Preceptor of the Year

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A Legacy of Leadership
near, Jay took the first step and on Valentine’s Day 1982, he met with the shopping center owner in Coeburn. “He was eager to have a pharmacy in school because they have been enticed by the promises of a high his center and offered me six months free rent! It was a chance I couldn’t pass by.” The Zeigler family moved west and opened Family Drug Center. starting salary, he tells them,“In 10 to 15 years you are going to be Over the years, Jay bought out his partners and now is the sole owner. unhappy. Pharmacy is about people and if you are not making a Jay never forgot the impact that Jackie Carson made on him during his clerkship rotation and knew that he wanted to precept students himself, difference in the lives of people, you won’t be happy as a pharmacist.” and since 1999 has served as a preceptor for “ I want students to understand that eigler’s own interest in pharmacy began while still a high school student the School. in rural Tazewell, Virginia. Sitting in the Jackson Drug Company, drinking sometimes the academic answer is Jay enjoys having 6-cent cherry sodas from the fountain with his 8th grade buddies, Jay students because they not the right answer.” thought that pharmacists were pretty neat. “It was a profession with a serv“bring new knowledge ice mission that also allowed you to be a businessman. I really thought that and new perspective to was a great combination.” Hannah and Harry Fugate, MCV pharmacists the practice. After working in the profession for 25 years, I sometimes fear from the classes of 1949 and 1948 respectively, and owners of the Jackson I am becoming antiquated. The students remind me that I am not. I can Drug Company, had ignited a passion within young Jay that would reach impart valuable knowledge regarding business operations and patient far beyond any dreams of a “high starting salary.” interactions to them.” Arriving at the School of Pharmacy in 1974 with the vision of the Fugate’s Knowing there is more to being a pharmacist than what is in the textbrand of pharmacy in mind, Jay thrived in pharmacy school. Although books, Jay explains, “I want students to understand that sometimes the acahe always believed he would return home to small town southwestern demic answer is not the right answer. I remember a student who broke down Virginia, his clerkship experience during his final year of school into tears after a patient interaction in the pharmacy. A woman came in cryprovided a different perspective. ing and told the student she had just Jackie Carson P’50 was his precepbeen diagnosed with breast cancer. The tor at Louise Obici Memorial Hospistudent didn’t know what to say. She tal in Suffolk, Virginia. There was a told me, ‘I never imagined having to level of professionalism and enthusiinteract with patients on the front line asm Jay saw not only in Jackie, but in that way. I thought they would be within the eastern Virginia commucomfortable with their diagnosis by the nity of pharmacists as a whole. This time I interacted with them.’” was so impressive to young Jay, that Jay also helps students understand the he made the decision to settle there, multi-tasking skills required for comand took advantage of a great oppormunity pharmacy. “Family Drug fills, tunity for any young pharmacist. Jay on average, 300 prescriptions per day was able to open a new Revco Store and up until my daughter Amy joined in Suffolk, and for the next four the business on July 19, I was the only years, stayed on with the chain as fulltime pharmacist here, working Pharmacist-in-Charge. about 50 hours a week.” Students learn His time with Revco provided Jay how to deal with physician’s offices, with a great deal of knowledge health insurance entities and patients Zeigler with daughters Amy and Ashley at work in their Coeburn, VA Pharmacy. regarding merchandising, store manwhile filling prescriptions. “Underagement, and customer care, but the standing the correct priorities is the chain did not offer him the autonomost important thing,” Zeigler says. my and control he craved. Having initially been drawn to pharmacy because “I have had students tell me, ‘I never understood how easy it is to screw up a of it’s strong service mission, he also wanted the opportunity to spend more prescription.’ They learn the gravity of their job and how to manage multiple time caring for patients and less time on the retail elements of the store. demands for their attention.” When his former pharmacy 1978 classmate, Don Jackson, contacted him This past May was full of proud moments for Jay and the Zeigler family. with the opportunity to own his own store and move back to SW Virginia, Not only did his daughter, Amy, receive her Pharm.D. as a member of the the timing was right and Jay was ready to listen. Not only was he tiring of Class of 2006, but Jay was deeply honored by the recognition he received working within a large corporate structure, but his first daughter, Amy, had being voted the Preceptor of the Year. This is no easy feat, as the recipient is been born and both his and his wife’s parents were living in Tazewell. Don selected by members of the graduating class out of over 400 active precephad joined Bill Thornbury and his wife Pat in forming a pharmacy purtors. The Zeigler family’s interest in pharmacy, hopefully, won’t end with chasing group, and they were looking to open a store in Coeburn, Virginia. Amy. Jay’s younger daughter, Ashley, is currently a pre-pharmacy student at For a 25% investment, Jay could make it his own. Emory and Henry and hopes to attend VCU in the future. His first question: “Where is Coeburn?” Jackson, who at the time had a When asked what he is most proud of, Jay doesn’t hesitate. “I don’t mean store in Castlewood, Virginia, explained the location as 30 miles south of to brag,” he begins humbly, “but Amy scored 137 out of 145 on her pharLebanon. Only a little over an hour away from the family he desired to be macy boards! I am so glad to have her here working beside me.”

If a student tells Jay Zeigler P’78 that they are entering pharmacy


Preceptor the Year of

Excellence in Teaching
Inside This Issue:
Scholarship Focus........................2 APPE Board ................................2 Dean’s Message ............................3 Teacher of the Year ......................4 Alumna Reflections ....................5 Reunion 2006 ............................6 Graduation ..................................8 3M Donation ............................10 IRA Rules..................................10 Personalized Medicine ..............11 In Memory................................13 Faculty News ............................15

Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •




president and vice president for more than 23 independent ty pharmacist father, Jay Zeigler, but a man she did not know also had a hand in pharmacies in Virginia over his nearly 55-year career. Recipients of Addington’s her pharmacy school success. scholarship must demonstrate an intention to practice in an independent Henry Addington’s motivation for creating a scholarship in the VCU School of pharmacy in order to qualify. Pharmacy was simple—to keep independent pharmacy alive and healthy. Not an “I grew up in a pharmacy and always intended to pursue independent pharmaeasy feat in today’s highly competitive market and with today’s financially strained cy,” says Amy Zeigler, the 2005 Addington Scholarship recipient. “When I students. “Without the financial relief from scholarships, students are already tens graduate, I will work with my father in his pharmacy in Coeburn, Virginia, then of thousands of dollars in debt before they one day I’ll take over as owner.” begin practicing pharmacy,” Addington Zeigler explains how critical the need is for notes. “They certainly don’t have a way to immediate financial assistance: “As fourthput down the money needed to open an year pharmacy students, we’re required to pay independent pharmacy. I thought this scholsummer tuition in addition to fall and spring arship was one way of giving them a chance. tuition and work clerkships at a minimum of There’s a common misconception that inde40 hours per week during the year. It is quite pendent pharmacy is becoming a thing of the difficult to work those 40 hours for free and past; that it’s a lost field. I just don’t believe then try to squeeze another 20 to 25 hours a that,” says Addington, who has served as week at a part-time job to help pay the bills.” Henry Addington P’51 and Amy Zeigler P’06

Amy Zeigler Bradley P’06 has learned much from her independent communi-

“Our primary goal is prepare students to become the best practitioners they
can be. In order to be successful they must make the most of their experiential learning experiences,” says Associate Dean Beverly Talluto, “so that they can discover their passion within the profession.” Dean Talluto believes that the best way to prepare students is to integrate their experiential learning throughout the four years of pharmacy school. The newly released ACPE accreditation guidelines, which become effective July 2007, state that pharmacy practice experiences should: • “ensure that every student has multiple opportunities to perform patient-centered care activities in a variety of settings • be in-depth structured and carefully coordinated with other components of the curriculum • require active participation and patient care responsibilities in a progressive fashion designed to develop the practice skills, judgement, professional behavior attitudes and values, confidence and personal responsibility needed for each student to embark on an independent and collaborative practice.” Student learning at the School of Pharmacy will become very different within the next two years. The experiential component of the program will begin in the first year of pharmacy school. Dean Talluto is serving on a committee of pharmacy faculty working to revise the current curriculum. The committee’s goal is to implement a modular, disease-state based curriculum that provides a more integrated learning experience for the students. Expanding experiential learning into the first year of the professional program is part of the effort toward a more integrated curriculum. “By introducing experiential learning opportunities early in the curriculum which are interfaced with didactic course work that introduces the profession, students will develop skills in a progressive manner leading to entry into the advanced pharmacy practice experiences,” explains School of Pharmacy Curriculum Committee Chair, Dr. Cynthia Kirkwood. Dean Talluto has engaged a steering committee of practitioners to provide guidance as well. “We want to be inclusive in our plan to make certain that we understand the needs fully and address them appropriately,” says Talluto. During the year of the professional program, students will participate in a four hour long practice experience every other week. During these experiences in community pharmacy settings, students will participate in activities such as: creating patient profiles, interacting with other health care professionals, participating in educational offerings designed to benefit the health of the general public, compounding, dispensing and administering medications, and documenting patient interventions. A two-week experience in an institutional practice environment will be required in the seond year. During the third year, students complete a two-week experience in a clinical environment. They will be trained to conduct physical assessments, assess patient health literacy and compliance, and counsel patients. The fourth year will consist of eight five week rotations including two acute care rotations, one ambulatory care rotation, one advanced community rotation, one geriatric rotation, one institutional rotation, and two elective rotations. Students in advanced pharmacy practice experiences will be involved directly with patient care. The idea is to produce a more confident and competent graduate. “I believe that by giving students the opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom in a real life environment in real time provides a greater understanding of the material,” summarizes Dean Talluto. “There is also an undeniable value to ’practice makes perfect.’ The greater the opportunities for students to practice new skills, the more honed their skills will be upon graduation.”

APPE Advisory Board Members
Brian Baird Henrico Doctors’ Hospital Michael Bentley Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital Rudy Choich Southside Regional Medical Center Larry Davis Riverside Regional Medical Center Ron Davis Buford Road Pharmacy Kathleen Duke Louise Obici Memorial Hospital Jennifer Edwards Walgreens TuLinh Le Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center Peter LeBel Sentara CarePlex Hospital Angie Lewis Kroger Rusty Maney Walgreens Lisa McClanahan CVS Pharmacy Alan Mutnick UVA Health System Cindy Nester John Randolph Medical Center Brigitte Sicat VCU School of Pharmacy Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division Evan Sisson Southside Regional Medical Center Dennis Stanley Ukrop’s Rodney Stiltner VCU Health System Mickey Stredler Bayview Plaza Pharmacy Nancy Yunker VCU School of Pharmacy Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division


Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •

endowments that have been estabAs this edition of the RxExlished by our alumni and friends. change is being prepared, we are And I can speak for our students nearly halfway through the fall who are very grateful for having semester and are in the middle these scholarships to offset the of midterm exams. We admitted growing debt burden they carry another exceptional class of 130 when they graduate. Last year the very bright and highly motivated class of 2006 graduated with an students again this year from a average debt burden of $110,000. total applicant pool of over 2,000 We are also spotlighting two and we have already begun the of our faculty: Brigitte Sicat, admissions interviews for the class Pharm.D., and Bonny Bukaveckas, that will begin in August 2007. Ph.D., who are in the Department I am very pleased to announce of Pharmacy. Dr. Sicat was the that our memorandum of underrecipient of the School’s Teaching Victor A. Yanchick, Ph.D., Dean standing between the School Excellence Award this year and Dr. of Pharmacy and the INOVA Bukaveckas brings a new dimenHealth System has been signed and we will be starting sion to our research enterprise in the area of personalour northern Virginia satellite program in August ized medicine. We are very fortunate to have outstand2007. Twenty of our P3 students will finish their third ing faculty who not only are excellent teachers and and fourth years of the curriculum on the INOVA mentors but who are also leaders in developing new campus along with 24 third and fourth year VCU practice models and scientific breakthroughs. medical students. All of us are excited about the opporIn closing, I want to thank all of you for the support tunity to offer this unique program. We will be using you have given me and the School of Pharmacy over state-of-the-art technology to deliver the curriculum to the past decade. It is hard for me to believe that I have these students via synchronous and asynchronous techfinished my tenth year as Dean of the MCV/VCU nology. I will keep you informed of this program as we School of Pharmacy. We have continued to make launch it next year. progress in all areas of the School and I hope that all A focus of this edition of the RxExchange is on of you will continue to be proud of who we are alumni support. We are winding down a very successand what we have accomplished. Have a wonderful ful capital campaign and are confident that we will holiday season. exceed our goal of $10 million by July 1, 2007. A big part of this success is due to the generosity of our alumBest wishes, ni and friends of the School of Pharmacy. I am very proud to report that this year we will be providing nearly $500,000 in scholarship support to deserving students, and much of this amount comes from the Victor A. Yanchick, Ph.D., Dean

Dear Alumni and Friends,

The RxExchange is a publication of the School of Pharmacy, Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division, Virginia Commonwealth University. It appears once annually. Readers are encouraged to submit comments or questions to Ellen Firkins. VICTOR A. YANCHICK, PH.D. Dean ELLEN L. FIRKINS Writer & Executive Editor CHNOIC T. ADAMS Writer & Editor PUNCH Graphic Design & Production SCHOOL OF PHARMACY Virginia Commonwealth University MEDICAL COLLEGE OF VIRGINIA HEALTH SCIENCES DIVISION Office of Development 410 North Twelfth Street Post Office Box 980581 Richmond, VA 23298-0581 Phone: 804.828.3016 Fax: 804.828.9394 Email:

f a fun, simple children’s board game is what you’re looking for, you won’t have trouble finding one. There are hundreds lining the shelves of the toy aisles, most with equally colorful boxes and creative characters. But how many of these games can offer more than a challenge and a little bit of fun? In Metanon: The Biocode Adventure, you can find just that. It’s a space adventure board game, for ages 5 and up, that has found a way to entertain its players, all the while teaching the fundamentals of DNA and genetics. In April of 2002, Richmond based kSero Corporation had its first product launch with Metanon: The Biocode Adventure. The concept development of the game was a collaborative effort between Dr. Donald Abraham, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry for the School and Director of the Institute for Structural Biology and Drug Discovery, and Dr. Susan Hardwicke, co-founder, President, and CEO of kSero. Initially, Metanon was to be developed as a CD-ROM based game, but when young artist and company intern, Laura Warmke, inspired art and a visual concept, the board version was born. Here’s how it works: Imagine that you’re a space traveler whose ship has been forced to land on the planet Metanon. Your computer is damaged, and your ship is leaking fuel and oxygen. In order to return home, you will need to find three missing items and put them in your spaceship. You can get them only by entering three walled cities. To unlock the gates, you must collect Biocodes, pieces that represent DNA molecules, and assemble them in the right combinations; the same way DNA appears in genetic code. According to the game’s website (, Metanon teaches by using a cognitive based approach, which is a focus on the approach to learning as opposed to the content of learning. It often enhances the learning experience by stimulating many areas of the brain simultaneously. This type of brain activity can do two things: neural connections, or networks the brain makes when a new idea or concept has been learned, either develop or are stimulated and reinforced.




The scientific concepts of DNA and genetics are explained without the use of the complex terminology, ensuring that the game can truly be played by all ages. And while not necessarily turning your five year old into an overnight scientist, the approach taken by this game will provide a greater opportunity for the retention of the concepts displayed in the game. Additionally, not only will scientific concepts be learned, but players will build brain connections that will enhance their understanding of language, mathematics, and sciences, allowing for more advanced learning in the future. With alien characters like Daka, Plebo, Shoddy, Bree, Ximiny, and Qump, this game is fun, creative, and colorful. What else would you need? Why incorporate something like DNA into a game? Well, it’s everywhere and often misunderstood. Often there is an unawareness, even in adults, of the significance and information DNA holds. By introducing young children to the concepts, it is only fair to assume that, down the road, the scientific intricacies will not be completely confounding. Metanon: The Biocode Adventure has been lauded by both scientists and the toy industry. The Biotechnology Institute has endorsed the game, explaining it’s “a great way to introduce children to the important concepts of DNA.” Additionally, Metanon was listed in Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Products 2003, and the National Association for Gifted Children’s 2003 Holiday Toy List. US Kids Magazine said “the game is loads of fun.” It was also featured in The Toy Man Online: Product Guide 2004 and awarded The Toy Man Award of Excellence. To order your copy of Metanon: The Biocode Adventure, visit www.metanon With an offering of fun, challenge, education, and some space aliens mixed in, this is the ideal pastime for children of all ages. But be careful, adults might find themselves having fun learning, too.


Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •


Alumna Brigitte Sicat


Teacher of the Year

Sicat, Pharm.D., BCPS, CDE, BC-ADM, P’98 won’t tell you, “I always wanted to be a pharmacist,” or, “I always knew I would teach.” Instead, she says, “I knew I would be involved with helping others in some capacity, but I didn’t have a specific idea in mind.” Only as she grew older did that desire lead to patient care, and later, pharmacy. Born in Vietnam, Brigitte moved with her family to the United States at the age of two. Being raised in a family that placed great emphasis on the importance of helping others drove many of Brigitte’s personal goals. With these ideas instilled in her, Brigitte entered the University of Virginia focused on the general idea of pursuing patient care. After three years studying pre-pharmacy at UVA, and a role as a volunteer pharmacy technician with UVA Health Sciences Center, Brigitte was convinced that she could most effectively serve patients as a pharmacist. She applied and easily gained admittance to the School of Pharmacy at VCU. Brigitte excelled in pharmacy school and, in 1998, graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Pharm.D. At this point, Brigitte knew she had chosen the right path for herself, but Sicat on rotation with P4 students John Van (center) and David Mills. specifics still eluded her. Following graduation, she was accepted into a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the Medical University of South Carolina, which she followed with an Ambulatory Primary Care Residency. It was during this time that Brigitte’s resBeing an alumna of the School, Brigitte feels she is able to provide a unique peridency advisor would invite her to see things from a new perspective. spective to her students. “I knew what a great place this was,” Brigitte says when Her two years at MUSC provided Brigitte with experience that solidified her asked about returning to the School. “By understanding the background of cerpath in both pharmacy and academia. “I found my calling in primary care durtain areas such as our curriculum, I can explain the benefits of certain changes and ing those two years. Patients and colleagues often told me I had a gift for explainadditions and be reactive to them as well.” ing complicated ideas in such a way that many people could understand them.” When asked what she is most proud of accomplishing so far in her young During her Ambulatory Primary Care Residency, a very unique opportunity precareer, she explains that she feels she has “created an environment where [stusented itself to Brigitte when she was to share her office space with her residency dents] feel free to express their thoughts and opinions openly.” Brigitte continues, director. “It’s not something you see everyday, a resident sharing an office with their “When I began, I thought there had to be a darker line between students and proadvisor…she immersed me in academia,” Brigitte says. Having seen the academic fessors, but I’ve come to realize that to be effective, we must view our students as world from a view point many residents would never have, Brigitte realized she traveling companions.” could combine her interest in the patient When it comes to her being an effective and talented teacher, her students and care aspect of pharmacy with her newly colleagues whole heartedly agree. Brigitte was, once again, nominated for the realized interest in academia. In 2000, School’s Excellence in Teaching Award, but this year, she won. Brigitte isn’t just payupon completion of her residency pro“I’ve realized I can be myself ing lip service to her teaching ideals, as is expressed by one student nominator’s gram, Brigitte returned to Richmond description of Brigitte. “She was always approachable so that I could ask questions and care, and still be an having accepted a position as an assistant and obtain guidance. She was able to clearly communicate her knowledge and effective instructor.” professor in the Department of Pharmacy encourage me to take initiative in and responsibility for my own learning.” at VCU. Brigitte credits many for her success as a teacher; her family’s focus on helping Just two years into her role as assistant others, her supportive husband, her mentors along the way, as well as her colprofessor, Brigitte’s talents as an instrucleagues and students providing a stimulating and rewarding environment. Along tor were recognized. In 2002 she was nominated for the School’s Excellence in with her responsibilities as an assistant professor, Brigitte is a clinical pharmacy Teaching Award. This award is a distinction based on student and peer evaluaspecialist in the endocrinology clinic and also practices in the VCU Health Systions and recommendations. Bolstered by such recognition so early in her career, tems’ Pharmacy Services Clinic, part of the Ambulatory Care Center’s Primary Brigitte continued to grow as an instructor. Care Clinic. She is not only a clinical specialist there, but also a preceptor for stu“Difficult, wonderful, exhausting, fun, stressful, enlightening, challenging, and dents and residents, a role for which she received the School’s Preceptor of the incredibly rewarding,” is how Brigitte views her job. When asked what she most Year Award in 2002. enjoys about teaching students, she explains, “I like to be able to help the students Part of what has made Brigitte so successful is her understanding of the need to see the true meaning of their work, not just the science behind what they are adapt. She feels her methodologies “will likely change over time,” in accordance studying, but how to also serve their patients well.” This flows directly into to what will be most effective, combined with what her students need. It is no Brigitte’s self-described teaching methodology, as she feels she has moved from wonder Brigitte’s commitment to prepare her students to not only be skilled pharwhat was initially a teacher-centered approach to what is now a learner-centered macists, but to recognize the real person behind the patient is acknowledged and approach, explaining that, “through the years, I have learned to focus my teachappreciated by all that surround her. ing on what the student is learning, how the student is learning, whether the student is retaining and applying what they are learning, and how current learning positions the student for a future learning. My role has moved to become more of a facilitator of learning.”



Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •

Pharmaceutical Sciences,’ for all our graduate students to of the Class of 1997, not only leads the North American give them a foundational understanding of each of the Psychiatry Clinical Pharmacology and Discovery Medidisciplines within the program.” HARM H cine group for GlaxoSmithKline, she is also the youngest “The majority of our graduates go into industry and member of the group…but then she has always been a we want them to be well trained for success,” says Dr. LUMNA fast learner. Wu-Pong who has also introduced a Research and Career Dr. Learned-Coughlin grew up in upstate New York, Day, where current students interact with industry reprejust south of the Quebec border. At the age of 16, Sue sentatives, learn important interviewing and networking began earning a paycheck at a local drug store. This first job would end up drivskills, and participate in a poster session research competition. ing many of Sue’s future decisions. “As soon as I was exposed to it, I knew I Upon completion of the Pharm.D./Ph.D. program at VCU, Dr. Learnedwanted to pursue something in the area of pharmacy or medicine. I wanted to Coughlin accepted a position as a Clinical Pharmacokineticist at what was then be involved in pharmaceutical or medical research in one way or another.” Glaxo Wellcome, Inc. and has progressively worked her way up in the compaIt was while earning her B.S. in Pharmacy at Union University’s Albany Colny. Her current position, as of July 2005, is North America Head, Clinical Pharlege of Pharmacy that she developed a passion for both bench research and macology and Discovery Medicine, Psychiatry. She leads a group of 9 clinical patient care. Upon graduation, she accepted an ASHP residency at Erie Counpharmacologists, psychiatrists, and neuroscientists in coordination with a sister ty Medical Center to try her hand at both. group headquartered in Verona, Italy. They are responsible for the design of all Sue was unaware that there was a program available that would enable her to phases of clinical pharmacology trials for psychiatric drugs and accountable for pursue both passions simultaneously until she met with former faculty member, the clinical development strategy and corresponding studies for all psychiatric Jim McKenney, to explore VCU’s post baccalaureate Pharm.D. program. Dr. drugs in the stage of Candidate Selection through Proof of Concept (Phase IIa McKenney directed Sue to speak with Jürgen Venitz, M.D., Ph.D., director of or IIb, depending on mechanism/class). the School’s fledgling Pharm.D./Ph.D. combined degree program. Sue finds the broad view of clinical development strategy, experimental med“VCU had the only program at the time that would allow me to combine icine (including her specific research interest in the utilization of neuroimaging clinical research with the basic science of a Ph.D. program.” Dr. Venitz’s shared within psychiatry drug development), study design, and data evaluation very interest in CNS (Central Nervous System) disorders, and the clinical compoexciting and fulfilling. “I get to do the fun stuff,” she says. “We are designing the nent of his lab which included individuals working in areas from Alzheimer’s studies and analyzing the data, most often before the researchers themselves see Disease to drug dependencies intrigued Sue. This, combined with the human it.” Plus GSK makes certain that patient contact and a patient focus is a part of trials capacity of the Center for Drug Studies (formerly BioClin) and the NIHthe entire drug development process. “We interact with patients. In regularly funded GCRC at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals, won her over and scheduled Patient Insight Seminars, they interview with us and describe the she entered the combined degree program in the fall of 1992. challenges associated with their disease and the currently available pharmaceutiSue completed her Pharm.D. and Ph.D. degrees under the direction of Dr. cal therapies.” Venitz. Her dissertation explored the “Evaluation of the Pharmacokinetic-PharAdvice for current students in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate promacodynamic Relationships for the Central and Peripheral Effects of Scopogram? “Focus on where the current opportunity is and where the opportunity lamine Following Intravenous Administration to Healthy, Young Volunteers.” will be five or ten years down the road. Be practical. All of us are multidimenThe model she designed has since been adopted for use at Pfizer and other major sional and have potential to succeed in several avenues. Think about your career pharmaceutical companies in screening compounds for potential efficacy path and be broad enough in your experiences to make adjustments along the in Alzheimer’s Disease and has subsequently been validated in healthy way if you want to. elderly subjects. “I remember starting out; I could have pursued music (piano) as easily as sciWhen asked to evaluate her graduate education, Dr. Learned-Coughlin says, ence. My passion was just as great. But I was practical and thought, ‘Where do “Hindsight is 20-20 (in a good way!). When I was a graduate student I could I want to go with my life and how can I build a career?’” not understand why Dr. Venitz insisted on so many extra requirements for his The vast understanding of the field she gained while a student at VCU is students. Those of us in his lab studying clinical pharmacology were required to proving to remain essential. “Be broad in your thinking. Don’t make yourself so complete all of the coursework for a Ph.D. in Pharmacology in addition to the specialized in a niche that your skills cannot be applied in another area. I review coursework for a degree in Pharmaceutics. He insisted that we graduate with a applications for employment from Ph.D. graduates all the time with research broad understanding of the science implicated by our research.” areas so narrow that I cannot hire them. Their skills are just too focused! It As Sue recalls, “Dr. Venitz also insisted that I set up and run the bioanalytical makes me realize how well balanced my education at VCU was. I have been assay for scopolamine as part of my dissertation. I flew out to the Johnson Space offered every job I have applied for since I left VCU and that is a testament to Center in Houston, Texas, to gain access to the calf brains the assay would the program and Dr. Venitz. He made certain I was well trained.” require, and worked with key pharmacologists at NASA who were also involved So where will Dr. Learned-Coughlin go from here? She has a career developwith scopolamine research. Although I was certainly not an analytical chemistry ment plan firmly in place, of course. “I would like to achieve the level of VP in graduate student, he believed it was imperative that I understand all aspects of Clinical Pharmacology and Discovery Medicine here at GSK,” she says, “and I the research process.” would also like to experience the Business Development side of the operation, Although initially frustrated by what seemed at the time to be an ’over the top’ but eventually I’d like to see myself as the head of Research and Development comprehensive Ph.D. program, Sue is now very grateful for Dr. Venitz’s foreat a small biotech company.” sight. “Having a broad scientific background has Sue sees the trend of going straight to work at small given me the ability to communicate across disciplines biotech companies out of graduate school as a misstep. and specialties regarding all stages of drug development. “You can learn so much from a large corporation like By having a very thorough knowledge base of neuroGSK. There is a broad and varied group of skilled menand behavioral pharmacology, I am able to interact very tors to learn from and you gain exposure to the full scope easily with biologists working in our Psychiatry Center of activities in the drug development process. I feel like I of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDD), and funchave gained so much knowledge and experience from my tion as a key consultant with regards to the translation work at GSK that would not have been accessible to me between animals and humans.” had I gone straight to work at a biotech.” The importance of this approach has not been lost on In the mean time, Sue is keeping busy with as many the School and the graduate program in pharmaceutical as twenty clinical trials under her direction throughout sciences continues to be broad based. Under the directhe course of a year. She has remained engaged with tion of Dr. Susanna Wu-Pong, the four program tracks academia by taking post-docs and summer interns that were previously coordinated solely by departments from Ohio State, University of Pittsburgh, UNC and, of have been combined under one office. Dr. Wu-Pong course, VCU. reports, “We have revised the core curriculum and Susan Learned-Coughlin, Pharm.D., Ph.D. ’97 required an interdisciplinary course, ‘Introduction to

Susan Learned-Coughlin, a Pharm.D./Ph.D. graduate



.D./P .D.



Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •

Thanks to all alumni who joined us for Reunion Weekend
in April. The School of Pharmacy had a great turnout with alumni traveling from across the country to visit with their former classmates. Congratulations to our newest Grand Alumni, the Class of 1956, celebrating its 50 th reunion. And congratulations to the Class of 1981 on its 25th reunion.



1956 classmates Betsy Daniel and John Hasty recognize each other right away.

Henry Addington P’51 was recognized with the MCV campus Hodges-Kay Service Award.

Ruth Ann and Jim Roberts P’56.

The class of 1956 presents the school with a check for $15,000 to establish the Warren Weaver Lectureship. C. Eugene White P’56 looks on as Dean Emeritus Warren Weaver and Executive Associate Dean Bill Smith receive the gift.

Dr. Harold Smith P’56 mingles with classmates. Paula P’97 and Kevin P’96 Allgood get ready to celebrate.


Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •

School of Pharmacy

Continuing Education

You’re Invited to Sail, Learn, and Explore
July 27, 2007 — August 3, 2007

Disease State Management: New Collaborative Roles of Physicians and Pharmacists (Invited:)

Tour Highlights and Inclusions:
• 7 night Southern Alaska Cruise on the Radiance of the Seas • Ports of Call: Vancouver, British Columbia; Inside Passage (Cruising); Ketchikan, Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; Skagway, Alaska; Icy Strait Point, Alaska; Hubbard Glacier (Cruising); Seward, Alaska • Optional shore excursions at every port • Specifications: Among her spectacular features are the 10-story glass-constructed centrum, glass elevators facing the sea, and the highest percentage of outside cabins in the Royal Caribbean fleet • Ship Highlights: rock-climbing wall; Portofino Italian Restaurant; Chops Grille; Seaview Café; themed bars and lounges; The Colony Club, a unique British colonial-style lounge with self-leveling pool tables; African safarithemed solarium; indoor/ outdoor country club with golf simulator; Adventure Ocean® youth facilities; ShipShape® Day Spa and Fitness Center; sports court with basketball/volleyball court

Guest Speakers:
Pain Management: New Clinical Approaches to Care (Invited:)
Mary Lynn McPherson, Pharm.D., BCPS, CDE Professor University of Maryland School of Pharmacy Sidney H. Schnoll, M.D., Ph.D. Vice President, Risk Management Services Pinney Associates Bethesda, Maryland

Michele A. Faulkner, Pharm.D. Associate Professor Departmant of Pharmacy Practice Creighton University School of Pharmacy & Health Professions

Improving Medication Adherence: An Interdisciplinary Approach (Invited:)
Patrick J. McDonnell, Pharm.D. Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Temple University–School of Pharmacy Annika Alvanzo, M.D. Assistant Professor Department of Internal Medicine Division of Quality Health Care VCU/MCV School of Medicine

Michael A. Crouch, Pharm.D., BCPS Associate Professor of Pharmacy & Medicine Director, Adult Medicine Residency with Cardiology Emphasis VCU School of Pharmacy, MCV Campus

Michael L. Hess Professor Department of Internal Medicine VCU School of Medicine

Please visit our website to download the cruise brochure and registration form.

The VCU School of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. Upon successful completion of this program and the submittal of an evaluation form, participants will receive 15 contact hours (1.50 CEUs).

Hasty and Pigg Recognized Reunion Weekend
Members of the classes of 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986,
1981, 1976, 1971, 1966, 1961, and 1956 returned to downtown Richmond, April 22, 2006, to celebrate reunion weekend. Emeritus Dean Warren Weaver was on hand Saturday night to reminisce with alumni, as was Bertha Rolfe P’43! Emeritus Professors C. Eugene White and Harold Smith both celebrated their 50th reunion and visited with former classmates and more recent graduates. The Class of 1956 honored Dr. Weaver by endowing a lectureship series in his name. John Hasty and C. Eugene White presented him with a blown-up check for $15,000 signed by the members of the class who had supported the fund. The MCV Alumni Association joined with the School of Pharmacy in presenting two very special awards. Cindy Pigg P’84 received the Distinguished Pharmacy Alumnus Award and John Hasty P’56 received the Pharmacy Alumnus Service Award. Distinguished Pharmacy Alumnus Award Cindy Pigg P’84 Cindy Pigg received her B.S. in Pharmacy in 1984. She went on to receive her M.Ph. from the School of Allied Health, and from there launched a dynamic career in which she has become a well-known and highly respected expert within managed care circles. Over the past seventeen years, Cindy progressed through a number of positions of increasing responsibility at CIGNA Pharmacy Management, directing operations at both the regional and national levels, culminating in her appointment to vice president for CIGNA Pharmacy Management. She left CIGNA to accept the national leadership position of executive director for the Foundation for Managed Care Pharmacy in July 2005. As the chief executive of FMCP, Cindy is leading the Foundation’s efforts to support research and education to advance sound medication management principles and strategies to improve patient health outcomes and quality of life. Pharmacy Alumnus Service Award John Hasty P’56 Over the past fifty years, John Hasty has been an advocate for pharmacists, for the profession of pharmacy, and for the MCV School of Pharmacy. John’s service to the profession and his community has been a constant in his career. Even though he has officially retired, John continues to be very involved with his church, the Virginia Pharmacists Association, and his alma mater. John is a member of our School’s National Advisory Council and Chairman of a $10 million capital campaign to support pharmacy student scholarships and academic excellence. John has received numerous awards and recognitions from a wide range of organizations for his outstanding service and dedication to his profession. He is perhaps most recognized for his work in establishing the Virginia Pharmacists Aiding Pharmacists program which provides assistance to drug and alcohol addicted pharmacists, as well as the Virginia Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth. His commitment to advancing the profession earned him state and national recognition including the first “National Pharmacist of the Year” award presented by First Lady Nancy Reagan. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Daniel B. Smith Award presented by the American Pharmaceutical Association for his work in combating drug abuse. John continues to be active in the impaired pharmacist program to this day. John has also been previously recognized by his alma mater, having received the Alumni Star award in 1989 and the School of Pharmacy Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1988.

Bronwyn Burnham P’89, Bill Smith, Cindy Pigg P’84, and Emeritus Dean Weaver.

Bill Smith, Bronwyn Burnham, John Hasty P’56, and Dean Weaver.


Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •

CLASS OF 2006!
“…We continue to learn every day and every day still offers a unique challenge. We are all going our separate ways–some of us are starting work and some of us are continuing our education. We will all miss our close friends and our close knit class–the support we provided each other through the tough times and the times we enjoyed when the going wasn’t so rough. We will miss all the support our faculty provided us when we were at our wits end understanding the basics. As we all begin the next chapter in our life, we will take with us what we learned here and carry it with us for the rest of our lives. …We’ve finally graduated–we’ve done it!… As we celebrate our accomplishments, let us also think of our future. Each of us has unique abilities and will contribute to the pharmacy profession in our own individual way. Let us take our knowledge and experience and make a difference. As Tom Brokaw said, ’You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.’ Class of 2006, Graduates, Doctors, congratulations! It’s our time to celebrate and it’s our time to change the world. WE DID IT!” From the convocation address of Sukhmani K. Sarao P’06
Sukhmani Sarao P’06 (left) and Brandon Jennings P’06 (right) address their classmates.

Dean Yanchick and the pharmacy faculty.

Final words of wisdom from Dean Yanchick.

Graduating professional pharmacy students recite the Pharmacist’s Oath.

Class of 2006.


Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •

Delegate Harvey Morgan P’55 Receives an Honorary Doctorate
Well known for his modesty, you won’t hear Delegate Harvey Morgan P’55
boast about all he’s accomplished in his twenty-seven years serving the State of Virginia. Fortunately, Virginia Commonwealth University was able to publicly recognize his tremendous contributions by presenting him with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during the May 2006 graduation ceremony. The Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters is VCU’s highest form of recognition and acknowledges those who have made outstanding contributions to society through scholarship, humanitarianism, science, art, and public service. When asked how he feels about this honor, Morgan is visibly humbled. “I was shocked, it was surreal; I didn’t quite grasp it. I’m just doing my job and serving my community. I was honored to receive it.” Morgan is not, at first glance, a likely candidate for public office. An unassuming figure, who is soft spoken and self-effacing, he spent most of his time as a youth in Morgan’s Drug Store working alongside his father, L.V. “Happy” Morgan P’22 and brother Jimmy Morgan P’53, in small town Gloucester, Virginia. He saw first hand the public service role pharmacists provided in the community. His father knew everyone in town and advised them on many aspects of their lives, not just medications. But Happy Morgan was not a politician. “My father said that anybody in public business has no business in politics,” explains Morgan. “But I believe that no one in a community has more contact, one-on-one and close-up, as a friend, advisor, and confidant, to members of a community than a pharmacist.” Morgan was not born with political aspirations, however. In fact, his decision to pursue a career in pharmacy came relatively late and with some persuasion from a close friend. Having graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and gained acceptance to the University of Virginia Law School, Morgan had a change of heart when his college roommate reminded him of the great legacy he was leaving behind. In 1952 Harvey entered the MCV School of Pharmacy to follow in his father’s and brother’s footsteps. During his time at pharmacy school, Morgan became not only a pharmacist, but an activist as well. He learned that “…it’s important to participate…it’s part of being a productive citizen that extends to life after you get out of school.” Morgan recalls lessons he learned from J. Curtis Nottingham P’35, who served as the first executive director of the Virginia Pharmacists Association (VPhA) and became a friend and mentor to Morgan during his three years at MCV. “He encouraged me to organize a student chapter of VPhA, and so I did.” Through Nottingham, young Morgan learned the power of organized groups with a unified voice in the political process. Following graduation and two-years service in the Navy, Morgan returned to work with his father and brother at Morgan’s Drug Store. He felt empowered to address the challenges he experienced within the profession and his community. Issues, such as access to affordable quality health care, motivated him to become increasingly active in politics. By 1979, 22 years into his career as a community pharmacist, Morgan realized his calling into public service and made his first run for the House of Delegates. He was encouraged by the “pulse of the community” connection he gained from patient interactions at the pharmacy, and was confident that he could positively address his community’s concerns. “Not everyone felt the same way,” he laughs, “I was told ‘I wish you wouldn’t do this, they will eat you alive!’” Despite mixed reactions from friends and family, Morgan moved ahead, and in November of 1979, won a seat in the House of Delegates representing the 98th district. He has served his district well for more than a quarter of a century. Morgan both represented his district and practiced pharmacy until 1989, when the family made the decision to sell their business. “I intended to continue to work 20 hours a week [in the pharmacy], but there were too many events or meetings scattered throughout the day, I was just too bogged down,” explains Morgan. He made the decision to give up active practice and focus primarily on his role as a public servant though politics. These days, Morgan quietly focuses a great deal of his energy towards improving higher education in the State, as well as initiatives related to health care and pharmacy. Now the Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee for Higher Education, Morgan was influential in the 2004-06 biennial state budget being passed, which resulted in what University President Eugene Trani called “historic increases for higher education.” The Smoke-Free Schools 2002 legislation, essentially eliminating the issue of second-hand smoke affecting students while at school, was introduced and led by Morgan. Supporting fellow MCV alumnus, Delegate S. Chris Jones P’82, he sponsored legislation directly affecting pharmacy; Virginia’s Collaborative Practice Act, allowing state pharmacists and physicians to jointly manage a patient’s drug therapy. Delegate Harvey Morgan P’55 In addition to receiving his honorary doctorate, Morgan addressed the graduating pharmacy class of 2006 at the Convocation Ceremony following graduation. An old hand at these, Morgan understands the impact a commencement speech can make. “It’s such an honor, but it carries with it a responsibility to say something meaningful, something that people will want to listen to,” explains Morgan. He can still recall his own unsatisfactory graduation speaker: “He talked to our parents about the school board’s financial circumstances, never mentioning or speaking to us about our graduation!” In his commencement address, Morgan emphasized to the students how different and vast their opportunities are now, as opposed to when he entered the field. “This is the first time in history that pharmacists are recognized by the federal government as providing primary patient care. When I graduated, we were not even to discuss the prescription with the patient other than giving directions for taking or administering the drug. We were highly overqualified for what we were doing. Students now have the opportunity to use what they have learned.” Morgan also feels they have the opportunity to make a significant difference, or be “agents of change,” as he described during his speech. If the graduates were looking for a model catalyst, they didn’t need to look beyond the stage. Although no longer a practicing pharmacist, Morgan is still actively involved with the VPhA and the School, partly as his way of keeping pharmacy prevalent in his everyday life, but also to make the difference he desires. He remains a staunch supporter of the MCV/VCU School of Pharmacy, and serves as a National Advisory Council Member for the School, as well as serving as the School’s director of alumni relations. Morgan’s closing advice to the students, and the method that appears to have yet to fail him? “The key to success is connectedness—be, and remain, plugged in.”

Harvey Morgan P’55 received his honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the 2006 Graduation Ceremony.


Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •

On the 50th anniversary of the commercialization of the pressurized Metered
Dose Inhaler (MDI), Dr. Peter Byron, School of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutics Chairman, thought it was time to recognize the accomplishments of his friend and mentor, Charles Gilbert Thiel. Thiel, along with two Riker Laboratory colleagues, invented the first MDI in 1956. This innovation enabled asthmatics to administer repeated inhaled dosages of medicine without cumbersome refilling procedures. Byron, who coordinates a biennial international symposia for pulmonary drug researchers, contacted his conference planning committee with the concept of a Charles Thiel Award for Excellence in Respiratory Drug Delivery. “The timing of the 50th anniversary of the MDI and the tenth anniversary of the Respiratory Drug Delivery Conference (RDD) created the perfect opportunity to recognize Charlie,” Byron recalls. His planning committee agreed and moved forward with structuring the award and incorporating a celebration of Charles Thiel’s work for RDD 2006 in Boca Raton, Florida, April 23–25. Charles Thiel himself was to be the first award recipient. “It was an honor and a privilege to work on the Charles Thiel Award,” RDD planning committee member and Pharmaceutics Associate Professor Joanne Peart, Ph.D., says. “Not only did Charlie’s work in the 1950s do so much to move the field of inhalation drug delivery forward, but Charlie is also a wonderful person and a pleasure to know.” Mr. Thiel graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1954 and joined Riker Laboratories, then a subsidiary of Rexall Drug. Armed with a chemistry degree, he started work that spring in a laboratory with a handful of other employees in a non-airconditioned building in Los Angeles. Thiel’s first job involved isolating compounds from Indian snakeroot that were used in blood pressure medications. Two years later he started his work on inhalers. The concept of the MDI was born after the asthma inflicted daughter of a Riker president asked, “Why can’t they put my medicine in a spray can, like they do hair spray?” Thiel changed the inhaler formulation design from one using 50-percent alcohol (which burned patients’ nostrils when administered as a nasal spray) to one using an innovative suspension of the medication in a liquefied gas propellant—a design still in worldwide use today. The new design was also more efficient than previous methods at delivering medication to the lungs. 3M, which still develops MDIs based on Thiel’s design, acquired Riker Laboratories in 1970. The MDI revolutionized the treatment of respiratory illness—over 70 million patients worldwide rely on these devices for their asthma treatment. It also laid the foundation for what has now become a growing pharmaceutical specialty—the field of respiratory drug delivery. In a 46-year career as a Division Scientist, Thiel recalls one truly defining Charles Thiel moment. After giving a lecture to a group of medical professionals in Australia, he was approached by a physician from the audience who gave him a bear hug and told him: “If it hadn’t been for your invention, I’d be dead.” The physician had suffered from asthma since early childhood. Upon his return home from Boca Raton and the successful RDD 2006, Dr. Byron received an email. Steve Stein, 3M colleague and friend of Charles Thiel and conference attendee, had a question: “How can 3M be a part of the Charles Theil Award? We need to be a part of something this big that is honoring Charlie and his work.” Within a couple of months the School of Pharmacy received a $100,000 check from 3M Drug Delivery Systems to create a Charles Thiel endowment to ensure that the work of this innovative scientist is memorialized in perpetuity. The 3M gift will fund the Charles Thiel Award’s presentation at each biennial Respiratory Drug Delivery Conference held in the USA, to scientists who have pioneered significant developments in the science and technologies surrounding respiratory drug delivery. “The School is thrilled that 3M Drug Delivery Systems has partnered with us in this way,” says Byron. “Charles Thiel has been a mentor to so many of us in the field. He is a remarkable scientist and more importantly, a genuine kind and good man. “3M’s endowment will ensure that the pioneers in drug delivery innovation are recognized and encouraged by their peers.”

New IRA Rule Creates a Window of Opportunity
he Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA 2006), signed into law on August 17, 2006, creates a new and exciting opportunity for charitable giving, allowing individuals to make charitable gifts directly from their IRA assets without tax complications. You are eligible to take advantage of this longawaited, limited-time opportunity if: • You are age 701/2 or older; • You make an outright gift to a qualified charitable organization, like The School of Pharmacy (gifts to private foundations, donor advised funds, and supporting organizations do not qualify, nor do transfers to charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts, gift annuities, or pooled income funds); and • You transfer funds from your IRA by December 31, 2007. You may give up to $100,000 per year under this new rule and any gift you make in this way will count toward your minimum required distribution. Please note that you must direct the administrator of your IRA to transfer the funds directly to a qualified charity. Since IRA accounts generally contain assets that have not been subject to income tax, there is no charitable deduction associated with the gift. Outright distributions to charity from other types of retirement plans, like 401(k)s and 403(b)s, do not qualify under the new rule.


Prior to the enactment of PPA 2006, you would have had to report a withdrawal from your IRA as income and then declare an income tax deduction. For some people, such a gift would actually cause an increase in taxes. Under PPA 2006, this is no longer a concern for those who are eligible to take advantage of the new rule. Now (and until December 31, 2007), if you direct your IRA administrator to transfer assets directly to a qualified charity, you will not recognize income and will not have to worry about increasing your income taxes. Example: Barbara would like to make a significant gift to The School of Pharmacy in honor of her upcoming 50th Reunion. She is fortunate enough to have an IRA that has grown substantially over the years. She also has access to interest payments from other investments and receives Social Security. Her retirement assets are more than sufficient to cover her needs and maintain her lifestyle, but until recently making a gift to the School of Pharmacy from her IRA seemed too complicated. Barbara can now make a gift of $100,000 directly to the School of Pharmacy from her IRA without worrying about income tax implications. The $100,000 gift does not count as income to Barbara and it does count toward her minimum required distribution. Barbara is also considering another significant gift in 2007, because the new rule allows her to make a gift of $100,000 in each calendar year until the rule expires

on December 31, 2007. Barbara is supporting the School of Pharmacy’s future strength in a way that was not possible in the past. If you fit in any of the following categories, this new rule might be especially beneficial for you if: • You have an over-funded IRA that you and your spouse will not need in your lifetimes and want to avoid the heavy tax burden that results when these assets pass to other family members; • You have sufficient income for your needs from other sources, but must still take the required minimum distribution from your IRA; • You have already reached your giving limits based on your adjusted gross income (AGI); • Your income level causes the phase out of your exemptions; • You do not itemize your tax deductions; or • Additional income would cause more of your Social Security income to be taxed. Even if you can’t take advantage of this opportunity, you may know others who can. Please contact Ellen Firkins, director of development, at 804.828.3016 or for more information.


Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •

Bonny Bukaveckas, Ph.D.

Faculty Research: Beyond Benchtop and Bedside
he genesis of personalized medicine is upon us,” proclaims Department of Pharmacy Assistant Professor, Bonny Bukaveckas, Ph.D. “Now we must translate science into practice.” With a recent Pfieffer grant for $73,898, Bukaveckas now has an opportunity to make the translation. The grant to study “Personalized Medicine: Anticoagulation Treatment,” will support a new collaborative project between the School of Pharmacy, VCU Health System, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center. Through this study, potential improvements to anticoagulation therapy using warfarin will be investigated. Bukaveckas will prospectively test 300 patients in two clinical environments for underlying genetic hypersensitivity and resistance to warfarin. This genetic data will be used to help determine the appropriate dose of warfarin to be prescribed. Warfarin, also known under the brand name Coumadin®, is a bit of a double-edged sword. If given the proper dosage, it is a life saving anticoagulant medication that is used to prevent blood clots from developing or extending (thrombosis and embolism). On the other hand, it is a potentially life threatening medication; if given too much, it carries a major risk of hemorrhage and if given too little, a blood clot could form. For many, however, the benefits of warfarin therapy far outweigh the risk associated, but that does not mean it is not a delicate process. Warfarin is used in over 2 million new patients per year in the U.S. alone. Despite its widespread clinical use, initiation of warfarin therapy, like many medications, is still in large part a trial and error process. There are many variables that can account for differences in patient reaction to warfarin, including age, gender, diet (e.g., vitamin K intake), other medications, and co-morbid disease. Reactions within individuals can change over time as


well, so in order to have a successful therapeutic effect, regular testing is necessary to determine if the patient’s blood is clotting properly. The existing warfarin dosing programs that incorporate these variables are unable to predict about half of patient response variations. However, recent retrospective studies have demonstrated that by adding tests for two specific genes (CYP2C9 and VKORC1), it’s possible to account for up to half of the remaining variation. By incorporating genetic information into a new dosing tool, anticoagulation therapy will become much more effective. The end product of the work behind the Pfieffer grant will be SmartWarfTM, a new warfarin dosing tool that takes into account inherited genetic variation of the patient. When SmartWarfTM is demonstrated to be a fullyfunctional, user-friendly warfarin dosing system, Bukaveckas intends to place it into the public domain. This project has tremendous health relatedness, and great potential to launch the practice of pharmacy into the genomic era. Bukaveckas’ interest wasn’t always in pharmacogenetics. She received a B.S. in Biology from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in Environmental Biology from the University of Louisville. The early part of her research career was focused on environmental toxicology, tracking the effects of lead pollution in song birds. “I reached a point in my research when I realized that genetic variation probably explained at least some of the patterns I was seeing in the birds, and my interest was peaked.” Of course we still do not have a starling or sparrow genome project. “I then began looking at the transport of manganese (Mn) to the brain in rats and analyzing the implications from both an environmental and human disease perspective.”

It was not until Bukaveckas accepted a Clinical Chemistry Fellowship at the University of Louisville that she began directly applying the clinical applications of her research. “The Clinical Chemistry Fellowship was eyeopening to me,” explains Bukaveckas. “It was my first experience in a clinical environment and it forced me to step outside of my researcher’s mindset. I began looking at research questions from a clinician’s perspective and investigating ‘What is needed as a useful diagnostic tool?’ Clinicians need practical ways to incorporate genetic testing into their treatment plans. They do not have the time to evaluate a full genotype; they just need to know how to most effectively dose their patients.” It is in this role of translating lab results into effective tools for clinicians, that Bukaveckas has found her niche. “VCU Health System is an excellent environment for this type of research. The combination of clinical expertise, interdisciplinary interaction, and access to patients enables us to do small demonstration research projects that open the door for significant change, like the warfarin study.” And what comes next for Bukaveckas? “The dream is to create a University Center for Personalized Medicine,” she explains, “with equally strong research and training components.”

“Clinicians need practical ways to incorporate genetic testing into their treatment plans. They do not have the time to evaluate a full genotype; they just need to know how to most effectively dose their patients.”


Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •

Keeping the Pharmacy Connection Alive

Nick G. Nicholas Scholarship
Fifteen years after Nick Nicholas’ death, Shazia
Raheem P’07 will graduate from his alma mater. Although the two will never meet, they have developed a strong bond, manifested in Nick’s widow, Mary, and through the pharmacy student scholarship she endowed in his name. Mary Nicholas can be seen driving her Red Jeep Cherokee with the “MCVRX52” tags around Petersburg. As owners of the independent pharmacy, O.P. Hare Drug, Mary and Nick worked alongside one another for over 30 years; Mary as the bookkeeper and Nick as the pharmacist. Through their work in the pharmacy, the Nicholases knew most of the residents of Petersburg. Although she was not a pharmacist, Mary says that pharmacy has been a big part of her life. She recalls the camaraderie of Virginia pharmacists and the Bergen Brunswick sponsored trips she and Nick would take to Europe with their pharmacy friends with fondness. Immediately after Nick’s unexpected death in 1991, Mary knew she wanted to keep the connection to pharmacy alive. “Nick loved the profession of pharmacy, and he loved MCV. He always talked about wanting to do something for new students who were challenged by money issues,” explains Mary. When Nick passed away, Mary decided to honor him by making his vision a reality. “I felt it would be good to carry out Nick’s wishes, and I just knew he would be so proud if I continued forward with our plans.” In late 1991, the Nick G. Nicholas Memorial Fund was established to award tuition dollars to pharmacy students who demonstrated both financial need and academic achievement. In 2005, Shazia Raheem P’07 received this scholarship. A lot has changed at the School of Pharmacy between 1952, when Nick graduated, and 2006, but Nick and Shazia share a good deal in common. Both are first generation Americans with a passion for pharmacy and helping others. As a student, Nick was president of Phi Delta Chi, the pharmacy fraternity, co-editor of the yearbook, and an officer on the Pan Hellenic Council. Shazia serves as vice president for the Rho Chi Honor Society and as Graduation Chairperson for her class. Nick’s commitment to the School of Pharmacy continued to grow after his graduation. He served as chairman of the Pharmacy Division of the MCV Alumni Association. He was the first recipient of the Pharmacy Alumnus Service award, which recognizes graduates who distinguish themselves through loyalty and service to the School, and the HodgesKay Service Award, given for outstanding service by an alumnus to the MCV alumni association. These awards are still proudly on display in the Nicholas household. The Nicholas Scholarship is but one more tribute to Nick’s dedication to MCV and the School of Pharmacy.

Shazia Raheem P’07

Nick G. Nicholas P’52

Ever rising tuition and cost of living expenses have left many students in quite a bit of debt. The average debt load of recent graduates nears $110,000! As Shazia explains, “Students rely heavily on financial assistance of any kind to pay tuition and living expenses. Some students work up to 30 hours a week [in addition to school] just to pay the bills.” Because of the Nicholas Scholarship, Shazia was not one of these students. “I have not had to work while I am in school…the scholarships I received, which are funded by private support, have helped me be successful by giving me time to concentrate on school.” Shazia is currently completing her fourth year rotations and after she receives her Pharm.D. in the spring, hopes “to enter a residency program in internal medicine.” Shazia and Mary met for the first time last fall over Chinese food and tea. The first thing they did was embrace. “I just so enjoy meeting the students each year. They are so grateful and appreciative; it makes you want to do more!” Equally important, explains Mary, is the way the Nick G. Nicholas Memorial Fund “keeps Nick connected to pharmacy school—he would just love that!”

WHERE: R. Blackwell Smith Building 410 North 12th Street, Rm. 103 Richmond, VA 23298 WHEN: Thursdays: Dec. 7, 2006–Feb. 15, 2007 6:00–9:00 p.m.

Session 1: Thursday, December 7, 2006 Evaluating Drug Literature: Primer for the Practicing Pharmacist Session 2: Thursday, December 14, 2006 Review of New Drugs 2006 Session 3: Thursday, January 11, 2007 Pharmacy Ethics Session 4: Thursday, January 18, 2007 Review and Application of Pharmacokinetics Session 5: Thursday, January 25, 2007 Pharmacy Practice Management Session 6: Thursday, February 1, 2007 New Technology in the Practice of Pharmacy Session 7: Thursday, February 8, 2007 Medication Therapy Management Session 8: Thursday, February 15, 2007 Advanced Pharmacotherapy

Program Purpose
The purpose of this series is to discuss topics related to pharmaceutical education. Through the use of case-studies, article reviews, and other innovative teaching techniques, these “eight essential tools” are designed to reinforce knowledge and skills in pharmacy practice, to serve as a refresher, and to introduce new concepts and technologies. For more information, go to: or call 804.828.3003.


Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •



The School of Pharmacy mourns the loss of several alumni. We extend our thoughts and prayers to their family and friends.
Karen S. Humphrey P’91 Karen S. Humphrey, of Richmond, went to be with the Lord, December 12, 2005. She was a graduate of Christopher Newport University where she excelled in sports and was inducted into the Christopher Newport Sports Hall of Fame. Karen continued her education, graduating from Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy in 1991. She is survived by her parents, Robert and Humphrey (P’91) Winnie Humphrey; her sister, Debbie Pruden and husband, Glenn; her brother, David Humphrey and wife, Nancy; nieces and nephews, Jason Pruden and his wife, Anne, Jessica, and Laura Pruden, and Nathan and Elissa Humphrey. Jesse Frank Jackson P’44 Jesse Frank Jackson, born December 27, 1917, died September 29, 2005. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Jackson of Jetersville, VA, Mr. Jackson was a graduate of Amelia High School and the School of Pharmacy, Medical College of Virginia, Class of 1944. Mr. Jackson was preceded in death by two wives, Doris Corson Jackson and Polly McCauley Kearn. He is survived by two sons, James T. JackJackson (P’44) son and his wife, Dian and Jesse F. Jackson Jr.; and four grandchildren, Frank Jackson, Doris Jackson, Kathryn Jackson, and Jesse F. Jackson III. During his career, Mr. Jackson was a practicing pharmacist and a pharmaceutical manufacturer. Yetta Lowenstein P’23 Yetta Brown Lowenstein, age 102, died on Friday, August 26, 2005, in a local hospital. She was predeceased by her loving husband of 50 years, Harry Lowenstein, and her son, Marshall Leigh Lowenstein. Mrs. Lowenstein is survived by her son, Arnold Benjamin Lowenstein and her daughters-in-law, Marilyn W. Lowenstein and Barbara P. Lowenstein. Also surviving are six grandchilLowenstein (P’23) dren, Terry L. Schultz, Nancy L. Weissmann and her husband, David, Neil S. Lowenstein and his wife, Kate, Amy L. Buckberg and her husband, Paul, Karen L. Gross and her husband, Steve, and David N. Lowenstein and his wife, Jennifer. She is also survived by 12 great-grandchildren, Hilary, Elizabeth, and Jennifer Schultz, Elena, Shira, and Josh Weissmann, Jake, Greer, and Emma Lowenstein, Michael and Millie Buckberg, and Jordon Gross. A sister, Esther Feldman, also survives. Mrs. Lowenstein was the first female pharmacist to graduate from Medical College of Virginia in the year 1923. In her younger years, she was active in her synagogue, Temple Beth-El, and was a past president of the Beth Shalom Auxiliary. She was an amateur artist, and loved music and song. Richard H. Marx P’59 Richard H. Marx died July 6, 2006. Survived by his wife, Dorothy L. Marx; four daughters, Mary A. Marx of WI, Deborah M. Richmond of Wytheville, Dorothy M. Bevins of Apple Valley, CA, and Lisa M. Collis of PA; five sons, Joseph R. Marx of Falls Church, J. James Marx of Warrington, PA, Michael H. Marx of New York City, Thomas P. Marx of Portland, OR, and Robert B. Marx of Fairview, MT; two sisters, Dorothy Miller of Cheltenham, PA, and Anne M. Quinn of Philadelphia, PA; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Beatrice R. Adreon P’52 Fifty years ago Bea Adreon believed in the value of medication management and patient counseling. After spending 18 years in a private diagnostic and clinical practice at the Washington Clinic, she opened her own medication management firm, Pharmacy Counseling Services, Inc., in Arlington, VA. Bea studied chemistry at Mary Washington College before entering the Medical College of Virginia to study pharmacy in 1947, and Adreon (P’52) became part of a class of 85, four of which were women. In 1977 Bea launched Pharmacy Counseling Services, Inc., a medication management counseling service targeting senior citizens. Bea’s pioneering of consultative practice was recognized nationally in Personalities of the South, Two Thousand Women of Achievement, and Who’s Who of American Women. Beatrice Adreon passed away in her home on November 11, 2005 and is survived by her husband Harry. She will be greatly missed, but her innovation and dedication to pharmacy and her patients will not be forgotten. Francis Edmunds Bloxton Sr. P’49 Francis Edmunds Bloxton Sr., 82, of Rockbridge Baths, died Thursday, November 24, 2005 at Havenwood Manor in Lexington. Mr. Bloxton was born on July 16, 1923 in Charlotte Court House and was a son of the late Walter Peyton Bloxton and Hallie Gilmore Franke Bloxton. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Mr. Bloxton graduated in 1949 from the MCV School of Bloxton (P’49) Pharmacy. He practiced pharmacy for 271/2 years and owned a pharmacy in Powhatan, VA. He was a member of the Masonic Powhatan Lodge No. 295, Masonic Mountain City Lodge No. 67 A.F. & A.M., and the American Legion. He was preceded in death by his wife, Kathleen Watts Bloxton. Mr. Bloxton is survived by his son, Francis Edmunds Bloxton Jr. and his wife, Mary Ann Herrell Bloxton, of Rockbridge Baths; his granddaughter, Julia Kathleen Green and her husband, Donald Jay Green, and their children, Emerald Kathleen Green and Hunter Lee Green; his grandson, Francis Edmunds Bloxton III and his wife, Denice Marie Hovis Bloxton, and their children, Francis Edmunds Bloxton IV and Sydney Marie Bloxton. Garland Cohron Habel P’40 Garland Cohron Habel, age 91, of Burkeville, passed away March 7, 2006. He is survived by three daughters, Alice Lakes and husband, Richard, of Keswick, VA, Cassie Ann “Tinker” Reich and husband, Charles, of Virginia Beach, and Jane Spittle and husband, John, of Rockville, VA; five grandchildren; two sisters, Mildred Inge of Kenbridge and Katherine Habel of Blacksburg; and one Habel (P’40) brother, Horsley Taylor of Moseley. Captain Habel served in the U.S. Army in WWII as a member of the Second Battalion, 128th Infantry, 32nd Division Medical Detachment in the Pacific Theater. He received the Bronze Star for his heroism. A native of Jetersville, he graduated from the Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy in 1940. He was the founder and owner of Burkeville Drug Store. Mr. William R. Hale P’52 William Hale, 80, entered the presence of his Lord on Monday, Jan. 23rd. He was born in Dallas, TX. After graduating from high school in Chattanooga, TN in 1943, he served in the U.S. Navy as a pharmacist’s mate on the aircraft carrier USS Boxer during WWII. Upon discharge he attended George Washington Univ. in Wash., DC where he met the love of his life, Dorothy Lunson. Hale (P’52) They were married on April 3, 1948. He transferred to the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, graduating in 1952 with a B.S. in Pharmacy. He was licensed in pharmacy in VA, TN, GA, and FL. He moved with his family to Miami in 1968. He was a faithful member and deacon of Wayside Baptist Church where he taught S.S. in the Special Ministries Dept. for over 15 years. He is survived by his wife of 57 years and 4 children: Stephen, Douglas (Olivia) and Rebecca Prinz (Scott) of Miami, FL, and Robert (Debbie) serving on the mission field in West Africa. He is also survived by 16 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Beverly Hornsby P’53 Beverly Kerr Hornsby, 78, passed away at his home in Harborton, surrounded by his loving family, on Monday, June 5, 2006, after a lengthy and courageous battle against cancer.

Marx (P’59)

Horace R. Moses P’68 Horace Moses died during April 2006 in Phoenix, AZ. H. Lee Parrish Jr. P’66 H. Lee Parrish Jr. of Ashland passed away Friday, August 8, 2006, after a battle with cancer. He is survived by a daughter, Holly Hutto and her husband, Shea; a son, Brian Parrish and his wife, Teresa; his mother, Edith D. Parrish; a loving companion, Linda Jacobs and her children, Deborah, Paulette, and Stuart; also nine grandchildren. Lee was the former owner and pharmacist of Barnes Drug Store in Ashland for over 30 years.

Parrish (P’66)

Hornsby (P’53) Peatross (P’54)

Richard M. “Sonny” Peatross Jr. P’54 Richard M. “Sonny” Peatross Jr., 72, of Warrenton, died Wednesday, April 26, 2006 at Fairfax Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Elva Peatross; a son, Ken Peatross (Sheila); a daughter, Michelle Quiram (Dan); four grandchildren, Rachel, Shea, Ryan, and Nicole; two brothers, Freddie and Donald Peatross; and two sisters, Julia P. Waller and Anne Hardy. In Memory, continued on page 14


Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •



The School of Pharmacy mourns the loss of several alumni. We extend our thoughts and prayers to their family and friends.
Scouts of America and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Later in life, he was awarded the Silver Beaver Award for his services to scouting. He attended the University of Alabama where he joined the Alabama National Guard ROTC. He began his military service as a reserve officer with the Civilian Conservation Corps. At the onset of World War II, he served at the Pentagon and in 1940 was sent to Bermuda Base Command, Atlantic Theater. After three years as an intelligence officer in Bermuda, he returned to the Pentagon and was later sent to the Pacific where he was in the first wave of occupational forces in Japan. Following World War II, he retired from the Army to attend the Medical College of Virginia, School of Pharmacy. There he was a member of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity and Square and Compass Intercollegiate Fraternity. Upon graduation from MCV, he moved to Lynchburg where he practiced pharmacy for forty years. He was a member of the Virginia Pharmaceutical Association and was active in both the local and state chapters. Eames was a sixty-year communicant of St. John’s Episcopal Church. He served as a volunteer at Virginia Baptist Hospital and with The American Heart Association. Eames was a devoted husband and father who loved his family, his friends, and his country. He was a true Southern gentleman and will be remembered for his honesty, integrity, and his warm heart. M. Blair Robertson P’52 Nearly 51 years and three generations after M. Blair Robertson took ownership, the Robertson family closed Amherst Pharmacy’s doors for the last time. The Robertson family made the decision to close down in March after health problems stemming from diabetes forced M. Blair Robertson to retire. Mr. Robertson died September 21, six months later. “We just hated to close our drug store,” said Dolores Robertson, who ran the pharmacy with her husband. “It’s Robertson (P’52) the hardest thing to do, but we had no choice.” Robertson’s daughter, Deborah Ondrick, said that her father had stayed on as pharmacist, despite his ill health, as a convenience to his customers. “He definitely wanted to be here for his customers,” Dolores Robertson said. “He’d say he was here because he liked to be here.” Robertson would often open the pharmacy in the middle of the night for customers that needed him. In their years at the store, the Robertsons had four children, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Kelly Scott Perdue P’96 Kelly Scott Perdue, 45, of Albemarle County, died Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005, of a heart attack, at his residence. Born Aug. 26, 1960, in Washington, DC he was one of four children of Charles L. Perdue and Nancy J. Martin-Perdue of Twymans Mill, Madison County, VA. Kelly was predeceased by his identical twin, Kevin Barry Perdue, on Dec. 3, 1979. He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Purdue (P’96) Elizabeth Steel-Perdue and two sons, Benjamin Tipton Perdue and Daniel Walton Perdue; his parents, Charles L. Perdue and Nancy Martin-Perdue of Twymans Mill, Madison County; two brothers, Marc Charles Perdue and his wife, Anne, and their daughters, Kathryn and Theresa, of Crozet; and Martin Clay Perdue and his wife, Susan Holbrook, and their two daughters, Emily and Sarah, of Lake Monticello. Kelly received a degree in respiratory therapy from Piedmont Community College, a B.A. degree in chemistry from the University of Virginia, and a Doctorate in Pharmacy from Virginia Commonwealth University. He was employed from 1997 until his death by Martha Jefferson Hospital where he served as a clinical pharmacist in MJH associated Family Practices in Orange, Madison, Crozet, Forest Lakes, and Stanardsville. Music was an integral part of Kelly’s life and he and his band received recognition and awards all along the east coast. Kelly will be sorely missed by his professional friends; by the musical community; and most of all by his family. Paul K. Pickering P’50 Paul Pickering died in January 2006. Eames Asbury Powers P’53 Eames Asbury Powers, 94, died on January 21, 2006 at his home in Lynchburg, VA. He was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Mattie “Pat” Sears Powers and is survived by his daughter, Patricia Powers Bryant and her husband, Edward Hunter Bryant Jr. of Richmond; a son, Eames Asbury Powers Jr. and his wife, Susan Putney Powers of Goode; three granddaughters, Ellen Eames Bryant of Powers (P’53) Washington, DC, Elizabeth Putney Powers and Amanda Burton Powers of Goode; and a devoted caregiver, Cindy Stone. Born September 10, 1911 in Greensboro, Alabama, he was the son of the late Calvin Burton Powers and Nell Eames Powers. He was also predeceased by a sister, Nell Powers Brockway, and a brother, Calvin Burton Powers Jr. As a youth, he was a member of the Boy


Winter 2006 • VCU School of Pharmacy • Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division •

Pharmacy School Welcomes New Faculty
he following faculty members have joined the school since June 30, 2005. Gary R. Matzke, Pharm.D., FCP, FCCP Dr. Matzke joined the School of Pharmacy as Associate Dean for Clinical Research and Public Policy. Matzke received his B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin (1973) and his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota (1977). He came to the School of Pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh where he served on the faculty as a Professor of Pharmacy and Therapeutics and Professor of Medicine, Renal and Electrolyte Division since 1991. The focus of most of his academic career has been on the development of knowledge regarding the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and efficacy and safety of medications in patients with renal diseases. Matzke has published over 150 Gary R. Matzke, Pharm.D., peer reviewed manuscripts FCP, FCCP and 45 book chapters dealing with renal pharmacotherapy and pharmacokinetics. In recognition of his contributions to the pharmacy and medical literature, he received the Russell R. Miller award from the ACCP Pharmacy in 1995 and the ASHP Foundation award for sustained contribution to the Literature of Pharmacy in 2000. Matzke served as a Health Policy Fellow for Senator Judd Gregg for two years while the Senator has been Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (2003– 2004) and the U.S. Senate Budget Committee (2005). His Congressional Science Fellowships, which were sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, have spawned a new avenue in his academic career. In his new position at Virginia Commonwealth University, Matzke will be responsible for directing the School’s education, research, and public health policy interactions with local, state, and federal policy makers. He will also have a pivotal role in the School’s professional and graduate education and training programs for future clinicians, faculty, and patient orientated researchers. Spencer E. Harpe, Pharm.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. Having completed a two-year post-doctorate research position at The Ohio State University in March of 2006, Dr. Spencer Harpe, joined the Department of Pharmacy as assistant professor. Spencer E. Harpe, Pharm.D., Harpe received his B.S. in M.P.H., Ph.D. pharmaceutical sciences in 1999 and his doctor of pharmacy in 2001 from the University of Mississippi. He went on to earn a master of science in pharmaceutical administration in 2003 and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical science in 2004 from The Ohio State University. Harpe’s academic focus is pharmacy administration with an emphasis on outcomes research and epidemiology. While at The Ohio State University, he was awarded the Procter and Gamble Fellowship in Pharmacoeconomics and Epidemiology, an honor he held for four years.


John C. Hackett, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, John Hackett, Ph.D. comes to VCU from The Ohio State University, where he served as a postdoctoral researcher in computational chemistry since 2004. A native of Florida, Hackett earned John C. Hackett, Ph.D. his B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy in 1999, and he received his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry in 2004 from The Ohio State University. He is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Ohio and Virginia and a member of the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics, the American Chemical Society, and the Rho Chi Pharmaceutical Honor Society. He is the recipient of the Albert H. Soloway Graduate Student Award in Pharmacy and Cancer Research (2002) and the Balshone Medicinal Chemistry recognition Award (2004). Edwin J.C.G. van den Oord, M.A., Ph.D. A psychiatric geneticist specializing in statistical analysis, Edwin J.C.G. van den Oord, joins the school as a full professor in the Department of Pharmacy. A native of Amsterdam, van den Oord earned a B.A. degree from the Amsterdam Academy of Physical Education and Physiotherapy in 1985, a M.A. in statistics and research methods from the University of Amsterdam in 1991, and a Ph.D. in 1993 from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Most recently van den Oord held a faculty post with VCU School of Medicine serving as an associate professor within Edwin J.C.G. van den Oord, the Virginia Institute for M.A., Ph.D. Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics (VIPBG). He joined VCU having served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychology at Utrect University. Van den Oord brings to the school more than twelve years of academic scholarship. He is the recipient of the International Society of Psychiatric Geriatrics Young Investigator Award (1993), European Science Foundation Marie Curie Fellow (1997), NARSAD Independent Investigator Award (2002), Behavior Genetics Association David Fulker Award (2003), and the VCU AD Williams Award (2004). He will be establishing a multidisciplinary program for the development of statistical methods for biomarker discovery and disease comprehension. Van den Oord’s group will conduct research on mathematical and statistical methods to optimize the design and analysis of high-volume biological data and develop mathematical models for understanding the effect of biological processes and other risk factors on disease progression. Five members of Dr. van den Oord’s research group from the VIPBG have joined him on the faculty of the School of Pharmacy. József Bukszár, Ph.D. A native of Hungary, József Bukszár brings an expertise in statistics and applied mathematics to the school. He joins the department of pharmacy as a research associate professor. Bukszár earned a M.S. in mathematics and a Ph.D. in operations

research, applied mathematics and statistics from Loránd Eötvös Universty in Budapest, Hungary in 1994 and 1999 respectively. Prior to joining Virginia Commonwealth University he has worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Miskoic, Hungary, and then assumed a Postdoctoral Scientist position at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute at the University of Delaware. Bukszár had been with the VIPBG since 2004. B. Todd Webb, Ph.D. Bradley Todd Webb earned his B.S. in biology in 1993 and Ph.D. in human genetics in 2003 at Virginia Commonwealth University. Webb’s research interests are in the discovery of genes involved in comB. Todd Webb, Ph.D. plex human traits or diseases and the use of computational genomic tools and bioinformatics to determine the relationship between genes and complex genetic systems. Since completing his Ph.D. program, Webb has worked as a research associate for the VIPBG. He joins the Department of Pharmacy as a Research Assistant Professor. Joseph Louie McClay, Ph.D. Joining the Department of Pharmacy as a research associate, Joseph Louie McClay brings a specialized interest in gene-gene and gene-environment interactions. McClay honed his research skills in his 3 year postdoctoral fellowship at the VIPBG. McClay received his B.Sc. in genetics from the University of York in 1997 spending a year (1995–96) on the human genome sequencing project at the Sanger Institute, Cambridge, U.K. He received his Ph.D. from the King’s College in London in 2003, Joseph Louie McClay, Ph.D. where he was the first Ph.D. student at the Medical Research Council Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Center at the Institute of Psychiatry. McClay’s research focus also includes the examination of relationships between biological system architecture and the impact of genetic variation on phenotypes; the use of bioinformatics and system modeling to explore complex trait development and phenotypic refinement; and improving aetiological models through the use of genetic information. J. R. Robles, Ph.D. Dr. J. R. Robles brings more than eleven years of academic experience to the department of pharmacy. Robles joined the VIPBG in October 2001 from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (UCAB) in Caracas, Venezuela, where he served on the faculty as an associate professor of research methods and the director of graduate research unit, division of post graduate studies. Robles received the Medal of Honor for excellency in teaching for ten consecutive years while on the faculty at UCAB. Robles received an M.Sc. in Experimental Psychology from the Universidad Simon Bolivar and his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from UCAB. He brings with him an expertise in statistical analysis software design.

József Bukszár, Ph.D.





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O Excellence in Teaching
Scholarship Focus ............................2 APPE Board ..................................2 Dean’s Message ................................3 Teacher of the Year ..........................4 Alumna Reflections..........................5 Reunion 2006 ................................6 Graduation ....................................8 3M Donation................................10 IRA Rules......................................10 Personalized Medicine ..................11 In Memory....................................13 Faculty News ................................15

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mall town pharmacist: Jay Zeigler P’78 makes a big impact on students.


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