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Each February, University of the Sciences honors its past with a Founders’ Day ceremony to commemorate the University’s establishment in 1821. At that time, 68 Philadelphia apothecaries convened in Carpenter’s Hall to found what would become Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.
To honor the day, three special awards help to bring the past and the future together during the pomp and circumstance filled ceremony. This year, Founders’ Day was held on Feb. 21, 2013, just two days before the University’s actual anniversary on Feb. 23, 1821.
An honorary doctor of science degree is presented to an individual who exhibits entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to innovation in his or her chosen profession. This year on the University’s 192nd anniversary, Legacy Joseph L. Fink, III, P’70, JD, professor of law and policy at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, was selected in recognition of his leadership and dedication to the advancement of pharmacy, law, research, and education.
During his remarks, Dr. Fink talked about two people who had a great influence over his life. The first was Dean Linwood Tice: “Fortunately, our paths crossed and that made all the difference for me.” The other person was his father, J. Leslie Fink who received a BS in pharmacy in 1943 from then Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science before going off to serve our country in World War II.
“Members of my father’s generation sought not fame and recognition; they merely sought to do the right thing,” Dr. Fink said. “With World War II behind them, they pulled upon their optimism and entrepreneurial spirit to build the U.S. into an economic superpower.”
“Your legacy,” Dr. Fink said to those in attendance, “is an expectation that you will continue that optimism and entrepreneurial spirit to advance your chosen profession and the nation.”
In keeping with that same spirit of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, awards of merit were presented to a student and faculty member and have engaged in research or some form of scholarly pursuit that results in new developments or innovations.
Dr. Amalia Issa, chair of the Department of Health Policy and Public Health, was the recipient of the faculty award. As the founding director of the Program in Personalized Medicine & Targeted Therapeutics, she brought her research program to USciences when she arrived in 2011. As noted in her nominating letter: “Dr. Issa’s research, a form of translational research focusing on pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine, … takes from bench to practice, the molecular science of the human gene to its practical application in health care delivery systems.” In addition, it was noted that she is an invited speaker at national and international conferences, a reviewer for journals and grants, sits on the editorial board for Personalized Medicine and Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, and has recently received funding for grants related to personalized medicine and is frequently.
A 2013 PhD candidate, Shubhashis Chakrabarty received the student award. He was cited in his nominating letter for being a “highly productive graduate student in several areas of applied chemistry, including design and synthesis of novel nitrogenous tetracyclic compounds to serve as anticancer agents, development/enhancement of new ionization techniques for mass spectrometry methods, and synthesis of building blocks of foldamers.” He has already authored/coauthored four major peer-reviewed publications in chemistry journals, and has three more manuscripts submitted for publication.
To learn more about the history of USciences, visit usciences.edu/about/history.