Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Brett Barker, '08 PharmD, and Karunya Kandimalla, '04 PhD, have been named the recipients of the 2017 Genesis Award from the UI College of Pharmacy. This award recognizes graduates from the past 15 years who have achieved early distinction in their field. Barker and Kandimalla will be recognized during the Osterhaus Medal for Lifetime Achievement Symposium and Alumni Awards Ceremony on October 5.

Brett Barker


Brett Barker, ’08 PharmD, began his career as the pharmacy manager of NuCara Pharmacy in Nevada, Iowa. In 2010, he became Director of Clinical Services and was tasked to create the NuCara Health Solutions clinical division. Barker currently serves as the Vice President of Operations for NuCara Management Group, where he oversees the operations of 24 NuCara Pharmacy and Home Medical locations in five states.

Throughout his career, Barker has been actively involved in professional organizations, including the Iowa Pharmacy Association (IPA) House of Delegates, Legislative Advisory Committee, Telepharmacy Joint Task Force, the State of Iowa Epilepsy Treatment and Education Task Force, and the New Practice Model Task Force. He was awarded the IPA Individual Appreciation Award in 2013, the GenerationRx Award in 2014, and Distinguished Young Pharmacist in 2017. Barker was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad to serve on the Iowa Board of Pharmacy in May 2017.

Barker’s professional areas of interest include practice management, innovative health care delivery models, and legislative and regulatory advocacy.

Barker is active in his community, and serves on the Nevada City Council. He lives in Nevada with his wife, Tracy, and three daughters, Ella, Lexi, and Graceyn.

Karunya K. Kandimalla


Karunya K. Kandimalla, ’04 PhD, is an associate professor of pharmaceutics at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. After earning his PhD in pharmaceutics under major advisor Maureen Donovan, he went on to conduct postdoctoral research work in the Department of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota.

Following his postdoctoral work, Kandimalla served as an assistant professor in pharmaceutical sciences at the Florida A&M University, where he was awarded the 2010 Florida A&M University Emerging Researcher Award. 

Kandimalla has authored numerous scholarly publications, and is a renowned expert in the general areas of biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics with emphasis on macromolecular transport and metabolism. The Kandimalla Laboratory has been developing experimental methods and models to facilitate the early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In collaboration with investigators at the Mayo Clinic, Kandimalla Lab has been investigating insulin signaling/trafficking deficiencies in the cerebral vasculature of Alzheimer’s disease patients and is discovering methods to reposition existing drugs to treat these patients. Further, Kandimalla Lab has been involved in designing nanotheranostics for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke and cerebral amyloid angiopathy in collaboration with the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the Mayo Clinic. 

Kandimalla earned his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Gulbarga University in India, and his Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

The Genesis Award winners will be recognized during the Osterhaus Medal for Lifetime Achievement Symposium and Alumni Awards Ceremony on October 5.