May 2017
Dean's Message

Thank you for taking a moment to catch up with the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy! We've kicked off a $31.5 million expansion and renovation of our Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center, we're growing our PharmD cohort in Phoenix, we are in the midst of a curriculum revision called PharmD Forward, and we are actively growing our programs, research and drug discovery efforts. With all of these developments, it is critical that we stay in touch with our colleagues who can support us as we make these changes that will shape the future of pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy education. I am excited to have this new platform, PHARMCATS Rx, to communicate with alumni, donors, friends and colleagues regularly!

If you ever have good news or an accomplishment that you'd like to share about a UA pharmacy student, alumni or colleague, please email it directly to our Communications Director, Alli Benjamin

Thank you for taking a few moments to stay in touch with the College. As we prepare for convocation and all the spring campus festivities, I thank you for your continued support.

Bear Down! 

Rick Schnellmann, PhD
Dean & Professor

PharmD student leads in research, publication
"The importance of the team's research is not trivial and adds to the increasing data on biomarkers as targets for therapeutic treatment...Garrett's work in this area has led to a more concise analysis of current therapeutic options for patients with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma."  

Fourth year student Garrett Berger has not yet finished his PharmD education at the University of Arizona, but he already has two projects published this year in the Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology.
The first paper, Brentuximab vedotin (BV) for treatment of Non-Hodgkin lymphomas, is a systematic review on the use of BV in twelve subtypes of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Berger completed this research along with fellow students, Stephanie Lawson and Kelsey Royball, as part of their Pharmacy Practice Project, a course taught by Marion Slack, PhD. The project can be as simple as a survey among pharmacy students, but Berger opted to dive into a more complex topic.

Though publication was not required as part of the assignment, the hard work and subsequent findings encouraged Garrett and his team to submit the work for publication in the leading medical journal for reviews in hematology and oncology. His work was also picked up by online oncology publication,

The ‘Original Telemedicine’: Saving Arizonans Millions in Health Care Costs

A University of Arizona College of Pharmacy program is saving Arizonans millions of dollars a year in health-care costs. And, it’s primarily staffed with UA College of Pharmacy alumni, nearly 75 percent of its pharmacy employees.

It’s the pharmacy college’s Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center – a public service in operation since 1955, when it became the second poison center in the country; the first was launched in Chicago, in 1953.

Staffed with pharmacists, physicians, genetic counselors and a public educator, the UA center is available to phone callers 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

And it’s free of charge.

A band of corporate execs rocks to a different beat in Tucson
Sinfonia, a spinout from the College's Medication Management Center, decompress and make music after hours

From nearly the first day Sinfonia HealthCare Corporation opened for business in early 2013, a group of medical executives have toted guitar cases along with their briefcases into an old warehouse at 1 E. Toole Ave., a stone’s throw from the railroad tracks and downtown’s bustling nightlife.

They set up their guitars and drum set, keyboards and amps in the main office at the headquarters of what’s become a nationwide home-health-care company. And every Wednesday night and Sunday morning, the small group of 50- and 60-somethings loosen their ties and rock out like teenagers.

At first, it was a way to relieve stress. Lead singer and University of Arizona pharmacist Jim Kloster liked to call the budding musicians “hobbyists.”

Originally appeared in the Arizona Daily Star. 

Nominations Needed for the Danny and Rae Jacob Award for Pharmacy Practice

The award will be presented in fall 2017 and includes a gift of $1,000 per award. 

This award recognizes outstanding pharmacy practitioners for their quality of practice and service to the community and profession. Recipients must be graduates of the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy or have another significant relationship to the college (i.e., faculty appointment, donor, adviser or other service commitment) that has lasted five or more years. Two or more individuals may be nominated together if they performed as a team. Additionally, a recipient must:
  • Practice pharmacy in an innovative and patient-oriented manner
  • Demonstrate high standards of compassion and caring
  • Be actively involved in service to the profession through state and/or national professional organizations
  • Be actively involved in service to his or her community.
Instructions for nomination:
  • Anyone 21 years of age or over may nominate.
  • Nominations should consist of no more than three letters of support.
  • All nomination materials must be postmarked or received by email by June 30, 2017 to be considered for presentation within the following 12 months.
  • Send your nominations for the Pharmacy Practice award by June 30, 2017 to Alumni Affairs College of Pharmacy, PO Box 210202, Tucson, AZ 85721 or email them to 

Kudos! Recognizing Excellence in Pharmacy 

Ana Ramirez, PharmD Class of 2019, has been selected for an internship at HealthPartners in Minnesota, a pharmacy benefit manager/integrated health system. She will also be spending a week at Pfizer, Inc Headquarters in New York City.

Nancy Alvarez, PharmD '92, has been named the American Pharmacists Association President for 2017-2018.

Andrew Garcia, a fourth year PharmD student, was awarded a Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) travel grant.

Andrew Garcia and Corey Frahm, also a fourth year PharmD student, presented their senior project, "Comparison of Hypersensitivity Reaction Incidence to Carboplatin in Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, or Primary Peritoneal Cancer Patients with our without the BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutations" at the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association Annual Conference in March. This is now a completed study and they will be submitting it for publication. Their research actually counters previous literature on tumor markers and outcomes.

Ali McBride, PharmD '07, clinical coordinator at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, was named the recipient of the Theodore G. Tong Leadership and Service Award.

Jason Karnes, PharmD, assistant professor, was named the 2017 Outstanding Young Alumnus from the University of Florida. 

John Murphy, PharmD, associate dean and professor, was the keynote at The Ohio State University on April 20 for its 2017 Milhap Nahata Distinguished Lecture. His presentation was titled, “Important Past, Distinguished Present, and Transformative Future.”

Carl Labbe, RPh, preceptor for the UA College of Pharmacy, was recognized as a Master Preceptor by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

Janet Cooley, PharmD, director of experiential education and members of the Medication Management Center team Kate Johnson, Stephanie Forbes, Ann Taylor, Jessica DiLeo, Bob Lipsy and Whitney Shields were selected as one of two winners in the 2017 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Innovations in Teaching Competition. Dr. Cooley has been invited to present her innovation during the Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN, this July.

Dan Malone, RPh, PhD, professor, presented at the Frontiers in Pharmacy Practice Distinguished Lecture at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas on April 28, 2017. His presentation was titled "Why Pharmaceutical Prices are Out of Control: Policy Options for Sustainable and Affordable Products."  

Philip Schneider, associate dean for the College of Pharmacy in Phoenix, served as chair of the planning committee for the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). He also co-chaired last November in Najing, China. The FIP released the report from the Global Conference on Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Education that Schneider served on. 


Abraham I, Al Yami M, Yun S, Kim HJ, Vincelette ND, McBride A, MacDonald K. 2017 June. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2017.03.007. [Epub ahead of print]. Survival Outcomes in Iron Chelated and Non-Chelated Patients With Lower-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Review and Pooled Analysis of Observational Studies. Leukemia Research, 57, 104-108.

Chen Y, Vasquez MM, Zhu L, Lizarraga, Krutzsch, Einspahr J, Alberts DS, Di PY,Martinez FD, Guerra S. 2017 Feb 23. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201608-1611LE. [Epub ahead of print]. Effects of Retinoids on Augmentation of Club Cell Secretory Protein. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Hurwitz, J.T., Brown, M., Graff, J.S., Peters, L., Malone, D.C. (2017). Is Real-World Evidence Used in P&T Monographs and Therapeutic Class Reviews? Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy.

PHARMCATS Photo Albums

The College of Pharmacy certainly knows how to work hard, and we also know the importance of celebrating each other and milestones we reach along the way. Here are a few photo albums showing how our students are wrapping up the academic year. 

The Phoenix PharmD cohort participated in the Ability 360 Health Fair, performing health screenings for hypertension, diabetes, asthma and more conditions.

All Tucson students, faculty and staff were invited to the end of the year picnic, where awards were given to deserving individuals, retiring faculty were recognized (Dr. Lee) and several faculty received a pie in the face (for a great cause!). Funds raised from the pie in the face challenge benefitted Whipping Childhood Cancer Challenge Campaign and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

Students in Phoenix celebrated their end of the year picnic one day after Tucson celebrated. Students were able to decompress with a pharmaceutical-themed Jenga and other outdoor activities. 

Year 2 (P2) students in Dr. Warholak's class presented research posters showing some aspect of Quality Improvement. 


Video: Highlights from the Class of 2018 White Coat Ceremony

In mid-April, the Class of 2018 celebrated with family, friends, faculty and staff as they were presented with white coats during the College’s White Coat Ceremony. The college follows the tradition of giving third year PharmD students a white coat prior to entering their fourth, final year where they transition from learning in the classroom to clinical practice rotations. Watch the video.

Photos can also be viewed in our Flickr album. 

Mark your Calendar

  • Friday, May 12, 2017, 9:00 a.m. Convocation Ceremony
  • October 27-29, 2017, University of Arizona Homecoming

70 years

The first health science college at the University in
1947, the College of Pharmacy is celebrating
its 70th anniversary this year.

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