Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Five University of Iowa (UI) College of Pharmacy graduate students, joined by two advisors, participated in the Dec. 16, Fall Doctor of Philosophy Commencement Ceremony at Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City, Iowa. Professor David Roman, associate dean for Research and Graduate Education, represented the College at the event and assisted with the hooding of our graduates. Learn a bit about these exceptional students:


Track: Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences

Advisor:  Assistant Professor Marie Gaine

Research Area: The DNA methylation profile of individuals with psychiatric disorders using wet lab-based techniques, a variety of instruments, and computational approaches.

Upcoming Plans: Joining a six-month co-op position at Biogen to focus on computational approaches for studying the genomics of complex diseases.

Favorite College of Pharmacy Memories: One is volunteering for three academic years to show new PhD students around the labs and College facilities. It was a way to welcome them to the College and help them feel more connected to the community. It was also a chance to share my knowledge and experience with others and give back to the College.


Track: Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry

Advisor:  Professor Ashley Spies

Research Area: New challenges and opportunities in drug discovery targeting glutamate racemases.

UI College of Pharmacy PhD Graduate Hannah Gruenwald Following Her Thesis defense.
Hannah Gruenwald, not pictured in group photo above.


Track: Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry

Advisor:  Professor Robert Kerns

Research Area: Analytical chemistry with a focus on nuclear magnetic resonance.

Upcoming Plans: Working for Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Favorite College of Pharmacy Memories: I really enjoyed the networking experience at the MIKIW (universities of Minnesota, Illinois-Chicago, Kansas, Iowa, and Wisconsin-Madison) Medicinal Chemistry Conference, hosted by the College (in April 2022).


Track: Pharmaceutics

Advisor:  Bighley Professor Aliasger Salem

Research Area: Bone regeneration.

Upcoming Plans: Post-doctoral lab position at the UI College of Pharmacy.

Favorite College of Pharmacy Memories: The nights spent playing games with friends I made in my program, and, while writing my thesis, looking back at the slow but continual progress I made in my research over the four years I spent on my project and seeing how it all came together in the end.


Track: Pharmaceutics

Advisor:  Bighley Professor Aliasger Salem

Research Area: Developing injectable long-acting (extended-release) therapeutics that provide sustained levels of drugs in a patient’s blood stream following monthly or once every three-to-six months injections.

Upcoming Plans: Transition into the pharmaceutical industry as a formulation scientist where I can apply the knowledge and skills I gained (at the College) to develop and optimize cutting-edge therapeutics that can transform the lives of patients with acute or chronic illnesses.

Favorite College of Pharmacy Memories: Passing my comprehensive exam and the feeling of satisfaction I had afterwards was very rewarding. Another great memory was having my mother come all the way from Egypt to attend my graduation ceremony and seeing her sitting in the auditorium and proud of me made me feel very proud.

*Studies will be completed in May 2023.