Nicole Hensch, BS Biological Sciences

Why did you choose your WesternU program? I chose to attend MS Pharmaceutical Sciences program here at WesternU because it allowed me to pursue research. Our program is primarily research based; so, in addition to learning various pharmaceutical science aspects from the department faculty, I have the ability to work in the lab on my own project as well as other projects my lab is working on.

What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? If you are considering this particular program, I will say students’ experiences differ between PIs. The research being conducted here is extremely diverse, and PI involvement can vary. But how much you succeed only depends on how much effort you put into your time here.

Mindy Kha

Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you like it. One very important aspect of the MSPS program is the strong teamwork connection. The faculty and current students are always very welcoming as well as helpful. Staff are there for the students, and students help each other when needed. Unlike any other programs on this campus, this program consist of a small amount of students. This is great in that the MSPS program acts like a family, where everyone knows each other. The PIs, especially, are very helpful in working with their students towards their thesis project as well as other on-going research projects.

What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? WesternU is a well-rounded university in terms of academic, clubs, and extracurricular activities. WesternU is not only a school that offers clinical programs, but research programs as well. Classes are taught well, and the faculty here are really friendly and helpful. Do not be afraid to ask questions. For instance, as a MSPS student, I get many opportunities to perform numerous hands-on experiments in a laboratory setting, and work with my wonderful PI towards my research of interest.

Payal Chatterjee

What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? All faculty members and staff are very supportive and the coursework is well designed and structured, serving the purpose of training and preparing students for both industry and research.

Priyanka Kunamaneni

Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you like it. This master’s program prepares students for research positions in the pharmaceutical sciences (industrial, academic or government), or to pursue PhD degrees in health sciences, medical and drug discovery research. The masters program enables the students to concentrate on research apart from the class room programs which enables the students to think beyond the class.

How have you seen the University’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? The faculty at WesternU lives the University’s philosophy in every lecture and office hour that I attend, because they work their hardest to ensure my preparation for the career that I am going into.

Yun (Lyna) Luo, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Tenure Track)

My research investigates the structural dynamics of complex biomolecules and how they are linked to physiological functions and diseases. The ongoing projects are developing and applying molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations to study reversible covalent binding process, gating and permeation mechanism of connexin hemichannels and mechanosensitive Piezo channels, design highly selective cysteine protease calpain2 inhibitor for neuroprotection, and design disease-specific BMP receptor serine/threonine kinase ALK2 inhibitors to treat Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP).
Read more about me…

Stephen O’Barr, PhD

Director of Graduate Education & Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

WesternU distinctive: The MSPS program at WesternU is unique in that students receive high contact time with all faculty, including their mentor. This close association between student and faculty creates an environment of growth and excellence lost in most programs at larger institutions were access to core faculty is hindered or non-existent. The result of our program is enhanced progression from “student” or “technician” to “independent researcher”.

On interprofessional education: The diversity of our department and college faculty enhances student learning. Students in our program are exposed to experts in everything from peptide chemistry to molecular genomics, from drug delivery and manufacturing to behavior. Some of our department faculty also collaborates with research pharmacists within the college, allowing for direct involvement in patient research. This increased breadth in learning enhances student skill sets and broadens their knowledge base.

Arezoo Campbell, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Current Research: I am actively involved in research at WesternU, I have my own laboratory and am currently working on two different projects. One project is in collaboration with Dr. Flemming Cassee (RIVM, The Netherlands) and involves assessing adverse effects of particulate matter, present in diesel exhaust or ambient air pollution, on the brain. The second project is in collaboration with Dr. Hans Keirstead (UCI) and the purpose is to determine whether human embryonic stem cells during different phases of differentiation to mature oligodendrocytes may have characteristics which allow them to be used as a future therapeutic tool in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Humanism in Action: A new member of our faculty (Doreen Pon) recently traveled to Guatemala, Mexico to assist individuals in need of healthcare who could not afford their medications. Her devotion, kindness and care have taught me to try and be a better person and volunteer my time to help others.

Most valuable aspect of a WesternU education: We as faculty truly care about the success of our students. We are always willing to give students one-on-one instruction and help them in any way possible to learn the material presented in lectures. Students become members of our large family and we try our best to insure the future success of our students.

On Interprofessional Education: In today’s healthcare system, it is essential for students to learn to effectively communicate with different healthcare workers. The IPE curriculum will allow this essential experience.

Bradley T. Andresen, PhD

Assistant Professor

What aspect of the curriculum do you feel will most benefit graduates and why? The MSPS program is one of the most research intensive two-year masters programs in the country. Additionally, students receive a stipend and tuition is also covered. This is a rarity for a masters program, and it is matched with a second rarity – faculty that, if in their office, have the door open and always welcome students. Graduates that pursue further education else where can attest to this, and benefit from the ability to interact closely with faculty.

Sushma Kumari Chenreddy

How have you seen the University’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? Westernu members are more supportive and students are more encouraged for everything. Professors play an important role in students life. The professors at WesternU are like friends, they are highly approachable and committed. They are available all the time and provide there best to help the students.

Why did you choose WesternU? I chose the Western University because it was research oriented, good lecturers and an excellent social life. The University offers various possibilities for study in my field of interest which are not available in other universities.

John Murad

How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? The WesternU family has been extremely giving and helpful and made my transition from industry back into academia very smooth and memorable. The selflessness of the faculty and staff has provided me with a warm environment which makes me feel comfortable to come into lab each day and work on new projects.

Mandy Liu

What one or two elements of your education proved to be the most valuable to you in your career? The MSPS program is a hands-on research-oriented program. I gained valuable research experience and published several papers within two years. I was also able to present my work at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) conferences. Learning opportunities were limitless.

Why did you choose WesternU? The MSPS program had a very supportive faculty and staff, which allowed me to focus on my research. The professors were very knowledgeable and helpful, and were always there to give guidance when needed.

Chan Ma

What one or two elements of your education proved to be the most valuable to you in your career? The most valuable experience I took from the MS Pharmaceutical Science program was the hands-on-training I received during my two years. The courses offered actual formulation development (tableting, granulation, lyophilization, spray drying, etc.) work that enabled me to utilize it regularly in my current role. I learned to work on many types of oral dosage forms (immediate release, multiparticulate systems, controlled release technology- microspheres, swellable tablets, liposomes, etc.). Understanding and having had the chance to work with these types of technologies has been beneficial to my career. The school also allowed me to present at AAPS and CRS which was a great opportunity for me to interact with others in the industry. This gave me an idea of what to expect when I finally graduated.

Sravan Penchala

What one or two elements of your education proved to be the most valuable to you in your career? Interdisciplinary research approach at WesternU really helped me to be more productive at work and address complex problems that must be attacked simultaneously with deep knowledge from different perspectives. The humanistic approach at WesternU imbibed compassion and scientific excellence within me. I can’t complain because I got so much out of it.

What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? The program is small and intimate, and I got to know all my professors really quick. Apart from state-of-the-art classrooms and research facilities, the graduate program works hand in hand with the Center for Advancement of Drug Research and Evaluation (CADRE), which is a multi-faceted translational research program with emphasis on interdisciplinary research in neuro-pharmacology, physiology, pharmaceutics and drug delivery. Moreover, the professors and the staff are very accommodating and always helpful. My degree at WesternU laid basis for my admission into PhD program at a top University.

Vinit Nigudkar, B.Pharm

What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? The MSPS program at WesternU unlike other colleges is totally research oriented and it gives you a feel of what the burgeoning Research and Development field is all about. It allows you to independently work on various projects which helps improve your scientific analysis skills and also engages you to think about different ideas and put them into practice.