College Honors Endowed Professor and Lifetime Achiever

October 07, 2013

In a dual ceremony on Thursday, October 3, the College of Pharmacy community celebrated the recipient of its third fully-endowed professorship, and its 2013 Osterhaus Medal for Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

Aliasger Salem, PhD, associate professor and head of the Division of Pharmaceutics and Translational Therapeutics, was appointed to the Lyle and Sharon Bighley Professorship in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The 2013 Osterhaus Medal for Lifetime Achievement was presented to David Maher, BSPh, DSC (Hon.).

Salem’s research group targets two of the most common cancers—melanoma and prostate cancer. He researches how to train the body’s immune system to attack tumors, by focusing on applying nanotechnology in drug delivery and cancer vaccines.

Salem’s diverse research experiences have led to novel drug delivery approaches. His research has received support from prominent organizations, and he has authored more than 165 scholarly publications, patents, and presentations. Salem has mentored 16 graduate students, 1 visiting professor, 3 postdoctoral fellows, 2 master’s students, and more than 50 undergraduate, PharmD, and high school students in research.

Salem has been an American Cancer Society Research Scholar since 2009. He also leads the Cancer Signaling and Experimental Therapeutics (CSET) Program at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center (HCCC) of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. 

Lyle Bighley – who created the professorship with his wife, Sharon – graduated from the UI College of Pharmacy with a Master of Science in pharmacy in 1963 and a doctorate in pharmaceutics in 1966. He was also an assistant professor and later promoted to an associate professor in the college from 1969-1977.

Immediately after the investiture ceremony, a symposium was held to present this year’s Osterhaus Medal to Maher.

The award, presented annually, honors those who have made extraordinary achievements in the pharmacy profession. Maher was born and raised in Iowa City and is now a resident of Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from the college in 1964, and received the UI College of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1998. He was also awarded the University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Award 2000. Maher worked with American Stores Company for 36 years, serving as vice chairman and president. He is founder, chairman, and general partner of DMM Enterprises, LLP, an asset management company. Dr. Maher is a board member of Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacies, and QVL Pharmacies, a pain management pharmacy. He is also a former chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.