March 2019

A Message from the Dean

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Dean Welage

The College of Pharmacy is committed to advancing pharmacy practice in Minnesota. We are continuing our active partnership with the Minnesota Pharmacists Association and the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists on the Minnesota Pharmacy Alliance (MPA).

The mission of the MPA is to seek legislative changes that will allow pharmacists in Minnesota to practice to the limits of their education and to expand patient accesses to care. MPA is now hard at work on initiatives for the 2019 legislative session, which include:

  • Authorizing pharmacists to prescribe opioid antagonists, tobacco cessation treatment, and hormonal contraceptives
  • Expanding pharmacy‐based medication administration and injection services
  • Patient Fair Practices legislation to bring transparency to the drug pricing and pharmacy benefit marketplace and assure PBMs operate in the interest of patients, consumers, and taxpayers
  • Legislation that will bring Minnesota’s Fee‐for‐Service Medicaid program into compliance with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Covered‐Outpatient Drug Rule

MPA members are working with other pharmacists, other health professions, the Department of Health, and the Board of Pharmacy to make sure that the pharmacy profession presents a united front to legislators. You can read more details on MPA’s initiatives

College faculty are also involved in other legislative initiatives including:

  • Expanding capability of pharmacists as mental health providers
  • Advocating for representation of pharmacy in healthcare workforce committees
  • Pharmacogenomics projects, including establishing a statewide task force to lead the process of making pharmacogenomics available across the state to reduce adverse reactions due to medications and to improve healthcare outcomes; establishing a Board of Pharmacogenomic Experts to inform the state about optimal use of pharmacogenomic markers; creating a central coordinating resource where individuals may share their pharmacogenomic results with all of their healthcare providers, physicians and pharmacists; establishing a pilot Pharmacogenomic Study in Minnesota Minority Populations.

We also have a very active student group that is working to establish a prescription drug repository program. You can read their story here

I am excited to see the work MPA and our college is doing to persuade legislators of our value and accomplish what is best for patients and the profession. It is an exciting time for Minnesota

I strongly encourage you to contact your legislators and voice your support for these initiatives. (Find your representatives and contact information)

Best wishes,

Lynda S. Welage, Dean

Celebrating Leaders: Marsha Millonig to Receive Weaver Medal

Marsha Millonig

Marsha Millonig, a practicing pharmacist who works with both independent and chain pharmacies, has been selected to receive the Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal, a distinguished award that recognizes service to education, the profession, research and the community. All are invited to a reception honoring her on Tuesday, April 9, 4-6 p.m., University Hall of McNamara Alumni Center on the Twin Cities campus. Please RSVP online

Leading the Way in Early Detection of Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimers Disease

The University and a medical imaging company recently announced a collaboration and licensing agreement that will allow the company to further develop and bring to market a University technology for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. The collaboration provides RetiSpec, a startup based in Toronto, Canada, with exclusive access to an imaging system developed by researchers Robert Vince, Swati More, and James Beach in the college's Center for Drug Design (CDD) and licensed through U of M Technology Commercialization.
"This is the first diagnostic method developed to detect signs of Alzheimer’s well before plaques form in the brain and patients begin to exhibit the outwardly observable symptoms of this devastating disease, such as disorientation and memory loss," said Vince, CDD director and professor of pharmacy. "We are excited by the potential early detection holds in giving existing treatments the best chance of success and opening the doors to the development of new drug therapies." Read more.

Alumni Awards Recipients

Congratulations to the 2018 Alumni Awards recipients, who were recognized at a reception on Nov. 3:

  • Mark Edwards and Jeff Shapiro: Pharmacy Alumni Society Mentors of the Year
  • Johanna Katroscik: Pharmacy Alumni Society Mentee of the Year recipient
  • Paul Ranelli: Pharmacy Alumni Society Faculty Recognition Award
  • Henry Blissenbach: Pharmacy Alumni Society Distinguished Pharmacist
  • Dee Weaver: Century Mortar Club Friend of the College
  • Bill Hodapp: Spirit of the Century Mortar Club Founders' Award
  • Kyler Anderson and Kayla Mills: Century Mortar Club Student Award recipients
  • Bill Hodapp, Julie Johnson, Cheri Perlmutter, Ron Sawchuk: Professional and External Relations’ Hats Off Award
  • Scott Setzepfandt: Alumni Service Award
  • Djenane Oliveira and Mateus Alves: Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals

Faculty Receive Prominent Awards and Recognition

ramaiah award

Ramaiah Muthyala, research associate professor, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the India Association of Minnesota in recognition of his outstanding work on awareness and policy advocacy for rare diseases for the Asian Indian community. Read more



jon schommer

Jon Schommer, associate department head and professor, Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems, will receive the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Research Achievement Award in the Pharmaceutical Sciences at the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition in Seattle, March 22–25. The award recognizes his outstanding scholarship and research in the areas of economic, social and administrative sciences. Read more


natalia tretyakova

Natalia Tretyakova, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Medicinal Chemistry, was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was elected in the Section on Pharmaceutical Sciences for distinguished contributions to the field of chemical carcinogenesis and chemical biology. She now joins seven other AAAS Fellows from the College of Pharmacy: Gunda Georg, Patrick Hanna, Rodney Johnson, Philip Portoghese, Tom Shier, Robert Vince, and Carston (Rick) Wagner. Read more.



Robert Turesky, professor of Medicinal Chemistry, was appointed the Masonic Chair in Cancer Causation. Turesky is well known for his participation in the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer report linking processed and grilled meats to increased incidence of colorectal cancer. His research focuses on hazardous chemicals found in food, tobacco smoke, and medicinal herbs which metabolize in our bodies and cause genetic damage that can lead to cancer. Read more 

UMN AMCP Chapter Named Chapter of the Year


This past fall, the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) University of Minnesota chapter received recognition by being named chapter of the year at the AMCP Nexus 2018 in Orlando, Florida. The chapter is a student-run organization that promotes managed care education and appreciation through the many events they host throughout the year. Read more.

New University Leadership

joan t a gabel

The University’s Board of Regents voted unanimously to appoint Joan T.A. Gabel its 17th President. She will assume the office on July 1. Gabel will be the first woman in the University's 167-year history to hold its highest office. She succeeds Eric Kaler, who has served as the U’s president since 2011. Learn more about Gabel.

Join us at the APhA Meeting in Seattle

125 years

All alumni and friends are invited to join us at the Minnesota Night Pharmacy Reception: Celebrating 125 Years of Excellence at the American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting & Exposition on Sunday, March 24, 5:30-7 p.m., Cirrus Room, 35th floor, Pike Tower, Sheraton Grand Seattle. No RSVP required. Questions? Contact Jessica Ward-Denison at

Free Online Learning Tool: How to Administer Naloxone in an Opioid Overdose Situation

opioid overdose epidemic

The college recently launched an online learning tool for pharmacists and providers who wish to learn more about factors that increase individuals' risk of opioid overdose, identify signs and symptoms of opioid overdose, and understand the pros and cons of different naloxone formulations. This free online presentation reviews resources patients may use to access naloxone, describe legal considerations for prescribing and dispensing of naloxone in Minnesota, and discuss available naloxone and opioid resources for healthcare providers and patients. CE credits available.

Supporting Students Through Scholarships

GTM day

You can brighten the future of Minnesota pharmacists by making a gift in support of today's pharmacy students at the college. Your online gift will provide student scholarships as well as program support such as our pace-setting initiatives advancing pharmacy practice. Thank you on behalf of the entire college.

Join Us: March 31 - April 13 #RXWRITING Challenge


All pharmacy writers are invited to participate in the Pharmacy Writers' 14-Day Challenge. Participation is simple, just commit to:

  1. Write 30 minutes per day (M-F)  for these two weeks. Any kind of writing counts, e.g., outlines, drafts, feedback to co-authors, revisions, responding to reviews. 
  2. Celebrate your progress, in some small way, each day that you write. 

Learn more about the challenge and sign up.  Also follow the @RxWritersUnite Twitter feed!

Please Join Us!


April 3 (Twin Cities campus) and April 4 (Duluth campus)
Melendy Lecture presented by Jacquelyn Bainbridge, professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Colorado, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Department of Neurology School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus. 12:15-1:15 p.m. More information

May 3
Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance Annual Auction, 6:30-10:00 p.m., TCF Bank Stadium Indoor Club Room, Twin Cities campus. Theme: 1920s Speakeasy. More information

Aug. 25
CoP at the State Fair, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., U of M building, located 2 blocks west of gate 5 on Dan Patch Ave.