30 posts categorized "Pharmaceutics"

10/05/2015

Lifestyle Factors Could Put College-Age Women at Higher Risk of Breast Cancer, Says USciences Prof

IMercier_250x350Breast cancer prevention needs to become a shared conversation among women of all ages because it can strike at any age and is generally more aggressive when diagnosed in women under the age of 50, said Isabelle Mercier, PhD, a pharmaceutical sciences professor at University of the Sciences. With hopes to spark that discussion, Dr. Mercier compiled some key prevention awareness tips for young women.

“Unfortunately, college-age women generally do not consider themselves at risk for breast cancer,” said Dr. Mercier. “However, there are several risk factors that contribute to the development of breast cancer that need to be understood early in life to prevent the development of breast cancer down the road.”

By the end of 2015, more than 231,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. Of those cases, approximately 40,000 individuals will not survive, said Dr. Mercier. Women in their early 20s need to become aware of some key risk factors associated with breast cancer:

  • Check your family tree. A family history of breast cancer, particularly in a mother or sister, can increase the chance for developing breast cancer. Genetic testing is recommended for young women with prevalence of breast cancer in their families.
  • Watch your weight. Obesity is responsible for up to 20 percent of cancer-associated deaths in women. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer by creating a cancer-friendly environment through fat cells.
  • Exercise regularly. Women who strive for at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity activity – like brisk walking – reduce their risk of breast cancer by 18 percent.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. According to research from Washington University School of Medicine, if a female averages a drink per day, her risk of breast cancer increases by 11 percent. Studies show that alcohol possesses estrogenic activity, thus promoting the growth of breast tumor cells.
  • Annual doc visits. Although mammograms are not recommended for women under the age of 40, young women should still see their primary care doctors each year for clinical breast exams. They are also encouraged to conduct self-examinations throughout the year.
  • Limit tobacco use. Women who smoke have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, especially if they become smokers early in life. Smokers have increased levels of both estrogen and testosterone that might disrupt the endocrine signaling in women and contribute to the development of these tumors.

An important part of Dr. Mercier's research focuses on cancer prevention. The role of vitamin C intake on breast cancer development, progression, recurrence and response to anti-cancer therapy remains unclear. That’s why Dr. Mercier and her research team at USciences are currently studying the role of dietary supplements on cancer risk, as well as evaluating new biomarkers for early detection of breast cancer. 

Media exposure:

KywOct. 8, 2015
Healthy College Lifestyles Can Help Women Prevent Breast Cancer
Audio1

Breast cancer is rare among college-age women, but lifestyle choices made during those years can be life-saving years later.

04/06/2015

PCP Student Takes Third Place in Prestigious U.S. Pharmacy Competition

Viha daveBy combining her pharmacy education and interpersonal communication skills, pharmacy student Viha Dave PharmD’16 recently took third place at the 2015 National Patient Counseling Competition—held during the American Pharmacists Association Academy’s (APhA) Annual Meeting and Exposition, on March 29, in San Diego. She competed against 126 student pharmacists from across the country, becoming the first pharmacy student in decades to represent USciences as a top 10 finalist in this prestigious competition.

“It was an honor to represent Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the national level, and I hope this gets my younger classmates excited to participate in the future, as this was an enriching experience for me,” said Dave. “My PCP education definitely helped prepare me for this experience because many of my professors continually emphasize the importance of delivering personalized care to our patients.”

The main goal of this national competition is to encourage student pharmacists to become better patient educators. Each year, the competition is designed to reflect changes that are occurring in practice, promote and encourage further professional development of student pharmacists, and reinforce the role of the pharmacist as a healthcare provider and educator.

This competition began at the local level in January, where students, like Dave, competed against their classmates to represent their pharmacy school on a national platform. The national competition was divided into the preliminary round and final round. At the preliminary round, students selected a simple practice scenario at random and were required to counsel a mock patient on the appropriate use of the drug involved. Evaluations were based on the content and style of the counseling presentations, and the top 10 student pharmacists advanced to the final round of the competition.

The final round involved a more complex counseling situation where the participants again selected a prescription at random and were asked to counsel their patients on safe and effective drug use. The patient in the final round, however, also displayed personality characteristics such as anxiousness, aggression or apathy to challenge the participants’ ability to convey pertinent information in a realistic situation.

 “I had the opportunity to watch Viha’s performance during her final counseling round and it was clear that she is a highly competent, confident, and compassionate student pharmacist,” said Kenneth Leibowitz, assistant professor of communications at USciences and co-founder of this national competition.

Dave, along with the other top 10 finalists in the competition, were recognized during the closing ceremony of the APhA  meeting, and the four top winners of the competition received cash prizes.

#ProvenEverywhere

03/03/2015

PCP Prof Honored at USciences 194th Founders’ Day Award Ceremony

Hewitt-1953University of the Sciences proudly recognized pharmaceutical sciences professor Adeboye Adejare, PhD, with the 2015 Founders’ Day Faculty Award of Merit during the University’s 194th Founders’ Day ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 19.

“Dr. Adejare is an accomplished researcher who has been widely published and nationally respected,” said Heidi M. Anderson, PhD, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “He truly exemplifies the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the USciences’ Founders.”

Since arriving at USciences in 2003, Dr. Adejare has been awarded four patents. Over the course of his extensive career, he has been the principal investigator or investigator on more than 30 grant and contract awards from the National Institutes of Health, as well as other government agencies and pharmaceutical companies. He was also the recipient of the highly-competitive 2014 Carnegie Corporation Fellowship.

Publishing more than 30 papers in prominent, peer-reviewed journals in the areas of pharmaceutical sciences, Dr. Adejare has provided the opportunity for USciences undergraduate and graduate students to coauthor many of those publications. He and his research group members have also been selected to give more than 100 presentations at professional meetings, including national and international conferences.  His research studies deal with trying to understand mechanisms of neurodegeneration as observed in Alzheimer's and similar diseases, as well as drug targeting and pharmaceutical profiling.

Each year, Founders’ Day at USciences recognizes its establishment on Feb. 23, 1821, as Philadelphia College of Pharmacy — the first college of pharmacy in North America, which is now a part of USciences. As part of the ceremony, an honorary degree of science was presented to Carol Buchalter on behalf of her late husband, Martin P’55. Just eight years after earning his pharmacy degree from USciences, Martin Buchalter revolutionized the medical application of ultrasound by developing an easy-to-use transmission gel that once applied to the patient’s skin, provided the medium that the ultrasound waves needed to enter body tissue.

For more information, visit the University’s Founders’ Day webpage at usciences.edu/foundersday.  Click to see Founders' Day: Photos | Video.

11/10/2014

Students Prepared for Bioterrorist Attack During Medical Reserve Corps Training

Training
Left to right: Alex Fevry PharmD'17, Soonyip Alec Huang PharmD'17, Khiem Huynh PharmD'17, and Ami Patel PharmD'17

A team of eight student-pharmacists from University of the Sciences joined more than 150 new volunteers with the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps as they acted out a bioterrorist attack which required them to administer antibiotics to thousands of Philadelphians to help prevent the spread of a deadly bacterial infection.

This dramatic, but informational, training session was held at USciences on Saturday, Nov. 8, for these credentialed volunteers – who are typically seen providing medical care and first aid after major storms, or at large city events such as the Philadelphia Marathon.

“Bringing together such a diverse group of local healthcare professionals and students was a positive experience which reinforced USciences’ mission of promoting integrated learning and professionalism,” said Steven Sheaffer, PharmD, associate professor of clinical pharmacy.  

Although Dr. Sheaffer has been a member of the Medical Reserve Corps since 2007, he said regularly attends training sessions to keep up to speed with relief efforts and build stronger relationships with healthcare professionals across the Philadelphia region.

“I hope that more of our students across all disciplines consider attending future training programs and join the Medical Reserve Corps,” he said.

Aside from USciences pharmacy students and faculty, other volunteers at the training session included medical and doctoral students from University of Pennsylvania, nurses, as well as students and faculty from other local universities.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the mailing of anthrax-tainted letters to news media and U.S. senators painfully illustrated the need for more organized use of medical volunteers.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health launched the city’s unit in 2005, after Congress allocated money to establish the Medical Reserve Corps program office in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office. Philadelphia’s chapter now boasts more than 1,800 volunteers who offer their medical, pharmaceutical, behavioral health, and other skills.

“I wanted to volunteer for the medical corps to use my pharmacy education in way that allows me to give back to the community,” said Alex Fevry PharmD’17.

Media coverage:

10/28/2014

USciences Prez, Students and Faculty Attended Life Sciences Future in Philly

PABioLSF14_-138University of the Sciences President Dr. Helen-Giles Gee, as well as students and faculty from USciences, joined hundreds of life sciences leaders and innovators during the Life Sciences Future Conference on Oct. 13-14 in Philadelphia.

Life Sciences Future was a two-day event designed by Pennsylvania Bio to reflect the rapidly-evolving landscape in healthcare - which includes biopharma, medical device and diagnostics, healthcare IT, contract research organizations, medical research institutions, and the investment community.

The first day of the event kicked off with Life Sciences Future Symposium: Partnerships in Science, which was designed for an exclusive audience of academic researchers, such as USciences students and faculty, to explore best practices for engaging business development representatives at large companies as well as the next steps in developing their technologies. The second day of the conference was jam-packed with speakers, topics and features all related to advancing science and healthcare industries.

Dr. Giles-Gee and students had the opportunity to meet and speak with Michael Sofia, inventor of Sofosbuvir – known by the brand name Sovaldi, a hepatitis C therapy drug approved by the FDA last December.

“The sessions were outstanding and much appreciated by the faculty and students who attended," Dr. Giles-Gee.

10/13/2014

Get Vaccinated: Flu is Bigger Threat to You than Ebola, Says USciences Prof

Hussar_DanielWith the 2014-15 flu season officially underway, pharmacy professor Daniel Hussar, PhD, at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences, urges people to stop worrying about Ebola and get a flu shot instead. That’s because the flu is far more deadly in the U.S. compared with Ebola, and resulted in 131 flu-related deaths in Pennsylvania alone during the 2013-14 flu season (Sept. 29, 2013 to Sept. 27, 2014).

“While everyone should get a flu vaccine this season, it’s especially important for infants, children, pregnant women, and seniors because they are most vulnerable to developing serious complications – like pneumonia – if they catch the flu,” said Dr. Hussar.

Flu seasons – which typically span from October to May in Pennsylvania – are unpredictable and often differ in length and severity. However, influenza remains a leading cause of death in the U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 131 flu-related deaths in Pennsylvania last flu season, the Pennsylvania Department of Health revealed that nearly 80 percent of those deaths were recorded among people aged 50 and older. Nationwide, about 200,000 people are hospitalized with the flu and up to 49,000 people die each year.

As an advocate for protecting people against the flu, Dr. Hussar compiled a list of key facts people need to know regarding flu vaccinations:

  • Safe for pregnant women. Pregnancy should not be a restriction to receiving a flu shot as it protects the mother and her baby for several months into its life.
  • It’s never too late. While people are encouraged to receive their flu shots in early fall, the immunization still provides benefits to individuals who wait until December or January to get vaccinated.
  • Healthy children need flu protection, too. Between 2004 and 2012, flu complications killed 830 children in the U.S., many of whom were otherwise healthy, according to the CDC.
  • Convenient locations. Most Pennsylvania pharmacies house a certified pharmacist who is authorized to administer flu shots to individuals older than 18. Anyone under the age of 18 is encouraged to receive vaccinations through their pediatrician or community health clinics.
  • ‘Flu caused by vaccination’ myth. The flu vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that cannot transmit infection. That means people who get sick after receiving a flu vaccination were going to get sick anyway, they just assume the shot caused their illness.
  • Nasal spray an option. The nasal spray vaccine – or the live, attenuated influenza vaccine – is commonly known by its trade name, FluMist, and offers protection to healthy adults from 2 to 49 years old who are not pregnant. FluMist contains a live but weakened flu virus that cannot cause flu illness.

“Don't let the recent Ebola news headlines distract you from taking measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from the much greater risk of catching the flu,” said Dr. Hussar.

09/03/2014

PCP Students Explore Pharmaceutical Agency Careers, Thanks to Alumni

PharmdayPharmacy students from University of the Sciences and other U.S. colleges recently learned about the growing career opportunities within the pharmaceutical industry from alumni of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. That’s because they participated in MediMedia Managed Markets’ Student Day and specifically explored pharmacy careers with pharmaceutical agencies, like MediMedia.

Each year, alumna Michele Reed PharmD, vice president of clinical services at MediMedia, encourages pharmacy students from various programs across the nation to complete their Introduction to Pharmacy Practice Experience, Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience, and summer internships at MediMedia

As advocates of pharmaceutical agencies, the medical services team at MediMedia hosted a student event to introduce prospective pharmacy candidates to the numerous opportunities within pharmaceutical agencies. Students were exposed to the differences between a pharmaceutical industry and agency, the specific role of MediMedia in the industry, sample projects by various team members, and they even participated in an interactive MediMedia activity. Not only were the students able to learn more about this niche market, but they were able to spend a couple hours in the shoes of the medical team. The event was followed by a networking session where students were able to inquire more about the specific responsibilities and unique career path each team member has experienced.

“As a recent PCP graduate myself, I want to make sure PCP students are exposed to the various opportunities available to pharmacists before they choose their career path,” said Kunj Gohil PharmD’13, RPh, a post-doctoral fellow at MediMedia. “We hope students can use what they learned during our event and become successful professionals within the pharmaceutical industry.”

07/30/2014

Pharmacy Prof Explains Properties of New Pain Pill Approved by FDA

Hussar_DanielOn the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of an oxycodone pill designed to deter abuse, pharmacy professor Daniel Hussar, PhD, at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, was featured on KYW Newsradio to explain the drug's properties.

Web story: KYW Newsradio: New Oxycodone Pill Designed To Prevent Abuse

Click here to listen to the KYW Radio audio segment

Purdue Pharma's new drug Targiniq ER is an extended release tablet that combines oxycodone — the active ingredient in OxyContin — with the drug naloxone. FDA regulators approved the drug for daily, round-the-clock pain that does not respond to other medications.

If abusers crush these tablets for snorting or injecting, naloxone blocks the euphoric effects of oxycodone, making the drug more difficult to abuse. Naloxone is currently used to reverse the overdose effects of opioids and highly addictive painkilling drugs, including morphine, methadone, codeine and others.

07/10/2014

Youngsters Learn Important Safety Tips from PCP Students

PCP2For the third consecutive year, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy’s Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG) volunteered at the Pediatric Asthma and Health Fair, hosted by Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper University Hospital on May 22. More than 90 first- and second-grade students from Veteran’s Memorial Family Elementary School in Camden attended the fair to interactively learn health lessons from pharmacy students and medical providers.

“It was a joy to see that the children were already so knowledgeable about health and wellness at such a young age,” said Priya Panchal, PharmD’16, president of PPAG. “Pharmacy students gained insight on how to successfully communicate healthy ideas to children.”

Panchal was joined by several other PPAG members, including Rachael Oyewole PharmD’16; Michael Kee PharmD’16; Minju Lee PharmD’17; Amanda Yu PharmD’16; Aditi Bhogal PharmD’17; Fatima Ali PharmD’18; and Isabel Papraniku PharmD’18. These students had the opportunity to collaborate with the hospital’s departments of pediatrics, pediatric critical care medicine, child life, pharmacy, and dietary services – as well as local nonprofit organizations – to educate the children on asthma, healthy nutrition, smoking cessation, fitness, and medication safety through fun, interactive games.

PCP4In an effort to fascinate young minds, the pharmacy students presented a poster, “Is It Candy?” to highlight medication safety tips. Dr. Laura L. Bio, pharmacy professor and advisor of PPAG; and Dr. Colleen Smith, pediatric/neonatal clinical pharmacy specialist at Cooper, also spoke to the youngsters during the presentation.

“We discussed what medicine is, as well as the importance of never sharing medicine or taking medicine without the presence of a parent or guardian,” said Panchal.

She said the children also played a game that had them guessing whether or not they were pointing to a pill or a piece of candy. This exercise emphasized the importance of seeking permission from a parent or guardian before eating an item that resembles candy, since medicine and candy often look similar.

At the conclusion of the health fair, children played a game where they chose scenarios about safe medication use, or what to do when feeling sick. Each scenario was accompanied by a question about whether or not the child in the scenario handled the situation correctly.

05/16/2014

PCP Students 'Take a Swing' at Promoting Healthy Hearts Across Philly

Blood pressureA pair of pharmacy students from University of the Sciences put their skills to use as they performed free blood pressure screenings at the American Heart Associations' 17th annual Home Runs for Heart event on May 7-8.

"This was the third, consecutive year that students in our doctorate of pharmacy program participated in this wonderful event," said Grace Earl PharmD, BCPS, assistant professor or pharmacy. "It's a fun way for our students to share their expertise with the community for a good cause."

The two-day home run derby, hosted at Citizens Bank Park, was born out of the sudden death of Hall of Fame outfielder and broadcaster Richie Ashburn. With support from the Phillies, the American Heart Association has raised nearly $2 million over the past 17 years.

Students who participated in the event are members of the University's Operation Heart, a student-group on campus that is associated with the Academy of Student Pharmacists-American Pharmacists Association (APhA-ASP). Scott Cheeseman PharmD'16, patient care coordinator of Operation Heart, said the organization spent the school year promoting the importance of healthy hearts by hosting various blood pressure screenings across the Philadelphia-area, as well as through its second annual Operation Fashion Show event to promote smoking cessation awareness on campus.

FanaticBrielle Carramusa PharmD'16, former patient care coordinator of Operation Heart, said she provided extra special attention to the Phillies' own “Phillie Fanatic," and made sure he had his blood pressure measured. The students were accompanied by Brandon Patterson PharmD, and Dr. Earl, both assistant professors in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration.

Click here to see photos from the recent Operation Fashion Show.

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