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Still Spry at 75

College Community Celebrates History, Future at Diamond Anniversary Gala

June 8 — Nearly 300 alumni, faculty, students and friends of the University of Houston College of Pharmacy joined in celebrating 75 years of "Character, Compassion, Competency & Courage" – as well as recognizing its newest milestone donors and alumni honorees – at the college's 75th Diamond Jubilee Gala June 4 at the Hilton University of Houston Hotel.

Serving as emcees for the evening were alumni Julie Spier, R.Ph. (B.S. '86) and Osagie Tony Ohonba, (Pharm.D. '15), with remarks and presentations by UHCOP Dean F. Lamar Pritchard, Ph.D., R.Ph., and UH President/UH System Chancellor Renu Khator, Ph.D. Festivities for the evening included live silent auction, social hour accompanied by a quartet from Moores School of Music, presentation of awards, recongition of college donors, and a live band at the after-party.

The evening not only served as a celebration of the college's past, present and future, but it also marked the kick-off event for the college's $1.5 million 75th Anniversary Scholarship campaign to provide financial support to current and incoming students.

Mading Society/Red Coat Honorees

The gala provided an opportunity to recognize new members into the college's Mading Society of benefactors: Christopher M. and Nancy Lisowski Dembny, Larry A. Harrison (B.S. '70), Walter N. Kuntz Jr. (posthumous), John (Pharm.D. '99) and Aimee Mohr, Dan E. Morse ('60), E. Paige (B.S. '94) and Ronald Pitman, and Dr. Michael W. Stavinoha (B.S. '77). In addition, Harrison, Stavinoha, and Mustafa F. (Ph.D. '75) and Sanober Lokhandwala were honored for their milestone giving with the presentation of "Cougar Red Coats" embroidered with the Mading Society coat-of-arms.

Also being honored at the event were Kathleen M. Giacomini, Ph.D., as the 2022 Distinguished Pharmacist Alumnus Award recipient, and Mustafa Lokhandwala as the 2022 Meritorious Achievement Award recipient.

Distinguished Pharmacist Alumnus Award

A 1973 graduate of the B.S. in Pharmacy program, Giacomini is an world-renowned pharmacologist focusing on transporter biology and pharmacogenomics, with particular interest in influx transporters involved in drug disposition and targeting.

Giacomini was recently appointed dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, where she serves as a professor with a joint appointment in the School of Medicine. She also serves as co-principal investigator of the UCSF-Stanford Center of Excellence in Regulatory Sciences and Innovation, an FDA-funded center with the goal of advancing scientific issues related to the safe and effective use of medical products. In addition, she cofounded the International Transporter Consortium and previously led the UCSF-based Pharmacogenomics of Membrane Transporters project in the National Institutes of Health Pharmacogenomics Research Network from 2000 to 2015.

An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), she has received several awards for her mentorship and research from such organizations as the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and the AAPS.

Meritorious Achievement Award

Lokhandwala, who recently was bestowed professor emeritus status, spent his entire career spanning nearly five decades of teaching, research and service at the college before retiring in January. After earning his Ph.D. from UH, Lokhandwala joined the college as an assistant professor before rising to the ranks of department chair, full professor and eventually dean. His achievements at the college include securing university and state approval for the Ph.D. in pharmacology and the Pharm.D. program as well as increasing external research funding from $500,000 to over $11 million by fiscal year 2018.

An internationally recognized leader in cardiovascular pharmacology, Lokhandwala is a fellow of the American Society of Nephrology and the American Heart Association.With continous funding from the National Institutes of Health for his research, Lokhandwala authored or coauthored more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and reviews, 200-plus abstracts, and more than two dozen books and book chapters. Most recently, the Lokhandwalas established an endowed professorship at the college and a new annual research lecture series has been created in his honor.

For more photos from the gala, visit our Flickr photo album.