College of Pharmacy

Pharmacy News

Posted Date: February 24, 2021

HSC College of Pharmacy PEACE Task Force is hosting a DE&I Speaker Series this March.

The Elephant in the Room: A Speaker Series Dedicated to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Topics features presentations by three distinguished DE&I leaders in healthcare and academia on March 3, 10 and 31.

Register now to reserve your space! Thank you to the RISE committee for the donation of books to be given away during each session (see below).

View the flyer here:


March 3, 1-2:30 CT:Talbert Cropped For Webinar

Creating Awareness About Health Care Disparities: Developing a Foundation for Healthcare Equity

Tukea Talbert, DNP, RN, CDP

Doctor of Nursing Practice, Registered Nurse

Chief Diversity Officer, University of Kentucky

The first 20 attendees will receive a complimentary book recommended by Dr. Talbert, The Political Determinants of Health 1st Edition by Daniel Dawes.

Register here:


March 10, 1-3 pm CTSkyller Walkes Webinar

Accountability through Action: Activating for Results

Skyller Walkes, PhD,

Assistant Dean of Diversity & Inclusion and Assistant Professor of Instruction

The University of Texas at Austin

The first 40 attendees will receive a complimentary book recommended by Dr. Walkes, Medical Apartheid by Harriet Washington.

Register here:


March 31, 1-2:30 pm CTLakesha Headshots Webinar

Dismantling Systemic Racism in Healthcare

Lakesha Butler, PharmD, BCPS

Clinical Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

The first 40 attendees will receive a complimentary book recommended by Dr. Butler, Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do.

Register here:

Posted Date: February 11, 2021

HSC couple follows student journey, from applicant to alumni

Who has a guaranteed commute buddy, daily lunch date, and a built-in best friend at work? That would be one of our College of Pharmacy couples, Austin and Casandra Luna, who have workedAustin And Casandra 2021 Crop together for the past six years at HSC.

As Recruitment and Admissions Associate, Casandra welcomes the new class each year and hands them over to the SEAS team, which includes Austin, Senior Program Manager, who interacts with students the remainder of their PharmD journey.

They met at undergraduate orientation in their hometown of San Antonio in 2007 and married 11 years later in Miami, Florida.

Austin and Casandra shared what they enjoy most about working together:

  • Due to our positions, we have more insight into the student journey from applicant to alumni.
  • Casandra works with students for months on their applications. It’s rewarding to hear from Austin that they are flourishing in the program.
  • It’s easy to connect and assist one another with projects or lend a helping hand.
  • We get to have lunch together every day.
  • We only have to purchase one parking pass, save on gas, and have a commute buddy!
  • We always answer “Yes” on the Gallup question – Do you have a best friend at work?

Posted Date: February 10, 2021

Name/Class: Jennifer Ra, HSC College of Pharmacy, Class of 2022Jravaccination

Hometown: Frisco, Texas

Jennifer is an Emergency Department Pharmacy Intern in an in-patient environment where she recently got the COVID-19 vaccine. When she was a P1, she was eager to meet new people and met upperclassmen who connected her to this internship. Her career goal is to work as a clinical pharmacist in Emergency Medicine.

How has COVID-19 affected your position in the pharmacy?
We have reduced face-to-face time with our patients, but now our department has found innovative and creative ways to engage with our patients. COVID has also given us opportunities to grow as a department and as individuals.

What is the most rewarding part of your position?
Even though we may not get to see our patients face-to-face anymore, I still can see the impact of our pharmacy team in direct patient care. Even though our job looks a little different for now, our quality and impact has not changed.

What has this experience taught you about being a pharmacist?
A textbook can only teach you so much. Learning comes to whomever is willing and open to adapt. You will never be 100% prepared for everything life throws your way, but with an open mind, anything is possible.

Posted Date: February 2, 2021

Name/Class: Manoj Patel, HSC College of Pharmacy – Class of 2023

Hometown: Colleyville, TXPhoto of Manoj Patel

Manoj is employed as a pharmacy intern in a retail and community setting. He first started out in his pharmacy as a certified pharmacist technician, but after completing his first-year with HSC College of Pharmacy, Manoj earned his pharmacy intern license and immunization administration certificate. He credits the College of Pharmacy for the skills needed to appropriately counsel patients during a stressful pandemic.

How has COVID-19 affected your position in the pharmacy?

In my position during COVID-19, I’ve noticed that patients are looking toward pharmacies for general advice as well as to receive vaccines. Personally, I have seen a huge increase in patients wanting to get vaccinated not only for their safety but as well as the safety of their loved ones.

What is the most rewarding part of your position during the pandemic?

The most rewarding part of my position is knowing how to utilize what I am learning in my health science classes and effectively applying it to my practice. I have been able to confidently answer my patient’s questions and give recommendations. It is a great feeling to be able to successfully help my patients navigate through this stressful pandemic.

What has this experience taught you about being a pharmacist?

This experience has taught me that pharmacists are essential in public health in that their broad scientific knowledge in various health topics can be helpful in guiding and protecting the community.

Interviewed and compiled by Haley Barnes, Class of 2024

Posted Date: January 5, 2021

Student finds positive outlook during pandemic

Name/Class: Hannah Bond, HSC College of Pharmacy – Class of 2022Unthsc Texas Health

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

What type of work are you doing in the field? I am about to celebrate five years at Texas Health Harris Methodist Alliance working as a pharmacy technician/intern. I spend a majority of my time compounding IV medications in the sterile compounding lab and delivering medications to the Pyxis machines (automated medication dispensing system). I have been fortunate enough to shadow the centralized and decentralized pharmacists at THAL. I have learned so much over the past five years, and I am thankful to have such wonderful mentors. My favorite part about working at the hospital is being able to apply what I am learning in school. Pharmacists have such a positive impact on the overall health and well-being of the individuals within the community!

What are your career goals? My short term goal is to become a residency trained clinical pharmacist working in the ICU. In the next five years, I plan on obtaining board certifications in pharmacotherapy and critical care.

What has it been like as a student pharmacist gaining experience during a pandemic? Can you describe any specific invaluable learning or impactful moments? I have learned that it is important to take everything one day at a time and maintain a positive outlook on life. I have learned so much on rotation and at work during 2020. This past year has been challenging in many ways. It has been difficult for me to watch patients with COVID-19 not have the love and support of their families close by. There has been so much loss this last year and it has been very difficult to watch. I believe that nurses, physicians, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, patient-care technicians, and all other healthcare professionals are able to make a difference by showing empathy to patients and their families. There are so many protocols in place to limit the amount of exposure during the pandemic. I am really looking forward to having more hands-on interaction with patients in the future!

Covid 19 Vaccine Bond Photo

I was able to get my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and I had a great experience. Overall, the vaccination was painless and the only side effect that I experienced was some soreness around the injection site. I am very thankful to have received the first dose of the vaccine. I feel confident that I am one step closer to protecting my family, friends, and the community!

What has this experience taught you about being a pharmacist? There are so many unknowns during a pandemic! Healthcare changes at a rapid rate and it is difficult to know all of the answers. The literature is being updated at a remarkable rate, and we are all learning together as healthcare professionals. The pandemic has emphasized the importance of being a lifelong learner. I am very impressed and empowered by the research that is occurring worldwide. I have so much respect for medicine and the healthcare industry as a whole.

How has it changed your educational experience? COVID-19 has tested me in many ways. I have had to adjust my learning style over the past few months, but I can honestly say that I have made the best of distance learning! I realized very early on how important it is to maintain a consistent schedule to stay on top of schoolwork! I prioritize my time and I really enjoy the flexibility that distance learning provides. In order to be successful, I focus on setting a daily schedule, maintaining a positive attitude, staying connected with friends and family, and making time for exercise throughout the day! COVID-19 has taught me the importance of being flexible with my time and expectations. This pandemic also taught me that you can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond!






Posted Date: November 9, 2020

What better way to kick off Pharmacy Week this year than with sage advice and wisdom from a legend in the pharmacy community, Dr. Tom Menighan, former EVP and CEO of the American Pharmacists Menighan Lincoln 2019Association. Dr. Menighan’s work over the past 50+ years has been groundbreaking, forward thinking and visionary.

During his webinar, Your Future Through My Rearview Mirror, he touched on how the evolving tools and technologies in pharmacy will open up many new opportunities for pharmacists in the future. “Pharmacists are poised to contribute to every sector of health care,” Dr. Menighan said. “Jobs will increasingly become less traditional.”

“COVID has changed all of our lives,” he added. “Telehealth is going to expand exponentially moving forward along with digital therapeutics and biometrics. All of these things are in place today, not widely adopted yet, but the day will come when you connect with patients via telehealth. But I don’t think face-to-face human contact will ever go away permanently.”

Dr. Menighan also encouraged lifelong learning, professional networking, mentoring others and finding your own mentor.

Pharmacy Student Government Association leaders were selected for an exclusive Leadership Roundtable with Dr. Menighan, where he encouraged students to build their network, ask lots of questions, and be humble.

He also emphasized the importance of “soft” skills and finding happiness in your career and in life. “Live life with gratitude and an attitude of service,” he said. “You have choices. You can make your practice what you choose to make it.”

Posted Date: November 3, 2020

The HSC College of Pharmacy Outstanding Achievement Awards were created in 2020 to celebrate faculty and staff for their substantial, impactful, and deliberate achievements that emphasize innovation and UNTHSC values in the areas of service, teaching, research, and clinical care.

The inaugural awards for Outstanding Service and Teaching were presented during Pharmacy Week with a surprise ceremony, donning masks and practicing social distancing. Awards for research and clinical care will be presented in 2021.

Congratulations to the 2020 recipients, Donna Coyle and Crystal Howell.

Watch the presentation video here

Outstanding Service – Donna Coyle, MS, Director of Research

Comments from nominators, Brenda Sihotang and Kyle Emmitte:Img 1007

Since the college’s inception, you have been in selfless service to the college. Your contributions to the College of Pharmacy’s success in extramural funding cannot be overstated. You have been there to train both staff and faculty in all grant and research processes. You have been indispensable in helping to ensure new faculty hit the ground running with their research. You further support the research vision of the college through the Research Seminar Series. You consistently promote collaboration, respect and collegiality within the college and across the HSC.

Comments from the Service Award Task Force:

The Service Award Task Force views it an honor to award you the College of Pharmacy’s first Service Award. You are known as a calm, ethical collaborator who is focused on helping researchers move their projects forward. Through your all-campus advertising of the College of Pharmacy Research Seminar Series, you raise the awareness of ongoing projects of the college, opening up opportunities for possible development of new collaborations across the HSC campus. Your contribution to the success of the College of Pharmacy cannot be overstated.

Outstanding Teaching – Crystal Howell, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacotherapy

Comments from nominator, Meenakshi Ramanathan:Img 1003

You are a great collaborator and are very innovative with your ideas and materials. The students absolutely adore you. You are a firecracker and full of energy in the classroom. You make a complex topic like infectious disease integrated pharmacotherapy fun and you simplify the material in such a way that it is easy for the learner to grasp.

Comments from the Teaching Award Task Force:

The Faculty Teaching Award Task Force unanimously recommends you for the inaugural College of Pharmacy Faculty Teaching Award.  We were especially impressed by your innovative, creative and fun learning activities that focused on teaching to multiple learning styles and thinking “outside of the box.” Often students are “awestruck” by your knowledge and ability to communicate complex topics. Your creative and open-minded approach has enriched the learning environment for students.

Posted Date: October 19, 2020

Now more than ever, students need our help to prepare for the admissions process. The HSC College of Pharmacy has designed a toolkit to help advisors share resources with Toolkit Cover Pagestudents.

This toolkit includes:

  • Sample social media posts
  • Customized hashtags
  • Premade graphics
  • Student perspective blog



Five Tips for Success in Pharmacy School

By HSC Student Pharmacist, Sanjida Hoque


Important Deadlines Infographic Pharmacy Facebook Pharmacometrics Instagram Ddd Cert Instagram
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Questions? Contact the Admissions Office at or 817-369-5752 .

Posted Date: October 14, 2020

Transitioning from an undergraduate program to professional school can be intimidating for first-year students.

Sanjida Hoque, a fourth-year pharmacy student at Sanjida HoqueThe University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, recently shared her wisdom and advice as the student guest speaker for the Class of 2024 White Coat Ceremony.

Sanjida shared these five tips to achieve success in pharmacy school:

1. Prioritize self-care

Be mindful of your emotions and physical health. Pharmacists recommend lifestyle changes to patients to help them lead healthier, happier, and longer lives, so why not start the process from within? Remaining active in things that create joy can help you cope with the stress pharmacy school might bring. It will also make the pharmacy experience more enjoyable and keep you feeling rejuvenated!

2. Establish a support system

Stay in touch with family and friends because they can provide the fuel you need to push through pharmacy school. Interacting with people who aren’t in pharmacy school can be refreshing! Classmates can be great support systems as well because you will be sharing a similar experience with them over the next four years, and they will likely be going through the same feelings and events as you.

3. Utilize the resources around you

The HSC College of Pharmacy offers many academic resources and has people who will reach out about specific help they offer. Along with academic help, numerous services and points of contact are available on this campus to facilitate your goals and ideas in order to transform them into reality. Just take the initiative to reach out for help to ensure you have every opportunity to succeed.

4. Get involved

Student organizations are a great way to get involved and stay updated on the rapid changes in the pharmacy industry. Joining organizations or clubs can also help you discover the different areas of pharmacy you could pursue. Activities and volunteering events associated with student organizations can bring you a network of supportive people who are ready to help you reach your goals!

5. Believe in your potential

Challenges and obstacles will be present throughout your life, but how you react to adversity is what defines your character. Turn disappointment into determination and make the necessary changes needed to achieve the goals you have in mind. Support your potential by celebrating your successes, progresses, and milestones. Celebrating after milestones or any kind of good news is perfectly acceptable and helps you grasp the idea that you are one step closer to your goals.

About Sanjida Hoque

Sanjida is a fourth-year pharmacy student who is completing clinical rotations for the final year of the Pharm D program. She completed her pre-pharmacy coursework and Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies at The University of Texas at Dallas.

While practicing as a community pharmacist intern for Walmart pharmacies in the North Texas region, she has also participated and engaged in numerous school events during her pharmacy school journey.

Sanjida has held a variety of leadership roles in student organizations, including Student Ambassador for the HSC College of Pharmacy, Secretary for the Rho Chi Honor Society, Immunization Chair for the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, and Curriculum Liaison for the HSC College of Pharmacy’s Class of 2021.

In addition to being listed as a Dean’s List recipient for several semesters, she has also been recognized by the Texas Pharmacy Association and Dallas Area Pharmacy Association for her contributions to the HSC College of Pharmacy and the pharmacy profession.

Learn more about the HSC College of Pharmacy academic programs.

Posted Date: August 25, 2020

Xiaowei Dong, PhDXiaowei Dong 1

Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and P1 Curriculum Director

Education: PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Kentucky, College of Pharmacy

Hometown: Zigong, China

What led you to your career path?

I got a BS and MS in analytical chemistry. However, I had a passion for healthcare for a long time. So I transferred to the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Kentucky to pursue my PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences. I found myself loving formulation and drug delivery.

After graduation, I wanted to see how medicines are discovered, developed and commercialized. Thus, I joined the Pharmaceutical and Analytical Department at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. My work at Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation as a lead formulator in drug product development gave me valuable insight into the conduct of successful, cost-effective drug formulation development and manufacturing operations. During this period, my work spanned the development stages in pre-clinical studies to Phase III clinical trials.

After 3 years working at Novartis, I wanted to return to academia to focus on research. In 2013, I was blessed to join HSC College of Pharmacy as the inaugural faculty and started my lab, teaching and research at UNTHSC.

What is the focus and significance of your research?

An estimated 40% of approved drugs and nearly 90% of the developmental pipeline drugs consist of poorly water-soluble molecules. Oral administration is the most favorable and preferred route. While I worked at Novartis, all of my projects were related to water-insoluble compounds. Although there were several oral special delivery systems available for water-insoluble compounds, we still faced limited technology options. Without effective drug delivery systems for poorly water-soluble drugs, development of oral formulations of molecules are often abandoned, nevertheless having strong therapeutic potentials. Moreover, many marketed oral drugs have poor water solubility and are commonly associated with low bioavailability and patient variability.

As an expert in lipid nanoparticles, I observed their advantages for drug delivery. However, the big hurdle of using lipid nanoparticles in oral solid dosage forms was low drug loading; that means the final solid form would have a small amount of drug after we convert nanoparticles to solid forms. When I came back to academia in 2013, I dedicated myself to research in this area. In 2015, I discovered in situ self-assembled nanoparticles (ISNP). With this novel nanotechnology, we are able to produce drug solid nanoformulations with high drug loading. We found many special features about this nanotechnology.

Tell us about your recent grant award.

Recently, I was awarded the Maximizing Investigators’ Resource Award (MIRA-R35) from National Institutes of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health based on this nanotechnology to advance formulation technology for water-insoluble drugs. This is a five-year award to provide support for the research in a principle investigator’s laboratory, not for a single project or disease. This award provides me great stability and flexibility. I am so happy that I can spend my time on doing actual research.

What other research are you working on in your lab?

The ISNP nanotechnology is the main focus in my lab now. Because my research is about formulation technology, I can use it for different drugs to treat different diseases. Currently, I collaborate with other researchers on the treatments of lung disease, cancers and diabetes.

What do you love most about your work?

Research on formulation and drug delivery is really creative. We need to customize each formulation according to the properties of one particular drug. So this research is also very challenging because we have to constantly change compositions, technology and procedures to provide the best formulation for one drug. This research is also very cool. When we discover one novel composition or technology, we can name it by ourselves. For example, I named my new technology as “ISNP”. I use this name for my publications and patent applications.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I like to cook different kinds of food. Sometimes I cook Indian food, sometimes American food and sometimes Italian food. I have good skills in baking. During Chinese Moon Festival, I bake moon cake by myself and share with my friends. I also bake cookies and cakes. Some colleagues in our College of Pharmacy have tasted my moon cakes and cakes. Recently, I had success on a soufflé. That is yummy!