Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010 - 6

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Diagnosis not disaster: disease motivates future
ix months prior to the start of pharmacy school, Corinne Floyd was in kidney failure. Diagnosed with lupus, Corinne didn’t know if she would be physically able to start school. But in August of 2006 she walked into the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy at 9th & Colorado Boulevard and donned her white lab coat. For Corrine, the coat was familiar and comfortable. She’d graduated with a biochemistry degree from Pennsylvania State University and had been working in research at National Jewish Health prior to applying to pharmacy school. “I always knew I would continue learning. I really liked what I was doing, but didn’t see a lot of growth potential,” says Corinne. The research she was involved with in Alzheimer’s and tuberculosis intrigued her – especially the aspects of pharmacology and the effect of drugs on diseases. She comes from a long line of healthcare professionals – her father works for a pharmaceutical sciences company, an uncle is a maxillofacial surgeon, and another uncle works for the Centers for Disease Control. After her lupus diagnosis, she became even more interested in medications and their side effects. And as a patient she gained a new appreciation for what patients encounter. “I understand what it’s like to be put on a medication that makes you feel ill, and you really don’t want to take.”


Corinne says her disease has helped her become more compassionate. “I now look at the patient as a whole and contemplate how a medication will affect that person. I can commiserate and empathize, and help them deal with their health issue a little differently than other health care professionals.” The past four years have been challenging. Obtaining a PharmD is stressful enough, but adding a chronic disease to the mix that is triggered by stress leads to hair loss, steroid induced weight gain, and myriad complications. Fortunately, Corinne had a support system ready, willing and able to help. She moved in with her mother in Denver to reduce her living expenses and earned several scholarships while in school. Throughout it all, Corinne has “rolled with it,” adapting to the changes her body has undergone. She’s in remission now, but recognizes that lupus could come back at any moment. Her de-stressors are kickboxing, weight lifting and shoe shopping! After graduation, Corinne will be pursuing a PGY1 residency at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., and then plans to do a second residency in infectious disease. Her future goal is to specialize in infectious disease working for an international organization – traveling and

working in foreign countries. And since Corinne knows Portuguese, French and English – and has an in with the CDC, her future looks bright.

“I	now	look	at	the	patient	 as	a	whole	and	contemplate	 how	a	medication	will		 affect	that	person.”

PhD candidates graduate twice a year – in August and December. In 2009, four students earned PhD’s and one earned a MS from the School of Pharmacy.

Motivated by mentors
Graduate Keith Connaghan, December 2009 Catherine Denton, December 2009 Rebecca Echols, August 2009 Michael Holt, December 2009 James Roede, August 2009 ichael Holt was drawn to science. As an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, Michael set his sights on a degree in biochemistry. After graduation, he was offered a post baccalaureate position at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), training under his mentor Lance R. Pohl, PharmD, PhD. The program, designed specifically for students interested in attending medical school or graduate school, solidified Michael’s interest in an advanced degree and helped determine his future focus. “Dr. Pohl was inspirational in my decision to pursue graduate studies,” says Michael. The people he met and the research he worked on at the NIH laid the foundation for graduate school. Close to the conclusion of the post baccalaureate program, Michael contacted a number of universities and landed a berth at the University of

Program Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD) Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD) Pharmaceutical Sciences (MS) Toxicology (PhD) Toxicology (PhD)


Colorado with Cynthia Ju, PhD. Coincidentally, Dr. Ju studied under Dr. Pohl and was pursuing a similar research focus – drug induced liver injury, specifically analyzing the effect of acetaminophen on the liver. For Michael, the transition from the research position at the NIH to graduate student was nearly seamless. And for five years he continued his pursuit of a doctor of philosophy in toxicology. “I learned a tremendous amount under the watchful eye of Dr. Ju and am grateful for the guidance and education received,” says Michael. “Earning my PhD is a significant milestone in my life.” In December 2009 he graduated and took a position with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases National Institutes of Health in the laboratory of immunology. He now is researching the role of irregulatory T-cells in various types of infections.


UC Denver School of Pharmacy


Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010

Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010
Coming to America
Not Your Typical Athlete
Motivated by Mentors
Second Career Helps Brady Soar
Alumni Association
Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010 - Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010
Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010 - Coming to America
Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010 - Not Your Typical Athlete
Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010 - 4
Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010 - 5
Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010 - Motivated by Mentors
Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010 - Second Career Helps Brady Soar
Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2010 - Alumni Association