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Updated January 31, 2019

The Auburn Pharmacist Online is an electronic newsletter providing news, events and updates from the Harrison School of Pharmacy. Have something you would like included? Email


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Tiger Giving Day Set for Feb. 21

Mark your calendars for Thursday, Feb. 21 for Auburn’s 2019 Tiger Giving Day. This year, the Harrison School of Pharmacy is supporting the newly-formed Auburn University Health Care Clinic and Education Center (AUHEC). The AUHEC is a collaboration between HSOP and the City of Auburn and will be housed within the Boykin Community Center, providing free or low-cost health care to area residents. The interprofessional clinic will also serve as a training center for students from a variety of health care disciplines. Additionally, the Office of the Vice President for Research is raising money for Dr. Amal Kaddoumi and her collaborative Alzheimer’s research. Watch for more information as the day nears.

Walgreens rep presents check to Dean Hansen

HSOP Wins Walgreens Diversity Award

The Harrison School of Pharmacy is a recipient of the Walgreens Diversity Award. The monetary award will support diversity initiatives at HSOP, including student support and scholarships for the 2019 pharmacy camp. Pictured is Jeff Rowland, area healthcare supervisor for Walgreens, presenting the check to Dean Richard Hansen.

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The Auburn Pharmacist is Out

The Fall 2018 issue of The Auburn Pharmacist was mailed out over the holidays. It features stories about our outstanding alumni, faculty, and students. If you did not receive your copy, we may not have the most up-to-date mailing address. To update your information, please visit so we can make sure to reach you in the future.

Lauren Woodie in lab

HSOP, College of Human Sciences Partner in 3+4 Program

A collaboration between the Auburn University College of Human Sciences and the Harrison School of Pharmacy has created a clear track to pharmacy school through nutrition science undergraduate study. To become a pharmacist through the CHS nutrition plan of study, students will take only three years of undergraduate classes before starting professional training at the Harrison School of Pharmacy. Learn more about this new way to make HSOP the destiantion for pharmacy education.

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We Want to Hear from You

One of our favorite things around the Harrison School of Pharmacy is when we hear from our alumni and friends. We would love to hear from you with updates on your practice, career, or life in general. Please send any updates or news items you have to

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Pharmacy Family Reunion Set for March 29-30

Mark your calendars for a weekend on The Plains! Come back to Auburn and enjoy a reunion with the pharmacy family, March 29-30. The Auburn Pharmacy Alumni Association and the HSOP Office of Development & Alumni Affairs welcome graduates back for a weekend of fun. Come home and spend a weekend socializing with other alumni and participate in a free continuing education opportunity. See a full schedule for the weekend and RSVP for this great event.

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HSOP Alum Beaty Named to Retail Association Board

Dustin Beaty, a 1998 graduate of the Harrison School of Pharmacy, was recently elected to the Alabama Retail Association’s board of directors. He began his two-year term on Jan. 1. Beaty founded Hospital Discount Pharmacy in Jasper in 2005. His wife, Shannon, began a corner boutique in the pharmacy in the summer of 2012. It has grown into two free-standing boutiques, one with an 800-square-foot coffee bar inside. Lavish Boutique opened in 2013 and Lavish Coffee Bar in 2016. The couple opened a second Lavish Boutique in August of this year in the Cullman Warehouse District.

Dennis Miller stands in pharmacy

Medical Arts Pharmacy Celebrates 50 Years

Medical Arts pharmacy, located in Opelika, is celebrating its 50th year in business. Opened in 1968 by HSOP graduate Louie Miller, the business is still in his family with 1983 HSOP graduate Dennis Miller at the helm. Read more from the Opelika Observer.

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Williams Named Chamber Person of the Year

Rodney Williams, a member of the HSOP Class of 1982, was recently named the Person of the Year by the Rainsville Chamber of Commerce. He is the owner of several pharmacies in Sylvania, Scottsboro, and Ider. Read more about Williams and his award in the Mountain Valley News.

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Hastings Earns Auburn's First R36 Grant

Tessa Hastings is the first Auburn University student to be awarded a highly competitive research grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A doctoral student in Auburn’s Harrison School of Pharmacy, Hastings is researching how Alabama pharmacies can share vaccine information with each other so they know how many residents are actually receiving vaccines and how to educate and remind the public to re-vaccinate.

Thamer Al Qurashi

Al-Qurashi Fights Criminals in Winning 3MT Presentation

More than 30 percent of all global deaths are caused by heart-related diseases, which are mainly triggered by coronary artery atherosclerosis. For those that are treated, the re-blockage of those arteries remains a major issue. For Thamer Al-Qurashi, a graduate student in the Harrison School of Pharmacy pursuing a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences (pharmacology option), treating these blockages was the subject of his presentation titled “Police vs. Criminals in Atherosclerosis” in the 2018 Three Minute Thesis competition. Al-Qurashi took both first place and the people’s choice award in the competition held on Nov. 15.

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Mobile Students Give Back on Giving Tuesday

As part of Giving Tuesday on Nov. 6, students on the Mobile campus worked to give back to the community through a free health fair with Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy, coordinated by APhA-ASP and SNPhA. Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy is a non-profit pharmacy in Mobile that provides prescriptions to those with low income and no insurance. The pharmacy operates through donations, grants, and volunteers to provide maintenance prescriptions for chronic conditions at no cost to those in need. At this year’s event, students provided free blood pressure screenings, medication counseling, and disease state education to Ozanam’s patients. Giving Tuesday was a rewarding way for students to give back to their community as well as an opportunity for teaching and learning pharmacy skills.

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Govindarajulu, Pinky, and Ramesh Win ADDF Scholarships

Manoj Govindarajulu, Priyanka Das Pinky, and Sindhu Ramesh, graduate students in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development, were recently recognized with Outstanding Young Investigator Scholarships from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation. Govindarajulu and Pinky work in the labs of Dr. Raj Amin and Dr. Vishnu Suppiramaniam, while Ramesh works with Dr. Tim Moore. They will be presented with the scholarship at the 13th Annual Drug Discovery for Neurodegeneration Conference: An Educational Course on Translating Research into Drugs, March 17-19 in Long Beach, California.

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Rho Chi Chapter Named Finalist for Achievement Award

The Harrison School of Pharmacy chapter of Rho Chi was recently selected as a finalist for the Chapter Achievement Award. The winning chapter will be announced and recognized at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Rho Chi Society in Seattle, Washington tentatively scheduled for Sunday, March 24 and held in conjunction with the APhA2019 Annual Meeting. The Chapter Achievement Award recognizes the full scope of chapter activities as documented in the Annual Chapter Report.

HORP Students and Faculty Published in AJPE

Students and faculty from the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy were recently published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. Titled “Implementation of a Medicare Plan Selection Assistance Program Through a Community Partnership,” the article discusses the Medicare assistance programs currently offered by HSOP. Student Lindsey Hohmann was the lead author and was joined by fellow students Tessa Hastings and Stuart McFarland. Faculty members Dr. Josh Hollingsworth and Dr. Salisa Westrick also contributed.

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Mobile Students and Faculty Volunteer at Project Homeless Connect

Faculty and students from the Harrison School of Pharmacy’s Mobile campus volunteered last week at Project Homeless Connect. Mobile Project Homeless Connect is designed to provide necessary services for the homeless of Mobile and Baldwin Counties. The event provided free transportation, legal assistance, employment resources, state IDs, housing assistance, veteran resources, health and wellness services, dental and vision screenings, and mainstream resources, all at no cost to those attending.

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Computing Rx: Dr. Li Chen Fuses Pharmacy and Technology

For someone with a background in biology, if you were to ask them to pair another science with it you could expect options like chemistry, zoology or maybe pharmacology. What you would not expect is computer science. For Harrison School of Pharmacy faculty member Dr. Li Chen, it was a logical combination. Chen’s expertise in these areas was recognized recently with a New Investigator Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) for his project titled, "Machine Learning Methods to Evaluate Safety and Efficacy of FDA-Approved Orphan Drugs."

Kimberly Braxton Lloyd standing in a hallway

Dr. Kimberly Braxton Lloyd Offers Answers on Opioid Legislation

In November, President Donald Trump signed into law legislation regarding the nation’s opioid crisis. Assistant Dean for Health Services Dr. Kimberly Braxton Lloyd has been active in the battle against the epidemic, spearheading a program to arm and train first responders with naloxone, the opioid antidote. She offered information on the legislation as part of Auburn’s Expert Answers series.

Miranda Reed in lab

Miranda Reed Receives Gift From Biohaven Pharmaceuticals

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and, while there is no cure, early detection and treatment is critical for those afflicted with the disease. For Dr. Miranda Reed, associate professor in the Department of Drug Discovery and Development, her work focuses on the critical time in the early stages of Alzheimer’s as she works to identify those indicators. Her work was recently recognized by Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, who made a gift to her lab to further research.

Jan Kavookjian talks with a student

Talking About Diabetes: Kavookjian Uses Communication to Improve Health Outcomes

More than 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes, including approximately 193,000 under the age of 20. With the problem so prevalent, the Harrison School of Pharmacy’s Jan Kavookjian is using an innovative approach to work with adolescents suffering from the disease. In recognition of her work in the field, Kavookjian was recently awarded a Competitive Outreach Scholarship Grant from the Auburn University Office of the Vice President for University Outreach.

Heather Whitley

Whitley Selected to ADA Committee

Dr. Heather Whitley, associate clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was recently selected to the American Diabetes Association’s National Education Recognition Program Committee. She has been appointed for a two-year term that runs from Jan. 1, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2020. The purpose of the committee is to conduct Medicare certified recognition programs for formal diabetes education programs and continue efforts to enhance quality diabetes education.

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Lea Eiland

Chung and Eiland Receive Breeden Grants

Drs. Allison Chung and Lea Eiland were recently recognized as awardees of the 2019 Daniel F. Breeden Grant. The grants fund projects that seek to impact student learning and enhance teaching excellence across Auburn’s campus. The project is titled “Impacting student pharmacists’ learning through the use of pediatric simulation models.” Drs. Eiland and Chung hope to purchase two half-body pediatric simulation trainers to be incorporated into two new pediatric pharmacy electives. Integrating simulation into these revised courses will provide an experiential level of teaching and assessment within classroom courses. Students will be able to practice physical assessment skills, such as listening to real-life heart rates and breathing sounds.

Rusty Arnold

Arnold Co-edits Journal Issue

The November edition of the journal Chemico-Biological Interactions was edited by Dr. Rusty Arnold, professor in Drug Discovery and Development, and one of his collaborators, Dr. Brian Cummings from the University of Georgia. The pair edited the issue that focuses on nanotechnology, biology and toxicology. Chemico-Biological Interactions publishes research reports and reviews articles that examine the molecular, cellular, and/or biochemical basis of toxicologically relevant outcomes. Special emphasis is placed on toxicological mechanisms associated with interactions between chemicals and biological systems. To read the full issue, view on the journal’s website.

Angela Calderon

Calderon Co-Authors Book Chapter

Dr. Angela Calderón, associate professor in Drug Discovery and Development, has recently co-authored a collaborative book chapter along with Jesse and Jordan McLeroy, undergraduates from the Department of Chemical Engineering. The title of the book chapter is “Maternal Health in Central America: The Role of Medicinal Plants in the Pregnancy-Related Health and Well-Being of Indigenous Women in Central America.” In this book chapter, Dr. Calderón’s team contributed with the section on medicinal plants used by indigenous women in Panama. The chapter has been published in the book “Maternal Death and Pregnancy-Related Morbidity Among Indigenous Women of Mexico and Central America: An Anthropological, Epidemiological, and Biomedical Approach.” The book editor is David A. Schwartz and it is published by Springer International Publishing.

Pharmacy Practice Faculty Published in AJPE

Faculty from the Department of Pharmacy Practice were recently published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. Titled “Development and Validation of a Rubric to Evaluate Diabetes SOAP Note Writing in APPE,” the article addresses evaluation of SOAP notes during the advanced pharmacy practice experience. Dr. Miranda Andrus was the lead author and was joined by fellow HSOP faculty members Drs. Kristi Kelley, Pamela Stamm, Emily McCoy, Katelin Lisenby, Heather Whitley, Nicole Slater, Dana Carroll, Kelly Hester, Allison Helmer, and Cherry Jackson.

Edward Chou

Chou Visits Pharmacy School in Taiwan

Dr. Edward Chou, associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, visited the China Medical University College of Pharmacy in Taiwan in December, sharing his work and experiences in outcomes research and big data-related studies. Additionally, he gave two talks on research methods to graduate students of the college of pharmacy. His visit also initiated interest in research collaborations between HSOP and the CMU College of Pharmacy and the Big Data Center in CMU hospital (CMUH).

As a result of the visit, Dr. Chou was invited to be part of a planned grant proposal as one of the international research collaborators, titled “Adding patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in clinical practice -cancer patients with new technology medications as example.” Dr. Chou will also be appointed as an adjunct associate research fellow in the Big Data Center at CMUH to collaborate on research projects that aim to identify optimal care and improve quality of care with applications of artificial intelligence for vulnerable populations.

Last Updated: January 31, 2019