Pharmacy faculty, staff recognized during State of the College

March 20, 2023

Members of the University of Arizona R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy faculty and staff were recognized for their dedication, service and contributions to research during the “State of the College” event in December.

“It is important to recognize the members of our community who embody the mission of the college and help to advance our college’s people, programs and profession,” said Rick Schnellmann, PhD, dean of the Coit College of Pharmacy and the Howard J. Schaeffer Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Award recipients were nominated by their peers, and a committee chose the award winners.

The awards were presented by Dr. Schnellmann. Below each photo is an excerpt from the awardee’s nomination material.

The A. Jay Gandolfi New Investigator Award

Jianqin Lu, PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics; director of pharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics track

Two men standing and holding glass College of Pharmacy award.

Dean Rick Schnellmann, PhD, with Jianqin Lu, PhD.

“Since his arrival in 2019, Dr. Lu’s research has been published in journals such as Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Communications and the Journal of Controlled Release. His work has resulted in four U.S. patent applications.”

The Dr. James R. Halpert Faculty Research Award

Christopher Hulme, PhD, professor of pharmacology and toxicology, director of medicinal chemistry

Two men standing and holding glass College of Pharmacy award.

Dean Schnellmann with Christopher Hulme, PhD.

“Dr. Hulme is an engaged and hands-on PI who works to push, develop and encourage more than 30 undergraduates, graduates and postdocs in his lab. His experience in big pharma and academia have led to collaborations that have generated over $17 million in federal and institutional funding.”

The Schnellmann Family Faculty Award

Xinxin Ding, PhD, department head and professor of pharmacology and toxicology
R. Ken and Donna Coit Professorship in Drug Discovery

A tall man and woman stand with another women holding a glass College of Pharmacy award. All are wearing red.

(From right) Qing-Yu Ding, accepts the award for her husband, Xinxin Ding, PhD, who was not able to attend the ceremony, with Jennifer Schnellmann, PhD, and Dean Schnellman.

“As a result of Dr. Ding’s leadership, the college has risen to No. 5 in the nation in funding from the National Institutes of Health, up 38 spots since his arrival. In addition to his personal commitment to science and education, Dr. Ding has been a constant advocate for the training of toxicologists and environmental scientists.”

Dean’s Outstanding Service Award

Ivo Abraham, PhD, RN, professor of practice

Mostly bald man with a pleasant smile wearing a blue collared shirt.

Ivo Abraham, PhD, RN, was not able to attend the event.

“A professor of pharmacy, medicine and clinical translational sciences, Dr. Abraham has lectured, consulted and conducted research around the world. He divides his time between the University of Arizona and Matrix45, a biopharmaceutical research and consulting company, where he serves as chief scientist.”

Dean’s Outstanding Service Award

Nathan Cherrington, PhD, ATS, associate dean of research, director of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center, director of the Center for Toxicology

Slender older man in red sweater standing with a taller, younger bearded man in blue shirt holding award.

Dean Schnellmann with Nathan Cherrington, PhD, ATS.

“Dr. Cherrington serves on several professional organizations and committees, sharing his expertise and offering leadership to groups such as the Society of Toxicology Continuing Education Committee and the Pacific Northwest Center for Translational Environmental Health Research.”

Staff Award for Excellence

Emely Hoffman, research specialist, senior

Tall man in red sweater standing with woman in black dress holding glass Pharmacy award.

Dean Schnellmann with Emely Hoffman.

“Emely takes the lead on mentoring and training new members of the lab, from high school interns to graduate students. She works with students struggling with their career plans to reflect on their experiences and explore different paths. Emely teaches students life skills in addition to lab skills.”

Honorary Alumnus Award

Michael Katz, PharmD, clinical professor, director of international programs, director of residency programs

Older man in red sweater standing with man in dark sweater with Christmas bear on it holding glass pharmacy award.

Dean Schnellmann with Michael Katz, PharmD.

“Dr. Katz was active in the COVID-19 vaccination program during the point of distribution efforts on the UArizona campus for many months. He personally gave thousands of people a dose of the lifesaving vaccine and helped coordinate these efforts.”

Special Recognition

Liz Mellor, executive associate to the dean

Tall older man in red sweater standing with shorter woman with blond hair in red sweater holding glass award.

Dean Schnellman with Liz Mellor.

Mellor, who retired in January, was recognized for her 31 years of service. A message from Dean Emeritus Jack Cole was shared: “After leaving the Dean’s Office, you have been my contact with the college, my caregiver and good friend. I am truly grateful, and I wish you many years of a happy and healthy retirement. The College and I will miss you.”