Peer Par Excellence
UHCOP Faculty Honor Fernandez, McConnell and Salim for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Service
The UH College of Pharmacy honored three of its own – Julianna Fernandez, Pharm.D., BCPS, CGP; Bradley K. McConnell, Ph.D., FAHA, FAPS; and Samina Salim, Ph.D. – for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Service at the college's Faculty Retreat May 15-16.
A clinical assistant professor specializing in geriatrics, Fernandez was recognized with the 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award. A UHCOP faculty member since 2012, Fernandez is a 2006 alumna of the college with additional credentials as a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist and Certified Geriatric Pharmacist. In addition to precepting students at her Houston Methodist Hospital clinical site, Fernandez coordinator, co-coordinator and lecturer in eight Pharm.D. classes and as an graduate advisor in the Pharmacy Leadership & Administration M.S./PGY1-PGY2 program in collaboration with seven fellow Texas Medical Center institutions.
"It is an honor to receive the UHCOP Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching this year because I know that I am surrounded by many who are excellent teachers," Fernandez said. "It is reassuring to know that I am having a positive impact while doing what I love most, which is teaching."
The recipient of the Excellence in Service Award, McConnell is a National Institutes of Health-funded associate professor of pharmacology who joined the college in 2008. His research is focused on cardiovascular disease, specifically in the area of targeted disruption of beta-adrenergic signaling to alter cardiac contractility. A fellow of the American Heart Association and the American Physiological Society, McConnell serves in the UH Faculty Senate and several college committees, including as chair of the Graduate Studies Committee. McConnell is a past Faculty Excellence Award winner, taking home the Research honor in 2013.
"My objective is to integrate service activities along with my research and educational activities," McConnell said. "To achieve this goal, I am personally committed to educate, mentor and prepare K-12 students, undergraduate students, graduate and professional students – students who will be our future leaders."
Salim, an assistant professor of pharmacology who has been with the college since 2004, was honored with the Excellence in Research Award. Salim's primary research focus is on novel mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders. She recently was awarded a three-year, $450,000 continuation award on her National Institutes of Health R15 project first awarded in 2012. Salim has authored an impressive 20 peer-reviewed articles in the past four years alone on her lab's latest developments, including the first published reports on the causal role of oxidative stress in anxiety-like behavior in rats. In addition, Salim was recognized with this year's UH Early Career Award for Undergraduate Research Mentoring.
"It feels great to have my peers and colleagues recognize the quality of my research," Salim said. "I share this award with my team of outstanding graduate and undergraduate students as well as my research staff, whose hard work has greatly contributed to my success with NIH funding and research productivity."