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UH Hilo College of Pharmacy welcomes its new faculty

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Date: Friday, August 29, 2008
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Nine new faculty members in the College of Pharmacy started the new school year this week at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. One year after the first student began studying for a doctorate in pharmacy in Hilo, the College has grown from a staff of about 15 to 32. Over the next two to three years, plans call for reaching a total staff of about 70.

“The addition of these outstanding professionals strengthens the University’s stance to help stabilize the future of Hawa’i,” said Dean John Pezzuto. “Our faculty will be training a vital force in the health care field that we hope will stay here and contribute to the local economy through jobs and helping people stay healthy. They are already interacting and starting projects with other faculty, both in Pharmacy and in the University-at-large, and we’re proud to welcome them into our community.”

The new faculty include:

• Anita E. Ciarleglio, assistant professor, is teaching sections of Integrated Therapeutics, Culture and Interprofessional Health Care and also will be a supervisor to second-year students at the Bay Clinics. Dr. Ciarleglio is licensed as a registered pharmacist in Hawai`i and has conducted in-depth continuing education programs for pharmacists through Pacific Seminars Inc. She also served as an ambulatory care clinical pharmacist at Kaiser Permanente. She received her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from St. Louis College of Pharmacy and her doctorate in pharmacology at St. Louis University School of Medicine. Dr. Ciarleglio has instructed hundreds of students each semester through Statewide distance-learning programs, and has been active in several community education programs for the education of pharmacy technicians.

• Daniela Gundisch, assistant professor, is teaching medicinal chemistry in Integrated Therapeutics and Introduction to the Pharmaceutical Sciences. She previously lectured in pharmaceutical/medicinal chemistry at the Pharmaceutical Institute of Bonn. Dr. Gundisch received her doctorate from the Pharmaceutical Institute of Tubingen, Germany and earned postdoctoral lecture qualification in Pharmaceutical/Medicinal Chemistry from the Pharmaceutical Institute of Bonn, Germany. She has received numerous awards and nominations, including the Rottendorf Award for Pharmaceutical Sciences and is an active member in many scientific organizations.

• R. Scott Holuby, assistant professor, is teaching in the Integrated Therapeutics course and will be supervising students at the Bay Clinics. Dr. Holuby is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist and a licensed practicing pharmacist who comes to Hilo from Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, N.C. Dr. Holuby received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and his Pharm.D. at Campbell University. He has worked in a variety of practice settings from large metropolitan health systems and retail pharmacy settings to small community hospitals and military healthcare systems. He also served as director of pharmacy at a small hospital in the Republic of Yemen.

• Eugene A. Konorev, assistant professor, is teaching Integrated Therapeutics and the Introduction to Pharmaceutical Sciences. He plans to start research projects related to diabetes-induced endothelial damage and hypoxia tumor cells. Dr. Konorev moved to UH Hilo from the St. James School of Medicine located on Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles and has held a variety of research and teaching positions, including assistant professor for the Department of Pharmacology at his alma mater, Kursk Medical University in Russia. He was a research scientist for the Laboratory of Cardiac Bioenergetics at the Cardiology Research Center in Moscow and also held faculty positions in the Department of Biophysics at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Konorev received his M.D. and his doctorate from Kursk in the Department of Pharmacology. Dr. Konorev has authored and co-authored more than 60 publications and has won several international awards.

• Mark Litzinger, clinical education coordinator, will be supervising first- and second-year students in Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience rotations and teaches Foundations of Integrated Therapeutics. He is a licensed pharmacist in Hawai`i and Washington as well as British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. Mr. Litzinger has taught numerous pharmacy-related seminars to diverse groups and is a certified pharmacy student preceptor in Washington. Mr. Litzinger has experience at multiple retail locations as pharmacy manager where he oversaw daily operations; he currently practices as a pharmacist on the Big Island. Mr. Litzinger’s area of interest is pharmacotherapy related to all psychiatric disorders and neurologic disorders, specifically multiple sclerosis.

• Kenneth R. Morris, professor, is teaching pharmaceutics and a course on drug development. He also will be conducting research on natural products and materials science. Dr. Morris moved to UH Hilo from Purdue University where he was a professor and associate head of the Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy. He received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and his masters and doctorate in pharmaceutics from the University of Arizona. Before entering academia, he was in charge of Physical Chemistry in the products division at Bristol-Myers Squibb Products. Dr. Morris is chair of the scientific advisory committee for the U.S. Federal Drug Administration Office of Pharmaceutical Sciences and has directed several federally funded projects, including one from the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Structured Organic Composites.

• Mimi Pezzuto, instructor, is teaching the Pharmaceutics Laboratory as well as an elective course on the history of pharmacy. She also is teaching Health, Wellness and Disease Management and is the instructor and course coordinator for Health Care Systems. Ms. Pezzuto is a licensed pharmacist in Illinois and Hawai`i and has a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Illinois. Prior to coming to UH Hilo, she wrote lectures on managed care and promoted the minority student program at Purdue University. Other experience includes manager of the pharmacy program for HCSC Corporation (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and Texas), senior consultant for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, consultant for several Blue Cross plans including the Federal Employee Plan, in Washington, D.C.

• Ron Taniguchi, director of Community Partnerships, serves on the administrative team for the College of Pharmacy. Dr. Taniguchi received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Oregon State University, his Pharm.D. from the University of Southern California and his MBA from Chaminade University. He is licensed as a pharmacist in Hawai`i and in California. Dr. Taniguchi's professional practice experience includes acute care, ambulatory care, long term care, managed care and military service. He comes to UH Hilo after three years as the Director of Pharmacy Management at HMSA, a Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate in Hawai`i. He has held numerous officer positions and appointments in local and national pharmacy associations including three years as the Executive Director of the Hawai`i Pharmacists Association.

• Supakit Wongwiwatthananukitn, assistant professor, is teaching Integrated Therapeutics, Foundation of Integrated Therapeutics and OTC Drugs, Evidence-Based Medicine and Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiential. Prior to joining UH Hilo, Dr. Wongwiwatthananukit was an assistant professor of clinical pharmacy at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. He received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the Prince of Songkla University, Thailand and his Pharm.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Pharmacy. He earned his masters and doctorate degrees in Pharmacy Practice from Purdue University. He has been a graduate student advisor for more than 25 students and an active member of many academic committees, and he received the Nagai Award for Pharmacy Practice Research. His research focuses on the development and evaluation of health-related quality of life measurements, patient-oriented pharmacy services, self-care and dietary supplements, pharmaceutical education, evidenced-based pharmacy practice methodologies, and clinical trials of cardiovascular drugs and herbal products for smoking cessation and obesity.

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