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Sssssaving Arizonans, One Bite (or Sting) at a Time


You know you are in for a different sort of interview when in the middle of hearing the answer to your first question, you have to stop Dan Massey, PharmD, BCPS, to make sure you really are hearing the unmistakable noise of 30 agitated rattlesnakes.

Or when asked to describe himself, Steven Dudley, PharmD, DABAT, director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center (AzPDIC), says with a laugh “In my free time I enjoy long walks on the beach and cooking bacon.”

No, it’s not typical. But neither is the center’s approach to making sure Arizonans are kept safe from accidental poisonings as well as bites and stings by venomous creatures. By having a variety of poisonous snakes, Gila monsters, scorpions and spiders in the AzPDIC, operators can quickly become familiar with and comfortable directing treatment of bites or stings.

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Part two of a two-part series on how the pandemic intensified a sense of purpose and prompted lasting changes in all aspects of the Health Sciences mission.


Among the multiple ways the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the future of the University of Arizona Health Sciences, the increased value of technology has been the most widely experienced among the Health Sciences colleges – not only for training but for real-world application.

“Some technologies just need the right crisis to become essential,” said Michael M. I. Abecassis, MD, MBA, dean of the College of Medicine - Tucson. “For instance, mRNA vaccines may very well become the technology platform for all vaccines in the future. It is interesting that the investigators who came up with this technology in the context of fighting cancer could not get anyone interested in it, yet now that it has been shown to be effective in conferring immunity for this particular infection, it is likely that it will be used in short order for other infections as well as for cancer treatment.”

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Three Patents, and new Patent Coins Awarded to College of Pharmacy Faculty

Tech Launch Arizona kicked off a new program to recognize inventors who are named on issued patents. The first ever UArizona patent coins were given to 14 inventors, including three from the College of Pharmacy at an event on September 24th.

TLA, the UArizona office that commercializes inventions stemming from university research and innovation, launched the patent coin program this past fiscal year, and will be participating in college-focused events to distribute the coins to inventors.

“The goal is to recognize the contributions of each inventor,” said TLA Assistant Vice President Doug Hockstad, “as well as elevate the visibility of patents and the impact of commercialization throughout our campus community.”

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Thank you!

Take a moment this October to reflect on your accomplishments, thank your peers and colleagues, share your stories, and spread the word about the valuable services pharmacists provide. 

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In honor of American Pharmacists month in October, UA COP hosted Pharmacy Day on the Mall providing free health screenings and valuable health information.

PharmCATs: there are so many ways to stay engaged with us!

Join the Bear Down Network!

No matter where you are or where you live, you always have a special connection to the UArizona. That’s the Bear Down Network was born – to make it easier than ever for our alumni to stay connected and engaged. Create your account today at and join our group (College of Pharmacy).

Pharmacology and Toxicology Department Highlights: October 2021

Pharmacy Practice and Science Department Highlights: October 2021

PharmCats Rx is a monthly newsletter published on behalf of the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy for alumni, friends, faculty and staff. If you have comments or feedback, please email Leanna Dominguez (
Copyright © 2021 University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, All rights reserved.

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