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Teaching in the Pharmaceutical Sciences

Building a Strong Science Background

Faculty of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences are responsible for all of the basic science courses taught in the first 3 years of the Pharm.D. curriculum (see Pharmacy Course of Study), including:

Elective Courses

  • Substances of Abuse
  • Advanced Extemporaneous Compounding
  • Introduction to Medical Missions
  • Independent Research
  • Professional Projects in Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Herbal Medicines and Dietary Supplements
  • Current Topics in Drug Delivery
  • Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
  • Toxins and Poisons: An Introduction to Forensic Toxicology
  • Vaccinology 101: Design, Development, and Disease
  • Cancer Biology and Treatment

Required Courses

  • Pharmacy Calculations
  • Biosystems I and II
  • Systems Pharmacology I, II, III, IV, and V
  • Principles of Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmaceutics
  • Applied Pharmaceutics Lab I and II
  • Introduction to Diversity

Innovation in Education

Seeking to improve the educational experiences of our students and to promote student-centered learning, the following projects are examples of our faculty's commitment to educational development:

  • Deaf Strong Hospital: A Role-Reversal Exercise Emphasizing Cultural Competency and Awareness by Jennifer Mathews, Ph.D. and Amy Parkhill, Ph.D.
  • Student-led Learning in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Curriculum by Melinda Lull, Ph.D., Jennifer Mathews, Ph.D., Erin Jannetta, Pharm.D., and Christine Birnie, Ph.D.
  • Inclusion of a Transgender Panel Discussion in a Required Diversity Course by Amy Parkhill, Ph.D., Stefania Bradford, Pharm.D., Jeanne Gainsburg, Scott Fearing, and Jennifer Mathews, Ph.D.
  • Enhancing Student Awareness of the Quality Aspects of Compounded Pharmaceutical Preparations by Christine Birnie, Ph.D., Fang Zhao, Ph.D., Parag Budukh, Ph.D., and Marvin Pankaskie, Ph.D.
  • Evaluation of Student Performance Using Multiple Choice and Open-Ended Examination Questions in a Pharmacy Calculations Course by Christine Birnie, Ph.D. and Parag Budukh, Ph.D.
  • Lecture Podcasts: Supplement or Replacement for In-class Lectures in Traditional Classroom Courses by Parag Budukh, Ph.D. and Christine Birnie, Ph.D.
  • The Design of a Sterile Product Laboratory Module as Preparation for an Institutional IPPE Course by Fang Zhao, Ph.D., Christine Birnie, Ph.D., Anthony Corigliano, Susan Hughes, John Loughner, and Stephen Valentine
  • A Faith-Based Pharmacy Missions Course with Service Learning by Christine Birnie, Ph.D. and Lillian Kang, Pharm.D.

Student-Directed Research Projects

Offering both formal coursework in research methods as well as opportunities for independent study, professional projects, advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE), and a summer internship program, department faculty and their students have collaborated on a diverse range of topics:


  • Pharmacy-Student Outreach: Bridging the Gap from an Inner-City High School to Pharmacy School by Jennifer Mathews, Ph.D., Chirag Davé, Pharm.D., Mohammad Mohammad, Pharm.D., Gabriela Cipriano, Pharm.D., Fang Zhao, Ph.D., and Brooke Lowry, Pharm.D.
  • Implementing a Substances of Abuse Outreach Program in the Rochester City School District by Rachael Jarbe, Pharm.D. Candidate, Nicole Piette, Pharm.D. Candidate, Chiraq Davé, Pharm.D. Candidate, Amy Parkhill, Ph.D. , Melinda Lull, Ph.D., and Jennifer Mathews, Ph.D.
  • Proposed Role of Pyrogens in Vancomycin Infusion-Related Reactions by John Cottom, Pharm.D. Candidate, Fang Zhao, Ph.D., and Donna Ventura
  • Environmental Toxins Linked to Neurodegeneration and Autism Activate the Brain's Immune System by Jared Hill, Pharm.D. Candidate, Chris Teijelo, Pharm.D. Candidate, Huang To, Pharm.D. Candidate, Alex Meyer, Pharm.D. Candidate, Elizabeth Micca, Nicole Vaughn, Pharm.D. Candidate, and Melinda Lull, Ph.D.
  • Cost Comparison Analysis of Contact Lens Rewetting Drops by Stephanie Stoneham, Pharm.D. Candidate and Fang Zhao, Ph.D.
  • A Service Learning Public Health Lesson: A Medical Mission Trip to El Salvador by Christine Birnie, Ph.D., Alex DeLucenay, Pharm.D., Adrienne Dahler, Pharm.D., Elysa Lampell, Pharm.D., Elizabeth Duclos, Pharm.D., and Nicholas Blanchard, Ph.D.


  • A Pignato, M Pankaskie, and C Birnie. Stability of Methimazole in Poloxamer Lecithin Organogel to Determine Beyond-Use Date. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding 14:522-526 (2010)
  • M Kaltenbach, DJ Hutchinson, JE Bollinger, and F Zhao. Stability of Diluted Adenosine Solutions in Polyvinyl Chloride Infusion Bags. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacists 68:1533-6 (2010)
  • DL Prohotsky, F Zhao. A Survey of Top 200 Drugs - Inconsistent Practice of Drug Strength Expression for Drugs Containing Salt Forms. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Online