College of Pharmacy

Pharmacy News

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


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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!


Posted Date: August 24, 2020

By Arnessa Blanks

The Class of 2024 kicked off their first year of the PharmD program last week. New this year is the 2020 Dean’s Achievement Award, granted to students with at least a 3.5 math and science grade point average and a PCAT score of 70 or above.

“The Dean’s Achievement Award recognizes some of our top applicants, students who have not only met the highest of academic standards, but have also shown great dedication to the profession,” said Rebeca Perfecto, Director of Admissions. “These students will receive guidance from our Dean throughout their four years of pharmacy school. This is truly a unique opportunity for the students who received this award.”

Dean S. Suresh Madhavan is thrilled with the full complement of 104 students admitted to the program and said, “Our admissions team and our faculty and staff have admitted a terrific class of 2024, and the talented students who have received the highly competitive Dean’s Achievement Award are a great testimony to the caliber of students who are attracted to our outstanding PharmD degree program.”

2020 Dean’s Achievement Award Recipients

The following six students were selected for the Dean’s Achievement Award, each receiving a $15,000 scholarship. These students come from diverse backgrounds and have many new opportunities and activities to look forward to as they begin their journey in pharmacy school


“The Dean’s Achievement Award means so much to me,” said Abdullah Abu Altemen. “When I saw the email saying that I was part of the Dean’s Achievement Award group I jumped and yelled from excitement!”

Alteman says he is grateful to be recognized and looks forward to starting this new journey with faculty and friends.

Lauren Cagle Photo

“Receiving the Dean’s achievement award is a tremendous honor,” said Lauren Cagle. “My goals for my first year in pharmacy school are to excel in my classes, support and help my classmates where I can, and find the perfect family-school balance.”

Cagle says this award has allowed her to appreciate the leadership and support of the SCP staff and their commitment to education.


Ranjana Danegulu, along with her peers, was ecstatic to have been selected for this prestigious award.

“It is a matter of great honor and somehow it gave me more confidence in beginning this journey,” she said. “I have a deep respect for the award and I am proud that I am one of the award recipients.”

Danegulu says she selected UNTHSC because it is close to home and has heard good reviews from friends, co-workers and alumni. She looks forward to interacting with her classmates, meeting the faculty and hopefully getting involved with student organizations.


“I want to start pharmacy school strong academically, learn as much as I can, make friends with like-minded people, join organizations and have fun,” said Dylan McNutt.

McNutt has lived in the DFW area since 2016 and chose UNTHSC because it is close to home and offers great programs and scholarships.

Sydney Thompson

“This award shows that UNTHSC has recognized my potential and is investing in my future,” said Sydney Thompson. “That kind of support is amazing and I appreciate it greatly. It’s comforting to feel your school and faculty in your corner rooting for you to succeed.”

Thompson says her goal for her first year in pharmacy school is to start strong and create a good foundation for the years to come. She is also looking forward to growing closer to her peers so they can grow together and be successful.


“I strive to gain exposure to different angles of the pharmacy profession through internships, volunteering, and research,” said Elise Vo. “I aim to diversify myself with the transferable skills and knowledge that would aid in the evolving roles of pharmacists.”

Vo says this achievement motivates and empowers her to put forth her best effort every day. She is excited to learn more about pharmaceutical drugs and pharmacy practice in a few weeks when the semester begins.

Beginning Pharmacy School During a Pandemic

Amidst a pandemic, students can expect their coursework to be quite different than usual with most coursework completed virtually. The Class of 2024 will only be on campus for in-person lab and skills activities about a dozen times this fall.

“I’m honestly feeling a lot better about starting pharmacy school virtually,” said Sydney Thompson. “I was definitely nervous at first because of the overall course load, but after being in communication with the cohort through group chat and being able to see that there are others that feel the same as me, I feel like, we as a group, can bring each other up and help each other out during this crazy time.”

Sydney says her peers have participated in social media exchanges so they can communicate that way, as well.

“New students will experience differences in the way in which the curriculum will be delivered – mostly online and individually rather than live and in a classroom with their peers,” said Dr. Killam-Worrall, Associate Professor of Pharmacotherapy and Associate Dean for Pharmacy Curriculum. “However, their learning and skills development will in no way be different from previous classes with the faculty and staff of the College of Pharmacy being there to help students every step of the way.”

This fall will definitely be different, but these new students are eager and excited to join the HSC College of Pharmacy.

Posted Date: July 25, 2020

by Arnessa Blanks

HSC College of Pharmacy recognized five preceptors, nominated by students and selected by the Preceptor Committee, during the virtual annual awards in June.

Nolan Toups Picture

Nolan Toups, PharmD, BCPS

Preceptors were recognized for their ability to demonstrate excellence, to act as a role model, and to exhibit commitment to guiding our students. To be eligible, each preceptor had to serve as the primary preceptor for at least one College of Pharmacy student for the 2019-2020 academic year.

“Our preceptors give the students countless opportunities to apply, practice and refine their skills and knowledge,” said Dr. Lisa Killam-Worrall, Associate Professor of Pharmacotherapy and Associate Dean for Pharmacy Curriculum. “I wish we could recognize every preceptor with an award for what they do to further develop our students into practice ready pharmacists. Our preceptors make our program and our students better!”

Nolan Toups, PharmD, BCPS, was selected as the APPE Preceptor of the Year. Dr. Toups is over the APPE Elective Transitions of Care rotation and works at Medical City Arlington as an emergency department pharmacist.

“Dr. Toups really pushed me to learn and get out of my comfort zone.  He made sure all assignments were beneficial and facilitated learning,” said a student nominator. “He made sure I had the best learning experience.”

Dr. Toups enjoyed seeing the students grow within the 6-week rotations and looks forward to seeing their success outside of the classroom.

Amulya Tatachar, PharmD, BCACP, received the APPE Faculty Preceptor of the Year award.  “The ability to work directly with students to see their growth from the beginning to the end of rotation is the most rewarding aspect of being a preceptor,” she said.

Bonnie Woody, PharmD, was selected as the IPPE Community Preceptor of the Year. Dr. Woody is a pharmacist at Tom Thumb Pharmacy in Fort Worth.

“Her dedication to her work, patients and staff is indicative of a truly amazing healthcare provider and person,” said a student nominator.

Jessica Schillig

Jessica Schillig, PharmD, BCPS

Jessica Schillig, PharmD, BCPS, was selected as the IPPE Hospital Preceptor of the Year. She works at Medical City Fort Worth as a pharmacist and clinical manager.

Dr. Schillig was recognized for her ability to lead with objectivity, thoroughness and confidence.

“When IPPE students’ progress to requesting an APPE rotation at my facility or APPE students move on to residency, it makes me feel proud and accomplished that I was able to play a small role in their learning and success,” she said.

Fay Chan, PharmD, also won IPPE Hospital Preceptor of the Year. She is an infectious disease pharmacist at Medical City Fort Worth.

Dr. Chan brought enthusiasm and passion to her rotations that helped her students step out of their comfort zone. She is known to keep up with her students’ years after graduating from the program.

“I hope to set a good example for students to one day become preceptors themselves, ultimately empowering them to elevate our dynamic pharmacy profession,” she said. “The mark that you as a preceptor leave can impact the student’s entire professional trajectory.”

2020 Preceptor Award Recipients

Fay Chan, PharmD, Medical City Fort Worth- IPPE Hospital Preceptor of the Year

Jessica Schillig, PharmD, BCPS, Medical City Fort Worth- IPPE Hospital Preceptor of the Year

Amulya Tatachar, PharmD, BCACP – APPE Faculty Preceptor of the Year

Nolan Toups, PharmD, BCPS, Medical City Arlington- APPE Preceptor of the Year

Bonnie Woody, PharmD, Tom Thumb Pharmacy- IPPE Community Preceptor of the Year

Posted Date: June 20, 2020

By Arnessa Blanks

Although many would agree that this is the year of uncertainty, HSC College of Pharmacy was certain to find a way to celebrate our Class of 2020 award recipients. With the current trend of most things going virtual, it was our honor to invite all graduates, family and friends to an award celebration via Facebook Watch Party.

Viewers were able to tune in to the ceremony from any location and actively participate. Graduates interacted with each other in the comment section while many exchanged words of wisdom and encouragement while expressing their excitement for their peers.Video Emoji Image

Faculty and staff recorded personal videos congratulating graduates and encouraging them to become active alumni during their future endeavors. The Class of 2020 award recipients were recognized for their academic excellence, passion for the community, and class involvement.

Many students successfully juggled class work while moving to remote learning mid-semester.

“At times it can be overwhelming, but having everything I wanted and needed to do in one place provided the guaranteed workspace to ensure nothing was forgotten,” said Jacob Hall, recipient of the 2020 Student Ambassador of the Year award.  Dr. Hall also received three other awards and presented the welcoming speech at the 2019 White Coat Ceremony.

As the Class of 2020 moves toward the future, some graduates are preparing for residencies that could land them a more niche role. “I have been matched with West Virginia University Medicine PGY1 in acute care,” said Caitlin Fellers, recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice. “I hope to be focusing on my interest areas including critical care, emergency medicine and academia.”

Based on faculty comments, the Class of 2020 worked consistently to inspire new students, create welcoming environments, and generate innovative ideas for the pharmacy program. Faculty, staff, peers and future pharmacists are looking forward to seeing this new generation of pharmacists in action.

Thank you to the Awards Committee and to everyone who contributed to the video. Watch the 32-minute awards video here.

Class of 2020 Award recipients:

Princess Ananti- IDIG Pharmacy Leadership Award

Andrew Beckman- Mylan Excellence in Pharmacy Award

Elizabeth Berihun- Merck Manual Award

Janine Castro- Texas Pharmacy Association Award

Anh Dong- National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Award

Caitlin Fellers- Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice, Phi Delta Chi Gehrig Distinguished Brotherhood Award, Rho Chi Distinguished Scholar Award

Chastiney Gray- Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) Award

Jacob Hall- System College of Pharmacy Student Ambassador of the Year, SEAS Anchor Award, Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Award, PSGA Serve Others First Leadership Award

Joseph Johnston- Merck Manual Award

Ashton Klouda- Pediatric Pharmacy Outstanding P4 Award

Brandon Mai- Dean’s Award for Academic Achievement, Salutatorian

Roberto Montealegre- IDIG Pharmacy Leadership Award

Hoang Nguyen- Outstanding SCCP Student Member Award

Mivielis Rivera- APhA Outstanding Senior

Nicole Shaw- SEAS Compass Award, International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Award, AMCP Student Chapter Member of the Year Award

Stephanie Spurgers- Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists Student Leadership Award

Blake Wassom- Wolters Kluwer Award

Christy Xavier- Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, Valedictorian

Graduated with Honors:

Andrew Beckman, Jessie Bui, Katherine Huynh, Brandon Mai, Minh Nguyen, Vincent Q. Nguyen, Heily Pham, Kelli Sims, Blake Wassom, Christy Xavier

Posted Date: February 7, 2020

FixJennifer T. Fix, PharmD, MBA
Associate Professor


Hometown East Alton, Illinois – Have been in Texas since 1987
Current Role

I teach Over the Counter Therapies to first-year students and Advanced Compounding to second-year students, Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) & Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE).

I have a clinic practice with UNT Health and treat patients with hepatitis-C. I also start patients who have ulcerative colitis on biologics. Read more about UNTHSC Hep-C Clinic.

What was your favorite course in graduate school/pharmacy school? Pharmacy Practice Lab – learning how to fill prescriptions and how to compound.
What led you to your career path? Had a friend of the family who was a pharmacist.
What UNTHSC value to do you relate to most? Serve Others First
What do you love most about your work? Teaching students and helping patients.
What is your teaching style? Hands-on whenever possible.
What is your expectation of pharmacy students? Do your best, not just the minimum needed to get by. This is your profession – you should have an interest in knowing the material.
Word of advice for students Learning is a journey. You cannot learn all of the information at once. It builds from a foundation.
Top things to do in Fort Worth Babe’s Fried Chicken is a must for any person visiting the area.
What is the most mispronounced medication or medical term you’ve ever heard? “genetic” for generic
Hobbies and Fun Facts Private Pilot – I consider myself retired. We used to own a Cessna Cardinal, but we since sold the airplane. The checklist that pilots use is very helpful in the pharmacy world because it keeps processes consistent and reduces error.