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Dean Eddington Appoints Two New Department Chairs

Longtime School faculty members assume leadership of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice and science.

By Becky Ceraul
May 22, 2015

Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FAAPS, FCP, professor and dean of the School of Pharmacy, has appointed Paul Shapiro, PhD, and Jill Morgan, PharmD, as respective chairs of the Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) and Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS). Their appointments follow the stepping down of former chairs Andrew Coop, PhD, and Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, who both returned to their full time faculty positions at the School.

“Drs. Coop and Rodriguez de Bittner have been trusted advisors in my role as dean. I will miss their input and expertise but look forward to all that they are sure to accomplish in the future,” says Eddington. “Drs. Shapiro and Morgan are proven leaders at the School of Pharmacy who have both held significant administrative positions during their tenure here. I have every confidence that they will be successful department chairs, as they are both admired and respected by faculty in PPS and PSC, by our students, and by our staff colleagues.”

Morgan, an associate professor in PPS, joined the School in 2001 as an assistant professor. She previously served as associate dean for student affairs from 2005 to 2013 where she oversaw the recruitment, admissions, academic progression, and graduation of our Doctor of Pharmacy students. She also served as faculty advisor for the School’s Student Government Association and for numerous of its student organizations.

A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy, Morgan practices at the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Pediatric Ambulatory Clinic and is the pharmacist at UMB President Jay Perman’s interprofessional pediatric gastroenterology clinic. She is also director of the University of Maryland’s PGY2 Pediatric Pharmacy Residency program. She most recently led the development of the School’s PharmTechX Program for advanced pharmacy technician training. Her research interests include asthma, community pharmacy related to pediatric patients, immunizations, transitions of care for pediatric patients, and interprofessional education.

Morgan was recognized in 2014 with the University System of Maryland Faculty Award for Mentoring and in 2013 as the Maryland Pharmacists Association’s Mentor of the Year.

“I am delighted to work with such wonderfully talented faculty,” says Morgan. “I look forward to promoting their accomplishments as we work together to push forward the profession of pharmacy through interdisciplinary practice, teaching, and research.”

Shapiro, a faculty member since 1999 and PSC’s vice chair of academic affairs, received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his PhD in molecular physiology and biophysics from the University of Vermont. He completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado-Boulder. His research focuses on protein kinases and their role in regulating signaling pathways that control cellular functions and dysregulation of protein kinases during disease. Specific areas of research focus on the discovery and development of novel small molecules that inhibit the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2) and p38 MAP kinases and provide the rationale for clinical applications of these molecules in treating cancer or inflammatory disease.

He has previously served as the School’s associate dean for research and graduate studies and director of the PSC PhD program and has extensive service on numerous departmental and School committees, in addition to mentorship of PharmD and PhD students and postdoctoral fellows.

“My decision to accept the department chair position was primarily influenced by the supportive environment and the outstanding student, staff, and faculty colleagues I have come to know in PSC,” says Shapiro. “My primary goal as department chair is to continue guiding PSC along the trajectory established by my predecessors, Drs. Coop and Eddington. I will strive to maintain our collaborative and respectful work environment, to promote exciting faculty-driven research programs, optimize education and training for professional and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and facilitate collaboration with colleagues in other departments to support the mission of the School of Pharmacy.”

Shapiro will be supported in his department chair role by the addition of two new program chairs within the department following a strategic realignment of PSC’s faculty around two distinct areas expertise – Chemical and Biological Discovery and Experimental and Translational Therapeutics. Angela Wilks, PhD, professor, will serve as program chair for Chemical and Biological Discovery, Hongbing Wang, PhD, associate professor, will be program chair for Experimental and Translational Therapeutics.

Wang, a faculty member since 2006, received his PhD from Shangai Medical University His areas of research interest are nuclear receptor-mediated induction of drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters, metabolism-based drug-drug interactions, and drug-induced liver toxicity. He is the current chair of the School’s Curriculum Committee and is the previous chair of the Student Affairs Committee.

Wilks, a faculty member since 1998 and PSC’s vice chair of research, received her BSc degree in biochemistry from the University of Lancaster, England and her PhD in biochemistry from the University of Leeds, where she worked on the mechanism of heme degradation. Following a postdoctoral fellowship, she joined the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco. Her research interests focus on the mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens acquire and utilize heme as an iron source. She is a previous chair of the School’s Faculty Affairs Committee and chaired the Website Implementation Committee.

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