Updated March 31, 2022
The Auburn Pharmacist Online is an electronic newsletter providing news, events and updates from the Harrison College of Pharmacy. Have something you would like included? Email email@example.com.
Auburn University’s pharmacy program will now be known as the Harrison College of Pharmacy. Established as a school of pharmacy in 1941, the change in designation to a college came following a vote by the Auburn Board of Trustees at their Feb. 4 meeting. Also moved from schools to colleges were Nursing and Forestry & Wildlife Sciences. Read more about the change.
Four HCOP faculty members are recipients of the college’s Pharmacy Fellowships, Acting Dean Dan Surry announced Feb. 26. The fellowships recognize the accomplishments by outstanding faculty across a variety of areas, including research, teaching, outreach and collegiality. The 2022 Pharmacy Fellows are Dr. Taylor Steuber (Dr. Lucinda Maine Pharmacy Education Fellow), Dr. Surachat Ngorsuraches (Jack and Lillian Clift Pharmacy Fellow in Research), Dr. Jeanna Sewell (Mahlon G. Turner Pharmacy Fellow in Outreach), and Dr. Angela Calderón (Graduates of the 1980s Pharmacy Fellow). Read more about the newest Fellows.
For the first time ever, more than 70 current and former HCOP students matches with PGY-1 residency programs and fellowships. In total, 50 members of the Class of 2022 matched with residency programs with an additional accepting a postdoctoral fellowship. Among PGY-2 programs, 20 HCOP alumni matched with programs. In all, those who matched landed at programs in 17 different states with 29 remaining to serve in the state of Alabama. Other states included Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
The HCOP team of Lauren Campisi and Yumi Oh, both members of the Class of 2022, claimed the championship title at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Clinical Skills Competition on Dec. 5. Held virtually as part of the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, the duo claimed the title out of 140 teams competing from pharmacy schools across the country. It marks the first time in the competition’s history for HCOP to win the title.
The competition is an interactive, team-based analysis of clinical scenarios for hospital and health-system pharmacists. It provides pharmacy students the opportunity to enhance their skills in collaborative practice with physicians in providing direct patient care. Read more from Campisi and Oh about their big win.
Three Harrison College of Pharmacy faculty members were recently awarded with promotion or tenure, recognizing their outstanding efforts to the school. The promotions are effective October 1, 2022. Drs. Brent Fox and Sean Smithgall received promotions while Dr. Surachat Ngorsuraches received tenure. Read more on the HCOP website.
Thanks to 157 generous donors, HCOP surpassed its goal for Tiger Giving Day. The project was titled “Provide Blood Pressure Monitoring to At-Risk Patients,” the project sought to purchase blood pressure monitors to distribute at clinical sites in the region, arming patients with the ability to self-monitor their condition and battle the disease. Supporters gave a total of $10,785, surpassing the goal of $8,500 for 126%. The project was one of 51 as part of the annual Tiger Giving Day.
When not providing instruction in the classroom, Auburn University faculty within the HSOP’s Department of Pharmacy Practice are providing innovative and meaningful care as practitioners at pharmacies, hospitals and clinics throughout Alabama. One of those faculty members is Dr. Kevin Astle, an assistant clinical professor on the Mobile Campus. Astle recently joined the pharmacy practice at the University of South Alabama Family Medicine Clinic, where he is providing care for those in the LGBTQ+ community. Learn more about Dr. Astle and his practice.
The Harrison College of Pharmacy has adopted the use of Handshake, Auburn University’s job platform through the Career Center. Handshake allows current students, alumni, and employers to post and search for jobs. Current students and alumni with an active Auburn account can access Handshake using their Auburn University Credentials. Alumni without an active Auburn account can gain access to Handshake by contacting the Auburn University Career Center at 334-844-4744. Employers looking to post a position will create an employer profile for their company. Alumni employers should utilize their individual profile to search for jobs and create a separate employer profile to post jobs. Please see below guide for employers to create a Handshake profile.
AU InforMed, the newsletter of the J.L. Bedsole Drug Information Center at the Harrison College of Pharmacy, is celebrating its 20th year of continuous publication in 2022. The first issue of the 20th year covers new drugs approved in 2021, including a listing of approvals, summaries of the approved drugs, and rare disease categories for new drug treatment.
The second issue of the year highlights National Kidney Month. Read them and more on the AU InforMed website.
The Division of Clinical Affairs and Outreach recently welcomed its 2022-23 PGY-1 residency class. Joining the division for the upcoming year are Megan Carter (University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy), Holli Chandler (Harrison College of Pharmacy), Morgan Jackson (Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy), and Jennifer Le (Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy). The group will join the CAO staff officially on July 1.
HSOP items are available in the School Store, including new apparel from Under Armour. Launched in partnership with the Auburn University Bookstore, the online store also includes apparel, drinkware, and other items. All proceeds from the HSOP store will be used to support student success through various programs. To learn more, click HERE or visit pharmacy.auburn.edu/store.
Erin McCreary, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCIDP, a member of the HSOP Class of 2015, was recently honored as the college’s first-ever Young Alumni Achievement Award winner by the Auburn Alumni Association.
Dr. McCreary is an Infectious Diseases Pharmacist and Director of Stewardship Innovation, Infectious Disease Connect with UPMC and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In her roles with UPMC, she served as the chair of the UPMC System COVID-19 Therapeutics Committee, responsible for all COVID-19-related therapeutic guidelines and information technology support across a 40-hospital academic learning health system.
Dr. Marquita Winder (left), a member of HCOP’s Class of 2010 was recognized as part of Black Alumni Weekend at Auburn University. Winder received one of the Black Alumni Weekend Awards, honors that recognize recipients for outstanding achievements in their professional lives, personal integrity and stature and service to the university. Winder is a clinical pharmacy specialist with Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina.
Heba Aref, an alumna of the Health Outcomes Research and Policy option and current faculty member at the University of Alberta, was recently published in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, alongside Brandy Davis, graduate student in Health Outcomes Research and Policy, Dr. Bradley Wright, Hill Crest Associate Clinical Professor, and Dr. Julaine Fowlin, former HSOP staff member. Their article, titled “High-level curricular integration in pharmacy schools: A systematic literature review,” aimed to focus on the high-level curricular integration practices in pharmacy schools by systematically reviewing the literature addressing the four elements of high-level curricular integration.
Pam Reeve, a member of the HCOP Class of 1983 and a pharmacist at Ritch’s Pharmacy in Mountain Brook, was recently profiled by Village Living. Ritch’s Pharmacy is owned by fellow HCOP alums Ralph and Becky Sorrell. Read more about Reeve and the pharmacy in this online profile.
One of our favorite things around the Harrison College of Pharmacy is when we hear from our alumni and friends. We would love to hear from you with updates on your practice, career, or life in general. Please send any updates or news items you have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three Harrison College of Pharmacy students were among just 20 students in the state of Alabama to be selected for the prestigious Schweitzer Fellowship. Recipients are selected based on their academic and submitted projects. The projects will improve the health and social well-being of their populations of choice throughout the state while simultaneously strengthening their leadership skills. In doing so, they will continue the legacy of the Fellowship’s namesake, the famed physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer.
Those selected for the fellowship program are Chigozie Chinakwe, a member of the Class of 2025; Micah Grey, a member of the Class of 2025; and Andres Tovar, a member of the Class of 2024.
Kaniz Tanni, a Ph.D. student pursuing the health outcomes research and policy option, was recently selected for one of the prestigious Merriwether Fellowships. She is one of just four recipients university-wide to receive the fellowship, of which selection is based on professional promise. Tanni is also just the second HCOP student to receive the fellowship, joining Tessa Hastings in 2017.
Ashia Wordlaw, a member of the HCOP Class of 2023, was recently selected for a graduate assistantship with the Auburn University Center for Educational Outreach and Engagement. Specifically, she will work with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act supplemental program where she will advise students seeking certification in medical careers with the intent of serving local rural populations.
Sixteen HCOP students were recently initiated into Phi Lambda Sigma, a national pharmacy leadership organization founded at Auburn in 1965. The purpose of Phi Lambda Sigma, also known as the national Pharmacy Leadership Society, is to promote the development of leadership qualities, especially among pharmacy students. Those initiated during the ceremony on March 16 were Victoria Barker, Sarah Grace Barnes, Tiffany Cadwallader, Katelyn Carswell, Lucy Chae, Lauren Fleming, Matt Hadley, Angelique Holmes, Colin Mallory, Jose Martinez, Ashleigh Neese, Abby Obakpolor, Emily Oliver, Jennie Reese, Amber Smith, and Linda Tran.
Zach Blackmon, a member of the HCOP Class of 2023, was recently recognized with the Publix Gold Coin Award for his patient service. The Gold Coin Award was established to recognize Publix employees who go above and beyond in their customer service. Blackmon has worked with Publix since 2017, first as a pharmacy technician and now as a pharmacy intern.
Yi Zhao, a graduate student in the Health Outcomes Research and Policy option, was recently published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association with an article titled “Participation in emergency preparedness and response: a national survey of pharmacists and pharmacist extenders.” Zhao is the first author on the article that also includes Pharm.D. student Kavon Diggs and Dr. Salisa Westrick, department head in Health Outcomes Research and Policy. The CDC-funded project also includes Dr. David Ha of Stanford Health Care, as well as Dr. Hannah Fish and John Beckner of the National Community Pharmacists Association.
Cong Truong, graduate student in the Health Outcomes Research and Policy option recently published “Video-Observed Therapy Versus Directly Observed Therapy in Patients With Tuberculosis,” in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Co-authors with Truong were and Kaniz Tanni, graduate student in Health Outcomes Research and Policy, and Dr. Jingjing Qian, associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policies. Their article focused on evidence in the effects of video-observed therapy versus directly observed therapy on medication adherence, treatment completion, and tuberculosis resolution among patients with tuberculosis.
Sayak Chakravarti, a graduate student pursuing the pharmacology option, was recently recognized with an Abstract Achievement Award from the American Society of Hematology, or ASH. He received the award during the ASH Annual Meeting. The ASH Abstract Achievement Award is a merit-based award for trainees who are the first author and presenter of a high-scoring annual meeting abstract. Chakravarti’s abstract was titled “Establishing a Novel Pipeline That Combines in-Silico Prediction with in-Vitro and Ex-Vivo Validation to Discover Secondary Drug Combinations Against Relapsed and/or Refractory Multiple Myeloma.” Joining him as co-authors are post-docs Dr. Suman Mazumder and Dr. Harish Kumar, along with PI Dr. Amit Kumar Mitra, assistant professor in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development.
Sarah Johnson, a member of the HSOP Class of 2024, and Dr. Marilyn Bulloch, associate clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, were recently published in Pharmacy Times with their article titled “This Valentine’s Day, Remember Chocolate May Protect the Heart Against Heart Disease.” The article discusses the mixture of ingredients in chocolate and the potential impacts on heart disease.
Ashlee Milam (Class of 2022) and Diana Doan (Class of 2023) were recently published in the Journal of Pharmacy Technology in an article titled “Evaluation of Monoclonal Antibodies in Preventing Hospitalizations, Emergency Department Visits, and Mortality in High-Risk COVID-19 Patients.” The pair conducted the research under Dr. Darrell Childress, antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist with East Alabama Health and a member of the HCOP Class of 2007, and Dr. Spencer Durham, associate clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. The primary objective of the research was to compare hospitalization rates of high-risk patients who tested positive for COVID-19 within 28 days between those who received mAb infusions versus those who did not.
Laura Harris, a member of the Class of 2024 on the Mobile campus, and Katelyn Carswell, a member of the Class of 2023 on the Auburn campus, were recently awarded the Pharmacists Mutual Community Scholarship. The pair are two of just 20 recipients of the scholarship nationwide. The scholarship program acknowledges students interested in serving in an independent or small chain community pharmacy, or in an underserved geographic area. Student pharmacists must complete the scholarship application and essay by the scholarship deadline to be considered for the Pharmacists Mutual Community Scholarship.
Dr. Gary Piazza’s lab in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development recently received funding through a collaborative research project with Dr. Jennifer Scalici at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Cancer Institute. The project is titled “Before the Chicken or the Egg: Modulating Ovarian Hormonal and Inflammatory Inputs to Interrupt Carcinogenesis in a Novel Murine Model of Spontaneous EOC.” As part of the work, Dr. Xi Chen, assistant research professor, will serve as the PI on the HCOP side of the work and synthesize an experimental anticancer compound he discovered for further testing of ovarian cancer.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama recently supported three research projects at Auburn University. HCOP has a hand in all three projects with two originating within the school. Dr. Gary Piazza’s project titled “A novel β-Catenin blocker that activates antitumor immunity for breast cancer” was funded, along with Dr. Jigjing Qian’s “Improving breast cancer survival in Alabama—The role of medications,” Dr. Rusty Arnold and Dr. Amit Mitra are working with the College of Engineering on a project titled “Integrating bioengineering tools, genome-wide genetic screens and in vivo models to discover new determinants of triple negative breast cancer cell invasion.”
A team of HCOP faculty were recently recognized with one of the 2022 Daniel F. Breeden grants. Awarded by the Biggio Center, the Daniel F. Breeden Endowed Grant Program supports teaching and learning projects that directly benefit the instructor, students, and Auburn University’s overall teaching program.
The team of Drs. Sarah Cogle and Amber Hutchison earned one of just eight awards with their project titled “Incorporation of crash carts into acute care pharmacy education.” It marks the fifth year in a row for HCOP faculty to earn at least one Breeden Grant.
For the project, Cogle and Hutchison plan to purchase two crash cart simulation kits for use in two acute care elective courses and two required laboratory courses in the Pharm.D. curriculum. Integration of the crash carts into these courses will allow students to receive hands-on training to better prepare for high-stress, clinical environments. The crash cart is a cart stocked with medications and supplies to treat cardiac arrest situations. Pharmacists are expected to practice in collaborative health care teams, including responding to emergency situations in hospitals. The pharmacist’s role in this setting is to ensure the appropriate, timely, and safe provision of medications from the cart.
Dr. Heather Whitley, clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was an honorable mention selection for the Auburn University Excellence in Faculty Outreach award. She was recognized for her work with Southeastern Diabetes Education Services and Camp Seale Harris, an overnight camp for children with type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Angela Calderón, associate professor in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development, was recently invited to serve as a member of United States Pharmacopeia’s Botanical Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines – Pan-America Expert Panel. This panel is responsible for monitoring and considering science, technical, and policy issues associated with monographs and candidate reference standard materials for herbal ingredients, with emphasis on articles used in the traditional systems in the Pan-American region. The expert panel provides recommendations to the USP Botanical Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines Expert Committee for the inclusion of the corresponding candidate articles into the different USP compendia, including USP-NF and Herbal Medicines Compendium (HMC). Learn more about USP at www.usp.org.
Dr. Gary Piazza, department head in Drug Discovery and Development, was selected to chair the inaugural Wnt & β-Catenin Targeted Drug Discovery Summit. At the summit, speakers shared lessons learned to regulate this pathway and exploit untapped therapeutic potentials – bringing novel treatments for patients from oncology to autoimmune to regenerative medicine. Along with his duties as chair, Piazza also presented a session titled “Novel PDE10 Inhibitor Activates cGMP/PKG Signaling to Selectively Suppress Oncogenic Wnt/β-Catenin Transcriptional Activity.” Learn more about the new summit at wnt-b-catenindrugdiscovery.com.
Members of Dr. Amit Mitra’s lab were recently published in the Blood Cancer Journal, a member of the Nature publishing group, with their article titled “secDrug: a pipeline to discover novel drug combinations to kill drug-resistant multiple myeloma cells using a greedy set cover algorithm and single-cell multi-omics.” Dr. Harish Kumar and Dr. Suman Mazumder, both post-docs in Mitra’s lab, along with graduate student Sayak Chakravarti served as co-first authors on the manuscript.
Dr. Raj Amin, an associate professor in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development, was recently awarded a two-year, $189,000 grant from the American Heart Association. One of the association’s AHA Institutional Research Enhancement Awards, the title is “The role of frataxin in ischemia reperfusion injury in the diabetic heart.”
Dr. Taylor Steuber, associate clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, recently collaborated on an article in Pharmacy Practice Times titled “Giving Back Through Teaching, Patient Care: Pursuing a Career as a Clinical Faculty Member.” In the article, Steuber and Dr. Meredith Howard outline their career path decisions and what led them to their positions as clinical faculty members.
Dr. Kimberly Garza, associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, recently led a group recently published in Pharmacy Education on an article titled “Preparing students for pharmacy practice using critical thinking and reflection.” Also serving as co-authors were Dr. Lindsey Moseley, P1 curricular coordinator, Dr. Brad Wright, former Hill Crest Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, and former HSOP staff member Dr. Channing Ford. The article asses how pharmacy school curricula uses critical thinking and reflection when integrating knowledge from multiple domains.
Dr. Angela Calderón, associate professor in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development, and her team, Pharm.D. students Alana Shunnarah (Class of 2023) and Robin Tumlinson (Class of 2022) were recently published in the Journal of Natural Products. Their article, titled “Natural Products with Potential for Nonhormonal Male Contraception,” looked at compounds for future study from natural sources with potential nonhormonal male contraceptive activity. They identified 26 special compounds from natural species after excluding extracts and compounds with known hormonal mechanisms.
Dr. Gary Piazza, department head and W.W. Walker Professor in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development, and Dr. Adam Keeton, assistant research professor in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development, were recently published in Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research. Titled “The path to the clinic: a comprehensive review on direct KRASG12C inhibitors,” it delves into the path leading to the development of this novel KRAS inhibitor, examines the clinical relevance of KRAS, and reviews the preclinical evidence that supported the initial development.
Virtual reality has a growing presence in health care. Drug Topics Journal recently surveyed the country for those implementing virtual reality into practice and education. Among those highlighted was Dr. Kimberly Garza, associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, and her project to utilize virtual reality in pharmacy education. Read more about her project and the others on DrugTopics.com.
Dr. Kristi Kelley, clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was recently quoted in an article by the American Pharmacists Association on a study that links statins with more aggressive diabetes progression. Read the article and Kelley’s comments on the APhA website.
Dr. Allison Chung, associate clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was recently featured on the Pediatric Podcast. In the episode, she discussed how she got interested in pediatrics and the path she took to become a pediatric specialty pharmacist. Listen to the full episode at pharmacypodcast.com.
Dr. Salisa Westrick, department head in Health Outcomes Research and Policy, and her team were recently published in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. Titled “Evaluation of a poverty-focused educational program and simulation for pharmacists,” it focused on a study using a poverty simulation, specifically created to resemble the lives of Medicare patients, sensitizing practicing pharmacists to the situations faced by people living in poverty. Joining her as co-authors were Tinia Harris (HCOP Pharm.D. Class of 2021), Tessa Hastings (HCOP Ph.D. Class of 2019), Yi Zhoa (graduate student in Health Outcomes Research and Policy), Kavon Diggs (P2) and Ritu Shah (former graduate student in Health Outcomes Research and Policy).
Dr. Rebecca Maxson, associate clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was recently quoted in an article in Pharmacy Practice News titled “Time to Switch To Race-Free eGFR Renal Test?” The article reported on discussions at the 2021 annual meeting of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy on recommendations from a joint task force of the American Society of Nephrology and National Kidney Foundation. Dr. Maxson is quoted near the bottom on the role of the pharmacist in educating health care providers.
Dr. Jan Kavookjian, associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, was recently interviewed for an article in Diabetes in Control titled “New Updates on the Diabetes Epidemic Within the United States.” In it, Kavookjian discusses her work and what can be done to help fight the growing epidemic.
A group of HCOP graduates and students worked with Dr. Heather Whitley, clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, on diabetes research that was recently published in the journal Pharmacotherapy. Titled “Systematic literature review of insulin dose adjustments when initiating hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis,” the article was led by Dr. Emily Blaine, current ambulatory care pharmacist in the AUPCC and member of the Class of 2020; Roblin Tumlinson, member of the Class of 2022; Dr. Marion Colvin, Class of 2021; and Dr. Tyler Haynes, Class of 2021.
Dr. Allison Chung, associate clinical professor, was published twice recently in a pair of articles in JACCP. She was first author, along with Dr. Elizabeth Padgett, HCOP Class of 2020, and Dr. Lea Eiland, clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, in an article titled “Evaluation of pediatric electives and core pediatric topics offered at United States schools and colleges of pharmacy.”
Additionally, as a member of the ACCP Clinical Practice Affairs Committee, she was a co-author on the article titled “Addressing challenges of providing remote inpatient clinical pharmacy services.”
Dr. Kevin Astle, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, and Dr. Allison Chung, associate clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, were recently selected for leadership positions within the Bay area Health-System Pharmacy Society. Astle is the organization’s new secretary while Chung is the chair-elect. Learn more about the organization on their Facebook page.
Dr. Lindsey Moseley, P1 Curricular Coordinator, recently participated in an AACP Coffee Chat with Dr. Kristin Janke from the University of Minnesota. The top of the conversation was professional identity formation in pharmacy. She was invited to participate as a member of the 2021-23 AACP Task Force designated to promote and explore professional identity formation in pharmacy education/profession.