DiscoveRx Magazine – Summer 2019

Masthead image for the summer 2019 issue of DiscoveRx.

Public Health Leader

Tristan O'Driscoll portrait banner

Era of Antimicrobial Stewardship

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.

Alumni Spotlight

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.

Ephrem Abebe speaking with students at the School of Pharmacy.

Nonprofit Pharma

Kyle Kleinbeck (BS ’07, PhD ’11) finds his calling at a nonprofit organization, developing HIV prevention and contraceptive products for underserved populations.

Kyle Kleinback at the School of Pharmacy.

Calculated Risk

"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.

Rick Bertz

From the Dean

Dean Steve Swanson

Dean’s Corner

As the Class of 2019 launches their pharmacy career, the School of Pharmacy is as strong as ever, and we have much to be proud of.

Dean Swanson explains the “secret sauce” that makes our PharmD program so strong.

Read more

Photo Gallery

Brown County Pharmacy Alumni Event

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.

See the Green Bay photo gallery >>
People smiling and laughing at the Green Bay alumni event.

Future Entrepreneurs

Photo collage from the 2019 ShaRx Tank.

Back in the Tank

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.

Congrats, Graduates!

Commencement 2019

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.

Hooding ceremony >  |  PharmTox Breakfast >  |  PharmD Awards Breakfast >

Research in Action

Jay Ford, Cody Wenthur, and David Mott

Part 1: Overcoming Opioid Misuse

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.

Alumni Pharmacy Careers

Marnie Wickizer (PharmD ’03) is the managed care pharmacy residency program director and head of clinical programs at pharmacy benefit manager Navitus, where she uses her medication expertise to improve patient health at the population level.


Now Streaming

Sharing Pharmacy Careers

If you have Hulu, YouTube TV, Amazon Video, or another streaming service, keep an eye out for an ad from the UW–Madison School of Pharmacy featuring several of our alumni who are working hard to improve patient care.

There are more than 700 roles pharmacists can play on the health care team, and we want people to recognize the importance of each one and how the School can help future pharmacists get there.

Giving back

Lost Boys of Pharmacology

The Lost Boys of Pharmacology

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.


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.

Watch the full special online >

Class Notes

A grid of class notes submitters, including Eileen Murphy, Greeta Cherayil, and Kassie Foellinger.

Summer 2019 Class Notes

Relocating, expanding families, and pursuing hobbies ranging from music performance to quilting — your classmates are doing it all. Stay in the loop with your UW–Madison School of Pharmacy alumni peers through class notes.

Read what’s new >
Submit a class note >

Mark Your Calendar

Beth Martin, Brad Steiber, Ricky Strasser at the Golf Outing

21st Annual PAA/WSPS Golf Outing

Alumni, faculty, and current students unite for a day of golf, followed by dinner and time to visit with good friends and colleagues.

Friday, August 16, 10 am-5 pm

See more details and RSVP



Alumni are invited to participate in the career fair to connect with student pharmacists, share information about opportunities, and conduct interviews. Register here.


Celebrate alumni who are being honored for exceptional contributions to the School and their field, and reconnect over dinner and drinks. RSVP opens soon.


Join your classmates and colleagues at the Union South for a tailgate and viewing part for the football game against Iowa. RSVP opens soon.

Professional Development

Land O’ Lakes Conferences

Annual Bioanalytical Conference

Fluno Center, UWMadison | July 15-19, 2019

Annual Pharmaceutical Analysis Conference

Fluno Center, UWMadison | August 12-25, 2019

Drug Metabolism and Applied Pharmacokinetics Conference

Fluno Center, UWMadison | September 9-12, 2019

Pharmacy Conferences & Events

Health Challenges of Men and Women 

The Ingleside Hotel, Waukesha, WI | September 26, 2019

CMC Project Team Leadership

Pyle Center, UWMadison | October 7-10, 2019

2019 Pharmacy Invitational Conference on Antithrombotic Therapy

Las Vegas, NV | December 7, 2019

Stay Connected

Watch videos about our faculty and alumni on our YouTube channel, and get our latest updates on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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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.


Get in touch with us to share your class notes, thoughts, or story ideas.


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