Meet Our Faculty

Our nationally and internationally recognized faculty advance pharmacy education, research and practice to tackle society’s toughest healthcare problems. Read more about how their work is making a difference. 

Courtney Aldrich

Courtney AldrichFighting Multidrug-Resistant Pathogens

Courtney Aldrich’s research focuses on developing new antibacterial agents for multidrug-resistant pathogens, including the bacteria that cause the deadly disease tuberculosis.

Elizabeth Ambrose

Elizabeth AmbroseConducting Research to Address Real-World Threats and Emergencies

Elizabeth Ambrose’s research program focuses on designing countermeasures to biological and chemical warfare agents, specifically Bacillus anthracis (the causative agent of anthrax), the ricin toxin, and organophosphate nerve gases such as sarin, soman and the nerve agent VX.

Heather Blue

Heather BlueOn the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic in the Classroom and in the Emergency Department

Heather Blue helps address the high rates of opioid overdose deaths in St. Louis County by addressing the problem from all angles.

James Cloyd

James CloydImproving Care of Individuals Suffering from Rare Diseases

James Cloyd’s research and educational interests focus on medications used to treat rare pediatric neurological disorders, orphan drugs, antiepileptic drugs and clinical neuropharmacology.

Peter Dosa

dosaThe Quest to Halt Vision Loss and Blindness

Peter Dosa is working to halt glaucoma’s vision loss through the development of improved medications, which is especially critical for those populations disproportionately affected by glaucoma—African Americans, seniors age 60 and older, individuals with a family history of glaucoma and those with diabetes.

Carolyn Fairbanks

carolyn fairbanksStopping Pain Impulses Before They Reach the Brain

Carolyn Fairbanks seeks to keep painkilling drugs out of the brain in order to prevent drug addiction. “The burden of chronic pain for individuals and for our society, our community, is very great,” said Fairbanks. She explains that keeping pain impulses and potentially addictive painkilling drugs away from the brain means restricting them to peripheral areas like skin and internal organs or to the spinal cord.

 

Dave Ferguson

Dave FergusonEngaging Students in the Community to Address the Complex Issues of Substance Abuse

Dave Ferguson's “Drugs of Abuse” course helps students learn how to care for patients with substance abuse problems.

Kylee Funk

Kylee FunkPartnering with Other Health Professionals to Improve Medical Access

Kylee Funk practices at the University of Minnesota Health Nurse Practitioners Clinic in downtown Minneapolis. One of the only nurse practitioner-led clinics in the region at the time of its opening, the clinic aims to improve people’s access to qualified care providers in a diverse and growing community.

Oscar Garza

Oscar GarzaAddressing Critical Health Inequities

Oscar Garza addresses critical health inequities using a framework of social justice and University-Community Partnerships. He is building healthy communities by promoting economic, social, cultural, historical, and institutional equity.

Gunda Georg

Gunda GeorgTurning Discoveries Into New Therapies and Drugs

A world-renowned medicinal chemist strives to discover and develop bioactive compounds and to improve their potency, selectivity and pharmaceutical properties.

Brian Isetts

Brian IsettsDeveloping Medication Therapy Management Services

Brian Isetts is a national expert in studying the outcomes of medication therapy management (MTM) services. In 1999 Isetts was recognized for creating the University’s student-driven Pharmaceutical Care Experiential Clinic, which offered MTM services to patients under his direction. It was just the beginning of the college’s leadership in MTM.

Pamala Jacobson

Pamela JacobsonMaking Precision Medicine a Reality

In Pamala Jacobson’s dream, every person who needs medical treatment will receive drugs that work for them—not, as sometimes happens today, drugs that don’t.

Amanda Klein

Amanda KleinDriven to Find New Therapies for Chronic Pain

Amanda Klein conducts research on neurological pain. In particular, she is working on mechanisms of pain and downstream signalling components of opioid receptors. The goals of her research are to find new therapies for chronic pain, and alleviate opioid tolerance and withdrawal.

Ling Li

ling liTaking Alzheimer’s Disease Research in a New Direction

Ling Li is an expert in Alzheimer’s disease and atherosclerosis, age-related disorders leading to memory loss and heart attack, respectively. Her research focuses on cholesterol and related molecules and their impact on brain function as well as cardiovascular disease.

Ramaiah Muthyala

Ramaiah MuthyalaExtending the College’s Leadership in Orphan Drugs Across the Globe

Ramaiah Muthyala is the founder, president and CEO of the Indian Organization for Rare Diseases — an umbrella organization representing all rare diseases and patients in India.

Olihe Okoro

Olihe OkoroUnderstanding the Patient Context

“To effectively deliver care to the diverse patient population in the U.S., our students need to understand the impact of culture on patients’ health-related behaviors, and learn to be culturally sensitive and responsive,” Okoro said.

Laura Palombi

Laura PalombiDriven to End Substance Abuse in Rural Minnesota Communities

Laura Palombi partners with rural Minnesota communities to enhance opioid prevention and intervention efforts, build systems and supports to reduce overdoses, and expand understanding and options for treatment.

Chrystian Pereira

Chrystian PereiraImproving Public Health Through Community Service

Chrystian Pereira is committed to community service because he sees the positive difference that access to care makes in diverse, underserved and vulnerable populations.

Philip S. Portoghese

philip portogheseAn International Leader in Opioid Research 

Philip Portoghese has made significant contributions to the field of medicinal chemistry. His research focuses on the neurosciences, and has been critical to the understanding of pain management, addiction, and tolerance to morphine-like pain relievers.

Swayam Prabha

Swayam PrabhaDeveloping New Tools for Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Swayam Prabha is researching a therapy – the use of mesenchymal stem cells – that could have significantly reduced side effects and toxicity for both primary and recurrent ovarian cancer.

Paul Ranelli

Paul RanelliOpening Eyes to Perception of Medication

Paul Ranelli brings focus on medication outside of cost through art, which allows patients to openly tell the story of their relationship with medication.

Shellina Scheiner

Shellina ScheinerCaring for Older Adults in Transition Between Hospital and Home

Shellina Scheiner practices on an interprofessional team in a transitional care unit. By monitoring medications for older adults in transition between hospital and home, she ensures that medications are safe, effective and appropriate.

Mark Schneiderhan

Mark SchneiderhanBridging the Gap Between Mental Health Care and Primary Health Care Systems

Mark Schneiderhan is driven to include and provide recognition for pharmacists playing an active role in the mental health care field.

David Stenehjem

David StenehjemOn a Quest to Use Big Data to Stop AML

With experience in the scientific and clinical sides of pharmacy, David Stenehjem’s path has now shifted into the rapidly growing field of outcomes research.

Robert Straka

Robert StrakaA Longstanding Commitment to Public Engagement

Robert Straka partners with members of the Hmong community to increase inclusion and understanding about variations of genes that influence medication effectiveness.

Mike Swanoski

Mike SwanoskiResearching the impact of the loss of pharmacy services in rural communities

 
Senior Associate Dean Michael Swanoski has more than 30 years of experience as a geriatric pharmacist. His scholarly interests include examining medication utilization in geriatric patients using epidemiological research and analytical methods.

Carston R. Wagner

Carston Rick WagnerEradicating Cancer with Immune Cells Armed with Nanorings

Carston R. Wagner has proven we can use nanotechnology to transform our own immune cells into cancer serial killers by his team’s development of techniques that activate immune cells, specifically T-cells, to track down and eradicate tumor cells. This research highlights one of the most exciting areas in cancer therapy.

Sarah Westberg

Sarah westbergPracticing at an Advanced Level

Sarah Westberg fully manages medication use by initiating, modifying and discontinuing drug therapy under collaborative practice agreements with physicians and nurse practitioners.