UC hosts inaugural pharmacotherapy, personalized health care conference

Event showcases innovative pharmaceutical science in modern commercial product development

The University of Cincinnati celebrated much success as host to the inaugural Pharmaceutical/Cosmetic Science, Pharmacotherapy and Personalized Healthcare conference in early April. 

Exceeding expectations, more than 150 professionals and students from UC and around the country convened in UC's James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy to discuss the current impact of pharmacogenomics on drug development.

Participants included students and faculty from UC's Colleges of Pharmacy, Allied Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Engineeing and Applied Sciences, Medicine and Nursing — all taking part in interactive discussions revolving around this year's theme, "Pharmaceutical Science, Pharmacotherapy and Personalized Healthcare."

While the purpose of the conference focused on research-based discussions of predictive, preventive and therapeutic medicine, other topics looked closely at how personalized information integrated from genetic factors, environmental exposure and nutritional status can help provide more optimal patient care.

The conference also offered unique opportunities for postdoctoral and graduate trainees to present their research work in poster or symposia format.

Making a difference

Three men stand together at a pharmacy conference.

From left, Greg Hillebrand, UC associate professor of pharmacy; Ed Smith, research fellow and prolific inventor at Procter & Gamble; and Gerald Kasting, UC professor of pharmacy.

With a focus on the current roles of pharmaceutical science in modern commercial product development, the conference shed light on understanding the current impacts of pharmacogenomics on drug discovery, development and clinical utilization.

"Because of the small scale, the conference fostered a more interactive atmosphere," said Bingfang Yan, PhD, DVM, professor and associate dean for research and innovation in UC's James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy. "The symposia, keynote addresses and poster presentations generated a great deal of intense and valuable discussions on optimal ways pharmacy and industry can work together to solve modern problems."

Industry representatives included professionals from Kroger, Procter & Gamble, Kao, Pfizer and UC Health.

Keynotes address new era in drug discovery

Six women stand together at a pharmacy conference.

Eileen Dolan, fourth from left deputy director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, is a pioneer of pharmacogenomics and a trailblazer for women scientists. From left, Sarah Yu, Highland Heights High School, poster presenter; Joan Garrett, UC associate professor of pharmacy; Dolan; Nihal El Rouby, UC assistant professor of pharmacy; and Cai Li, UC College of Medicine visiting scholar.

Those leading the keynote dialogue included:

  • Eileen Dolan, deputy director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, speaking on pharmacogenomics and pharmacotherapy
  • Aaron Bender, assistant director of Medicinal Chemistry at Vanderbilt University's Warren Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, speaking on drug discovery in an academic setting
  • Ed Smith, Procter & Gamble research fellow, speaking on decarbonization of consumer products
  • Yan Chen, vice president of safety surveillance and risk management for Pfizer, speaking on drug safety signal detection in pharmacovigilance

Student impact

Female student discusses poster with faculty judge at a pharmacy conference.

Yue Shen, UC fourth-year pharmacy doctoral student in UC's experimental therapeutics track, earned first place with perfect scores in the conference poster competition.

The conference included a diversity of student participation with not only doctoral, masters-level and undergraduate college students, but also high school STEM scholars who were on hand to share their prowess during discussions and poster presentations. 

"These poster contests and career-panel discusions also served as wonderful student-recruiting opportunities," added Yan.

Earning perfect scores from the judges and winning first place in the experimental therapeutics track poster competition was Yue Shen, fourth-year UC pharmacy doctoral student.

As the center of health care innovation in the Tristate area, UC's James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy looks forward to hosting future conferences while leading the charge central to pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacotherapy and innovative health care.

Woman stands next to poster at a pharmacy conference.

Celine Schmitt, senior in UC's chemical engineering program and a graduate student in UC's cosmetic science program, won second place in the biomembrane/cosmetic poster competition.

Five women stand together at a pharmacy conference.

UC pharmacy graduate students at the conference biomembrane poster session. Front row from left, Patcharawan Nimmansophon, Minthira Sarnthiratch and Jinnipha Pajoubpong. Second row from left, Lijing Xu and Cheng Zhong.

Featured image at top: Attendees at the inaugural Pharmaceutical/Cosmetic Science, Pharmacotherapy and Personalized Healthcare conference. Photo provided by Bingfang Yan.

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