AACP Honors Pharmacy Educators, Innovators, and Investigators

Pharmacy CareersSpring 2021
Volume 15
Issue 1

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) is recognizing the University of Connecticut, 5 individuals, and a scholarly paper for their achievements, as recipients of its top awards.

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) is recognizing the University of Connecticut, 5 individuals, and a scholarly paper for their achievements, as recipients of its top awards. The organization has also named 14 early career professionals to its 2021 class of New Investigator Award (NIA) recipients.1,2 All award recipients are scheduled to be publicly honored during AACP's upcoming annual meetings.1,2

The AACP is a national organization that represents the interests of pharmacy education. The organization consists of 142 accredited schools with pharmacy degree programs, with membership including more than 6700 faculty, and 67,000 students.1

The AACP's top professional awards honor 5 individuals, an institution, and a scholarly paper. These awards are giving in recognition of the recipients' outstanding contributions to pharmacy education, research, patient outcomes, community service, and publication. According to AACP, the recipients of these 7 awards are at the forefront of health care professions education and through their work are advancing pharmacy innovation, enhancing patient care, and adding value to the health care system.1

"In times such as the current pandemic, the impact of excellence in all dimensions becomes even more obvious and needed. AACP's award recipients exemplify excellence in teaching, research, and service with far-reaching impact here and around the world," said AACP Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President Lucinda L. Maine, PhD, RPh, in a prepared statement.1 According to AACP, the top awards will be presented to recipients honored at AACP's next annual meeting, Virtual Pharmacy Education 2021, July 19-22.1

The NIA provides start-up funding for independent research programs of early career faculty. Each of the 14 grants named for the 2021 cycle awarded between $7500 and $10,000 in March. All recipients have an earned terminal degree (PharmD, PhD, or equivalent) and a regular full-time faculty appointment at the assistant professor level at a US college of school of pharmacy accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.3 According to AACP, recipients also receive a travel award from AACP for attending the 2022 AACP annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas, where they will present their research findings.3

Top award recipients are as follows:1

Brian Erstad, PharmD, University of Arizona, Tucson, will receive the Robert K. Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award for outstanding achievements as an educator and mentor, his innovations in the classroom, and his overall impact on pharmacy education and the profession.

William R. Doucette, PhD, University of Iowa, Iowa City, will receive the Paul R. Dawson Award for Excellence in Patient Care Research for his innovative, impactful research in patient care and the collaboration between pharmacists and other health care providers.

Carston “Rick” Wagner, PhD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, will receive the Volwiler Research Achievement Award for his record of sustained excellence in research and entrepreneurial work in chemical biology.

Victoria F. Roche, PhD, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her rich portfolio of accomplishments related to instruction, leadership, service, and scholarship over 25 years.

Laura Cranston, RPh, cofounder and former chief executive officer of the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, based in Alexandria, Virginia, will receive the Distinguished Service Award for her work to advance the recognition of pharmacists’ contributions to safe, effective, and high-quality patient care through quality measurement and improvement.

“A Historical Discourse Analysis of Pharmacist Identity in Pharmacy Education,” by Jamie Kellar, PharmD; Elis Toronto, Canada; and Cees P.M. van der Vleuten, PhD; and Zubin Austin, PhD, MISc, all University of Toronto, Canada; and Cees P.M. van der Vleuten, PhD; and Mirjam G.A. oude Egbrink, PhD, both Maastricht University, Netherlands, will receive the Rufus A. Lyman Award, in recognition of the best paper published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education during the previous year.

The University of Connecticut, Storrs, will receive the Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award for its commitment to addressing unmet community needs through education, practice, and research.

NIA recipients are as follows2:

  • Jaclyn Cusumano, Long Island University, New York, New York; "Innovative Assessment of Penicillin Plus Ceftriaxone Against Enterococcus faecalis"
  • Peter Hart, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois; "Evaluating Metformin as an Immunomodulator to Inhibit Ovarian Cancer Metastasis"
  • Weimin (Conrad) Hong, Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana; "Molecular Mechanisms of Dopamine Transporter Modulation by the Sigma-1 Receptor"
  • Hyeun Ah Kang, The University of Texas at El Paso; "Unintended Consequences of the 2016 CDC Guideline for Sickle Cell Disease Patients"
  • Nitesh Kunda, St. John's University, New York, New York; "Antimicrobial Peptide, Nisin-Based Inhalation Therapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer"
  • Sangmin Lee, High Point University, High Point, North Carolina; "Peptide Hormone Amylin Interaction With its Receptor for Next Anti-diabetic Therapy"
  • Sun Lee, High Point University; "Insulin Delivery Device and Health-Related Quality of Life in Medicare Enrollees"
  • Sin Yin Lim, The University of Wisconsin, Madison; "Relationship Between Immune Responses and Fentanyl Exposure in Children"
  • Amanda Margolis, The University of Wisconsin; "Preceptor Perceptions of a Validated Tool to Assess APPE Interprofessional Teamwork"
  • Margaret Olson, Roosevelt University; "RNA-Binding Chaperone Hfq as a Novel Target for Antibacterial Drug Development"
  • Amir Nasrolahi Shirazi, Marshall B. Ketchum University, Fullerton, California; "Tamoxifen-Peptide Nanostructures for Efficient Delivery to Resistant Cells"
  • Osama Shoair, The University of Texas at Tyler; "Prevalence and Healthcare Costs of Psychotropic Polypharmacy Among Dementia Patients"
  • Melinda Varney, Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia; "Deficiency of Immune Regulators IRGM, TIFAB, and miR-146 in Hematologic Cancers"
  • Jacqueline Zeeman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; "Better Together: Evaluating the Me and We Competencies in Interprofessional Teams"


1. AACP announces 2021 recipients of top awards in research, teaching, service, and publishing. American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. March 12, 2021. Accessed March 26, 2021. https://www.aacp.org/article/aacp-announces-2021-recipients-top-awards-research-teaching-service-and-publishing

2. Current and past New Investigator Award recipients. American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Accessed March 26, 2021. https://www.aacp.org/resource/current-and-past-new-investigator-award-recipients

3. New Investigator Award. American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Accessed March 26, 2021. https://www.aacp.org/resource/news-investigator-award

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