Departmental Seminar Series

Departmental Seminar Series of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Fall Semester between September and December, 2017

Date:               September 8

Time:               2:30-3:30 pm

Place:               PBB-129

Speaker:          Dr. Andrew Wiemer, Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut

Title:                Targeting butyrophilin proteins for cancer immunotherapy

Host:               Dr. Jose Manautou


Dr. Andrew Wiemer

Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

University of Connecticut

Dr. Wiemer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Connecticut. He is also affiliated with the Institute for Systems Genomics. Dr. Wiemer received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Notre Dame. He earned a Ph.D. in Molecular & Cellular Biology from the University of Iowa, where he developed novel lipophilic inhibitors of geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase and other enzymes of isoprenoid biosynthesis. He performed a postdoctoral research at the University of Wisconsin Madison, studying inhibitors of T cell integrin functions and motility stop signals. He has received research support from the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, and the Frasch Foundation for Chemical Research. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association of Immunologists, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Dr. Wiemer has served as a grant reviewer for the United States National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Defense, the Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, and the French National Research Agency.



Date:               October 4

Time;               3:30-4:30 pm

Place:               PBB-129

Speaker:          Dr. Mark W. Grinstaff, Professor, Department of Chemistry at Boston University

Title:                Expansile Nanoparticles for the Treatment of Intraperitoneal Mesothelioma

Host:               Dr. Xiuling Lu


Dr. Mark W. Grinstaff


Department of Chemistry

Boston University

Dr. Mark W. Grinstaff is the Distinguished Professor of Translational Research and a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, and Medicine as well as the Director of the NIH T32 Program in Biomaterials at Boston University. Mark’s awards include the ACS Nobel Laureate Signature Award, NSF Career Award, Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the Edward M. Kennedy Award for Health Care Innovation, and a Founding Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Over the course of his tenure, Grinstaff’s groundbreaking research has yielded more than 275 peer-reviewed publications, more than 200 patents and patent applications, and more than 300 oral presentations. His students and postdoctoral fellows have given more than 400 poster and 150 oral presentations at national and international conferences. He is a co-founder of five companies and his innovative ideas and his efforts have also led to one new FDA approved pharmaceutical (AbraxaneTM) and four medical device products (OcuSeal® and Adherus Surgical Sealants®) that improve clinical care for hundreds of thousands of people. His current research activities involve the synthesis of new macromolecules and biomaterials, self-assembly chemistry, imaging contrast agents, drug delivery, and wound repair.



Date:               November 1

Time;               3:30-4:30 pm

Place:               PBB-129

Speaker:          Dr. Marilyn E. Morris, Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, SUNY at Buffalo

Title:                Monocarboxylate transporter family: role in drug disposition and disease

Host:               Dr. Xiaobo Zhong


Dr. Marilyn E. Morris

SUNY Distinguished Professor and Chair

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Dr. Morris is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Chair in the Department of  Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences University at Buffalo, State University of New York. She received her B.Sc. (Pharmacy) from the University of Manitoba, Canada and continued with a Pharmacy Residency program at Ottawa General Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  She completed a M.Sc. (Pharmacology) from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and Ph.D. (Pharmaceutics) from the University at Buffalo. She was a Medical Research Council Fellow at the University of Toronto, Canada, before joining the University at Buffalo as an Assistant Professor.  Her research focuses on the influence of drug transporters on drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and the identification of transporters as therapeutic targets. Among her contributions are her work on the characterization of novel biological drug transporters and her groundbreaking research on the role of dietary flavonoids in disease prevention and drug interaction and resistance, which has enormous implications for cancer treatment and future cancer research. Additionally, her current research has focused on the role of monocarboxylate transporters on the toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of the drug of abuse gamma-hydroxybutyrate, and monocarboxylate transporters  as a drug target in cancer. She is the recipient of a number of awards including the State University of New York Chancellor’s award for excellence in research and creative activities (2006), UB Distinguished Professor (2014), and election as Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received the 2013 Faculty of Pharmacy University of Manitoba Distinguished Alumni award. Recently she was the recipient of an AAPS Innovation in Biotechnology Award (2015) and the AAPS Research Achievement Award in Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism (2016). Dr. Morris is a past President of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and currently serves as an elected member of the International Pharmaceutical Federation’s Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences, on the FDA Advisory Committee in Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmaceutics, on the EPA Science Advisory Board, and is a standing member of the NIH XNDA study section.  Dr. Morris also serves as Associate Editor for the AAPS Journal.  Dr. Morris has made substantial contributions to graduate and postdoctoral education during her career, including during her tenure as Associate Dean in the Graduate School at the University at Buffalo, and has served as the major advisor of 31 PhD students and many M.S., Pharm.D. and undergraduate students.



Date:               December 6

Time;               3:30-4:30 pm

Place:               PBB-129

Speaker:          Dr. Daniel Acosta, Deputy Director for Research, The National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Title:                The mission of the National Center for Toxicology Research at FDA

Host:               Host by Dr. Jose Manautou


Dr. Daniel Acosta

Deputy Director for Research,

The National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Dr. Daniel Acosta is currently the Deputy Director for Research at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research. He helps manage a research budget of nearly $100 million and supervises over 200 scientists at NCTR.  Dr. Acosta received a BSc degree from the University of Texas College of Pharmacy and a Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy.  He was a faculty member of the University of Texas College of Pharmacy (1974-1996) where he helped develop a nationally ranked program in toxicology as the founding Director of the Graduate Toxicology Training Program.  Then he moved to the University of Cincinnati’s College of Pharmacy and became the 4th Dean of the school. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Burroughs Wellcome Toxicology Scholar Award, SOT’s Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award, Foundation Award in Excellence given by the PhRMA Foundation, and Doerenkamp-Zbinden Foundation Prize. Dr. Acosta is a past President of Society of Toxicology SOT (2000-2001) and a past President of International Union of Toxicology (2010-2013). He has served on numerous government advisory Boards and Committees, including NCTR’s Scientific Advisory Board, Board of Scientific Advisors for EPA’s Office of Research and Development, EPA’s Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee, National Advisory Committee to the Director of CDC’s Center for Environmental Health, Expert Committee on Toxicology and Biocompatibility of the US Pharmacopoeia, FDA’s Scientific Board, and Committee on Toxicity Testing and Assessment of Environmental Agents for the National Academy of Sciences. He has served as Editor for Toxicology In Vitro and Cardiovascular Toxicology, Associate Editor of for In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology, and Editorial Board member of Japanese Journal of Toxicological Sciences and Chinese Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He has published over 125 papers and 40 book chapters.