Public Health Leader
Tristan O’Driscoll (BS ’07, PharmD ’13) is using his dual PharmD/Master’s in Public Health degree to build the antimicrobial stewardship program at Aspirus, which has eight hospitals and 50 clinics in Northern Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan. He was first drawn into pharmacology and toxicology, and that inspiration came from an unlikely source: Agatha Christie.
The School of Pharmacy is launching a new concentration in the PharmD program to equip student pharmacists with the skills they'll need to improve practice in rural areas.
The Social and Administrative Sciences in Pharmacy graduate degree program is getting a new name and an expanded set of courses to ensure graduates are ready to address health care challenges.
Q&A with Ephrem Abebe
"Our job as health care researchers and educators is to make sure that pharmacists are adequately supported,” says Ephrem Abebe (MS '14, PhD '16). He came to the School from Ethiopia to learn how to impact medication safety.
Kyle Kleinbeck (BS ’07, PhD ’11) finds his calling at a nonprofit organization, developing HIV prevention and contraceptive products for underserved populations.
"You’re almost certainly going to need to take risks to get where you want to go,” says Rick Bertz (BS ’83). Bertz has made a career out of both taking and measuring risks, leveraging data to predict drug outcomes and improve care.
Nationally, an average of 27 student pharmacists were matched with residencies per school in 2019 — but the School of Pharmacy matched nearly three times that number.
PharmD students from the UW–Madison School of Pharmacy significantly outperformed their peers on the 2018 NAPLEX, with a pass rate nearly 10 percentage points higher than all accredited pharmacy schools.
The UW–Madison School of Pharmacy’s Associate Dean for Advancement Dave Mott (BS ’88, MS ’92, PhD ’95) is working his way around the state, visiting alumni and starting conversations about the future of pharmacy and pharmacy education. His most recent stop was at the Green Bay Distillery to reconnect with Brown County area alumni.
The School’s second-annual SHARx Tank gives four PharmD student groups the opportunity to present their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of alumni “sharks,” who each bring significant industry experience to the table. See which idea got a bite.
Professor Barry Gidal and Assistant Professor Amanda Margolis (PharmD '09, MS '17) are helping patients understand their epilepsy and medications through a pharmacist-led education initiative to increase adherence.
With expertise from Professor David Mott (BS ’88, MS ’92, PhD ’95), Wisconsin Health Literacy is leading a project to create patient-centered prescription medication labels that prioritize the information they need.
This May, the School of Pharmacy graduated more than 100 new expertly trained pharmacists and researchers.
Throughout commencement week, the graduates attended awards breakfasts, hooding ceremonies,
and more to commemorate their biggest leap yet into their career.
Check out our photo galleries to relive the magic and excitement of graduation.
Graduation might be the finish line — but there are other huge milestones along the way, and each are supported by our alumni and friends of the School. The White Coat Ceremony and the Pinning Ceremony celebrate student progress and invite alumni participation.
Gavin Arteel (BS '93), the second-ever PharmTox Alumnus of the Year, uses his background in toxicology to research the unusual properties of the liver and find ways to harness them for liver disease treatments.
"When I can teach and coach a pharmacy student so that by the end of their rotation they’re able to independently contribute to patient care, it’s a priceless feeling,” says award-winning preceptor Melissa Heim (PharmD '12).
Research in Action
The opioid epidemic is one of the largest crises in public health, and faculty at the School of Pharmacy are hard at work, attacking the problem from all angles. In part one of a three-part series about research aiming to curb the crisis, learn about faculty initiatives directed at helping patients overcome opioid misuse disorder, including empowering pharmacists and developing an opioid vaccine.
Through a new $30 million grant, the NIH recently nearly doubled its investment in Professor Tim Bugni and his colleagues' research to uncover novel compounds to fight the most problematic infections — and they're finding success.
Assistant Scientist Laurel Legenza (PharmD '13) and colleagues are taking their antibiotic resistance mapping tool, the AMR Tracker, to the next level by pursuing more detailed data and partnering with hospitals to explore implementation.
Eastern equine encephalitis virus has an associated mortality rate of 50 to 75 percent, but it has no treatment. Assistant Professor Jennifer Golden is working to change that, with a new $21 million NIH grant to establish a center of excellence.
Dimmy Sokhal (PharmD '13) doesn't see many of her patients in the pharmacy. Instead, she takes the pharmacy to their home, where she has a distinct advantage in improving their medication safety.
American Indians and Alaska Natives have a mortality rate from diabetes three times higher than all other races in the U.S. That inspired PharmD students in Operation Diabetes to set up a booth at the annual Wunk Sheek Powwow.
Professor Weiping Tang and Assistant Professor Jiaoyang Jiang are honored with prestigious campus awards that will support their research labs to explore new directions.
Assistant Professor Lucas Richert shares insight on his new book that outlines the intersection of legitimate and illegitimate drugs, "Strange Trips: Science, Culture, and the Regulation of Drugs."
Lucas Richert joins the School of Pharmacy as assistant professor and George Urdang Chair in the History of Pharmacy, bringing a wealth of experience in the history of pharmaceuticals.
Nine graduate students were left adrift when their pharmacology program was abruptly ended. The School of Pharmacy responded by creating its own pharmacology program to help those “lost boys” find their way.
MEDICINE ON MAIN STREET
Wisconsin Public Television
In a documentary focused on health care in Wisconsin’s rural areas, Wisconsin Public Television featured alumni Bobbie Freitag (BS ’79), clinical pharmacist at Lakeview Medical Center and Marshfield Clinic, and Mike Laird (BS ’99, PharmD ’00), oncology pharmacist at the Hayward Area Memorial Hospital, to showcase the broad and important roles of pharmacists in our communities.
PHARMD CAREER FAIR
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25
Alumni are invited to participate in the career fair to connect with student pharmacists, share information about opportunities, and conduct interviews. Register here.
CITATION OF MERIT DINNER
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8
Celebrate alumni who are being honored for exceptional contributions to the School and their field, and reconnect over dinner and drinks. RSVP opens soon.
ALUMNI TAILGATE & VIEWING PARTY
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9
Join your classmates and colleagues at the Union South for a tailgate and viewing part for the football game against Iowa. RSVP opens soon.
Land O’ Lakes Conferences
Fluno Center, UW–Madison | July 15-19, 2019
Fluno Center, UW–Madison | August 12-25, 2019
Fluno Center, UW–Madison | September 9-12, 2019
Pharmacy Conferences & Events
The Ingleside Hotel, Waukesha, WI | September 26, 2019
Pyle Center, UW–Madison | October 7-10, 2019
Las Vegas, NV | December 7, 2019
Editor-in-Chief | Katie Gerhards
Photographer | Sally Griffith-Oh
Contributing writers | Katie Ginder-Vogel, Jill Sakai
Editorial intern | Hanzhu Tang
Contributing photographers | Ingrid Laas, Todd Brown, Brian Kowalski, Adam Wesley
Editorial Advisor | Alyson Kim
DiscoveRx magazine is a quarterly digital publication by the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy.