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Faculty Experts

University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis’ faculty features a variety of experts who are available to provide insight on numerous topics related to pharmacy and health care.

We encourage you to view our expert guide below, which highlights faculty members who can offer unique and timely perspectives on local, regional, national or international news stories. Our experts can also serve as great resources for any stories in development.

Ream Al-Hasani

Ream Al-Hasani

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
ream.al-hasani@uhsp.edu

University of Portsmouth, B.Sc. Hons; University of Surrey, Ph.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Opioid analgesics and chronic pain management
  • Therapeutic approaches for pain relief
  • The biology of addiction withdrawal

Bio

As a faculty researcher with the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, Ream Al-Hasani holds a primary appointment as ‭assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical ‭and Administrative Sciences at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis and as an adjunct ‭appointment as assistant professor in the Department of ‭Anesthesiology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Al-Hasani’s interest in neuroscience began during her ‭undergraduate years studying pharmacology at the ‭University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. While at ‭the University of Portsmouth, she secured an internship ‭at GlaxoSmithKline studying neurodegenerative diseases.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Following these formative experiences, Al-Hasani focused ‭her interests on addiction, by pursuing a Medical Research ‭Council-funded Doctor of Philosophy in neuropharmacology ‭at the University of Surrey where she studied the involvement ‭of adenosine A2 receptors in morphine and cocaine addiction.‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Al-Hasani completed her postdoctoral training in the Department of Anesthesiology at the Washington University School of Medicine. There, she focused ‭on dissecting the role of the opioid circuitry in motivated ‭behaviors. Her work has clarified the role of chronic, mild stress ‭on noradrenergic systems and has uncovered new roles for ‭cue-induced reinstatement of morphine seeking behavior.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Her work at the Center for Clinical Pharmacology is focused on using ‭multidisciplinary approaches to further understanding of ‭the negative affective behaviors associated with the withdrawal ‭phase of addiction and the interaction of endogenous opioid ‭systems with commonly prescribed opioid analgesics.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Whitney Anthonysamy

Whitney Anthonysamy

Assistant Professor of Biology
whitney.anthonysamy@uhsp.edu

Southern Illinois University Carbondale, B.S.; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, M.S., Ph.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Organismal biology
  • Ecology
  • Conservation

Bio

Whitney Anthonysamy joined University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis as an assistant professor of biology in 2017. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Arkansas and the Illinois Natural History Survey, where she maintains a research affiliation.

Anthonysamy has taught various courses in organismal biology, conservation, and professional development, and has mentored several undergraduate students for their research projects. Anthonysamy’s research interests include ecology, conservation, and the use of field and genetic techniques to examine how environmental change impacts biodiversity.

Thomas Burris

Thomas Burris

Alumni Endowed Professor of Pharmacology and Vice President of Research & Graduate Studies
thomas.burris@uhsp.edu

Southern Illinois University Carbondale, B.S.; Florida State University, Ph.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Chronic pain management
  • Medication therapy
  • Chemical biology

Bio

Thomas Burris serves as Alumni Endowed Professor and Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies.

With a research background focused on using chemical biology approaches to examine the physiological roles of nuclear hormone receptors and developing drugs targeting them for the treatment of conditions including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, Burris brings the Center for Clinical Pharmacology one step closer to becoming a national research leader in pain management and personalized approaches to medication therapy.

Burris’ career includes leadership roles in industry and academia. He served as senior scientist in the drug discovery division at the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute and Johnson & Johnson Research and Development. He then served as the head of nuclear receptor biology research and senior research advisor for Lilly Research Laboratories.

Burris’ background also includes time as a professor at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and at the Scripps Research Institute, where he served as a professor in both the Department of Molecular Therapeutics and the Department of Metabolism and Aging, as well as director of the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Disease. Currently, he is a member of the Siteman NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center Solid Therapeutics Program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and is a founder of Pelagos Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Laura Challen

Laura Challen

Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice
Laura.Challen@uhsp.edu

University of Texas, Pharm.D.; University of Houston, MBA

Areas of Expertise:

  • Ambulatory care pharmacy
  • Chronic disease state management
  • Medication Affordability

Bio

Currently serving as an associate professor of pharmacy practice at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, Laura Challen is a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist and a board certified ambulatory care pharmacist.

In addition to her role as a professor at the University, Challen works as a clinical pharmacist at the Mercy JFK Clinic at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, where she assists patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma/COPD. She also specializes in helping patients choose the most affordable medications based on their insurance status.

Challen also serves pharmacy students and residents as a preceptor at the Mercy JFK Clinic. In her role as a preceptor, she supervises pharmacy students/residents, giving them the opportunity to gain practical experience with patients. Challen is one of 1,100 preceptors who partner with University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis to provide hands-on learning experiences for students through introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences in more than 750 locations across the country and around the world.

Erica Crannage

Erica Crannage

Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice
erica.crannage@uhsp.edu

Drake University, Pharm.D.

Areas of Expertise:

Prevention and treatment of diabetes
Anticoagulation
Family medicine

Bio

Erica Crannage currently serves as an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis. Crannage’s areas of interest and clinical services include anticoagulation, the prevention and treatment of diabetes and interprofessional education.

In addition to her role at the University, Crannage is also a clinical pharmacist at the Saint Louis University Department of Family and Community Medicine Patient-Centered Medical Home where she has developed and implemented multiple medication therapy services protocols. Through Medication Therapy Service (MTS) agreements with physicians, she changes medication dosages and orders and interprets tests for certain patients. During her time with SLU, Crannage has directly helped patients manage their medications for blood thinners, high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking cessation.

Jean Escadero

Jean Escadero

Associate Professor of Biology
jean.escudero@uhsp.edu 

St. Mary’s College, B.S.; The Ohio State, Ph.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MERSA)

Bio

Jean Escudero has been a faculty member with University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis since 2015. During her time at the University, her teaching and research efforts have been focused on microbiology and immunology.

Escudero is especially interested in Staphylococcus aureus and its virulence factors. Her current work examines Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Escudero’s studies involve the characterization of MRSA strains collected from athletes and students who are not associated with sports. Through her research efforts, Escudero is working to characterize the strains at the molecular and biochemical levels in order to understand the invasiveness of the organisms and the traits that allow them to evolve so rapidly. With some strains producing the enzyme DNase, Escudero is examining the role that DNase may play in species variation including the acquisition of DNA encoding antibiotic resistance or other virulence factors.

Alicia Forinash

Alicia Forinash

Professor of Pharmacy Practice
alicia.forinash@uhsp.edu

St. Louis College of Pharmacy, B.S., Pharm.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Women’s health (including obstetrics, gynecology, contraception and infertility)
  • Maternal-fetal medicine
  • Osteoporosis

Bio

Alicia Forinash has served as a professor of pharmacy practice at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis since 2002 where her teaching efforts are focused on women’s health topics in the integrated pharmacotherapy course series.

As a clinical pharmacologist specialist in obstetrics, Forinash is considered an expert on the effects of medications on the embryo, fetus and nursing infant. She served as a co-author on the recently published Drugs in Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 11th Edition, which lists more than 1,200 commonly prescribed medications taken during pregnancy and lactation, and includes detailed monographs that provide information regarding known or possible effects on the mother, embryo, fetus and nursing infant.

Forinash’s distinguished career accomplishments were recently recognized by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Women’s Health Practice and Research Network (PRN), which presented her with its Vital Contributions to Women’s Health Award. The award honors an outstanding member of the ACCP Women’s Health PRN who has significantly advanced women’s health through scholarly contributions, distinguished teaching, clinical practice and advocacy.

Nicole Gattas

Nicole Gattas

Director, experiential education and associate professor, pharmacy practice
nicole.gattas@uhsp.edu

University of Iowa, Pharm.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Immunization
  • Community pharmacy
  • Medication misuse/disposal
  • Naloxone use in overdose prevention

Bio

As a member of the University’s faculty for the past 15 years, much of Gattas’ teaching and research has focused on community and ambulatory care pharmacy, patient-pharmacist communications and immunization. Gattas is also engaged in efforts to combat medication misuse and educate individuals on the importance of proper medication disposal.

In 2008, Gattas was instrumental in developing an innovative program called RxMeds to collect and dispose of unused medications at 20 St. Louis area Schnucks locations. And, currently, as part of the Missouri Opioid State Targeted Response grant, she is working alongside the Missouri Department of Mental Health to educate pharmacists statewide on the role of naloxone use in opioid overdose prevention and increase the availability of naloxone throughout the state.

Gloria Grice

Gloria Grice

Interim Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice; Professor, Pharmacy Practice and Assistant Dean, Curriculum & Assessment
gloria.grice@uhsp.edu

University of Maryland, Pharm.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Experiential education
  • Interprofessional education
  • Professionalism
  • Patient communication
  • Pharmacogenomics

Bio

Gloria Grice has been a University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis faculty member for 16 years. During her time at the University, much of Grice’s teaching and research has focused on areas such as interprofessional education, patient communication, student professionalism and warfarin pharmacogenomics.

As a champion for the importance of interprofessional education (IPE), Grice played a key role in establishing the Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at Washington University Medical Center. Created in 2015 as a partnership between Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, University of Health Sciences in St. Louis and Washington University Medical Campus, the center aims to improve enhances the ability of faculty to function as interprofessional educators, advance curricular opportunities of programs within the three schools, conduct educational research in interprofessional education and enhance patient outcomes.

In 2007, Grice was among an interprofessional group of clinicians who developed and refined the website, warfarindosing.org. The website is designed to help doctors and clinicians at Barnes-Jewish Hospital begin warfarin therapy by estimating the therapeutic dose in patients new to warfarin. Grice’s efforts helped to improve the perioperative anticoagulation of orthopedic patients based on pharmacogenetic guided dosing principles.

In 2012, Grice led the development of Patient-centered Communications Tools (PaCT), a validated communication instrument and assessment rubric tailored for pharmacist-patient interactions.

Grice is a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist and holds the distinction of being a fellow with the National Academies of Practice, a non-profit organization founded in 1981 to advise governmental bodies on the nation’s healthcare system.

Susruta Majumdar

Susruta Majumdar

Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
susruta.majumdar@uhsp.edu

University of Delhi; University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Ph.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Neuropharmacology
  • The chemistry of opioid addiction and abuse

Bio

As a faculty researcher with the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, Susruta Majumdar holds a primary appointment as an associate professor in University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis' Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences and a secondary appointment in the Department of Anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Through his research with the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, Majumdar works to synthesize novel chemical probes to expand understanding of the preclinical/clinical pharmacology of opioid receptors.
Prior to joining the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, Majumdar served as an assistant attending chemist in the Department of Neurology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). During his time at MSKCC, he was awarded the Early Career Award in Chemistry of Drug Abuse and Addiction by the National Institutes of Health.

Scott Micek

Scott Micek

Professor of pharmacy practice and Director of the Center for Health Outcomes Research and Education
scott.micek@uhsp.edu

University of Iowa, Pharm.D.

  • Areas of Expertise:
  • Antimicrobial management
  • Antibiotic exposure and antibiotic resistance
  • Critical care pharmacy

Bio

Scott T. Micek serves as the director of the University’s Center for Health Outcomes Research and Education and associate professor of pharmacy practice. Micek also serves as a critical care pharmacist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where he is a practitioner on the interdisciplinary medical ICU team. Micek earned his Pharm.D. degree from the University of Iowa and completed a pharmacy practice residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He previously served as supervisor of critical care pharmacists and director of PGY1 pharmacy practice and PGY2 critical care residency programs.

Over the years, Micek’s research efforts have focused on the antimicrobial management of critically ill patients. His scholarly work has been funded by grants and awards from various foundations and the pharmaceutical industry. His research has resulted in over 80 original research publications and 50 plus review articles, which have been cited by over 8,000 papers.

As director of the Center for Health Outcomes Research and Education, Micek is working to promote and facilitate cutting-edge, collaborative, interdisciplinary research in pharmacoepidemiology.

Ryan Moenster

Ryan Moenster

Interim Director of the Division of Specialty Care Pharmacy; Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice
ryan.moenster@uhsp.edu

St. Louis College of Pharmacy, B.S., Pharm.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT)

Bio

Ryan Moenster is an associate professor of pharmacy practice at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis and serves as interim director of the division of specialty care pharmacy. In his role as associate professor, he educates students on a variety of topics including infectious diseases pharmacy, central nervous systems infections, skin and skin structure infections, malaria and viral hemorrhagic fevers.

Dr. Moenster’s clinical practice site is the VA St. Louis Health Care System, where he serves as an infectious diseases clinical pharmacy specialist. His areas of research interest at the VA include optimal treatment of infections of the bone, adverse reactions associated with antimicrobial use and optimizing outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy.

Jeramia Ory

Jeremiah Ory

Associate professor of Biochemistry and Undergraduate Health Professions Advisor
jeramia.ory@uhsp.edu

University of Nebraska, B.S.; University of Minnesota, Ph.D.

Areas of expertise:

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular biology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Genomics

Bio

Jeramia Ory has served as an associate professor of Biochemistry since 2015. During his career, Ory has taught numerous courses in biochemistry, genetics and biology. His courses are focused on teaching critical reasoning using a research-based approach.

His teaching role at the University is highlighted by his ongoing research efforts, which are focused on using biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics to understand mechanisms of fungal evolution utilizing a variety of laboratory and computation techniques. Ory is specifically interested in trace metal detection and the evolution of virulence pathways of fungi in relation to mammalian or plant hosts. His research background is highlighted by his time at the Protein Data Bank where he served as a Biochemical Information Specialist.

Terry Seaton

Terry Seaton

Professor of Pharmacy Practice
terry.seaton@uhsp.edu

University of Colorado, B.S.; University of Washington, Pharm.D.

Areas of expertise:

  • Family medicine
  • Primary care
  • Clinical informatics

Bio

Terry Seaton has been a faculty member with University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis since 1991. As a professor of pharmacy practice, he educates students on topics such as evidence-based medicine, clinical informatics and advocacy. Seaton also conducts research related to dissemination and implementation science.

In addition to his role at the University, Seaton is a clinical pharmacist with Mercy Hospital St. Louis, where he provides medication-related population health services.

Seaton is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist and a former United States Public Health Service Primary Care Policy Fellow. His is also a past-president and fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

Amy Tiemeier

Amy Tiemeier

Director of Community Partnerships; Associate Director of Experiential Education and Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice
amy.tiemeier@uhsp.edu

St. Louis College of Pharmacy, B.S., Pharm.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Medication management/disposal
  • The pharmacists’ role in opioid abuse prevention
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs
  • Naloxone use in overdose prevention

Bio

Amy Tiemeier has been a faculty member with University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis since 2003. Over the past 14 years, her efforts have helped increase public awareness of prescription medication abuse, drive participation in medication disposal initiatives and educate pharmacists and health care providers on their role in opioid abuse prevention.

Her work has included working with representatives of the City of St. Louis, the St. Louis Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging to establish an annual door-to-door drug take-back initiative for the St. Louis area. Each April, Tiemeier, along with University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis students and local DEA agents, travel to city senior living facilities to collect unused and expired medications.

Tiemeier also serves as the only pharmacy representative on the St. Louis County Prescription Drug Monitoring Program technical advisory committee, where she provides critical input on the system’s functionality to ensure ease of use for pharmacists accessing the PDMP.

Most recently, Tiemeier has been focused on educating community pharmacists about opioid abuse and the benefits of naloxone distribution for overdose death prevention as part of the Missouri Opioid State Targeted Response grant. Following the passage of a law authorizing pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription under a statewide standing order issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Tiemeier has led numerous naloxone training sessions for community pharmacists across Missouri to educate them on the new legislation and encourage them to dispense naloxone.

Tiemeier also serves as president of the Missouri Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal Program, is a member of the Raising St. Louis advisory board and is a member of C.R.U.S.H (Community Resources United to Stop Heroin). She is also a member of the American Pharmacists Association and the Missouri Pharmacist Association.

Roxane Took

Roxane Took

Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice
roxane.took@uhsp.edu

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Pharm.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Community pharmacy
  • Transitions of care
  • Medication therapy management
  • Immunizations
  • Point-of-care testing

Bio

In her role as assistant professor of pharmacy practice at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, Roxanne Took is an instructor for the University’s integrated pharmacotherapy series and its pharmacy practice skills lab courses. 

Prior to joining the University, Took worked with Kansas City-based Balls Food Stores as a community care pharmacist and residency site preceptor. Took specializes in community pharmacy with an emphasis on clinical activities including transitions of care, medication therapy management, immunizations, and point-of-care testing.

Melanie VanDyke

Melanie VanDyke

Associate Professor of Psychology
melanie.vandyke@uhsp.edu

Saint Louis University, B.S.; University of Nebraska-Lincoln, M.A., Ph.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Medication hoarding
  • Medication storage and disposal
  • Anxiety disorders (including social anxiety, OCD and body dysmorphic disorder)

Bio

Melanie VanDyke serves as assistant professor of psychology at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis. Early in her graduate training, VanDyke specialized in the assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders and was instrumental in opening the first specialty anxiety clinic in the state of Nebraska. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship on the intensive treatment of severe anxiety, and she is a licensed psychologist with extensive experience in evidence-based treatments for anxiety-related disorders (e.g., social anxiety, OCD, body dysmorphic disorder, and Tourette’s).

At the University, she continues to conduct treatment research focused on improving health outcomes for family caregivers. VanDyke is currently co-authoring a therapist manual with an interprofessional team to provide consultation to the families of those with OCD who refuse treatment.

She is also working on a series of research studies examining women who manage medications for older family members. Specifically, the studies are assessing neurocognitive disorder symptoms in older adults, medication risk factors and online medication management education for the caregivers of older adults. This work has provided VanDyke with the opportunity to develop an assessment tool for Medication Saving Behaviors, evaluate polypharmacy definitions and introduce pharmacy students to interdisciplinary research.

David Waters

David Waters

Assistant Professor of Physics
david.waters@uhsp.edu

Hamilton College, B.A.; University of Utah, Ph.D.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Experimental condensed matter physics
  • Solar physics
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Bio

David Waters joined University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis in 2016 as an assistant professor of physics. In his teaching role he is responsible for developing and instructing the University’s Introductory Physics courses.

Waters’ background includes several years serving as a high school teacher, where he taught courses in math, physics and basic science. Prior to joining the College, Waters was an adjunct physics instructor at Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City, Utah.

During his career, Waters has taught various courses in introductory physics, elementary physical science and conceptual physics. His research interests include experimental condensed matter physics, solar physics and the use of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques.

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