STAR Alumni Seminar Series

Presenter:  Charlene Ng, RPh (NJ), PhD
Global Upper Respiratory Claims Leader
Merck Consumer Care, Merck & Co.

Title:  Roles a Pharmacy Graduate can be in the Consumer Product Industry

Date:  Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Location: PB 850, Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy building
144 College Street, University of Toronto

Dr. Charlene Ng is currently the Global Upper Respiratory Claims Leader at Merck Consumer Care, Merck & Co., Inc. Her primary responsibility is to provide therapeutic category leadership and strategic guidance in medical science such as clinical study design, product claims and advertising, health promotion and education, and competitive scientific assessment, with the objective to support marketing and sales, product defense, and regulatory filing of global consumer healthcare products.

Dr. Ng received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. Upon graduation, she worked as a staff pharmacist at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Ontario Cancer Center. She then obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in a collaborative program between the Department of Pharmaceutical Science and the Center of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto under the co-supervision of Drs. Peter Pennefather and Yu-Ling Cheng.

Her interest is in applied research and commercialization of relevant technology in the consumer product industry. Product category experiences include monograph drug products, medical devices, and Rx-to-OTC switches. Product development and launches in therapeutic categories of allergy, cough and cold, eczema, cold sore, anti-itch, wound care, and foot care to support global and regional brands such as Afrin®, BandAid®, Benadryl®, Claritin®, Compeed®, Coricidin®, Cortaid®, hydraSense®, and Zyrtec®.

Presenter:  Judith Fisher, PhD
Manager of Drug Technology Assessment, Pharmaceutical Services,
Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness

Title:  Then and Now: A Journey from Coast to Coast

Date:  Friday, November 9, 2012

Location: PB 850, Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy building
144 College Street, University of Toronto

Dr. Judith Fisher is currently the Manager of Drug Technology Assessment, Pharmaceutical Services, Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto (BScPhm 1977 and PhD 2009) and Simon Fraser University (MA 2003). She completed a Post-doctoral Fellowship at Dalhousie University (2009-2011). Her interests include research on the effectiveness of policies and programs in providing safe, effective and affordable medications, and educational initiatives for health care professionals.

Presenter:  Patrick Ronaldson, PhD
Assistant Professor,
Departments of Pharmacology and Physiological Sciences
College of Medicine, University of Arizona

Title:  Organic Anion Transporting Polypeptide 1a4: An Endogenous Blood-Brain Barrier Target for Optimization of CNS Drug Delivery

Date:  Monday, April 2, 2012

Location: PB 850, Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy building
144 College Street, University of Toronto

Dr. Patrick T. Ronaldson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Pharmacology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. His research interests encompass effects of pathology on functional expression of membrane transporters at the blood-brain barrier and in glial cells (i.e., microglia, astrocytes), regulation of transporters by intracellular signaling pathways, and molecular pharmacology of nuclear xenobiotic receptors. Dr. Ronaldson’s laboratory is currently examining novel approaches to exploit these pathophysiological changes in transporter expression and function as a means of optimizing drug delivery to the brain. Dr. Ronaldson obtained his P.D in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2007 from the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in 2010 at the University of Arizona where he studied blood-brain barrier biology and pharmacology under the mentorship of Dr. Thomas P. Davis. He currently has 17 peer-reviewed publications on molecular pharmacology of the blood-brain barrier, glial cells, and transport proteins. He has also co-authored 2 book chapters on membrane transporters in the CNS and on in vivo methods to study CNS drug delivery. He has also been invited to present his work at several national and international meetings including the prestigious Gordon Research Conference on Barriers of the CNS. Additionally, his research findings were also highlighted in an American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists’ webinar entitled “Ouch, there goes my blood-brain barrier: How inflammatory pain in the periphery affects drug delivery to the CNS” that was viewed by over 500 scientists in over 25 countries.

Presenter:  Suzanne Iverson, PhD
Section Director, Metabolism and Imaging

Title:   The widening scope of mass spectrometry in AstraZeneca

Date:   Monday, March 21, 2011

Location: PB 850, Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy building
144 College Street, University of Toronto

Suzanne Iverson acquired her Honours Bachelor’s degree in Organic Chemistry and MSc in Chemical Toxicology (Supervisor Dr. Judy Bolton) from Queen’s University.  After nearly three years as a Bioanalytical scientist for Neurochem Inc. (now Bellus Health), Suzanne commenced her PhD in Sept. 1998 with Dr. Jack Uetrecht in the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto focusing on molecular mechanisms of clozapine-induced agranulocytosis.  In May 2002, Suzanne embarked on a life-changing journey and continued studying the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis when she started postdoctoral studies at Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden) in the lab of Dr. Sten Orrenius.  Late in 2003, Suzanne accepted a position with AstraZeneca in Södertälje, Sweden as a Sr. Research Scientist in Biotransformation where, utilizing her mass spectrometry experience from U of T, she directed biotransformation lead optimization projects in discovery as well as mass balance studies/metabolite identification in pre-clinical development.  In September 2006, Suzanne was appointed to the role of Associate Director of Metabolism in Global Development DMPK & Bioanalysis (10 scientists) and led a postdoc project in the area of mass spectrometric detection of reactive metabolite adducts to P450s. In February 2008, Suzanne was appointed to her current role as Section Director of Metabolism & Imaging (19 scientists) and has led the coordination and build of mass spectrometry imaging in AstraZeneca.  Throughout her years at AstraZeneca, Suzanne has been involved in the evolution of two reactive metabolite strategies, become fluent in Swedish, married Johan Hemberg and has two Canadian-Swedish children Kristoffer, 5 and Isobel, 2.  Furthermore, her leadership and strategy talents have been recognized as both a line manager and as a core member of the AZ Global ADME Discipline group, the latter of which delivered a global ADME strategy.  Suzanne is an active member of the European Drug Metabolism Discussion Group (DMDG) and is a new board member of the PK-Metabolism section of the Swedish Pharmaceutical Society.

Presenter:  Rommel Tirona, PhD (PhD Supervisor: Dr. Sandy Pang)
Assistant Professor, Division of Clinical Pharmacology,
Departments of Physiology & Pharmacology and Medicine
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
University of Western Ontario

Title:   Towards Personalized Medicine: Warfarin as a Template

Date:   January 17, 2011

Location: PB 850, Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy building
144 College Street, University of Toronto

Rommel G. Tirona received a B.Sc.Phm. at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto and completed a pharmacy residency at the Ottawa Civic Hospital.  After obtaining his pharmacist’s license, Rommel worked as a pharmacist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.  Eventually, Rommel obtained a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Sandy Pang.  This was followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN under the supervision of Drs. Grant Wilkinson and Richard Kim.  Subsequently, Rommel was Research Scientist in the Department of Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism at Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA.

After returning to Vanderbilt University as a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacology, Rommel moved to the University of Western Ontario where he is currently Associate Professor in the Departments of Physiology & Pharmacology and Medicine.  His research interests include drug transport and metabolism, regulation of gene expression, pharmacogenetics and pharmacokinetics as determinants of drug response and toxicity.

Presenter:  Jian-Xin Li, PhD (PhD Supervisor: Dr. Ping Lee)
Technical Manager for North America
Evonik Degussa Corporation
Piscataway, NJ

Title:   My Career as an Excipient Scientist

Date:   May 27, 2010

Location: PB 850, Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy building
144 College Street, University of Toronto

Dr. Jian-Xin Li has joined DFE Pharma as Technical Manager, North America.  Before joining DFF Pharma, he worked as Research Fellow, Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc.; Technical Director, Pharma Polymers for Evonik-Degussa Corporation and Pharmaceutical Projects Manager for FMC BioPolymers.

Dr. Li is an International Steering Committee Member of Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients (6th and 7th edition). He co-edited the Theme Issue on Oral Controlled Delivery for AAPS Journal PharmSciTech (2006-2008). He co-chaired and chaired the 41st, 43rd and 45th AAPS Arden Pharmaceutical Technology Conferences (West Point, New York); the 1st and 2nd Asian Arden Pharmaceutical Technology Conferences (Beijing and Shenyang, China) on Particle and Powder Technology in 2008, and Formulation Strategy for Poorly Soluble Drugs in 2010. He is the Chair of 48th AAPS Arden Pharmaceutical Technology Conference on Pharmaceutical Materials Science and Engineering, to be held for the first time in USP Meeting Center in Maryland, US in 2013.

Dr. Li was the 2005 Chair of the AAPS Modified Release Focus Group. He is the 2008/2012 Co-Chair of CRS China Initiative Subcommittee, a member of the CRS Chapter Committee, and the 2008/2013 Award Committee Chair for the AAPS MSE Section.

During 2010 PSWC and AAPS annual meeting, he co-chaired a highly active roundtable discussion, well attended by top FIP Officers, with Dr. Daan Crommelin on Sharing Global Best Practices in educating Pharmaceutical Scientists.