February 25, 2022
The College of Pharmacy hosted it annual Research Forum both remotely and in person. The event included virtual platform presentations, an alumni networking and panel discussion, and poster presentation exhibition.

On February 12, 2022, the College of Pharmacy hosted Research Forum, our yearly exposition of student and postdoctoral fellow-led research. Held both remotely and in person, the event included virtual platform presentations, an alumni networking and panel discussion, and poster presentation exhibition. 

Dean Vicki Ellingrod hosted the morning’s virtual session, welcoming those in attendance and introducing the programing. The virtual session began with presentations given by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from the College’s three departments.

“Today is when we celebrate the discovery of new knowledge that informs each of our scientific fields as well as the patients we ultimately serve to help,” said Vicki Ellingrod, PharmD, Senior Associate Dean and John Gideon Searle Professor of Pharmacy. “Today is also a day when we celebrate the innovation and hard work shown by our students, post-docs, and our faculty, for the work being done by these scientific teams’ spans the entire translational spectrum and exemplifies why our College of Pharmacy is home to the leaders and best.”

Presentations were delivered by:

  • Rachel Torrez, Medicinal Chemistry, "Structural and Functional Analysis of Human Dicer1," mentored by Dr. Amanda Garner and Dr. Melanie Ohi
  • Logan Smith, Clinical Pharmacy, “Genome-Wide Association Study for the Genetic Determinants of Thiopurine S-Methyltransferase Protein Expression in the Liver,” mentored by Hao-Jie Zhu
  • Alessandra Campos Staffico, Clinical Pharmacy, “Bleeding on Direct Oral Anticoagulants: Identification of Genetic Risk Factors and a Polygenic Predictive Score in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation,” mentored by Dr. Jasmine Luzum
  • Emily Makowski, Pharmaceutical Sciences, “Optimization of Therapeutic Antibodies Using Machine Learning,” mentored by Dr. Peter Tessier
  • Chengyi Li, Pharmaceutical Sciences, “Virus Spike Mimicry NanoVaccine Boosting B Immunity to Enhance Anti-cancer Efficacy,” mentored by Dr. Duxin Sun
  • Alanna Condren, Medicinal Chemistry, “Structure Activity Relationship of HIV Nef-Inhibitory Plecomacrolides,” mentored by Dr. David Sherman and Dr. Kathleen Collins

After the platform presentations, graduate students and post-docs heard from three alumni panelists, followed by breakout rooms with these alumni that allowed for a greater networking. Thank you to our panelists, Justin Gatwood, PhD’14, Sachin Mittal, PhD’05, and Kelly Ganamet, PhD’07, for their insights on our students’ career development. 

In the afternoon, an in-person poster exhibition was held at the North Campus Research Complex’ Dining Hall. The event, which was fully virtual in 2021, was well supported by the Pharmacy community as we came together to celebrate all of our students accomplishments. Three hundred and seventy community members participated, with 91 posters presented by students and post-docs, and 34 review teams comprised of faculty, postdocs, graduate, and PharmD students evaluating student research.

Eleven students were nominated for the Kristen L. McGlone Research Award, which recognizes exceptional student-led research within the College. The award, named in memory of Kristen McGlone, PharmD’06, was established by her family, friends, and classmates.

Winners of the Kristen L. McGlone Research Award were:

PharmD Award

  • Jae Kim, "Assessment of Pharmacist Management of Adenosine Diphosphate Receptor Inhibitor (P2Y12) Therapy for Patient's Endoscopic Procedure." Advised by Dr. Nghi Ha
  • Antonio Mika, "Using Machine Learning to Identify Similar Protein-Ligand Binding Sites." Advised by Dr. Heather Carlson
  • Christabel Lo, “Crusade Against CLASBSI or Lumen Lunacy: Number of Lumens Does Not Impact CLASBSI Rates in Patients with Acute Leukemia." Advised by Dr. Bernard Marini

PhD/Postdoctoral Fellow Award

  • Marisa Aikins, "Synthetic High-Density Lipoprotein Nanodiscs as Immunotherapy Against Cancer Stem Cells." Advised Dr. James Moon   
  • Jiapeng Li, "Activation of Tenofovir Alafenamide and Sofosbuvir in the Human Lung and its Implications in the Development of Nucleoside/Nucleotide Prodrugs for Treating SARS-CoV-2 Pulmonary Infection." Advised by Dr. Haojie Zhu               

Congratulations to the award winners and thank you to all who presented, attended, and helped make our 2022 Research Forum event a success.