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UHCOP Welcomes 3 New Faculty

Appointments Include Managed Care, Infectious Disease and Medicinal Chemistry Faculty

UH College of Pharmacy recently welcomed three new faculty members to the college: Joy P. Alonzo, Pharm.D., M.E., clinical assistant professor, and Amelia K. Sofjan, Pharm.D., in the Department of Clinical Sciences & Administration, and D. Gomika Udugamasooriya, Ph.D., associate professor of medicinal chemistry, in the Department of Pharmacological & Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Joy Alonzo jpg photoAlonzo joins the college from Texas A&M Health Science Center in Kingsville, where she served as a clinical faculty member and preceptor in advanced interprofessional and collaborative clinical practice settings involving pharmacy students, medical residents, nursing staff and other healthcare professionals. Among the programs she has led are Corpus Christi-based medical residency training, diabetes self-management, and the chemical dependency outpatient clinics; an externally funded Diabetes Type 2 intervention project aimed at middle and high school students; and development of a novel method to detect and analyze adverse drug event (ADE)/adverse drug reaction (ADR) occurrence rates in specialized patient populations. In her new role, Alonzo will teach and precept pharmacy students in managed care pharmacy experientials as part of her position as a clinical pharmacy consultant at Texas Children's Health Plan. Alonzo holds a Pharm.D. from Howard University in Washington, D.C.; a Master of Engineering in Engineering Science from Pennsylvania State University in State College, Penn; and a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Amelia Sofjan photo jpgRaised in the Greater Houston area, Sofjan joins the college from Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., where she completed a two-year (PGY1-PGY2) ASHP-accredited Pharmacotherapy Residency. Sofjan's academic and research interests include transplant infectious diseases, multi-drug resistant organisms, fungal infections and interprofessional education. Her project entitled "Evaluation of Standard Enoxaparin Dosing as a Risk Factor for Bleeding in Lung Transplant Recipients" was recognized as a Poster of Distinction at the World Transplant Congress this summer in San Francisco. Sofjan is a Pharm.D. graduate of The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy and The Unversity of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Sofjan's infectious disease clinical practice site is at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center.

Gomika Udugamasooriya photo jpgUdugamasooriya joins UHCOP from the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he served as an assistant professor in the Advanced Imaging Research Center and Department of Biochemistry. Udugamasooriya holds co-ownership of two U.S. patents and currently has approximately $1.8 million in multiyear grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CIPRIT) and the U.S. Department of Defense. His research interests include combinatorial chemistry, peptoids and peptidomimetics, cancer therapy-diagnostic tool development, cancer and cancer stem cell biology research. Udugamasooriya earned a Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry and Biochemistry from Wayne State University in Detroit and a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and completed a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at UT-Southwestern.