Highlights of Fall 2014

ACPE names pharmacy dean chair-elect for international commission

Indra K. Reddy, Ph.D., professor and founding dean of the Texas A&M Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, was named vice chair/chair-elect of the International Commission for the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) from Feb. 1, 2015, to Jan. 31, 2016.  Reddy serves as an international commissioner through the International Service Program for 2013 through 2016. In this role, he serves with site evaluation teams to improve and certify programs at colleges of pharmacy around the world. He will represent the International Commission as chair during ACPE board of directors’ meetings from Feb. 1, 2016, to Jan. 31, 2017.  In June, ACPE granted pharmacy degree program certification to programs in India, Cyprus, and Saudi Arabia. Recently certified programs include, Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara University Colleges of Pharmacy in India, Near East University Faculty of Pharmacy in Northern Cyprus, and King Faisal University College of Clinical Pharmacy in Saudi Arabia.

Zhu receives T. Nagai Postdoctoral Research Achievement Award

The Controlled Release Society recently recognized Dr. Lin Zhu, assistant professor, for his contributions to the field of drug delivery awarding him the T. Nagai Postdoctoral Research Achievement Award. The major goals of Zhu’s research are to improve drug effectiveness and minimize side effects of large and small molecule drugs for cancer therapy. This prestigious award recognizes the postdoctoral researcher, Zhu, and his mentor, Vladimir P. Torchilin, Ph.D., distinguished professor at Northeastern University.

Bremick receives college teaching award for contributions to student pharmacists

A faculty member who exemplifies the pharmacy profession’s high expectations for professionalism, concern for others and dedication to service received one of the highest Texas A&M University honors that can be bestowed upon a faculty or staff member. Mark Bremick, B.S. Pharm., instructor of pharmacy practice, received The Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for College-Level Teaching in August for his contributions to educating professional student pharmacists.

Walgreens donates $10,000 for students

Walgreens awarded a $10,000 to the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy to fund the college’s 2014-2015 scholarships, programming and curriculum initiatives to support increasing diversity among professional student pharmacists. Roy Armstrong, market pharmacy director from Houston, and Oscar L. Ortiz, R.Ph., pharmacy supervisor in Corpus Christi, presented the funds Dec. 3 to Dean Reddy.

Students reach out to South Texas at Project SHINE

The interprofessional team for Project SHINE recently saw more than 80 patients in South Texas at the Dr. Javier Saenz Middle School in Penitas. More than 60 patients received free flu shots supported by a grant from Healthy Kids, Healthy Families, an initiative designed to improve the health and wellness of at least 1 million children through community investments. Project SHINE was developed by students from the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy to provide preventative health care services to medically underserved areas in South Texas. The project not only provides preventative care, it is an interprofessional educational opportunity for medical, nursing, pharmacy and other health professional students. Students provided cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure screenings, as well as immunizations, along with patient counseling – all free of charge. The student chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists plans to have another Project SHINE health fair in the colonias area on April 18, 2015.                                  

SSHP receives national award for patient counseling

Student Society of Health-System Pharmacy (SSHP) was nationally recognized at the 2014 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting for their innovative discharge counseling program at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi – Memorial in Corpus Christi, Texas.  SSHP received the Outstanding Professional Development Project Award for their novel program called Medication Discharge Counseling. Students from the college’s SSHP chapter extended the hospital’s program in a valuable way by providing weekend coverage at the Level II Trauma Center at CHRISTUS Spohn. Students helped teach patients the appropriate administration of Lovenox, which is used to prevent blood clots, proper use of nebulizers to help with breathing problems, and optimizing medication reconciliation.

Students attend PCCA Compounding Lab Boot Camp

First-year professional student pharmacists Devina Escobedo, Honey Patel, Kacie MacFarland and Leylah Azali attended the PCCA Compounding Lab Boot Camp in Houston. In this course students get to do hands-on laboratory work while completing 11 dosage forms, focusing on lollipops, lip balms, troches, and transdermal delivery systems. PCCA Boot Camp’s goal is to introduce students to new dosage forms and inspire students to consider at pharmacy compounding as a possible career path.

Students donate Hoops for Hope proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Hospital

Phi Delta Chi organized the Hoops for Hope Basketball Tournament in November at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Recreation Center. Hoops for Hope raised $150 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Group collects canned goods for food bank

Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy professional student pharmacists collected more than 670 canned food for the Texas Pharmacy Association food drive. Students donated the food to the First Baptist Church in Kingsville for the annual holiday food bank. The students brought in canned food donations for three weeks in hopes of donating as much food as they could for those in need. But the giving does not stop there. The faculty and staff matched the student donations.

First-year professional student pharmacists present posters 

The Class of 2018 professional student pharmacists shared their Healthy People Health Disparities Posters in the lobby of the Kingsville Campus and in the Medical Library Sciences on the College Station Campus. One group decided to do their presentation on melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer. One of the students in the group has a sister who was diagnosed with melanoma, this personal experience was the inspiration for their poster.

Students share internship experience with P1s, P2s

Third-year professional student pharmacist Amanda Kennedy who is an intern with Walgreens Pharmacy in Corpus Christi, Texas, shared her experience at A Day in the Life of an Intern. Kennedy, who is from Houston, expressed how much she learned during her internship and how her preceptor gives her the opportunity to make designs and work on her own. Students at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy asked questions, listened to experienced interns and shared lunch as they participate in “A Day in the Life of an Intern” in November. This is the fourth year the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy has had this event. About 10 pharmacies were asked to take advantage of this time. This year the college had three retail pharmacies share with students: CVS Health, H-E-B, Walgreens, and Walmart.  

Texas A&M joins forces with Lichtenstein Foundation to stop diabetes in its tracks

In an effort to stop diabetes before it starts, the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy is collaborating with the Morris L. Lichtenstein Jr. Medical Research Foundation and Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi. Mahua Choudhury, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, will spearhead the project, which seeks to predict the early onset of diabetes and could make a noticeable difference in preventive treatment protocols for the disease.

Facility and Staff receive five year awards

The Texas A&M Health Science Center honored faculty and staff for five years of service with the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy. Brett Giroir, M.D., executive vice president and CEO of the Texas A&M Health Science Center, in January presented the service awards with Indra K. Reddy, Ph.D., professor and founding dean of the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy. The recipients, who have been with the college since 2009, were Mark Bremick, instructor of pharmacy practice, Elaine Chow, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice based in Houston, Cathy Lau Koo, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice based in Houston, Andrea Luce, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice based in Houston, Heather Miller, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice based in Round Rock, Texas, Victoria Pho, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice based in Houston, Rob Hutchison, Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice on the College Station Campus, Maria de Leon, director of admission, and Stephen Gonzalez, program assistant for the Office of Experiential Education.

Dean Reddy shares state of the college

Indra K. Reddy, Ph.D., professor and founding dean of the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy, presented the annual State of the College Address on Sept. 11. In his address, the dean highlighted the growth and accomplishments of the college for this past year; shared the recognition and accolades of students, faculty and staff; and reviewed the college’s priorities for the next year.  The college welcomed the Class of 2018, which includes 86 students on the Kingsville Campus, and for the first time in the college’s history, an additional 33 students at the Bryan-College Station Campus. The dean reminded the college about the strategic expansion as a one college, one curriculum, one accreditation and two-campus model. The dean reiterated the college’s commitment to continue to provide the best pharmacy education at the most affordable rate for students and families.

College receives grant to support service learning events

The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy received a $5,000 grant on Sept. 10 from the Coastal Bend Community Foundation to enhance service learning projects for professional student pharmacists at the Del Mar Economic Development Center in Corpus Christi. Since 2011, students have provided vital services to patients in underserved communities and touched more than 50,000 patients’ lives.

College offers rotation for students interested in treating drug addictions

The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy is offering an elective to students in substance abuse Advance Pharmacy Practice Experiential (APPE) rotations at the South Texas Substance Abuse Recovery Services in Corpus Christi. This six-week experience serves as the culmination of an experience giving students a glimpse of the other side of drug addiction, the illicit use of both prescription and street drugs.

Students take back pounds of old, unwanted drugs

Professional student pharmacists volunteered with the DEA in a successful TAKE BACK drive at eight locations in the Corpus Christi area. Community members brought in old or unwanted prescription medications. The DEA collected a total of 1,152.5 pounds of prescription medications.

Nina Brinkley-Abraham successfully defended her Master of Science thesis on “Lindane Exposure Impairs Ca2+-Mediated Vascular Reactivity” at Texas Southern University on research she completed in the laboratory of Dr. Bret Bessac.

Sarai Salinas obtained bachelor’s and master degrees at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) in biological and health sciences.  Sarai completed her thesis on “Electrophysiological Characterization of the Drosophila ERG K+ Channel” as part of the collaboration between TAMUK and the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy. TAMUK professors, Dr. Rudi Bohm and Dr. Enrique Massa, teamed up with Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy’s Dr. Bret Bessac for the project after receiving a grant in 2012 to complete the research.

Kumar, Mishra receive funding for measuring drug effectiveness

Dr. Narendra Kumar, associate professor, and Dr. Jayshree Mishra, research assistant professor, have teamed up to produce a technology that finds new drugs to attack disease cells and – at the same time – protect healthy cells fighting infection and inflammation. The researchers are involved in the development of technology to measure the effectiveness of novel drugs used in prevention of transplant rejections or cancer treatments. The researchers are supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health-Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR/STTR), in collaboration with Michigan-based 21st Century Therapeutic Inc.

Dean from Saudi Arabia shares experiences with faculty

Yousif Abdu Asiri, M.S., Ph.D., dean and professor of clinical pharmacy, with the College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, presented an overview of the education of pharmacy at King Saud University at the Journal & Data Club at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy.

Dean Reddy delivers speech in Illinois 

Dean Reddy served as the keynote speaker for the white coat ceremony at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Pharmacy in Edwardsville, Ill. He addressed the first-year pharmacy students and audience with an inspirational speech, highlighting the importance of dreaming big, setting goals, staying focused, striving for excellence, humility, and positivity.

Students learn about future role of pharmacists

Professional student pharmacists at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy with Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP) featured guest speakers, Alexis Omari, Pharm.D., and Delaney Ivy, Pharm.D, who shared about the initiative for the future role of pharmacists. More and more pharmacists are providing services that extend well beyond the traditional roles of their profession – pharmacists serve as trusted care providers and an integral part of a patient’s health care team.

Dr. Srinath Palakurthi, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and director of graduate studies, served as the co-chair of the scientific session, Experimental Chemotherapy at the Ninth International Conference of Anticancer Research Conference, Oct. 6-11, 2014, in Greece.

Dr. Fadi Alkhateeb, director of assessment, has been appointed as a member of the 2015 AACP Interim Annual Meeting Program Organizing Committee Member in Austin, Texas. In addition, Dr. Alkhateeb has been appointed as a member of NABP /FPGEE / PCOA Curricula Survey Project for 2014-2015.

Dai Lu, Ph.D., is a member of editorial board for the SM Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics.