In the Spotlight: Aug. 23, 2016


Smiling young woman with long dark hairPriya Muralidharan, PhD student in the Pharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics track of the College of Pharmacy graduate program, made the image that was selected for the inside front cover of the June 1, 2016, issue of Molecular Systems and Design Engineering, a journal of one of the world's leading research publishers in chemistry, the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The image accompanied the research paper “Microparticulate/Nanoparticulate Powders of a Novel Nrf2 Activator and an Aerosol Performance Enhancer for Pulmonary Delivery Targeting the Lung Nrf2/Keap-1 Pathway,“ on which Muralidharan is first author. Her adviser, Heidi Mansour, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, is a co-author.

Ernest Vallorz III, a PhD student who begins his studies in the pharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics research track at COP this fall, was selected to receive a University Fellows Award from the UA Graduate College. The University Fellows program recruits some of the most distinguished graduate students in the U.S. The fellowship provides a total of $33,000 in funding over three years. Vallorz will work with Paul Myrdal, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science.

Chinmayee Katragadda, an MS and PhD student in Pharmaceutical Economics, Policy, and Outcomes and predoctoral fellow in the Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomics Research, was recently selected for the 2016 Academy for Emerging Leaders in Healthcare/Patient Safety. The highly competitive program focuses on educating young leaders in health care on the current issues in quality of care and patient safety outcomes in the U.S. Chinmayee attended the summer program in Maryland in July.

Gabriela Fernandez-Cuervo, a PhD student in the drug discovery and development research track, received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Studies last fall. The three-year fellowship provides total of $43,000 in funding, which includes stipend, tuition allowance and educational allowance. Fernandez-Cuervo was one of only 30 students selected to receive the fellowship in 2015; 119 students applied. Fellowships are awarded to outstanding students who are pursuing a PhD in the life sciences and who are committed to increasing diversity among scientists. Fernandez-Cuervo is believed to be the first UA student to receive this award.


Mel Nelson, PharmD 2016, was selected to receive the 2016 Future Pharmacist Award provided by the Pharmacy Times and Parata.

The Future Pharmacist Award is awarded to a student pharmacist who demonstrates spirit and passion for the profession, primarily though academic achievement, in conjunction with one or more of the following criteria: industry advocacy, patient advocacy, technology innovation, civic leadership and/or environmental stewardship with regard to pharmacy.

Nelson received the award at a gala held on Aug. 6 in Boston.


Catharine Smith, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the College of Pharmacy, was featured in an article by the international publication Scientia. The piece highlights her research and includes “Targeting and Enhancing the Effects of Deacetylase Inhibitors in Cancer Treatment.”

Smith is a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center and the BIO5 Institute. She conducts research on epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression and their relation through signaling pathways and modulation by anti-cancer drugs.

Eli Chapman, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, had a recent paper from his lab selected for the cover of the chemical biology journal ChemBioChem. The title of the research paper is “Dual Unnatural Amino Acid Incorporation and Click-Chemistry Labeling To Enable Single-Molecule FRET Studies of p97 Folding.”

Chapman, a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center and the Biological Chemistry Program, is currently developing methods to discover modulators of enzymes that are considered challenging to drug or “undruggable.”

Elizabeth Hall-Lipsy, JD, MPH, assistant professor and program manager for the college’s Health Disparities Initiatives and Community Outreach program, has become a member of the UA Hearing Board.

Hall-Lipsy will be part of the group of students, faculty and staff that conducts hearings concerning the most severe sanctions for alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct and the Code of Academic Integrity.

Hanna Phan, PharmD, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, has been selected as a fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. Fellowship is awarded in recognition of continued excellence in clinical pharmacy practice or research. Phan and the other 2016 ACCP fellows will be inducted Oct. 23 at a special ceremony during the 2016 ACCP Annual Meeting in Hollywood, Florida. Phan, who was promoted to associate professor effective July 1, has also become the first pharmacist member of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Education Committee and was recently appointed for a three-year term.

Paul Myrdal, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, has replaced Richard Vaillancourt as the COP representative to the UA Faculty Senate. Vaillancourt, who is also an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, served as the college’s representative for the previous term, which is two years.

Nathan Cherrington, PhD, director of graduate studies and professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, presented a lecture at the Ventana Research Forum on Aug. 8. His presentation, “Obesity: An Increasing Health Crisis,” focused on metabolic syndrome and its effect on the response to environmental toxins. The forum was hosted by the Science Exchange Collaborative.

Lucas Nyabero, CEO of NewSpring Pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy in Avondale, Arizona, became a UA COP preceptor in June 2016. Nyabero made headlines in the Arizona Republic earlier this year with the partnership between NewSpring and Abrazo West Campus, an acute care hospital in Goodyear, Arizona. The collaboration makes an effort to help discharged hospital patients stay consistent with prescriptions and reduce the number of hospital re-admissions. According to Nyabero, NewSpring is constantly looking for innovative ideas to improve healthcare services.    


Dee Quinn, certified genetic counselor and director of MotherToBaby Arizona, was appointed director of genetic counseling services and clinical genetics educator at the UAHS Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine.

Quinn will oversee the University of Arizona Genetic Counseling MS Graduate Program and coordinate systemwide efforts to enhance health care provider knowledge and uptake of new genomic technologies.

Photo caption: Priya Muralidharan

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