning, Medical Resource Utilization, Adherence and Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients with Schizophrenia.” Other student poster presentations included “FDA Regulations and Antidepressant Utilization” by Chris Campbell, pharmd ’11, with Associate Professor A. Simon Pickard and Professor Glen Schumock; “Economic Analysis of Alvimopan for Prevention and Management of Postoperative Ileus” by F. Yoojung Yang, pharmacy administration fellow, with Touchette and Clinical Assistant Professor William Galanter. Yu, partnering with Lin, Galanter, and Professor Bruce Lambert, also offered her podium presentation, “Evaluation of Clinical LaboratoryPharmacy Linkage Decision Support in the Use of Potassium Supplements.”

Rising Stars Ying He repeats as winner of national award for best biotech study by Sam Hostettler

Doctoral candidate Ying He has, for the second consecutive year, been awarded the National Biotechnology Conference’s Biotechnology Graduate Student Award from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He received the award and presented her research on understanding mechanisms of chronic pain in cancer patients at the organization’s annual meeting in San Francisco this past May. “Pain is not merely a symptom, and it is hard to treat,” she says. “When a tumor grows and metastasizes to the bone and other tissues, it causes pain. In addition, many chemotherapy drugs cause pain by themselves.” He is studying how paclitaxel, a potent, naturally occurring antineoplastic drug used in cancer chemotherapy treatments, causes pain in patients. Pain can force a patient to halt treatment and can last for years, even after therapy has stopped. Little has been accomplished to prevent or reduce paclitaxelinduced neurotoxicity, which occurs when exposure alters the normal activity of the nervous system and causes damage. Early research in animal models suggested cell death might be responsible for the persistent pain, even when the drug was administered in low doses. “This raises the possibility that cellular signaling pathways leading to paclitaxel-induced pain may be independent of cell death or the destruction of axons, the building blocks of the nervous system,” she says.

prevention or treatment of paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy,” says Z. Jim Wang, UIC associate professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutics, who serves as her adviser. In 2010, He won the Biotechnology Graduate Student Award for research detailing the role of microRNAs in opioid tolerance in the regulation of central nervous system receptors. Her work is funded in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health. A native of China, she has been at UIC for five years and was a university fellow for two of those years. She received both her undergraduate and master’s degree from Zhejiang University. The Biotechnology Graduate Student Award is sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company.

“Ying’s work is highly innovative and novel and may one day lead to rational design of new therapies for the UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 13

Rising Stars

Imaging Research Last spring, the College hosted its first-ever Images of Research competition, assembling a portfolio of the most innovative and creative images to convey the variety and profundity of research taking place at COP. The contest was open to all students and postdocs in the College, and case prizes were awarded to the top three entries. All College faculty, staff, and students were invited to vote online for their favorite images. Below is a gallery of competitors who received the most votes.

First Place

Second Place

Dirim Arslan, Biopharmaceutical Sciences “Infection Day” It was the day for another experiment that was planned weeks ahead, which also happened to be the same day of the 2011 Chicago blizzard. What is normally a 10-minute walk to the COP took more than 45 minutes under severe weather conditions. This picture was captured right before arriving at the COP behind the frozen doors of the Clinical Sciences North Building (old U of I Hospital). And the experiment—it was a success!

My Nguyen and Misuk Bae, Biopharmaceutical Sciences “A Crack of Dawn” The sunrise-like image is isolated E. coli colonies grown on an agar plate after being transformed with red fluorescence protein (RFP) plasmid. The research is focused on designing hydrogel microparticles. We choose RFP plasmid as a model polynucleic acid to evaluate the transfection efficiency of hydrogel microparticles. The picture was taken under LED light bulbs in a COP research laboratory. The RFP plasmid was a generous gift from Professor William Beck.

14 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Rising Stars

Third Place

Honorable Mention

Hiten Gutka, Pharmacognosy (Biotech) “Crystals—Unraveling the Secrets of Life” I study the enzymes important to the metabolic pathways of pathogenic bacteria. Insight into the structure and function of such important proteins forms the basis for developing new drugs. Structural characterization of proteins is performed by X-ray crystallography. Crystals of a phosphatase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis are captured here. These crystals were grown following standard crystallization technique (hanging drop vapor diffusion) and images captured on a microscope.

Suzanne Quartuccio, Medicinal Chemistry “Damage” Immortalized mouse oviduct epithelial cells were plated into an 8-well chamber slide, treated with hydrogen peroxide, fixed, and analyzed using immunofluorescence for epithelial cell marker cytokeratin 8, DNA damage marker phospho-Histone H2A.X, and DAPI nuclear counterstain. This image was captured as part of a project to determine the cell type of origin of serous ovarian cancer, the most lethal gynecological malignancy facing U.S. women.

Honorable Mention

Honorable Mention

Ja Myung, Biopharmaceutical Sciences “Nano-rock Hits Nanowires” To enhance the electronic and photonic properties of silicon, numerous efforts have been devoted to developing new silicon nanostructures. Through a metalassisted chemical etching method, a vertical array of uniform silicon nanowires was obtained. During surface characterization using a scanning electron microscope, we found a dust particle on top of the nanowires, which looks like a meteor hitting a forest.

Andrew Newsome, Pharmacognosy “Natural Blue Martini” A blue pigment extracted from a marine Streptomyces species was dissolved in a martini. The pigment tautomerizes to red in the acidity of lime juice. The compound is nontoxic and potentially beneficial. My goal is to discover and characterize natural pigments from microorganisms and to evaluate their potential use as natural coloring agents.

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 15

Faculty Fanfare Hats off to Faculty Isaac Cha, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice in Rockford, was

Courtesy of Evie Webster

awarded the Golden Apple for outstanding clinical instruction in the M2 year by the UIC College of Medicine at Rockford Class of 2011.

The Class of 2011 awarded Clinical Assistant Professor and Clinical Pharmacist

Sheila Allen,

Brad Cannon

Deb Fox

pharmd ’03 (center left), and , pharmd ’94, Preceptor of the Year and Golden Apple for their commitment to students. Both show off their honors with Class of 2011 president and vice president Amy Madhiwala and Dan Wojenski. More recently, Allen was also awarded the Illinois Council of HealthSystem Pharmacists New Practitioner Leadership Award. She was recognized at the organization’s annual meeting in September.

Charles McPherson

Courtesy of UIC Photo Services

, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice, was named a 2011–12 Academic Leadership Fellow by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Now in its eighth year with more than 200 alumni, this yearlong program is designed to develop the nation’s most promising pharmacy faculty for roles as future leaders in academic pharmacy and higher education.

Barry Donald

Doel Soejarto, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, was named the 2012 Distinguished Economic Botanist by the Society for Economic Botany. This annual award recognizes outstanding accomplishment pertinent to the goals of the society. The Society for Economic Botany was established in 1959 to foster and encourage scientific research, education, and related activities on the past, present, and future uses of plants and the relationship between plants and people and to make the results of such research available to the scientific community and the general public through meetings and publications.

16 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Faculty Fanfare

Bolton named ACS fellow by Sam Hostettler

College of Pharmacy Research Days

Barry Donald

March 8–9, 2012

Judy Bolton, professor and head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, was recently selected as and ACS fellow for her “outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and the American Chemical Society.” Fellows, of which there were 231 this year, are chosen from academia, industry, and government. They were recognized at an induction ceremony during the society’s 242nd National Meeting and Exposition in Denver. As a physical organic chemist, Bolton conducts research on how botanical dietary supplements can safely prevent diseases. Bolton has received numerous grants throughout her career, most of which related to three projects funded by the National Institutes of Health involving breast cancer and menopause.

Join us for this competition and lecture sabbatical, which will feature our students presenting nearly 75 scientific posters for our faculty, alumni judges, and guest speakers. This year’s guest speakers is William Fenical, distinguished professor of oceanography and pharmaceutical science at the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Find out what last year’s participants had to say about the event:

Bolton has also published more than 100 papers in scientific journals and written more than five book chapters. The American Chemical Society began naming fellows in 2008 to honor distinguished scientists who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to the organization. It is the world’s largest scientific society.

Interested in judging? Please contact Ben Stickan at (312) 636-7491 or

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 17

Brilliant Futures

Alumna establishes scholarship for working mothers By Jessica Canlas


“When we arrived in Boston, the Red Cross gave us delicious powdered-sugar donuts,” Kirklys recalls. “I remember taking one—it was so good, and the lady handing them out told me I could take as many as I wanted. “We knew then we had arrived in America.” Shortly afterward, the family got on a train headed for Chicago where two other family members had already settled. When Kirklys began attending elementary school, she couldn’t speak, read or write English. “I liked math the best because English was not needed,” she recalls. “I always liked science and math much more than other subjects.” After high school and two years in junior college, Kirklys decided to pursue her love of science and 18 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Courtesy of Therese Kirklys

native of Lithuania, Therese Kirklys, bs ’77, came to the United States in 1949 at age nine after having fled her home to escape the threat of violence and persecution during World War II. Before arriving in the United States, Kirklys and her family traveled through the rubble of Europe, living a survivalist, nomadic lifestyle for one year before transferring through three different displaced persons camps in Germany for the next four years. She, her two brothers, and her parents then boarded a British military ship for Boston.

enroll in pharmacy school. With two young children in preschool, she struggled to balance her life as a parent and student. With the help of neighbor friends who also had young children, Kirklys was able to secure care for her children, which afforded her time to attend class in the evenings, after the children went to bed. On the weekends, she offered cleaning services to a local Montessori preschool, which allowed her to enroll her younger son, tuition-free. “I studied very, very hard because I really wanted to be a pharmacist,” says Kirklys. “The College of

Brilliant Futures Pharmacy helped me achieve my American dream, and I would like to see someone else get the same opportunity.” For that reason, Kirklys is establishing, through an IRA transfer, a scholarship that will eventually total $3,000 for a female student who also happens to be a mom. Kirklys stipulates that the gift is not strictly need-based, but is intended for the woman who may be struggling with other life challenges while trying to complete her education. “There are a lot of other easier lifestyles than trying to go to school while looking after young children,” says Kirklys. “If a woman is doing that, then chances are that she feels the need to achieve something on her own—that’s why my scholarship is set up the way it is.”

establishing her own pharmacy placement and consulting business, Pharmstaff, which she sold in 2002 after 20 years. During that time, she was able to witness as her sons, John Kirklys, pharmd ’90, and Andrew Kirklys, pharmd ’94, followed in their mother’s footsteps and chose pharmacy as their profession. “The education in the College of Pharmacy is the best anyone could have,” Kirklys says. “It’s limitless in terms of what it can be applied to. I’ve seen alumni in politics, finance, business—careers of all kinds. “So no matter how much of a struggle it is, students should stick to it. It may open doors for them that they may not even see now.”

Today, Kirklys is enjoying retirement after a long career of working in various pharmacy settings and

Use your IRA to support the College of Pharmacy Did you know that you have two options for using your IRA to make a gift to the College of Pharmacy? • N  ame the College as a beneficiary of your IRA. It’s simple, and it’s tax-efficient, because your heirs will owe income tax if you leave them your pretax IRA contributions. • I f you are over 70 ½, you can make a charitable IRA rollover to the College of Pharmacy during 2011. The direct rollover can satisfy up to $100,000 of your required minimum distribution, and you owe no tax on the withdrawal (it’s at least as good as a charitable deduction, and, for many taxpayers, it’s better). Interested? Please contact Chris Shoemaker, (312) 996-3376 or

Bequests • Charitable Gift Annuities • Charitable Lead Trusts • Retirement Plan Gifts

UIC Pharmacist | Fall 2011 | | 1

Brilliant Futures Where do you want your contribution to the College to go? Alumni and friends of the UIC College of Pharmacy are welcome to direct support to its intended purpose: students, faculty, research, clinical care, infrastructure, and more. Please join the College’s family of generous donors by contributing to one of the gift funds listed below.

Office of the Dean ❏ Dean’s Fund ❏ Annual Fund ❏ Student Affairs ❏ Continuing Education ❏ Dorothy Bradley Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden Scholarships and Awards ❏ Zora Kosanovich Memorial Scholarship ❏ Dan Rodriguez Memorial Scholarship Fund ❏ Conrad Blomquist Memorial Scholarship ❏ Diversity Scholarship ❏ PAPA Foundation Skorczewski Award ❏ Cipolle-Sula Memorial Scholarship ❏ William B. & Marietta C. Day Scholarship ❏ Frederick P. Siegel Scholarship ❏ David Langerman Scholarship ❏ College of Pharmacy Scholarships ❏ Edward S. and Josephine E. Mika Award ❏ Urban Health Program Pharmacy Scholarship ❏ Sesquicentennial Leadership Award ❏ Paul Sang Memorial Scholarship ❏ Jesse E. Stewart Memorial Fellowship ❏ Stoller-Zeman Scholarship ❏ I. B. Crystal Memorial Award ❏ Rho Pi Phi Pharmacy Fraternity Award ❏ Kappa Psi Scholarship ❏ Phi Delta Chi Memorial Award ❏ Charles L. Bell Scholarship for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry Rockford ❏ Rockford Annual Fund ❏ Rockford Dean’s Fund ❏ Rockford Facilities ❏ Rural Pharmacy Education Program ❏ Rockford Scholarship

Clinical ❏ Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Fund ❏ Ambulatory Care Residency ❏ Herbert M. Emig Award Clinical Pharmacy

Department of Pharmacy Practice ❏ Pharmacy Practice Fund ❏ Pharmacy Practice Residency Program ❏ Pharmacy Practice Laboratory ❏ Pharmacogenomics Support Fund Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy ❏ Norman R. Farnsworth Professor of Pharmacognosy Fund ❏ Pharmacognosy & Pharmacology Fund Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences ❏ Compounding Lab Renovation Fund Departments, Centers and Institutes ❏ Department of Pharmacy Administration ❏ Drug Information Center Fund ❏ Institute for Tuberculosis Research Fund ❏ Center for Pharmacoeconomic Research Fund Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechonology ❏ Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Fund ❏ Alexander Neyfakh Memorial Fund Research ❏ Research Day ❏ David J. Riback Scholars Fund

Please detach this page and include it with your check made payable to the University of Illinois Foundation. Please note that 100% of your gift will be directed to the College of Pharmacy fund of your choice. Please mail your contribution to Chris Shoemaker, Director of Advancement, UIC College of Pharmacy (MC 874), 833 South Wood Street, Chicago, Illinois 606127230. Questions? Contact Chris at (312) 996-3376 or Thank you for your generosity!

20 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Brilliant Futures Charitable Gift Annuities How it works

The Benefits

1. You transfer cash or appreciated securities which you have owned for at least one year to the University of Illinois Foundation. 2. UIF pays you, or up to two annuitants you name, a guaranteed fixed income for life. 3. The residual value passes to the College after the death of the annuitant(s).


1. You receive an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of your gift. 2. The annuity payments are guaranteed for life. 3. The annuity payments are treated as part ordinary income and part tax-free income and part capital gains if you have used appreciated securities for your gift. 4. You have the satisfaction of making a significant gift to the College that benefits you now and the College later.








Remainder to UIF for the College


Income Tax Deduction Guaranteed Income

*Illustration of a few Charitable Gift Annuity Options as of July 2011 Amount Contributed

Annuity Rate

Charitable Deduction

Annual Annuity

Tax-free portion

Ordinary Income

Age 50 alumnus (single)‌ first payment deferred until age 60







Age 50 alumnus (joint)‌ first payment deferred until age 60







Age 60 alumnus (single)







Age 65 alumnus (single)







Age 70 alumnus (single)







Age 60 alumnus (joint)







Age 65 alumnus (joint)







Age 70 alumnus (joint)







*These calculations are for purposes of illustration only and should not be considered legal, tax, accounting, or other professional advice. Actual benefits will vary depending upon the date of the gift.

For more information as well as personalized consulting about this or other planned giving strategies, please contact Lynn Bennett, CFP, at (312) 413-3394 or

Bequests - Charitable Gift Annuities - Charitable Remainder Trusts - Retirement Plan Gifts

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 21

The Rockford Files Meet the White Coats Photos by Dan Pollack

Seven COP alumni joined Regional Vice Dean Dave Bartels in welcoming the Class of 2015 at Rockford’s second-ever White Coat ceremony held on August 17. Of the 54 students matriculating at Rockford, eight have been admitted to the campus’s Rural Pharmacy Education program, which trains future pharmacists for practice in medically underserved rural areas of the state.

Alumni Coat Presenters Bob Heyman, bs ’52 Que Huynh Mohring, pharmd ’98 Scott Meyers, bs ’76 Rojean Olmstead, bs ’72 Steve Scalzo, bs ’75 Chris Schriever, pharmd ’99 Allison Schriever, pharmd ’99, led the Class of 2015 in reciting the Pledge of Professionalism. Volunteer to coat a student in 2012! Contact Deb Fox at or 312-996-0160.

22 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Want to see more photos? Visit our complete online gallery of both White Coat ceremonies at Download photos in a variety of file sizes and order your own prints!

Rockford Files A coat of any other color would not be so white by Colleen Urbanski, Class of 2015

Colleen Urbanski, before. Jim and Virginia Bono, benefactors of the James D. and Virginia M. Bono Rural Pharmacy Scholarship, congratulate Janelle Knutti, one of the first two recipients of the award.

P2 Nicole Sinsabaugh was last year’s recipient of the Bono Scholarship, which is awarded each year to P1 students who express interest in rural practice.

Scott Meyers, bs ’76, executive vice president of the Illinois Council of Healthy-System Pharmacists, volunteered as a “coater” for both the Class of 2015 and 2014.

Dan Pollack

Dan Pollack

Regional Vice Dean Dave Bartels offers his first official address to the Class of 2015.

P1 Colleen Urbanski takes pride in this rite of passage

Colleen Urbanski, after.

I almost didn’t even attend the White Coat ceremony. After all, making my family drive four hours roundtrip on a work night to watch me put on a white lab coat, which they have only seen me do hundreds of times over the past few years, hardly seemed worth it. However, when I went into the reception room a feeling came over me. Maybe it was the shrimp cocktail or the miniquiche (how exciting!), but whatever it was, I made a 180 and was begging my parents to hurry up—and not just because I thought the spring rolls were starting to run low. The reception came to an end, and I took my seat in the auditorium. I was no longer near the food so what was this feeling that I had? Could it be relief? Graduating with my bachelor of science, completing the PCAT (twice, oops), finishing pharmacy school applications, getting an interview and then accepted into my firstchoice school are all things to be relieved about. But then again, thinking about the four tough years ahead of me brings more stress than any of that. Then Dr. Bartels mentioned the history of the White Coat and a little about UIC COP. That’s when it hit me. I felt proud. Proud to be part of one of the oldest and best pharmacy schools in the nation. Proud to be able to carry on the tradition of the White Coat. Proud to know I am going to be making a difference in someone else’s life. Proud of all the hard work I have and will put in. And most of all, I felt proud to have the family that I do because without them I would be nothing. So to all my classmates, remember to never take for granted what you have and remember to keep your head up (especially when you get your first loan bills) because when we look back, it will all be worth it. Cheers!

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 23

Bacterial communication is studied by visualizing glow-in-the-dark bacteria, which is a result of genes expressing luciferase (an enzyme similar to that found in fireflies). Glowing bacterial colonies in the image appear as green, while red colonies indicate those that remain dark. The colonies in the lower right sector of the Petri dish are mutants with a broken communication circuit, thus they cannot glow.

Into the world of quorum sensing

As bacteria communicate with one another, Dr. Michael Federle and his team of researchers continue eavesdropping on the conversations by Daniel P. Smith

24 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |


t’s no joke and he’s no comedian, but Michael Federle is out to fool bacteria. “We’re losing the war with bacteria. Every antibiotic we’ve come up with has some level of resistance,” confesses Federle, an assistant professor in the UIC College of Pharmacy. In spite of the challenge, Federle is waging a new war. Through misdirection, clever science, and out-of-the-box thinking, Federle’s out to convince sickness-causing bacteria to remain in a nonhostile state. With that, the bacteria and the body will both lead happy lives. “It’s a more intelligent warfare against bacteria and a more sustainable treatment,” Federle says. Earlier this year, Federle secured a five-year grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to continue his lab’s work on quorum sensing, loosely defined as the means in which bacteria communicate with one another. Much like hormones in the human body or pheromones in insects, bacteria secrete chemical molecules that build up in the local environment and can be measured by other recipient bacteria, thereby creating a primitive method of communication. During the course of the grant, Federle’s lab will receive $250,000 each year to pay for four to five lab researchers as well as necessary materials. UIC receives additional funds as a result of Federle’s research. “This funding is absolutely critical to keeping the science alive and moving forward,” says Federle, whose project is titled “Mechanistic Dissection of Pheromone-Dependent Regulation of Group A Streptococcal Virulence.”

One man’s quorum-sensing journey Though scientists have studied the signaling between cells for decades—now labeled as quorum sensing—few have accepted the idea that bacteria cells could be so sophisticated.

“Even though people suspect quorum sensing is a telling component, few understand,” says Dr. Alexander Mankin, associate director of UIC’s Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. “The answer lies in basic science.” Fortunately, the winds are shifting. In the late 1960s, two separate U.S.based discoveries sparked the idea that bacteria might be coordinating with one another. For nearly three decades, however, the research failed to capture mainstream imaginations. In the late 1990s, the science returned in earnest. Labs across the globe began placing a renewed focus on the concept and exploring its merits as well as its possibilities. In the twenty-first century, the investigation into bacterial communication has only intensified and accelerated. Federle and his team stand as part of this new guard, eager to advance both the science and its potential for the medical world. “We’ll develop something in the long term,” Federle predicts with equal parts confidence and determination. After earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin, Federle tackled graduate work at Emory University and, later, a six-year postdoctoral stint at Princeton University. There, at the Ivy League campus, Federle studied under MacArthur Foundation genius grant recipient Bonnie Bassler, who thrust Federle into the quorum-sensing world. His research in those university labs provided the groundwork for his career’s single-minded mission. It was Bassler, in fact, who first exposed Federle to quorum sensing as a young graduate student. At a seminar, Bassler showed an image of glow-in-thedark bacteria contained in flasks. As the bacteria communicated with one another and reached a high enough density, they began glowing. The oft-cited historical example was Federle’s first exposure to cellto-cell communication. “I thought it was amazing that these simple organisms had the ability to interact

and coordinate with one another,” Federle says. “It was like science fiction.” He has yet to look back. When the Wisconsin native met with UIC officials in 2007 to discuss joining the faculty ranks, he pitched himself with quorum sensing. “There was a solid amount of research happening here . . . and I thought I had unique position to show how we could move quorum sensing into an area of bacteria that hadn’t fully been explored,” says Federle, who arrived on the UIC campus in May 2008. That same year, the National Institutes of Health, of which he is a former fellow, had awarded Federle a career development honor, a prize that carried his first three years of research at UIC. For the opening 18 months, however, Federle endured a lab stint as uneventful as it was frustrating. No one had discovered a mechanism for how streptococci, the bacteria that causes strep throat, communicate with one another. Federle’s early work produced to a plethora of dead ends and near misses. “It was definitely a rough start,” Federle confesses. “When you’re given a position and grant money, you have pressure to produce results and only so much time. Some self-doubt did creep in.” In December 2009, however, the Federle-led team encountered a breakthrough. The team discovered brand new signaling pathways among streptococci. “All of these quorum-sensing pathways follow a central dogma,” Federle explains. “Our discovery was rooted in what’s understood by other quorumsensing systems and other bacteria, but for this important pathogenic bacterium, the streptococci, this was an unrealized pathway.” With that, Federle’s lab opened the door to exploring how dozens of bacteria communicate with one another. “It was satisfying to know that we established a foothold,” Federle says. “Once you hit that first one, you can branch out UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 25

“If we can manipulate bacteria by understanding the chemical signals they use, then we can interfere with the bacteria’s ability to make people sick,” says Michael Federle, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy and the Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.

to discover new layers and complexities in biology.” The positive momentum delivered credibility and substance, optimism and opportunity. After initially applying for the NIH grant in 2010, Federle resubmitted his application in February 2011. On July 1, he received official word of the honor. “It’s a relief to know I can keep the lab team I’ve assembled together and satisfying as a scientist to know that other people recognize the importance of this work,” he says. With that, his quorum-sensing work continues uninterrupted, a reality Federle’s

⬆ Loner Bacteria (behave as individuals, survive alone)

⬆ Members of a Group (coordinate behaviors, work as a group)

26 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

colleagues applaud. “[Dr. Federle] is such an eager scientist who deeply enjoys what he’s pursuing and is enthusiastic about working with colleagues,” Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology director Dr. Michael Johnson says. “He’s an ideal faculty member—mentoring young scientists, bringing in funding in a competitive environment, and researching fundamental questions.”

Implications for the Pharmaceutical World Johnson terms quorum sensing “one of the frontiers in terms of scientific investigation” and cites Federle’s work as a fundamental inquiry into a complex scientific landscape. “What he’s doing is developing the basic scientific foundations for understanding the mechanisms of biofilm formation,” Johnson says of Federle’s work. “It’s important because a number of his

results might have the potential to spur the development of new therapies.” Biofilms, communities of bacteria that live on a surface, are extremely resistant to antibiotics. Federle’s research explores ways to disrupt biofilms. “If we can interfere with this quorumsensing process, we might be able to disrupt the ability of these bacteria to make biofilms and subsequently become more sensitive to antibiotics,” he says. Mankin believes Federle’s work will lead to a deeper understanding of diseases and, subsequently, how the medical world combats those ailments. “We need to understand how bacteria communicate with one another in the basic, fundamental sense because then we can start asking the larger questions,” Mankin says. Federle’s long-term goal remains to manipulate bacteria that carry health complications. Bacteria enter the body and grow quietly until reaching a certain

Brick-by-Brick: Quorum-sensing developments thru the years

1965–1970: evidence for cell-to-cell communication emerges in studies on Streptococcus pneumoniae by Alexandar Tomasz (1965) and independently in studies on marine bioluminescent bacteria by J. W. Hastings (1970). 1980s: structural elucidation of acylated homoserine lactones as signals for Gramnegative bacteria and peptides as signals for Gram-positive bacteria. 1980s–90s: realization that bacterial pathogens, like pseudomonas and staphylococcus use quorum sensing to regulate virulence factors.

Federle’s team: Lauren Mashburn-Warren, postdoctoral fellow; Breah LaSarre, doctoral candidate; Brian Farris, doctoral candidate; Chaitanya Aggarwal, doctoral candidate; and Juan Jimenez, doctoral candidate. Postdoctoral fellows Jenny Chang and George Chlipala, not pictured, complete the group.

population density to inflict damage, but quorum sensing can help ward off this illness-breeding form of bodily terrorism. “If we can manipulate bacteria by understanding the chemical signals they use, then we can interfere with the bacteria’s ability to make people sick,” Federle explains. “We’ll try to fool the bacteria by artificially stimulating them.” While so much of the focus has remained on combating “bad” bacteria, Federle says it remains equally critical that scientists research the communication pathways among “good” bacteria. “With such findings,” he says, “we will be better able to battle the bad bacteria.” With only 10 percent of grant applicants receiving funding, Federle understands the position and responsibility he now inherits as a grant recipient in a tight funding climate. Eager to put the organization’s money to good use, he’ll continue the process of discovering new signaling pathways among bacteria.

In the coming years, Federle believes his team will more fully understand how bacteria circuitry works. With that, the groundwork will be laid to interfere with bacteria in the body’s disease process; the team can then turn its attention to inhibitors. “We’ll work to find the system that allows us to eavesdrop on bacteria’s communication,” Federle says. “If we can interfere with their coordination, we’ll lessen their strength. Ultimately, the hope is to arrive at new alternatives to antibiotics or, at the least, the foundations for that.” Federle takes a deep breath and pauses, contemplating the challenging task ahead— the time, energy, and brainpower he and his team must devote to the effort. It’s an exhausting battle fraught with obstacles and seemingly countless experiments, yet he remains undeterred. “We’re only scratching the surface of what we’re trying to understand, but we’ll get there,” Federle says. “I know we’ll get there.”

2000s: expansion of the number of species known to quorum sense and expansion in varieties of molecules. Interspecies signal, common to more than half of know bacterial species, identified. Late 2000s to present: development of quorum-sensing antagonists to block signaling.

Current quorumsensing research • Strategies and compounds developed to interfere with quorum sensing are actively being studied at Princeton University, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, New York University, and University of Indiana among others. • Understanding how bacteria communicate with the host is currently being researched at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Loyola University, and Northwestern University. • Modeling of communication networks continues at the University of Texas at Austin, Sandia National Laboratories, and Sloan Kettering Institute.

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 27

Tracking a Killer The deadly disease tuberculosis is alive and all too well in many regions of the world. Scott Franzblau, director of UIC’s Institute for Tuberculosis Research, is hot on its trail. by John Gregerson

28 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Tuberculosis is still lurking, though few Americans realize it. In fact, one-third of the world’s population is infected with the potentially fatal bacteria, but only when it becomes active do people fall ill. In poverty-stricken regions, more and more people are falling ill, says Scott Franzblau, director of the UIC College of Pharmacy Institute for Tuberculosis Research (ITR). Worse, he says, some strains have grown increasingly resistant to conventional treatments, such as rifampicin and isoniazid. “A former colleague from my days of researching leprosy treatments once said to me, ‘We didn’t eradicate tuberculosis, just tuberculosis researchers,’” says Franzblau. Franzblau is an exception, having worked to develop more effective treatments for the disease since 1990, when outbreaks of a multidrug-resistant (MDR) strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis began to surface in New York, particularly among patients whose immune systems were compromised by HIV infection. All but five of the 39 patients, the majority of whom were prison inmates, died shortly after diagnosis. Fearing the potential for future outbreaks, the U.S. National Institutes of Health mobilized to identify candidate treatments for MDR-TB. At the time, Franzblau was with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s National Hansen’s Disease Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he was concluding research on leprosy. “We were winding up,” he recalls. “We’d identified new drugs to treat the disease. We’d reduced drugtesting times from a year to a few weeks. Because the bacteria that cause leprosy and TB share the same genus, one day I received a call from someone at NIH

asking, ‘How many TB compounds can you test for $400,000?’ I replied, ‘As many as you can send.’ The money was there. The interest was there. So, I spent the next 11 years in Louisiana testing compounds that NIH solicited drug companies and university chemists to send me.” In 1994, Franzblau, who holds a PhD in microbiology from the University of Arizona, was named chief of Hansen’s pharmacology research department. By 2000, he’d decided he wanted to work more closely with researchers interested in drug discovery. So, Franzblau, who was raised in New Jersey and whose research has taken him to regions as far as Japan and the Philippines, headed north to Chicago, where today he and his colleagues at ITR perform research in collaboration with members of UIC’s Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy. They have their work cut out for them. Despite the emergence of curative therapies for TB during the past century, particularly in the decades following World War II, MDR-TB has since assumed epidemic proportions due to widespread HIV infection among the world’s poorest populations, including those living in sub-Saharan Africa. Franzblau explains that once TB disappeared from industrialized regions—the same regions that developed treatments to combat it— science turned its attention elsewhere, allowing the disease to fester in poorer regions. Infections have since spread to other regions as a result of HIV-TB coinfection and growing drug-resistance to the disease. In 2006, a new strain known as extensively drug-resistant TB (XDRTB) emerged in South Africa in a rural hospital in Tugela Ferry, where 53 patients were diagnosed with the

disease. All but one died, with a median of only 16 days from sputum specimen collection to death. XDR-TB has since been documented on six continents. Today, TB is the number one killer among people with AIDS, and Franzblau does not see conditions improving until science not only develops new treatments for drugresistant strains, but significantly reduces the time required to complete a course of treatment. “The problem,” says Franzblau, “is that TB treatment requires six months, but patients often find they feel better after just a month or so, and once they feel better, many discontinue treatment—circumstances that can allow a single strain to acquire spontaneous mutations and become resistant to drug treatment.” The probability of mutation is so great that physicians must treat patients with three drugs rather than one. “With most bacterial infections, we treat patients with a single drug for two weeks and we’re done,” says Franzblau. “We treat TB with multiple drugs for six months because the disease is a statistical game. If you treat the patient with just one drug, there’s a greater probability of encountering bacterial resistance. You significantly reduce that probability if you prescribe two drugs. And just to cover ourselves, we prescribe three or four.” Current drug regimens for TB are complex, involving combinations of isoniazid, rifampin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide for the initial two months, followed by rifampin and isoniazid for an additional four months. ITR and other organizations are seeking to reduce treatment times, so that patients are more likely to complete their drug regimens—a trend that could significantly curb spontaneous mutations among TB strains. “We could UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 29

30 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

sidebar), an organization that operates with support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop better, faster-acting, and more affordable drugs to fight TB. Mdluli, who has more than 15 years of drug-discovery expertise, particularly in assay development and high-throughput screening, says the assay plays a significant role in Alliance efforts to target NRP M. tuberculosis. “Other institutions can perform highthroughput screenings, but only UIC can perform them for compounds that target nonreplicating TB bacteria.” The program, and others like it, mark a departure of sorts for ITR, which placed greater emphasis on studying vaccines than treating infections prior to Franzblau’s arrival. Vaccines have proven problematic, Franzblau says. Although one known as BCG, or bacille Calmette-Guerin, is administered in regions with a high incidence of the disease to prevent childhood tuberculosis, including

ITR’s state-of-the-art facilities include a biosafety level-3 containment lab, one of only a handful in the world used in the study of TB.

Courtesy of Scott Franzblau

“[TB has] been the world’s number one bacterial killer for centuries. The good news is that it doesn’t live in water or soil. It’s passed from person to person, and that means we have the potential to eliminate it,” says Scott Franzblau, director of the Institute for Tuberculosis Research.

persister bacteria more efficiently.” ITR already has significantly reduced the amount of time and labor required to test potential treatments for NRP M. tuberculosis, which requires three weeks to form mature colonies in agar-based media. The test, which requires10 days, uses low oxygen-adapted M. tuberculosis into which a bioluminescent luciferase gene has been inserted. Continued light production after exposure to a candidate treatment denotes failure of the compound to destroy the TB sample, while discontinuance of light production denotes success in destroying it. The procedure, known as a low oxygen recovery assay (LORA), is the only high-throughput-compatible assay for detection of activity against NRP M. tuberculosis. “What Scott did was develop an assay that many believed was impossible,” says Khisi Mdluli, a research project leader with the New York City–based TB Alliance (see

Courtesy of Scott Franzblau

make a huge dent in TB if we were able to reduce treatment time from six months to two months,” Franzblau says. To do so, researchers first must develop more efficient methods of treating nonreplicating persistent (NRP) bacteria, which are similar to the latent bacteria that exist among asymptomatic carriers of the disease, and which are believed to account for antimicrobial tolerance in many bacterial strains. “Some types of TB bacteria appear to be actively growing while others appear to be breaking down,” Franzblau elaborates. “Then there are NRP bacteria, or persisters, which appear to exist in only small percentages—perhaps as little as 1 percent—in the human body. The problem is that persisters are hard to kill because they really don’t do anything. You can’t interrupt their metabolism because they aren’t metabolizing. We believe that’s why six months is required to complete a course of treatment. The Holy Grail of TB research is to identify drugs that kill

One-third of the world’s population is

latently infected with Tuberculosis. Estimated Numbers of New TB Cases

(Source: WHO Report 2007)

What is Tuberculosis (TB) ? TB is a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a slow-growing bacterium that is transmitted from person to person by coughing or sneezing.

It usually affects the lungs but can also affect almost any organ or tissue.

• • • •

Someone in the world is newly infected every second. 5–10% of those infected will develop active disease. 9 million new cases* (active) are found each year. TB is responsible for 1.7 million deaths** every year.

* The number continues to increase. ** #1 among all bacterial species.

tuberculous meningitis, it generally isn’t used in the United States due to low risk for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as well the variable efficacy of the vaccine against adult pulmonary TB. The BCG vaccine also interferes with tuberculin skin-test reactivity. “If someone is vaccinated, he can later yield a false positive when tested for TB,” says Franzblau. “The tuberculin skin test can’t always distinguish between exposure to TB and the vaccine.” Today, ITR focuses on identifying new methods of treating infected populations, an endeavor that involves large-scale screening of both natural and synthetic compounds. To support its efforts, the institute has assumed an industrial orientation to drug discovery, having consolidated all of the required components, including medicinal chemistry, natural products chemistry,

Most people’s immune systems are able to kill the bacillus or at least effectively contain the infection after very limited growth (latent TB infection), but in 5–10% of individuals, the infection progresses, resulting in active disease with the destruction of lung tissue, fever, weight loss, etc. If untreated, active TB can be fatal and/or result in transmission to others.

microbiology, drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology, under a single roof. ITR’s facilities also house all the requisite technology for drug discovery. “When I arrived here, we didn’t have a biosafety level-3 containment lab,” says Franzblau. His first order of business, he says, was to build one. The 650-sq.-ft. lab, which employs negative airflow, is equipped with three class II biological safety cabinets; two microplate multilabel readers; a colorimeter; electroporator; HEPAfiltered CO2 incubators; a reach-in incubator with an orbital shaker; refrigerated tabletop centrifuge; microcentrifuge; phase-contrast/ fluorescence microscope; inhalation exposure system; tissue homogenizer; cell disrupter; and cup-horn ultrasonicator. A 485-sq.-ft. biosafety

level-2 lab is used for cell culture and microbiology. “Few institutions have a level-3 containment lab and only a few of those that do use them for the study of TB,” says Mdluli, who says ITR tests thousands of candidate compounds for the TB Alliance. Other facilities include a 686-sq.-ft. medicinal chemistry lab and a 762-sq.ft. ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity) lab, in addition to shared analytical resources, such as mass-spectrometry instrumentation and robotics, both available from the UIC Research Resources Center. ITR’s programs and facilities have attracted researchers from around the world, including Argentina, Brazil, China, El Salvador, Germany, India, Iran, Korea, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 31

A collaborative


Khisi Mdluli, a research project leader with the New York City–based TB Alliance, says there are only three U.S. institutions equipped to perform the advanced research and testing required to develop more effective treatments for drugresistant tuberculosis. “There is Colorado State University, Johns Hopkins University, and the [Institute for Tuberculosis Research] at UIC,” says Mdluli, an expert in the microbiology, molecular biology, and biochemistry of M. tuberculosis. “UIC does especially well with the early part of drug discovery, from screening individual compounds to animal modeling. It has the unique ability to perform several assays under a single roof, whether they involve mammalian cells, TB bacteria, or an altogether different disease.” ITR and the TB Alliance have collaborated for years to accelerate the development of new treatment combinations for both drug-sensitive (DS) and multidrug-resistant TB. Under the arrangement, ITR screens compounds supplied by the alliance, and then reports back on those that appear to be the most promising. The alliance then refines the compounds before resubmitting them to ITR for further testing. Once they are refined, ITR administers individual compounds to TB-infected mice. Those that show the most promise are then forwarded to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, where they are tested in combination with other compounds. Like ITR, the alliance places particular emphasis on nonreplicating persistent (NRP) bacteria, which are believed to account for antimicrobial tolerance in many bacterial strains. As part of an initiative it launched with the Critical Path Institute and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the alliance currently oversees a group called the Drugs Coalition, whose members include leading pharmaceutical developers that allow their TB drug candidates to be tested in combination with one another early in the development process. Compound selection is based on a program the alliance oversees in partnership with ITR and Johns Hopkins University. “We’re currently working with a number of compounds supplied by Abbott Laboratories, some of which look very promising,” says Mdluli. “So we’re going to continue to work with those compounds and refine them and see where they take us.”

32 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

and Vietnam. In addition to faculty, affiliate faculty, and adjunct faculty, the institute is staffed with BS, MS, and PhD staff scientists, as well as graduate students and support staff—some 25 members in all. These days, they are placing particular emphasis on the potential of actinomycetes—filamentous or rodshaped microorganisms found in soil—to discover drugs for the treatment of tuberculosis. “A lot of organisms exist in soil, but we can only grow about 1 percent of them,” says Franzblau. “The actinomycetes are not only abundant, but they demonstrate great metabolic capability. They can generate unusual molecules that may have therapeutic value. Streptomycin derives from actinomycetes. So does tetracycline and rifampin; the latter is the best of the current treatments we have for TB. My feeling is that some actinomycetebased compounds that were ineffective in killing E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus may still be active against TB. Now that we know that the drug susceptibility of M. tuberculosis is very different from other bacteria, it makes sense to screen new compounds directly against virulent strains of this species instead of relying upon nonvirulent surrogates.” Thus far, ITR has completed screening 90,000 actinomycete fermention extracts from the Extract Collection of Useful Microorganisms (ECUM) at Myongji University in South Korea. A small number of them were prioritized on the basis of potency, selective toxicity, spectrum of activity, and lack of cross resistance with TB strains resistant to other compounds. “We’ve isolated a cyclic peptide we believe has potential,” says Franzblau. “The problem is that it doesn’t build to sufficient levels in the lung or do so for the amount of time sufficient to be of value, so we may have to tweak it. The goal is to make it more stable. We’ve since identified other peptides that may have different molecular targets, so this has emerged as a very hot area for us.” He knows he is tracking a killer that has eluded science for thousands of years. “It’s always been there,” he says. “It’s been the world’s number one bacterial killer for centuries. The good news is that it doesn’t live in water or soil. It’s passed from person to person, and that means we have the potential to eliminate it.”

Reunion 2011 Held on October 15 at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, the UIC College of Pharmacy Reunion 2011 brought together nearly 200 alumni, students, faculty, and staff in a joint event that incorporated the student fall formal. Graduates and current students raised glasses to celebrate the College’s history, honor its recent achievements and toast its bright future. Photography by Joshua Clark

UIC Pharmacist | Spring 2011 | | 25 UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 33

Class Photos 1976

1956 1961


34 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |




1996 2006

The College of Pharmacy Alumni Associaton woud like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of the 2011 Pharmacy Alumni Reunion. Without their beneficence, this celebration would not have been possible. Jewel-Osco Pharmacy The College of Pharmacy Alumni Associaton Illinois Pharmacists Association woud like to thank the following sponsors for Illinois Council ofgenerous Health-System their support of Pharmacists the 2011 Pharmacy Alumni Reunion. their beneficence, this University of Illinois AlumniWithout Association celebration would not have been possible. UIC College of Pharmacy Jewel-Osco Pharmacy Illinois Pharmacists Association Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists University of Illinois Alumni Association UIC College of Pharmacy

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 35

Honoring Excellence Each year, the College of Pharmacy Alumni Association recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding graduates at Reunion. The following individuals represent the College’s legacy of excellence. diplomat of the American Board of Applied Toxicology. He has academic appointments at the UIC College of Pharmacy, Rush University Medical Center, Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, and Toxikon Consortium. A preceptor, Burda works with students and residents completing toxicology rotations at the Illinois Poison Center. He has authored or coauthored 43 peer-reviewed publications, 19 book chapters, 133 non-peerreviewed publications, and 40 abstracts and poster presentations. Considered an expert in his field, Burda has been quoted in the media on toxicology-related matters and currently contributes to a number of blog postings on the Illinois Poison Center Web site. He is a member of the editorial board of KeePosted, the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists’ official newsletter, and

2011 Alumnus of the Year Anthony Burda, bs ’78 One of the highest honors given to an alumnus by the College of Pharmacy, the Alumnus of the Year Award recognizes a graduate who stands as an innovator, exhibits leadership, and has contributed significantly to the pharmacy profession. Anthony Burda receives this year’s top honor in recognition of an exceptional career. Tony Burda is the chief specialist of the Illinois Poison Center, a program administered by the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council. He is a certified specialist in poison information and a

serves on the pharmacy subcommittee of the Chicago Department of Public Health Disaster Preparedness. Burda is a recipient of the August W. Christmann Award; the Eugene J-M.A. Thonar, PhD, Award; the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois Gwendolyn Williams Service Award; and the Phi Delta Chi Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition, the Illinois Poison Center and Metropolitan Healthcare Council were recognized by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children with the Ron W. Lee, MD, Excellence in Pediatric Care Award in the community service category.

2011 Jesse Stewart Service Award Haresh Khakhkhar, pharmd ’91 The Jesse Stewart Service Award is named in honor of a former faculty member and recognizes a person who has been generous in their service to the profession, the community, and/or the College. Haresh Khakhkhar,


’91, has exemplified these

qualities over the course of his 22-year career. For the past 17 years, independent pharmacy owner Khakhkhar has operated Rishi Pharmacy in Chicago’s low-income Austin neighborhood. Khakhkhar works closely with Circle Family Healthcare Network and its provider, Federal Health Clinic, to offer pharmaceutical services to the surrounding community, which is an underserved area in terms of medical and pharmaceutical services, focusing on issues relevant to diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and

36 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Honoring Excellence

geriatric and pediatric service. He also provides pharmaceutical

role with Jewel-Osco as a clinical programs district point person, in

services to an assisted living facility of 350 senior residents in

which she provides education, training, and support to as many as


70 pharmacy teams engaged in the delivery of clinical services— both those that occur as part of the pharmacy’s workflow and

Khakhkhar was previously a board member at the Austin Cook

those that are appointment based. She has also worked on several

County Health Center and currently serves as a board member

additional projects, including implementing a residency preceptor

for the Association of Indian Pharmacists in America-Illinois.

development series, developing proposals for transitions of care programs involving community pharmacists, conducting a pilot

Khakhkhar and his wife, Sejal, currently reside in Orland Park.

weight-management program for corporate office associates, and

Their son, Rish (20), is a second-year premed student at

authoring a white paper on the pharmacist’s role in the patient-

Northwestern University, and their daughter, Shivani (16), is a

centered medical home that was distributed to key Senate and

junior at Sandburg High School.

congressional leaders, among others. Wagner serves on several professional pharmacy workgroups,

2011 Rising Star Award Megan E. Wagner, pharmd ’05

including the NCPDP MTM Workgroup and the PQA MTM and Care

The Rising Star Award recognizes alumni who have graduated

abstract reviewer of resident research projects submitted for

Transitions Workgroup, and is a member of the Illinois Pharmacists

within the last 10 years and have distinguished themselves in their career while showing great promise for the future. Megan Drinnan Wagner receives this year’s Rising Star honor for her exceptional work that has already gained her notable recognition. Wagner received her bachelor’s degree in biology from UIUC in 2001. She then received her PharmD from UIC in 2005 and completed a community pharmacy practice residency in 2006

Association’s Editorial Advisory Committee. She serves as an presentation at the American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting and is a member of the IPhA, APhA, and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. Wagner enjoys returning to campus each year as a guest lecturer in several courses. She currently lives in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago with her very supportive husband of four years, Matt Wagner, who earned his PharmD at UIC in 2003.

with UIC and SUPERVALU (Jewel-Osco). In 2006, Wagner began as a staff pharmacist with SUPERVALU and took on an additional role as a clinical specialist pharmacist with dedicated time for providing comprehensive and targeted medication






management services to patients in the community pharmacy setting. In 2008, SUPERVALU added a fourth community pharmacy residency site in Lombard, Illinois, affiliated with Midwestern University, and Wagner became the primary preceptor for the new site. Later that year, she also temporarily served as primary preceptor for the community practice residency affiliated with UIC in Chicago and then transitioned into the primary preceptor for this site the following residency year. Wagner has been in her current position with SUPERVALU for about two and a half years. She serves as primary preceptor for the PGY1 Community Practice Residency Program affiliated with UIC. Her practice site is located at Roosevelt Road and Ashland Avenue in Chicago. She also continues in her role as a clinical specialist pharmacist. Furthermore, Wagner holds a leadership UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 37

White Coats Chicago White Coats in the Big City Photos by Barry Donald

On August 18, UIC’s next class of future pharmacist and pharmaceutical industry researchers were welcomed into pharmacy school at the Chicago campus before an audience of proud friends and family. Seven alumni volunteers joined Dean Bauman and Regional Vice Dean Bartels in presenting the Class of 2015 with their new white coats.

38 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Find images from Rockford’s visit our complete online galler Download photos in a variety o

White Coats Chicago About the Class of 2015

Alumni Coat Presenters

Enrollment in Chicago: 163 Enrollment in Rockford: 54 Women: 120 Men: 97 Average age: 24 Average GPA: 3.56 Average PCAT composite: 72nd percentile

Donna Gibble, bs ’80 David Gibble, bs ’81 Michael Harris, bs ’70 Dennis Bryan, bs ’74 Bob Heyman, bs ’52 Sharon Park, pharmd ’04 Shawn McGhee-Paratore, pharmd ’09

White Coat Ceremony on page 22. For even more photos, ry of both White Coat ceremonies at of file sizes and order your own prints!

Volunteer to coat a student in 2012! Contact Deb Fox at or 312-996-0160.

Regional Vice Dean Dave Bartels and Dean Jerry Bauman joined alumni volunteers in coating students.

Alumnus Bob Heyman volunteered for both White Coat ceremonies in Chicago and Rockford.

Alumni David and Donna Gibble enjoyed the privilege of coating their future fellow alumna and daughter, Elizabeth Gibble. UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 39

Janina Janik

Chris Shoemaker



Robert DiDomenico, pharmd ’96; Dean Bauman; Adam Bress, pharmacy practice fellow; and Sarah Hanigan, pharmacy practice resident, hit the greens for UIC APhA-ASP’s seventh annual golf outing.

A diverse gift

Courtesy Keith Rodvold

Courtesy Keith Rodvold

Paul Rattana (right), Walgreens district pharmacy supervisor, visited the College in October to present Walgreens’ annual $10,000 gift to Clara Awe, associate dean for diversity and director of the Urban Health Program, and Dean Bauman. While $2,000 of the donation will go toward COP’s Diversity Scholarship, the remaining $8,000 will be put toward College diversity initiatives.

Infectious reunion

Alumni and friends of the College’s infectious-disease group gathered for a reunion in September at Carmichael’s in Chicago. Attendees included Larry Danziger, professor, pharmacy practice; Madie Nixon, program coordinator, pharmacy practice; former faculty member Richard Hutchinson and wife Karen Hutchinson; Donna Kraus, associate professor, pharmacy practice; and Keith Rodvold, professor, pharmacy practice.

40 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Courtesy of COP Office of Advancement


Successful networking

Andrew Campbell

In September, more than 120 students, faculty, and alumni assembled at Weber Grill in Schaumburg to network and learn from alumni experiences in hospital, community, and industry settings.

COP is the balm Kathryn Marchetti

Ron Koch, associate professor, biopharmaceutical sciences, along with student volunteers Aishi Chua, P3; Alex Orr, P4; and Prachi Shah, P4, presented an exhibit at this year’s University of Illinois Foundation Day at UIC Expo in September. Prior to the event, the group crafted a custom formulation of lip balm in several different flavors for guests. At the event, students spoke with visitors about compounding as a component of the COP curriculum and as a potential career choice. The Expo, with a guest list including high-level donors and campus dignitaries, was followed by a dinner during which presentations highlighted the benefits of giving to the university.

Forensics farewell

Bob Gaensslen, former director and professor of forensic sciences, retired after 15 years of service to the College of Pharmacy this past August. Earlier in the year, nearly 100 alumni and friends of the forensic sciences program joined current students in honoring Gaensslen as the recipient of the College of Pharmacy’s Distinguished Service Award in a reception at the 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Meeting in Chicago.

On Target

Ben Stickan

In the Capturing the Growing Pharmacy Market Student Scholarship Competition hosted at the College in October, student teams of four were challenged to develop a formal business presentation on how Target Pharmacy might continue to differentiate itself and increase market share amidst an aging population that requires more medication. P3s Amata Sok, Kristen Karlsen, Jennifer Mourafetis, and Soojin Jun took the prize with their presentation, “Health on Target.” Each team member will each receive a $1,000 scholarship at Honors Convocation in April.

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 41

Class Notes 1951 George Nechuta, bs, of Western Springs, has been retired from practicing pharmacy for 25 years. During his career, he worked as a pharmacist for Walgreens for 10 years before establishing his own independent pharmacy, Lyons Pharmacy, in Lyons, which he operated for 25 years. A Chicago native, Nechuta lived in the Douglas Park neighborhood and attended Farragut High School, where he takes pride in a record of perfect attendance—one which he repeated at UIC. A widower, Nechuta was married for 53 years and has two children. He has lived in the same house in Western Springs for 55 years. 1951 William Schaal, bs, of Washington, retired from practicing pharmacy in April 2010. He resides with his wife, Gladys. 1960 Charles Kormendy, ms, of Frankfurt, Germany, recently published his autobiography, Milestones on the Road Behind Me, in which he recounts memories from his time at the College of Pharmacy. Since then, Kormendy has held a number of positions in the pharmaceutical industry, both in the United States and Germany, and established his own pharmaceutical business-development consulting company as well. In 2006, he received an honorary on the 50th anniversary of his graduation from Pasmanaeum University in Budapest, Hungary, where he was born. Kormendy retired in 2007 and enjoys several hobbies, including writing, reading, photography, and golf.

42 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

1961 Roger Arthur Nelson, bs, of Chesterton, Indiana, recently retired for the second time after 50 years behind the counter. During his career, Nelson held a variety of titles, including pharmacy district manager, hospital outpatient pharmacy director, and pharmacist at a low-income clinic. Nelson says, “Never a dull moment in a pharmacist’s life! Might still be working if the old back had not told me, ‘That’s all, Folks.’ ’’ 1965 Lawrence Capek, bs, of Reno, Nevada, retired as vice president of business development at Northern Arizona Healthcare in Flagstaff, Arizona, a position he held for 25 years, in January 2011. 1979 David Kilarski, bs, of Hudson, Ohio, assumed the position of CEO of FirstHealth of the Carolinas, a private, nongovernmental, not-forprofit healthcare network in Pinehurst, North Carolina, on November 1. Most recently, Kilarski was president and CEO for two health-system hospitals in Ohio with the Cleveland Clinic Health System. He has more than 20 years of health executive experience, including leadership roles in community hospitals, academic medical centers, and multihospital systems. Prior to moving into an executive level position in 1989, Kilarski served in pharmacy leadership positions for hospitals in Illinois and Texas. In Ohio, Kilarski was instrumental in leading two Cleveland Clinic hospitals to achieve national recognition. While at Cleveland Clinic, Kilarski had responsibility for healthsystem hospitals with combined net operating revenue of $330 million and 2,500 full-time employees. 1980 David Holdford, bs, of Richmond, Virginia, is a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University

School of Pharmacy in Richmond, Virginia. In 2010, he edited and authored Introduction to Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Practice, published by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. He also authored Leadership and Advocacy for Pharmacy and coauthored Marketing for Pharmacists: Providing and Promoting Professional Services, both published by American Pharmacists Association Publications. He resides with his wife, Diane. 1980 Mark Siska, bs, of Rochester, Minnesota, received the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ Pharmacy Practice Section Award for Informatics and Technology in 2010. The award recognized Siska for his participation in volunteer activities that helped advance healthsystem pharmacy and his sustained contribution to his group. Siska is assistant director of informatics and technology in pharmacy services at the Mayo Clinic. 1981 Macy (Mui) Chan, bs, of Winter Springs, Florida, works as a clinical pharmacist at Florida Hospital in Orlando. Her daughter, Stacey, earned her DMD in May from the University of Pennsylvania. Her son, Jay, is in his third year of medical school at the University of Florida. Her youngest, Victor, is a high school sophomore in the Seminole High School International Baccalaureate program. Husband, Pedro, enjoys his work in a medical office. 1983 Mark Mandel, bs, of Schaumburg, is coowner of Mark Drugs in Roselle. Housed in a 12,000-square-foot facility, Mark Drugs specializes in compounding and offers nutrition and dietician services, a massage therapy program, natural medicines, and durable equipment.

Class Notes Patients and patrons may also visit the store’s museum of antique health devices. Mandel initially planned to study medicine until he was inspired by a pharmacist who assisted in his recovery from a back injury. With a focus on women’s health issues, Mark Drugs also features a mastectomy boutique. 1984 Shirley Felder, bs, of Crystal Lake, is MTM pharmacist at CentegraWoodstock Hospital in Woodstock. 1993 Agnes Rimando, phd, of Oxford, Mississippi, is a research chemist in the Natural Products Utilization Research Unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In June, she presented the Centennial Lecture, “Journey in Pharmacy Research: Challenges & Opportunities,” during the Centennial Week Celebration at the University of the Philippines College of Pharmacy, where she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. 1996 Shahnam Sharareh, pharmd, of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, is a partner in the law firm of Fox Rothschild in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and a JD from the University of Baltimore. 1996 Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit, pharmd, of Hilo, Hawaii, is an associate professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Pharmacy. 1997 Ned Milenkovich, pharmd, of Chicago, is a drug and pharmacy attorney and member at the legal firm McDoanld Hopkins. He is a member of the Illinois State Pharmacy Board and serves on the College of Pharmacy’s Alumni Board.

1998 Charisse Johnson, pharmd, ms ’03, is an assistant professor and director of experiential education at the Chicago State University College of Pharmacy. Possessing formal teaching experiences in both didactic and experiential arenas with student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, Johnson has served in various capacities as a guest speaker, course instructor, and graduate teaching assistant lecturing on topics such as regulatory policy, patient safety, and the pharmacist’s role in community health. Prior to joining Chicago State University, she was professional affairs manager at the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. She also has practice experience in community and health-systems pharmacies. Johnson has served as a board member for both the National Pharmaceutical Association and Chicago Pharmacists Association. She is also a member of the Rho Chi Honor Society, Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Fraternity, and Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity. She has received a number of awards and accolades, the most recent being the UIC College of Pharmacy Sister Margaret Wright Graduate Award, the UIC College of Pharmacy Urban Health Program Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Young Pharmacists Award from the National Pharmaceutical Association. 1999 Kwong-Wing Chui, pharmd, of Chicago, received the 2010 Foundation Award from former Mayor Richard M. Daley. The award recognized Chui for more than 10 years of outstanding community

service to senior citizens. Chui is a pharmacy manager with Walgreens. 2001 Dina Qato, pharmd, phd ’10 sph, of Mokena, is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago. She is also a research associate with the Chicago Core on Biomarkers in Population-based Aging Research with the Center on Aging affiliated with the National Opinion Research Center and University of Chicago. 2005 Marco Barajas, pharmd, of Plainfield. 2005 Gina Lemke, res, of Two Harbors, Minnesota, is director of pharmacy at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota, where she oversees the hospital pharmacy, its Wilderness Tele-Pharmacy Services, Northland Pharmacy, and St. Luke’s Infusion Therapy Pharmacy. Earlier this year, she was elected to the Minnesota Society of Health System Pharmacists board of directors. 2006 Ben Blodgett, pharmd, of La Quinta, California, his wife, Karen, and their children, Sahara and Jacob, vacationed in Santa Barbara over the summer.

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 43

Class Notes 2006 Akinwale Onamade, pharmd, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, is a pharmacist with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He and his two sons, Wale Jr. (left) and Emmanuel (right), attended the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Pilot Air Show in West Virginia this past spring. 2006 Hongjun Yin, phd, of Brooklyn, New York, is an asistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Long Island University in Brooklyn, where he is also graduate program director of the pharmacy administration and drug regulatory affairs programs. His research focus is applying advanced statistical

modeling to solve practice problems, e.g., analyzing healthcare costs and utilization databases to examine inpatient cost variations. Yin’s research interests include drug utilization, medication errors, health economics, health-outcome measurement, healthpolicy evaluation, drug regulatory issues, medical sociology, and gerontology pharmacy practice. He has published manuscripts on pharmaceutical marketing, pharmacoepidemiology, and long-term care policy. In his leisure time, Yin enjoys listening to music; playing sports; reading; and spending time with his wife, Lori Wang, his two children, Carly and Stanley, and friends. 2007 Hui Li, pharmd, of Seattle, Washington, works as a pharmacist for Walgreens. He and his wife, Emily Susan Schlesinger, were married in July. 2008 Joseph Jorgenson, pharmd, of Maplewood, Minnesota, is the owner of the independent pharmacy White Bear Health Mart in White Bear Lake,

On to bigger and better Pharmacy Administration Professor and Head Nick Popovich, bs ’68, ms ’71, phd ’73, of Chicago (front row center) takes pride in sending off his Class of 2011 advisees. Of the group, seven are now pursuing pharmacy practice residencies, eight are practicing community pharmacy, one is enrolled in a graduate degree program, one has gone on to become a U.S. Navy pharmacist, and one is undecided. “I am so proud of each of them,” says Dr. Popovich. Front row: Kimberly Kauzlarich, Sharon Chae, Epiphanus Igwe, Luciana Bang. Middle row: Chintan Patel, Jennifer Powe, Inna Nabokova-Turner, Kathleen Tsai, Carly Bates, Hina Choudhary, Lamar Quinn, Lucero Lozoya, Ed Kim. Back row: Carolyn Sharpe, Jennifer Samp, Michael Mearis, Joshua Weight, Daerin Park.

44 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Minnesota. White Bear Health Mart strives to add value to the community through a focus on pharmaceutical care and customer service. Jorgenson resides with his wife, Tara. 2009 Todd Chermak, phd, of Lake Forest, holds the position of divisional vice president with Abbott Nutrition Regulatory Affairs. Chermak has been employed with Abbott for 17 years, having previously been employed in its global pharmaceutical research and development, pharmaceutical products group and pharmaceutical products division, and led the organization responsible for more than 300 products in more than 100 countries. He also globalized the chemistry, manufacturing, and controls function to better align with the needs of the pharmaceutical products group. Chermak joined Abbott as an intern and holds a master’s in engineering management from Northwestern University. He resides with his wife, Debbie.

Class Notes

Scientific Mind Richard Morimoto’s research on misfolded proteins may lead to treatments for such diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

At age 15, Richard Morimoto, ’72 las, ms ’74 pharm, decided he needed access to an electron microscope and traveled from his home in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood to UIC in order to locate one. “I walked the corridors of the Science and Engineering Laboratories knocking on doors until, amazingly enough, a professor by the name of Howard Buhse answered,” Morimoto recalls. “Professor Buhse did two things, both of which were quite wonderful. First, he allowed me in and, second, he left me alone. That generosity of spirit—and who knows why he did it—made a huge difference in my life.” For as long as he could remember, the 15-yearold had been fascinated with science, and upon graduating from high school a year later, Morimoto knew he wanted to study biology. He also knew he wanted to attend UIC. In typical fashion, Morimoto completed his undergraduate degree a year early. He was 19. Today, Morimoto is the Bill and Gayle Cook Professor of Biology with Northwestern University’s Department of Molecular Biosciences and director of the university’s Rice Institute of Medical Research. He has published more than 200 research papers and is a leading expert on the principles that underlie cellular quality control—in particular, the circumstances that account for misfolded proteins and the resulting impact on protein homeostasis, cellular function, and the adaptation and survival of organisms. “It’s really one of the most exciting fields in all of science because it enhances our understanding

of genes and their influence on aging and disease,” Morimoto says. The misfolded proteins he and his colleagues study at “Morimoto Lab” result from numerous circumstances, including aging, and are linked to a variety of ailments, ranging from Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease to Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, familial ALS, and amyloidosis. Morimoto’s mission is to develop therapies that prevent misfolding, as both a researcher and founder of Prostostasis Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts–based enterprise named after the proteins that regulate folding. Treatments are based on Morimoto’s research, as well as work conducted by cofounders Andrew Dillin of The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego, and Jeffery Kelly of the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California.

Love is in the COP On a brilliant, sunny Easter weekend, Surasak Jim Vasavanont, pharmd ’08, surprised Maribelle Regala, pharmd ’07, with a proposal of marriage in the Dorothy Bradley Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden, located adjacent to the College of Pharmacy. Faculty members, pharmacy students, and hospital employees joined the conspiracy cloaking the event in secrecy. Fellow alumni flew in from as far as Cleveland, Ohio, to witness the event. The Atkins Garden, named for the late Dorothy Bradley Atkins, bs ’45, was established in 2002 thanks to the generosity of her husband, Robert Atkins, md ’45. The garden was built in honor of Dorothy’s memory, her life as a pharmacist, and her interest in medicinal plants. The couple met at UIC when they were students. The “engagement bench” pictured in the photos was later donated to the College and mounted with a plaque to commemorate its significance. Says Vasavont, “[The bench] is for students and alumni to enjoy, but, more importantly, to bear witness that, even more than 70 years later, romance and love can still be found on the corner of Polk and Wood.”

In October, he was honored by the University of Illinois Alumni Association with its Alumni Achievement Award. Morimoto and his wife, Joyce, a school teacher, also develop programs that make university science more accessible to school children. The initiative is a fitting tribute to Buhse, who is now acting chair of UIC’s Department of Biology. “I saw him just a month ago,” says Morimoto. “We still see each other with [great] frequency.” —John Gregerson This article originally appeared in the fall 2011 issue of UIC Alumni Magazine.

Fellow alumni Jim Vasavonont and Maribelle Regala became engaged in the College’s Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden before an audience of family and friends.

UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 45

Obituaries Medicinal Plant Researcher Norman Farnsworth, 1930–2011 by Sam Hostettler one making major scientific contributions that complement our educational programs. Norm had the ability to recruit extremely talented colleagues and get them to work collaboratively toward common research and scientific goals.” In 1982, Farnsworth became director of UIC’s Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences, an internationally renowned center for the study of biologically active natural products. The center was established to unite faculty within the University of Illinois system in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences. Under Farnsworth’s direction, UIC’s Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy in 1999 became one of six research centers established by the National Institutes of Health to study dietary supplements. Investigations at the UIC/ NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research focus on products that may improve women’s health and quality of life, specifically in the areas of menopause, premenstrual syndrome, and persistent urinary tract infections. Along with the NIH, Farnsworth’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and industry and private donations. His research led to more than 500 scientific orman R. Farnsworth, distinguished professor of publications and reviews. pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, died September 10. He was 81. Farnsworth continued to play a pivotal role in the field of pharmacognosy until his death. He was a longtime member of the Farnsworth, who directed UIC’s Program for Collaborative World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional Research, was a pioneer who spent more than 50 years Medicine and was director of the WHO Collaborating Center for studying the medicinal properties of natural plant products. Traditional Medicine Program at the UIC College of Pharmacy. Farnsworth served on the UIC faculty for more than 40 years He also served as editor-in-chief of the Natural Products Alert and as head of pharmacognosy for 12 years. Jerry Bauman, Database (NAPRALERT), a system he established in 1975. dean of the UIC College of Pharmacy, said Farnsworth’s recruitment from the University of Pittsburgh brought a “culture NAPRALERT is a collection of more than 150,000 scientific of sophisticated research” that has persisted. articles available online and serves as an important resource for scientists. “We are consistently rated one of the top five research colleges of pharmacy in the United States, and that can be traced back Throughout his distinguished career, Farnsworth was the to Norm,” Bauman says. “When he came to UIC, it transformed recipient of numerous awards. In 2005, he was awarded the us from being predominantly a teaching-oriented institution to Research Achievement Award from the American Society


46 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

Obituaries Alumni

of Pharmacognosy. The following year he received the North American Menopausal Society/Enzymatic Therapy Botanicals Research Award for his contributions to understanding the role of botanical therapies in the health of peri- and postmenopausal women.

1952 Raymond H. Kramer, of El Cajon, California, August 13. A Batavia native, Kramer attended Marmion Academy in Aurora and went on to become a first lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving during the Korean War. Upon his return, he married Nancy Davies of Wheaton and practiced pharmacy in Lake Zurich. The couple and their three sons moved to San Diego, California, in 1963. Kramer purchased Lake Pharmacy in La Mesa, California, in 1965, which he operated for nearly 30 years. After Davies’s death in 1983, Kramer married Mary Scott of San Diego, and the couple moved to El Cajon, where he was employed as a pharmacist for the County of San Diego until his retirement in 2007. A San Diego Chargers season-ticket holder, Kramer was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was a longtime member of the La Mesa Lions Club of which he served as president from 1978 to 1979. 1958 Sterling Eugene Ivy, bs, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, June 4. A World War II veteran, Ivy owned and operated Ivy Drugs in eastern Independence, Missouri, for 30 years.

In 2010, Farnsworth and 18 other research scientists who serve on the PDQ Complementary and Alternative Medicine Editorial Board were selected to receive a Merit Award from the NIH.

1958 John W. Moore, bs, of Englewood, April 18. Moore, who spent his retirement years in Costa Rica, was married to Waltraud Moore, bs ’61.

Farnsworth also served on the National Research Council’s Committee on Comparative Toxicity of Naturally Occurring Carcinogens, on President Bill Clinton’s Commission on Dietary Supplements Labels, and as the first vice president and second president of the American Society of Pharmacognosy.

1961 Richard Budny, bs, of The Villages, Florida, October 8. A native of Lombard, Budny established Budny Pharmacy in Chicago, which he later moved to Villa Park. Later on in his career, he became president of the Elmhurst Drug Company. A member of the Villa Park Rotary Club from 1973 to 2005, Budny served as Rotary District governor from 1983 to 1984. Upon retirement, he and his wife, Carolyn, moved to Florida, where he enjoyed playing golf.

Farnsworth was born in Massachusetts and was a veteran of the Korean War, drafted into the Army infantry at 18 in 1949. Seriously wounded the following winter, he was awarded the Korean Ribbon with Four Battle Stars, the Combat Medical Badge, and the Bronze Star with a “V” device.

1962 Steven Feinerman, bs, of Highland Park, June 26. Feinerman had been a pharmacist and partner at Parkway Drugs in Glencoe since 1981. He had previously served as president of the Glencoe Chamber of Commerce and was a preceptor for UIC College of Pharmacy students.

Farnsworth received a bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. He also holds three honorary doctorates and three honorary professorships in the United States and abroad.

1966 Sigute Mikrut, bs, of Lake Bluff, April 17.

Farnsworth is survived by his wife, Priscilla; one brother, Bruce; and nieces and nephews.

1972 Peter Kenney, bs, of Olympia Fields, May 10, 2009.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to the University of Illinois Foundation/UIC College of Pharmacy for the Norman R. Farnsworth Endowed Professorship in medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy.

1970 Norman Cohen, bs, of Morton Grove, April 2011.

Roger Liberatore, bs, of Orland Park, July 12. Liberatore worked as a pharmacist for 38 years and was an avid fisherman who belonged to the Chicago-area Fish Tales Fishing Club. 1977 Candace (Mangel) Simkins, bs, May 24. During her career, Simpkins worked as a clinical pharmacist in orthopedics. UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 | | 47

Over the Counter


T h e h i story of

Ever wondered where the abbreviation came from? Here’s an artistic interpretation from one of our alumni.

Send us your thoughts about Rx:

48 | UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2012 |

If you’re a College of Pharmacy alumni, chances are, you’ve heard of Dr. Siegel. A two-time graduate of the College, Dr. Siegel served as a faculty member for nearly 35 years. During his tenure, he was voted Teacher of the Year 15 times and was the recipient of nine Golden Apple Awards in recognition of excellence in instruction. Since then, Dr. Siegel has come to represent the highest caliber of pharmacy education and is one of the most beloved professors in the College’s history. Recognized as a national expert on bringing a concept to final dosage form, Dr. Siegel aided numerous industries as a product development consultant and still actively consults at 80 years of age. For these and countless other accomplishments, the College honored Dr. Siegel with its Legacy Award in 2009.

Support the Siegel Scholarship

Thanks to you, the College is now able ensure Dr. Siegel’s lasting legacy with a fully endowed $25,000 scholarship in his name. “Dr. Siegel was instrumental in my pharmacy education, and without his teaching, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” —Andrea Wendrow, bs ’86 “I gave because Dr. Siegel was such a wonderful teacher and mentor.” —Anne Keating, pharmd ’92

Don’t let your generosity end there. Please consider a $250 gift to the Frederick P. Siegel Scholarship to increase your level of support for quality pharmacy education. Your gift, combined with those of other alumni, will continue to honor a master educator who impacted the lives of more than three decades of COP graduates. “Dr. Siegel was one of my most wonderful and cherished teachers at UIC COP and still a mentor to me today in my field of cosmetic chemistry.” —Eugene Frank, bs ’60, ms ’71 “To Dr. Siegel: Thanks for the excellent memories from my time at the UIC College of Pharmacy.” —Larry Jacobucci, bs ’77 “A fine man and a great professor. Loved going to his class.” —Ronald Symusiak, bs ’72

Give your gift today. Visit See if your employer sponsors a matching gift program and make your contribution go even further! Learn more by visiting


UIC Pharmacist | Winter 2011 | | 49

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Chicago, Illinois Permit No. 4860

UIC College of Pharmacy (MC 874) 833 South Wood Street Chicago, Illinois 60612


For the full calendar of events, visit the College of Pharmacy Office of Advancement and Alumni Affairs online at Questions? Contact Deb Fox at (312) 996-0160 or

Upcoming College of Pharmacy Events January 11 ARIZONA ALUMNI DINNER 6–8 p.m. Ruth’s Chris Steak House 2201 East Camelback Road Phoenix, Ariz. February 2 CHALLENGE OF THE DEANS Game time 7 p.m.; Challenge at half time Youngstown State vs. UIC March 8–9 COLLEGE OF PHARMACY RESEARCH DAYS UIC College of Pharmacy 833 South Wood Street Chicago, Ill. Alumni judges wanted! For details, please contact Ben Stickan at (312) 996-2366 or


March 9–12 APHA ANNUAL MEETING New Orleans, La. UIC Pharmacy Ice Cream Social Details to be announced. SAVE THE DATE April 5 HONORS CONVOCATION UIC College of Pharmacy 833 South Wood Street Room 134-1 November 3 REUNION Harry Caray’s The Westin Lombard 70 Yorktown Center Lombard, Ill.

UIC Pharmacist, Winter 2012  

Magazine for alumni and friends of the UIC College of Pharmacy

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