The University of Mississippi The School of Pharmacy Pharmacy Matters

student stories

A passion for serving others

Brian McCrate

Pharmacy student Brian McCrate has set a lofty goal for himself. He wants to establish a self-sufficient free clinic, rather than remain a volunteer at one.

His passion for serving others grew through his volunteer work with the Oxford Medical Ministries Clinic and Jackson Free Clinic, among others.

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alumni stories

March 25-26 – Pharmacy Alumni Weekend, various UM locations. Friday: Annual golf tournament and dean’s reception. Saturday: Annual alumni & friends breakfast, awards banquet & reunion dinner, and campus CE program.

April 11-15 – International Conference on the Science of Botanicals, Oxford Conference Center.

April 12 – 2011 Preceptor Conference, UMMC Conference Center, Jackson Medical Mall.

April 12 – Borne Lecture, 11 a.m., Centennial Auditorium.

April 15 – Annual School of Pharmacy Awards Day, 1 p.m.,
Nutt Auditorium.

May 14 - Commencement, 2 p.m., Indoor Practice Facility.

May 18 – 2011 Keep-Up Seminar, UMMC Conference Center, Jackson Medical Mall. Wiggins and Oxford dates TBA.June 15-18 – MPhA Annual Meeting, Sandestin Hilton, Destin, Fla. Reception details TBA.

July 28-30 – MSHP Annual Meeting, The Inn at Ole Miss. Reception details TBA.

faculty focus

Scientist honored
for dietary
supplement work

Ikhlas A. Khan

Ikhlas A. Khan, assistant director of the National Center for Natural Products Research, is the recipient of the 2010 Nutrition Business Journal’s Education Award for his significant contributions in education and training in the field of dietary supplements.

Also director for the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Excellence in Botanicals at UM, he is a nationally and internationally recognized proponent of using  analytical fingerprinting to standardize herbal products and using bio-analytical approaches to improve the products’ quality and safety.

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Alumni NEWS

Are you registered for Pharmacy Alumni Weekend?

Reunion dinners are just one of the many activities associated with Pharmacy Weekend. Classes celebrating reunions this year are the classes of 1961, ’71, ’81, ’86, ’91 and 2001.

School of Pharmacy alumni return to the Oxford campus March 25-26 for Pharmacy Weekend 2011. Classes celebrating reunions are the classes of 1961, ’71, ’81, ’86, ’91 and 2001.

Friday’s events begin with the UM School of Pharmacy Scholarship Golf Tournament presented by Rite Aid. One-hundred percent of the tournament’s proceeds fund the Pharmacy Alumni Chapter’s scholarship endowment.

Friday’s events close with the dean’s reception at 6 p.m. in Bryant Hall, just off the Circle in front of the Lyceum. Hosted by Barbara G. Wells, this year’s reception is sponsored, in part, by Bob Broadus and Allergen.

Saturday’s events begin at 8 a.m. with the annual Galen Order and pharmacy alumni breakfast in the Gertrude C. Ford Ballroom at The Inn at Ole Miss.

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School News

Researchers putting the brakes on poison ivy rash

Mahmoud A. ElSohly and his research team work to put an end to the rash caused by poison ivy, oak and sumac.

Each year nearly 50 million Americans develop that irksome skin rash poison ivy causes. UM researchers are working on a pharmaceutical product to rein in the allergic reaction in people already sensitive to the plants and prevent the reaction in those who aren’t. The product contains chemical derivatives of urushiol (u-ROO-she-ol), the oily substance in poison ivy, oak and sumac that causes dermatitis.

“It certainly works in guinea pigs, the closest model you can find to humans,” said Mohammad K. Ashfaq, a veterinarian and senior scientist in the National Center for Natural Products Research at the School of Pharmacy.

The mastermind behind the product is an NCNPR research professor, Mahmoud A. ElSohly, who is also president and director of ElSohly Laboratories Inc. of Oxford. The compounds were produced by ELI’s synthetic chemist, Waseem Gul, and development studies were conducted at ELI and NCNPR with more than $800,000 from the National Institutes of Health Small Business Technology Transfer Program, or STTR.

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Medicinal Plant Garden goes green to grow green

These walls of wire mesh will soon be covered with climbing medicinal plants to provide shade for the Medicinal Plant Garden's new office and laboratory building.

By design and its very nature and purpose, the Maynard W. Quimby Medicinal Plant Garden at UM will undoubtedly be the “greenest” facility on campus.

The garden is being relocated from the Coy Waller Laboratory Complex on Hathorn Road to a new site on Intramural Road. When complete, the new six-acre site will include a 4,300-square-foot office and laboratory building, 4,200-square-foot horticulture building, 3,800-square-foot shade house, 1,800-square-foot greenhouse, 1,320-square-foot equipment shed and areas for growing medicinal plants outdoors.

Energy-efficient features of the new structures include natural lighting, a 20,000-gallon tank to collect rainwater running off the roofs and green “walls” of climbing medicinal plants to shade the laboratory building in summer.

“We can’t use tap water to germinate sensitive medicinal plant seeds for research, unless we remove the chemicals it contains, like chlorine and fluoride,” said Aruna Weerasooriya, a research scientist who manages the garden for UM’s National Center for Natural Products Research. “It is much better to use natural rainwater.”

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