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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Awards and Accolades: Pitt Schools of Dental Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy Announce Faculty, Staff and Student Achievements

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 16, 2011– The faculty, staff and students of the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Dental Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy are often recognized by academic and scientific societies and other organizations for their achievements and leadership. Among those whose work has been acknowledged recently with awards and accolades are the following:

  • Amy Donihi, Ph.D., School of Pharmacy, and alumni Gerard Mascara and Eric Gardner, both Class of 2011, were awarded 2011 Pitt Innovator Awards during the University’s 7th annual Celebration of Innovation. Drs. Mascara and Gardner worked with Dr. Donihi to create a medication education video for patients taking warfarin. Their video was licensed to SmartRoom®, a for-profit health IT-solutions company that is jointly funded by UPMC and IBM.
  • School of Pharmacy, published a book chapter titled "Neonatal Pulmonary Host Defense Mechanisms" in Fetal and Neonatal Physiology.
  • Lindsay Ferguson, PharmD., School of Pharmacy, along with and Lisa Cencia Rohan, Ph.D., Magee-Womens Research Institute, co-published a review article on vaginal drug delivery and HIV prevention entitled, “The Importance of the Vaginal Delivery Route for Antiretrovirals in HIV Prevention.” The article can be found in the current issue of Therapeutic Delivery.
  • Paul Johnston, Ph.D., School of Pharmacy, participated as an expert panelist in the Academic Screening Operations session and as the session moderator for the High Content Analysis session at the Select Biosciences “Academic Screening Workshop – Harnessing the Powers of RNAi & HCA to Illuminate NGS Data” in Bridgewater, N.J.
  • Sandra Kane-Gill, PharmD., M.S., F.C.C.M., School of Pharmacy, will be the 2012 chair of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, Paragon Quality Improvement Committee. She also was appointed as a member of the Quality and Safety Committee of the Society of Critical Care Medicine for 2012-2013, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Task Force on Residencies during 2011-12, and the editorial boards for two peer-reviewed journals, the Annals of Pharmacotherapy and the Advances in Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety.
  • Donna Huryn, Ph.D., School of Pharmacy, participated in the September Neurotherapeutics Network. She is a frequent member of NIH Study Sections, and had previously served on panels involved in establishing the Neurotherapeutics Blueprint Network. The panel evaluated proposals that were submitted to enter into the Neurotherapeutics Network. The Network offers neuroscience researchers a “virtual pharma” to develop promising hit compounds from chemical optimization through Phase I clinical testing.
  • Susan M. Meyer, Ph.D., School of Pharmacy, was honored by Ohio Northern University’s Raabe College of Pharmacy with a Distinguished Alumni Award on Nov. 2. Dr. Meyer was recognized for her significant achievements in the profession of pharmacy and her part in building the proud tradition and excellence of Ohio Northern’s pharmacy college.
  • Dennis N. Ranalli, D.D.S., M.D.S., was recognized by the officers and trustees of the American Dental Association for outstanding and dedicated service as part of the Center for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning, Seminar Series Speaker 1999-2010.
  • Charles Sfeir, D.D.S., Ph.D., School of Dental Medicine, received a grant that he co-authored entitled “Treatment of Periodontitis via Recruitment of Regulatory Lymphocytes.” Steven R. Little, Ph.D., McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, is the principal investigator on the project, which aims to address the physiological cause of periodontitis through an understanding of the inflammatory and regulatory processes of the periodontium. Also, researchers will investigate whether controlled release formulations of Treg-recruiting factors is a viable way to regenerate the periodontal space.
  • Gaurav Shah, student, School of Dental Medicine, received an award in basic science research from the Hinman Society at the Hinman Research Symposium in Memphis, Tenn. His research project focused on measuring expression of bone-specific proteins by a periosteum-like tissue created from sheets of bone-marrow stem cells wrapped around calcium phosphate cement and implanted into mice.
  • Susan Skledar, R.Ph., M.P.H., F.A.S.H.P., School of Pharmacy, led a multidisciplinary team at UPMC that is being awarded the national American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ Best Practices Award in Health-System Pharmacy for 2011. The team is receiving the award for their work with “smart pump” technology for safe and evidence-based administration of intravenous medications.
  • Frank Vitale, M.A., School of Pharmacy, and the national director of the Pharmacy Partnership for Tobacco Cessation, was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Live Continuing Medical Education Activity from the Alliance for CME.

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