Symposium on Opioid Crisis Brings Law and Pharmacy Together

UM students from both schools learn about interprofessional approach to challenge

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood speaks to law and pharmacy students during the interprofessional symposium regarding the opioid crisis in the state. Photo by Christina Steube/School of Law

OXFORD, Miss. – More than 115 people die each day in the United States from opioid overdoses, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

These statistics constitute a crisis, and the University of Mississippi schools of Law and Pharmacy are working together to combat that crisis in an interdisciplinary manner.

Last week, the schools collaborated for an education symposium on “An Interprofessional Approach to the Opioid Crisis in Mississippi.” More than 300 law and pharmacy students attended the event, which included a mock trial in front of Roy Percy, magistrate judge for the Northern District of Mississippi, and a keynote speech by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.

“A multidisciplinary approach is great and our university here is the first I’ve seen do this, so y’all are on the front end of addressing the crisis,” Hood said. “These epidemics come and go, but we have yet to see an epidemic affect such a broad cross-section of people.”

Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter provided opening comments at the symposium and commended the schools for proactively addressing the opioid epidemic.

“By working together, we are more likely to understand the full breadth of this challenge and to find innovative solutions,” Vitter said.

Symposium panelists discuss the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to the opioid crisis. Photo by Christina Steube/School of Law

The afternoon panel featured Lauren Bloodworth, clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice; Dr. Kenneth Cleveland, executive director of the Mississippi State Medical Board of Licensure; Amanda Criswell, nurse practitioner and instructor of nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and Julie Mitchell, an attorney at Mitchell Day Law Firm in Ridgeland.

Law professor Larry Pittman and pharmacy practice professor Kim Adcock worked over the last year to organize the event to ensure that both professional schools developed an understanding of how different professions are navigating the opioid crisis.

“This interprofessional mock trial and symposium exemplified the importance of interdisciplinary interactions and provided a springboard for our students to begin working together to learn from, about and with each other,” Adcock said.

The goal of the event was to provide students and future practitioners a foundation to make the best professional decisions related to pain management.

“Interprofessional education and collaboration are very important because such efforts are necessary for resolving many of the pressing issues that we as a nation will continue to encounter,” Pittman said.

UM law student Sammy Brown serves as an attorney during the mock trial portion of the interprofessional collaboration between the schools of Law and Pharmacy. Photo by Christina Steube/School of Law

The School of Pharmacy engages in regular interprofessional education with many of the health sciences schools on the UMMC campus, where upper-level pharmacy students receive training, and the School of Law engages in interdisciplinary endeavors with undergraduate programs and other legal entities. However, this is one of the first such events where the two schools collaborated to address a national crisis.

“Law is inextricable from the profession of pharmacy,” said David D. Allen, UM pharmacy dean. “This is an incredible way to demonstrate to our future pharmacy, nursing and law professionals that together they have the power to make real contributions that can lessen or end the opioid crisis.”

Allen and Susan Duncan, dean of the law school, both expressed hope that the seminar would show students that interprofessional collaboration has potential to create solutions for any number of professional issues.

“We are educating future leaders, and it’s so important that they understand the importance in collaborating with those of other disciplines,” Duncan said. “Students in professional schools work well with each other, but it is vital for them to learn from their peers in other schools who can provide a different perspective.”

Early Entry Pharmacy Class Earns Nearly $2 Million in Scholarships

First-year students among the most accomplished in school's history

A group of UM freshman Early Entry pre-pharmacy students tour the Ole Miss football facilities before the first week of school. Photo courtesy Lindsey Cooper

OXFORD, Miss. – The Early Entry program at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy has brought the best and brightest students to Oxford for more than 20 years.

The makeup of the 2018 freshman pre-pharmacy class is no different. The well-rounded group of nearly 100 scholars and leaders earned nearly $2 million in scholarships to cover their next four years of undergraduate studies.

The Early Entry program offers high school seniors early acceptance into the professional pharmacy program, allowing them to avoid the competitive pharmacy school application process that normally occurs during a pre-pharmacy major’s junior year of college. Acceptance into the program calls for exceptional academic ability along with service and leadership in their community.

“Our Early Entry students are extremely talented and intellectually accomplished,” said David D. Allen, UM pharmacy dean. “The School of Pharmacy is incredibly proud of the caliber of students in the program, and it’s an honor to work with and teach them.”

UM freshman Early Entry pre-pharmacy student Cameron Hammers (center), celebrates with his parents after winning a $10,000 Allstate Sugar Bowl Scholarship. Photo courtesy Lindsey Cooper

Students in the Early Entry class of 2025 received honors such as National Merit Scholarships and the university’s prestigious Robert M. Carrier Scholarship. Two of the seven UM freshmen awarded 2018 Stamps Foundation Scholarships are in the Early Entry program: Valerie Quach, of Austin, Texas; and Shahbaz Gul, of Oxford.

Cameron Hammers, a native of Slidell, Louisiana, won a $10,000 Allstate Sugar Bowl Scholarship from the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame while Britney Ngo, originally from Ridgeland, was among four recipients of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College’s McDonnell-Barksdale Scholarship.

In addition, many freshman Early Entry students are part of the Provost Scholars program, Honors College, Ole Miss Band, UM choral programs, Rebelette dance team and more.

Before coming to Ole Miss, many of these students were student body and class officers, valedictorians, salutatorians and multisport athletes. The class also includes two Eagle Scouts.

“These high-achieving students and the Early Entry classes that came before them are a huge part of the reason we have one of the nation’s premier pharmacy programs,” said Lindsey Cooper, admissions counselor for the Early Entry program.

“Combining their work ethic with the programs we offer Early Entry students, such as exclusive classes, a strong mentoring program and the opportunity to live alongside fellow Early Entry freshmen, is our recipe for success.”

For more information about the Early Entry program, go to http://pharmacy.olemiss.edu/earlyentry/ or contact Cooper at lindsey@olemiss.edu.

Pharmacy School Remembers Anne Marie Liles as ‘Shining Star’ Teacher

School's director of experiential affairs passed away late last week

Anne Marie Liles (third from left) attends a musical performance with colleagues from the School of Pharmacy. Photo courtesy of Scott Malinowski

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy family is mourning the loss of Anne Marie Liles, director of experiential affairs and clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice, who died Thursday (Aug. 23).

Liles was beloved by students and colleagues. Student pharmacists, faculty and staff have expressed how much Liles meant to them as a mentor, friend and pharmacist, many of them noting her constant practice of going above and beyond in every aspect of her work.

“I could never have imagined the impact that Dr. Liles would have on my life,” said Dominique Dairion, a second-year student pharmacist. “Dr. Liles became my role model and one of my greatest supporters. She truly encouraged me to be my best and to get out of my comfort zone.”

Liles was a friend and supporter to all she met, never hesitating to reach out to students to make sure they were doing well, said Mikhayla Harris, a third-year student pharmacist.

“If she hadn’t heard from me in a little bit, she would check on me and see how I was doing,” Harris said. “She always made me feel like the school believed in me and wanted me to succeed.”

In July, Liles accepted the position of director of experiential affairs, a position for which Seena Haines, chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, said she was “very well-qualified.”

“Anne Marie shared an intention to advance experiential programs that would maximize our strengths and harness the possibilities of practice experiences, preceptor development and interprofessional education,” Haines said. “Her long history as an academician and her involvement with curriculum assessment aligned very well with the experiential director role.”

Since transitioning into the position, Liles was working to improve program advancement and quality assurance.

“She had a great vision for academia in general, but especially experiential education,” said David D. Allen, UM pharmacy dean. “She did a great job of bringing together the academic and experiential aspects of the curriculum, and that was an important part of the goals she was hoping to achieve in the experiential education program.

“Anne Marie was a delightful person whom I’m going to miss a great deal.”

Anne Marie Liles

Liles was recognized by peers as a national leader in pharmacy practice and had recently been selected to chair the Pharmacy Practice Section of American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. The American College of Clinical Pharmacy announced earlier this month that Liles would be named a fellow of the organization at its October meeting, recognizing the excellence she demonstrated in clinical pharmacy practice.

She was also nationally known for her medication expertise in renal disease and had worked with the Indian government to advance its pharmacy practice in that area.

“She was passionate about everything pharmacy-related and extremely dedicated to her work,” said Kris Harrell, associate dean for academic affairs. “She was always willing to mentor some of the other more junior faculty members.”

After earning her Doctor of Pharmacy from Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy, Liles completed her residency training at the UM Medical Center in Jackson, working with clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice Lauren Bloodworth, as well as then-faculty members Harrell and Leigh Ann Ross, associate dean for clinical affairs.

“As a resident, Anne Marie was one of the very best,” Bloodworth said. “I was thrilled to have the opportunity several years later to serve with her as a faculty member at Ole Miss. Throughout her career, she excelled in all things, and I am grateful to have worked with her so closely.”

Liles had a heart for community service and was the adviser for the student group Prescription for Service, helping student pharmacists serve patients in the community and ensure they received quality medical care. A Type 1 diabetic herself, Liles had a special interest in helping diabetes patients manage their condition.

In her role as clinical director of pharmacy health services, she counseled patients with diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases at the Ole Miss Student Health Center. She was instrumental in adding clinical pharmacy services to the health center, including working with a Cough and Cold Clinic that counseled and provided prescriptions to students with minor health concerns, leading wellness efforts and working with the annual immunizations.

“I learned a great deal from Anne Marie as a fellow pharmacy educator, but also from a personal perspective,” said Ross, who oversaw the health center’s clinical pharmacy services when Liles worked there. “She always thought of others, cared for others and supported others – whether it was a student, a patient, a friend or her family.

“How fortunate for our students to have such an outstanding role model.”

Victoria Miller, third-year student pharmacist, credits Liles with inspiring a research project that Miller presented at the American Pharmacists Association meeting earlier this year on evaluating college students’ knowledge of medication.

“I was immediately interested in this topic for my research because of the passion that Dr. Liles showed for helping students in Student and Employee Pharmacy Health Services,” Miller said. “She wanted to do anything she could to make students comfortable and knowledgeable about managing their health.”

Above all, Liles was dedicated to teaching the next generation of pharmacists and advancing pharmacy clinical services.

“She was an advocate for learning and she always encouraged students to understand why and how we treat patients with the pharmacotherapy that is available today,” fourth-year student pharmacist Dylan Ware said. “I will never forget the impact Dr. Liles made on me as student and future pharmacist by asking the questions of why and how.”

“Even when things felt overwhelming, she always reminded me that the patients were the reason for the hard work,” Harris said. “She always had an encouraging word to say to make you feel better. She made it her mission to do whatever she could to help you succeed.”

Outside of work, Liles enjoyed musicals and theater, often organizing groups of faculty and staff to see shows at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts and when traveling to national pharmacy meetings.

“She and I bonded instantly because of her warm and welcoming nature,” said Dawn Bradley, the school’s operations coordinator who became close with Liles when they shared an office suite. “She was always positive in every aspect. I could talk for days about Anne Marie.”

Services for Liles were held Monday (Aug. 27) in Birmingham, Alabama. The School of Pharmacy is planning memorial services for later in the fall semester on both the school’s Oxford and Jackson campuses to celebrate Liles’ life and impact on the school.

“Anne Marie was dedicated, passionate, creative, balanced and selfless,” Haines said. “The loss of her presence on both campuses will be missed immensely.

“She is a true shining star and I will be forever grateful to have known and worked with her.”

Pharmacy Postdoctoral Fellow Honored for Poster Presentation

Pankaj Pandey earns Borne Award, named for late professor emeritus of medicinal chemistry

John Rimoldi (right), UM professor of medicinal chemistry and environmental toxicology and president of MALTO, presents the Ronald F. Borne Outstanding Postdoctoral Poster Presentation Award to Pankaj Pandey, a postdoctoral research associate at the School of Pharmacy. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Pankaj Pandey, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, won the Ronald F. Borne Outstanding Postdoctoral Poster Presentation Award at the 45th Annual MALTO Medicinal Chemistry-Pharmacognosy Meeting in College Station, Texas.

The MALTO conference, for medicinal and natural product chemists from Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas and Oklahoma, gives the Borne Award to one postdoctoral fellow at the conference each year based on their interview and research poster.

“I was pleasantly surprised when they announced my name,” Pandey said, who is from India. “I was very excited because this award is such an honor to receive.”

The Borne Award was created in honor of the late Ronald F. Borne, professor emeritus of medicinal chemistry at the UM School of Pharmacy.

Borne joined the faculty in 1968 and retired nearly 40 years later in 2004. He won the universitywide Outstanding Teaching Award in 1970 and the School of Pharmacy’s Outstanding Teaching Award six times from 1982 to 1998.

He served as chair of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and as the university’s interim vice chancellor for research from 1998 to 2001.

“I traveled with Dr. Borne to this conference a few years ago and I would see him around when he worked at Ole Miss before his passing,” Pandey said. “Everyone talks so highly of him, and he was just great at what he did. I was so happy to receive this award because it made me think of him.”

Pandey studies under the guidance of Robert Doerksen, associate dean of the UM Graduate School and associate professor of medicinal chemistry. Their research investigates the potential of natural products as a source of molecules that might interact with proteins to help treat obesity and diabetes.

“Pankaj is very enthusiastic about his research and talented at explaining it in a way that others can understand,” Doerksen said. “He plans and executes the challenging and groundbreaking research we do with a combination of inspiration and sheer hard work.”

Pharmacy School Welcomes Tougaloo College to Preferred Admission Program

Third state institution joins program to benefit future pharmacists

Jinghe Mao (left), dean of the Tougaloo College Division of Natural Science; Richard McGinnis, chemistry professor at Tougaloo College; Kris Harrell, associate dean of academic affairs for the UM School of Pharmacy; and pharmacy Dean David D. Allen meet to finalize the Preferred Admission Program agreement between the two institutions. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – In an effort to expand access to pharmacy education within the state, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy has completed its third admission agreement in a year with a Mississippi college.

Tougaloo College and the pharmacy school have partnered in a Preferred Admission Program that offers admission for Tougaloo freshmen who excel in pre-pharmacy classes and demonstrate a passion for service activities.

This initiative of the School of Pharmacy is meant to encourage more students to apply to pharmacy school who may prefer to complete pre-pharmacy courses at institutions that are closer to home or that offer more affordable tuition.

“The Preferred Admission Program will allow us to reach some of the best and brightest future pharmacists enrolled in Mississippi’s other college and university partners,” said Kris Harrell, the pharmacy school’s associate dean for academic affairs. “It’s a win-win-win for the students, the partner institutions and the School of Pharmacy.”

The Preferred Admission Program contributes to the university’s mission of making a positive impact on the lives of Mississippians, Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said.

“As Mississippi’s flagship institution, UM’s top priority is to use its resources to transform lives and communities,” Vitter said. “The School of Pharmacy’s Preferred Admission Program simultaneously increases educational opportunities across the state and contributes to the future of health care in Mississippi and beyond.”

Students admitted via the Preferred Admission Program will assume a traditional graduation track to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Alcorn State University and Jackson State University also are part of the program.

Beverly Wade Hogan, president of Tougaloo College, said she is pleased that her institution is participating in the program.

“Traditionally, a significant percentage of our graduates enter graduate and professional schools to study medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and other fields of health care immediately after receiving their undergraduate degrees,” Hogan said. “This is an opportunity for more of our graduates who are interested in pharmacy to study and stay in Mississippi, retaining the talents and skills so critically important to strengthening Mississippi and positioning it for heightened competitiveness.”

David D. Allen, dean of the School of Pharmacy, also stressed the benefits the Preferred Admission Program could have on patients.

“The goal of this partnership is to educate the very best future pharmacists who will contribute to and innovate within health care for the benefit of their patients,” Allen said. “Providing more opportunities for students interested in pharmacy can positively impact our profession for years to come.”

For more information on the Preferred Admission Program, contact  Harrell at kharrell@olemiss.edu.

UM Pharmacy and Alcorn State Partner in Admission Program

ASU becomes second state institution to join Preferred Admission Program

Alcorn State University has agreed to join the Preferred Admission Program for the UM School of Pharmacy, which will offer admission to qualified Alcorn State students. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy has signed an agreement with Alcorn State University to offer admission to qualified Alcorn State students who excel in freshman pre-pharmacy courses and participate in service activities.

This partnership, called the Preferred Admission Program, is part of both the School of Pharmacy’s and Alcorn State’s more-than-century-old traditions of dedication to the health of the state and its communities.

UM Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter praised the agreement, saying that it demonstrated a commitment to the university’s mission of contributing to the well-being of Mississippians.

“Facilitating broader access to education is one of the University of Mississippi’s foundational priorities,” Vitter said. “The School of Pharmacy’s Preferred Admission Program will benefit not only the students involved, but the overall pharmacy profession as well.”

Alcorn State is the second of three Mississippi institutions, along with Jackson State University and Tougaloo College, that are part of the Preferred Admission Program.

UM pharmacy students work in a skills lab on the Oxford campus. UM photo by Sydney Slotkin DuPriest

“Alcorn is incredibly excited to be launching this unique collaboration with Mississippi’s premier pharmacy school,” said Alfred Rankins Jr., Alcorn State president. “This engaging partnership will greatly benefit our high-achieving student scholars by providing direct access to post-graduate opportunities in a critically important health care profession.”

Once admitted, students in the Preferred Admission Program will be on the pharmacy school’s traditional graduation track to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

“This partnership is an integral part of our school’s commitment to educating pharmacists who will provide the best possible care for patients,” said David D. Allen, dean of the School of Pharmacy. “We recognize that providing more opportunities for motivated students ensures the continued quality of pharmacy’s essential contributions to health care.”

For more information on the Preferred Admission Program, contact Kris Harrell, the School of Pharmacy’s associate dean for academic affairs, at kharrell@olemiss.edu.

UM Scientists Work toward Natural Remedy for Bedbugs

NCNPR researchers look for safer solution in pest management

Bedbugs are tiny when they hatch, but each insect can grow to one-fourth of an inch in size as it matures.
UM photo by Don F. Stanford

OXFORD, Miss. – It’s a fear for children that monsters reside under the bed. But those monsters could be living on the mattress or in the sheets. They’re called bedbugs.

However, scientists with the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy are searching for a natural remedy to stop the insect from not only biting, but growing in rapid numbers.

“In the past few years, the number of bedbug infestations has risen, potentially impacting the hospitality industry” said Amar Chittiboyina, NCNPR assistant director. “The resources at the NCNPR make it an ideal research center for the discovery of a natural chemical as an insecticide.”

Funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Defense, the Insect Management Program looks for a natural compound for management of pests affecting soldiers and the public. Finding that solution is easier said than done, as bedbugs are tough to control, much less eradicate.

Junaid Rehman, research scientist in the NCNPR, works closely with two strains of bedbugs: those that are resistant to insecticides and those that haven’t been exposed to insecticides. Rehman is tasked with the challenge of sorting the tiny bedbugs, which grow to less than one-fourth of an inch in size, by age and making sure each gets its weekly fill of rabbit blood to help maintain the colonies.

Researchers use three delivery methods to test the effectiveness of natural compounds on the bedbugs, Rehman said.

The easiest ones to perform are fumigation and residual methods. In fumigation, the bugs are exposed to the vapor form for 24 hours, while the residual method has the treatment placed on filter paper and the insects are released over it.

The toughest is a topical method, which involves Rehman knocking the insects unconscious with carbon dioxide before applying a drop of test article on each adult’s back. This process can take up to five hours with 50-60 bedbugs in each treatment for statistical significance.

“In most cases of severe infestation, the only option to eradicate the insects is to discard the furniture,” Rehman said. “To avoid such an expensive operation, we are probing several methods for effective delivery of potential insecticides.

“At the end of the day, we are looking for natural compounds that are easy to apply in a laboratory setting and in the field. The hardest part is finding a natural compound that will safely and effectively eradicate or control the growth of bedbugs.”

Junaid Rehman, a research scientist in the UM National Center for Natural Products Research, works to separate bedbugs to prepare for testing of potential control agents in the lab. UM photo by Don F. Stanford

Researchers work in a biosafety lab at the Thad Cochran Research Center where special precautions are taken to prevent the escape of any bugs. Though bedbugs are easily contained in the lab, that’s not the case in public areas. Bedbugs hiding in dark corners and crevices of hotel rooms or other spaces can survive as long as three months without food.

The insect is not known to transfer diseases, but when an infestation is severe, the bites can cause health concerns. Finding a solution for this problem is at the forefront of the NCNPR’s goals.

“We have such unique resources at the NCNPR that we can optimize and convert the knowledge we have into finding a safer solution, as there is currently no easy way to get rid of these bedbugs,” said Ikhlas Khan, NCNPR director. “Having this funding from the USDA helps us to work toward our overall goals.”

As Bed Bug Awareness Week (June 3-9) rolls on and as many people prepare to travel for summer vacations, Khan acknowledged that public awareness and preemptive measures help in bedbug cases. NCNPR researchers will continue working to make bedbug nightmares a thing of the past.

“If we can come up with a natural compound that inhibits the bedbugs’ growth or alters its life cycle, and the natural compound has a safety profile needed for approval by the EPA as an insecticide, then we achieved our goals,” Chittiboyina said.

This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, under agreement no. 58-6066-6-043. Any opinions, findings, conclusion or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Pharmacy Administration Graduate Student Receives Fellowship

Ashley Crumby will continue her dissertation research on mentor relationships

Ashley Crumby

OXFORD, Miss. – Ashley Crumby, a graduate student in the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, was named a recipient of the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Sciences given by the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education.

Crumby will use her fellowship to continue research for her dissertation on “Valuation of mentorship in pharmacy education and the impact of perceived involvement,” as she measures the value student pharmacists place on mentorship.

“This opportunity will help support the importance of mentorship research,” Crumby said. “I would love to continue this type of research in my future career and apply it to a position in which I could potentially develop and implement mentorship programs at schools.”

A native of Chapel Hill, Tennessee, Crumby earned her Pharm.D. from Ole Miss in 2009. No stranger to mentorship in her own career, Crumby said she has been blessed with many great advisers, including Alicia Bouldin, associate dean of outcomes assessment and learning advancement at the School of Pharmacy.

“I am so thankful that AFPE is rewarding Ashley’s commitment in this area,” Bouldin said. “She truly has a passion for mentoring in pharmacy education and is excited about the chance to deploy her research talents to explore this area.

“I have no doubt that many will benefit from any further understanding she is able to glean on this topic, which is becoming increasingly important in the changing health care landscape.”

In 2013, American Pharmacists Association recognized Crumby for her work with pediatric infectious diseases and commitment to student mentorships by naming her a Distinguished New Practitioner. Her dedication to improving the pharmacy profession and lives of others shows why John Bentley, chair and professor of pharmacy administration, calls Crumby a well-rounded graduate student and individual.

“Two of the most significant factors that determine success in graduate school are motivation and perseverance,” Bentley said. “There is no shortage of either when it comes to Ashley. She typically goes above and beyond the call of duty in all of her endeavors.

“She has high levels of motivation to succeed, but more importantly, she has an extraordinary motivation to learn.”

Pharmacy Graduate Student Earns Student Exchange Award

Ann Fairly Barnett will research pollution effects on oysters in Ocean Springs

Ann Fairly Barnett presents her research on the effects of pollution on Mississippi oysters at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry’s Young Environmental Scientists meeting in March. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Ann Fairly Barnett, a University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy graduate student, has received the Student Training Exchange Opportunity award from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

The award will allow Barnett to conduct research in the Shoemaker Toxicology Laboratory at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs this summer. She will work under the guidance of Joe Griffitt, chair of the USM Division of Coastal Sciences and associate director of its School of Ocean Science and Technology.

Her research examines the effects of ocean acidification and tributyltin, a compound formerly found in painted boat hulls, on the Eastern oyster, as well as how to restore Mississippi Gulf Coast oyster reefs in future climate change scenarios.

Barnett, who earned her Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from USM in 2016, is working toward her master’s in environmental toxicology at the School of Pharmacy. The Jackson native is a graduate research assistant for Deborah Gochfeld, principal scientist in the National Center for Natural Products Research and research professor of environmental toxicology in the Department of BioMolecular Sciences.

Ann Fairly Barnett dives off Grand Cayman Island as part of her research on marine sponges. Submitted photo

“Since childhood, I have been deeply interested in the ocean and all it has to offer us,” Barnett said. “A friend told me about the opportunity at the University of Mississippi to work on a project involving oyster reef restoration on the Mississippi Gulf Coast under Dr. Gochfeld’s advisement.

“I was very interested and excited for the opportunity to conduct research aimed at working toward a healthier coastline in my home state, while also learning the ropes of environmental toxicology.”

Barnett was working on a project in the Cayman Islands involving marine sponges while preparing her application materials, which she said was akin to writing a small grant proposal.

“Ann Fairly is an enthusiastic young scientist who has jumped in and taken the initiative to learn as much for her research on oysters as possible,” Gochfeld said. “This training exchange award will enable her to make use of the recently-built, state-of-the-art environmental toxicology facility at the GCRL to jump-start her master’s thesis research.”

Pharmacy Professor Selected for Nelson Order

Scott Malinowski was one of 20 inductees chosen for the UMMC honor

Scott Malinowski (left), clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice, is welcomed into the Nelson Order by Rob Rockhold, deputy chief academic officer at the UM Medical Center, during ceremonies at the medical center. Photo by Joe Ellis/UMMC Photography

JACKSON, Miss. – Scott Malinowski, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, has been inducted into the Norman C. Nelson Order of Teaching Excellence at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Named for Norman C. Nelson, who served as UMMC’s vice chancellor for health affairs for 21 years, the award honors faculty members from each of UMMC’s six schools. Awardees are selected based on their dedication to students through innovative teaching, engagement, mentorship and setting expectations for professional behavior.

 “This is truly a great honor,” Malinowski said. “It is very special to be selected by students and colleagues in recognition of my teaching contributions.

“The existence of the Nelson Order shows just how committed the Medical Center is to teaching excellence. I am proud to be considered one of its members.”

Nominees for the Nelson Order were inducted at a luncheon where each received a stole from LouAnn Woodward, UM vice chancellor for health affairs, that they will wear Friday (May 25) during the Medical Center’s commencement ceremony.

“This is a significant achievement and well-deserved recognition of Dr. Malinowski’s many contributions to education on the UMMC campus,” said Seena Haines, chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice. “He has demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching and engaging students and residents in their clinical and professional growth.”

Leigh Ann Ross, associate dean for clinical affairs at the pharmacy school’s UMMC campus, said she is “thrilled” about Malinowski’s induction.

“In all practice environments, he has precepted pharmacy students and served as a role model,” Ross said. “Scott provides quality educational opportunities for our students by leading courses and serving as a facilitator in our problem-based learning curriculum.”

Ross went on to say that Malinowski’s long-term involvement in heart failure management in the ambulatory clinic, providing nutrition support in the inpatient setting and participating in the Community-Based Research Program shows his desire for student success.

“I am passionate about teaching because I enjoy helping students realize that they can successfully learn this vast amount of material that they are confronted with and use it to help others,” Malinowski said. “It is amazing to watch them grow into confident health care professionals.”