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.
Fighting Multidrug-Resistant Pathogens
Conducting 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.
On 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.
Encouraging His Students to Push the Boundaries
Jacob Brown loves being active outdoors and taking trips to the Boundary Waters. His role as an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, Duluth, keeps him in close proximity to those activities and allows him to pursue his other passions of teaching and pharmacy.
Improving 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.
The 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.
From Egypt to Minnesota
Born and raised in Egypt, if Esam El-Fakahany had been told he’d one day be the associate dean for faculty affairs and graduate education at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, he almost certainly wouldn’t have believed it. Sure enough, that’s exactly where his journey has taken him.
Stopping 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.
Engaging 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.
Partnering 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.
Turning 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.
Developing 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.
Making 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.
Driven 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.
Taking 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.
Extending 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.
Understanding 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.
Driven 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.
Improving 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.
A Passion for Helping Underserved Populations
Self-described as an inquisitive person, Philbrick is always striving to learn how and why things work the way they do. Working at Bethesda Family Medicine Clinic, Philbrick serves underserved populations.
An 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.
Developing 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.
Opening 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.
Caring 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.
Bridging 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.
From Farming to Pharmacy
From the farm to the pharmacy, an appreciation for hard work has been a big factor in Todd Sorensen’s life.
On 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.
A 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.
From California to Minnesota and Many Places In Between
Born and raised in California, the last thing Tim Stratton envisioned himself doing was presenting to students in Duluth, Minnesota. Sure enough, though, that’s where Stratton ended up. Stratton has been a faculty member for the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy, Duluth for the last 16 years.
Eradicating 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.
Practicing 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.