College News

College Receives Contract to Continue Work on Contraceptive Development

The University of Minnesota has been awarded a $6.5 million contract by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s (NICHD) Contraceptive Development Program (CDP) in order to maintain its Chemical Synthesis Facility (CSF). NICHD is part of the National Institutes of Health. CDP conducts research in the synthesis and testing of a broad spectrum of male and female contraceptive agents. The ultimate goal is to develop reliable, reversible, affordable and safe contraceptive drugs available to the American public. Read the full release and see local news coverage of this story. The contract is co-led by Dr. Vadim Gurvich, associate director, and Dr. Gunda Georg, founding director, Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development.

College Receives Grant to Continue Diversifying Workforce

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy has announced a grant of $750,000 over three years from The McKesson Foundation. The donation will support the launch of two initiatives designed to better support minority doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students and to enhance the diversity of the pharmacy workforce. Read more about these initiatives.

A Stronger Dose of Community Engagement

Dr. Robert Straka of the College of Pharmacy found significant differences in how efficiently medications are metabolized by members of Minnesota's Hmong community. Now, CTSI A-PReP scholar Tou Thao is helping him see whether these findings hold true in another Hmong community. Read more about this important community engagement work. 

College Receives Grant to Evaluate the NCPDP/HL7 Specialty Medication Enrollment Standard 

The NCPDP Foundation Board of Trustees announced it has awarded a $102,300 research grant to the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy to evaluate the quality of data obtained from EHRs using the NCPDP/HL7 Specialty Medication Enrollment Standard. 

“The support from the NCPDP Foundation provides a key opportunity to assess data quality and usefulness in the specialty medication area which is an important and growing area of pharmacy practice,” said Terrence Adam, RPh, MD, PhD, associate professor, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Read NCPDP’s full news release.

Call for Weaver Medal Nominations

Weaver medal

The Weaver Medal Review Committee is now accepting nominations for the Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal for Distinguished Contributions to Pharmacy Education, Research or Outreach in Minnesota. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to submit nominations.  

Please use this nomination form to complete nominations and upload the supporting information. Please note: all documents should be uploaded as ONE PDF. Questions can be directed to Jessica Ward-Denison. For more information, see the Weaver Medal webpage.

The deadline for nominations is March 3, 2023.

MNovationRx Features Discussion of Diversity 

MNovationRX watermark

More than 50 people joined the college for its second MNovationRx Showcase in late October, featuring a discussion of the college’s work in building equity in education and health. 

“Recognizing the need to educate and prepare a more diverse pharmacy workforce relies not only on recruitment of underrepresented students for the profession,” said Dean Lynda Welage, “but also on  intentionally fostering inclusive and supportive environments that offer learners role models, like faculty, preceptors, and mentors from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. The MNovationRx program was designed to highlight some of the work we are doing to address these needs.”

Visit the MNovationRx Webpage to watch video components from this and previous showcase events and to learn more about upcoming showcase opportunities. Our next event is scheduled for Monday, April 10 from 12-1 p.m. CDT and will feature a discussion on the importance of the intersection of the arts and sciences

Student News

The University’s Center for Interprofessional Health (CIH) and the 1Health interprofessional education team have announced that Aubrey Bockorny, P2, Carly (Wright) Schneider, P4, and Chenwei Yan, P1, have been accepted to the IPE Scholars Program this year. This program is intended for students who wish to pursue additional interprofessional education opportunities that will allow them to deepen their interprofessional learning and enhance their interprofessional skill development.

Thanks to the generous support of the AAPP (American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists) Foundation, AAPP Past Presidents' Destiny Fund, and AAPP members, four UMN College of Pharmacy PharmD students join 24 of their peers from around the country in receiving registration grants to attend AAPP 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Recipients were highly recommended and selected based on the merits of their applications. Congratulations to the following:

Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Calvin Sun

Dr. Calvin Sun, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers, and recognizes efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications that are scientifically or socially distinguished. Sun was elected in the Section on Pharmaceutical Sciences for distinguished contributions to the field of drug delivery and dosage form design.

Keri Hager

Dr. Keri Hager, has been selected as an inductee into the U of M Academy for Excellence in Clinical Practice.

Dr. Carolyn Fairbanks has been named one of the new associate editors of The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Dr. Kylee Funk was featured in the MN Daily story, “New honors seminar dives into complex topic of diabetes.”

The work of Dr. Gunda Georg and her team were featured as the BBC Science Focus “Best Science Story of 2022.” In addition, they have been part of numerous media stories (too many to list!) for this work.

Dr. David Margraf was interviewed by KARE11 for the story “Drug prescribed for type 2 diabetes in short supply over weight loss hype.” 

Dr. Stephen Schondelmeyer was interviewed for numerous news sources about the children’s over-the-counter medicine shortages in parts of the U.S., including ABC News, WFTV9 and ABC News again.

Dr. Jason Varin has been named a 2022-2023 NACDS Foundation Faculty Scholar.


Dr. Andrea (Andie) Larson

Dr. Andrea (Andie) Larson, joined the college as a senior strategic initiative lead, effective January 3, 2023.

Dr. Margaret (Maggie) Ricco

Dr. Margaret (Maggie) Ricco, joined the college as a senior strategic initiative lead, effective January 3, 2023.