Top Stories

New Dean Appointed

Congratulations to Dr. Jane Alcorn who has been appointed as Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, effective July 1, 2019, for a five-year term. After an extensive and comprehensive search, Dr. Alcorn stood out as the top candidate during the entire process.

Alcorn has been a member of the college’s faculty since 2001, is a member of the Drug Discovery and Development Research Group, and previously served as the University Veterinarian.

Immediately prior to being appointed dean, she had served as the college’s Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Affairs since 2016 and as Acting Dean since April 1, 2019.

More College News


The convocation ceremony for the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition was held on Thursday, June 6, at 9:00 am at the new Merlis Belsher Place on campus. The university conferred 83 pharmacy and 22 nutrition undergraduate degrees during the ceremony. Detailed information on the graduate degrees awarded at the ceremony can be found in the Research and Graduate Studies – Trainee Success section of this newsletter. 

Congratulations to Lisa Toy and Brooke Motowylo who were recognized as the most distinguished graduates in pharmacy and nutrition earlier this month at convocation.

Lisa Toy Convocation

Lisa received the Robert Martin Prize, which is given in honour of the late Robert Martin, a pioneer pharmacist in western Canada and the first Registrar of both the North West Territories Pharmaceutical Association and the Saskatchewan Pharmaceutical Association.

Brooke received the Rutter Medal, which is given in honour and memory of Professor Emeritus Ethel Rutter. In 1929, Rutter was named Head of the School of Household Science and served until her retirement in 1940.

Thank you to the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals for hosting their regular luncheon after the ceremony. At the luncheon, the following awards were presented:

  • Lisa Toy received the SCPP Gold Medal
  • Sarah Cooper received the Campbell Prize
  • Marshall Siemens received the Class of ’56 Pharmacy Scholarship
  • Tara Rousseaux received the Class of 1959 Pharmacy Award
  • Kristen Arguin received the Mark C. Falloon Book Prize
  • Hishaam Bhimji received the Orest Buchko Hospital Pharmacy Award

Congratulations to all of our new alumni!

Eat Well Saskatchewan

Eat Well Saskatchewan attended the Saskatoon Tribal Council annual Swing for Kids golf tournament on Friday, June 7 at Whitecap Dakota First Nation.  Proceeds from the tournament go to help fund First Nations youth sport such as recreational programs, and the First Nations summer and winter games. 

Faculty and Staff News

Congratulations to the following faculty members on their upcoming promotions and renewals, which are effective July 1, 2019:

  • Dr. Carol Henry promoted to full professor
  • Dr. Kerry Mansell promoted to full professor
  • Dr. Jian Yang promoted to full professor
  • Dr. Meena Sakharkar renewed probationary appointment

Congratulations to Dr. Charity Evans on receiving the Provost's College Award for Outstanding Teaching for the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at last week's Celebration of Teaching and Research.

Congratulations to Dr. Jason Perepelkin, Dr. Grant Wilson (PhD 2018) and their colleague Dr. David Zhang from Edwards School of Business on receiving the best paper award for 2019 in the Healthcare Management Division of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada. Their paper was titled "The Role of Market Orientation and Expanded Service Implementation in Furthering Pharmacy Performance."

Jason Perepelkin Grant Wilson David Zhang

Dr. Susan Whiting attended the 22nd Vitamin D Workshop May 29-June 1 and presented three posters. She also chaired the Session on “Vitamin D and Public Health.“

Marlys LeBras presented, “Opioids and Chronic Non-Cancer Pain” to International Medical Graduate as part of the International Medical Graduate Support Program on Monday, May 27.

Marlys LeBras presented, “Cannabinoids: A Deep Dive Into Shallow Evidence” during Physiatry Residents’ Academic Half Day at Saskatoon City Hospital on Thursday, June 13.

Dr. Hassan Vatanparast presented on the nutrition and health status of immigrant and refugee children and their families at the Frances Morrison Central Library on Tuesday, May 21.

Dr. Anas El-Aneed delivered an oral presentation at the American Association for Mass Spectrometry “Targeted Metabolomic Analysis of Urine for Validating Diagnostic Biomarkers of Asthma and COPD” at the 67th American Society for Mass Spectrometry Conference on Monday, June 3. 

The Dadachova Lab attended the 11th Targeted Alpha Therapy International Conference in Ottawa on April 1-4, with all members of the lab presenting their work as a poster and research associate Wojciech Dawicki gave an oral presentation. 

Dr. Kate Dadachova gave a keynote presentation at this meeting "Future vistas in alpha therapy of infectious diseases". She also gave an invited talk at the 3rd International Symposium on Fungal Stress in Sao Paolo, Brazil in May 20-2. She will be giving invited presentation at the Radiobiology Workshop at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee in July; and during the Science Week at TRIUMF facility in Vancouver in August.

Mary Fraser accepted the position of program consultant with CPDPP, effective Saturday, June 1.

Kirsten Bazylak accepted the position of medication information consultant with medSask, effective Monday, June 17.

The college bid farewell to Shannon Wiens, Administration and Planning Specialist, on Friday, June 28.

We’re hiring: Pharmacy Skills Laboratory Instructors
We are currently recruiting pharmacists to act as instructors in the professional skills labs. You do not need to be an expert in any particular area. Your predominant role is to observe and provide feedback to the students so they can improve their skills.  Read more.

In the media

Kelly Kizlyk, medSask drug information consultant, was on Global Saskatoon Morning News on Tuesday, May 7, to talk about sports injuries and RICE. Watch the video.

Dr. Jaris Swidrovich and the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan's Kristjana Gudmundson (BSP 2010) spoke to CBC Saskatchewan about medication assessment coverage for Indigenous people in Saskatchewan. Read more.

Kelly Kizlyk was on Global Saskatoon Morning News on Tuesday, June 18, to talk about the recent STI outbreak in Saskatchewan. Watch the video.

Drs. Holly and Kerry Mansell, and their colleagues from the College of Nursing, are working to help children and teenagers in Saskatoon make smart choices about cannabis. Read more.

Alumni News

Congratulations to Mike Stuber (BSP 2007) on being named the 2019 Canadian Pharmacist of the Year by the Canadian Pharmacists Association.

Mike Stuber (BSP 2007) spoke to the Regina Leader-Post about his work which has led him to being named the 2019 Canadian Pharmacist of the Year by the Canadian Pharmacists Association. Read more.

Brooke Bulloch (BScNutr 2009) was on Global Saskatoon Morning News on Tuesday, May 21, to talk about introducing allergenic foods to babies. Watch the video.


Past Events

The college hosted its annual dessert and alumni reception at the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan Conference on Friday, May 3 at Elk Ridge Resort.  

Sask Night returned to the Pharmacy Experience 2019 conference on Monday, June 3 in Toronto. This year’s theme was beach party and the event was held at The Antler Room.

Research and Graduate Studies

Trainee Success

Program Update

The College welcomes Pharmacy Masters student Cheryl Roett, who began studying with Drs. Allison Cammer and Michael Szafron in May.

Congratulations to Dr. Kendra Furber, who joined the Northern Medical Program, University of Northern British Columbia, as Assistant Professor on May 1, 2019.  Dr. Furber trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Drs. Adil Nazarali and Ron Doucette and as a Research Associate with Dr. Bogdan Popescu at the Cameco MS Neuroscience Research Center.  Fortunately, Dr. Furber will continue her affiliation at the University of Saskatchewan, and she will make periodic visits to U of S over the next year as Visiting Professor with Dr. Phyllis Paterson. Kendra is ​continuing her research into myelin degeneration and repair in the aging brain, in part supported by a research contract with the Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission (2017-2022), having acquired this contract with Dr. Nazarali along with Dr. Paterson as Co-Investigator.

Congratulations to our MSc and PhD Graduates!

The College had ten former graduate students receive their degrees at Spring Convocation 2019:


Sarah Finch
Thesis-Nutrition: The Association of Vitamin D Status with Disease Activity in Canadian Children Newly Diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Supervisors: Drs. Hassan Vatanparast and Alan Rosenberg

Hiwot Haileslassie
Thesis—Nutrition: Household Food Processing Strategies to Improve Iron and Zinc Bioavailability in Ethiopian Dishes Based on Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and Dry Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)
Supervisors: Drs. Carol Henry and Robert Tyler 

Seyedeh Zeinab Hosseini
Thesis – Nutrition: Dietary Intake of Canadians in Association with Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes, and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Supervisors: Drs. Hassan Vatanparast and Susan Whiting

Kosar Omidian
Thesis – Nutrition: Mitochondrial Mechanisms in Benzo[a]Pyrene-Induced Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention by Polyphenols
Supervisor: Dr. Brian Bandy

Merlin Premalatha Thangaraj
Thesis—Pharmacy: Functional Regulation of Sirt2 during Oligodendrocyte Development and its Requirement during Myelination and in an EAE Mouse Model of Multiple Sclerosis
Supervisors: Drs. Jane Alcorn and Bogdan Popescu (formerly Dr. Adil Nazarali)


Rasha Elhasade
Thesis—Pharmacy: Evaluation of Nanoparticle Formulation for Novel Synthetic Immune Stimulating Agents
Supervisor: Dr. Azita Haddadi 

Chukwunonso Nwabufo
Thesis—Pharmacy: Preclinical Development of Novel Bifunctional Compounds for Parkinson's Disease
Supervisor: Dr. Ed Krol

Sandra Rosero Tapia
Thesis—Nutrition: Parenteral Nutrition Practices and Outcomes of Neonatal and Preterm Infants in Four Public Hospitals in Quito, Ecuador from 2012- 2017
Supervisors: Drs. Gord Zello and Grant Miller 

Noura Sheikhalzoor
Thesis—Nutrition: Challenges and Strategies for Recruiting Children and Their Parents for Evaluation of Kids' Cooking Programs
Supervisor: Dr. Shawna Berenbaum

Sharmin Sultana Sumi
Thesis—Pharmacy: Characterization of PIK3CD as a Cancer Drug Target
Supervisor: Dr. Meena Sakharkar


Poster Awards

The 26th annual Life & Health Sciences Research Exposition was held on Thursday, May 2, 2019. The College of Pharmacy and Nutrition had the highest number of abstract submissions and poster presentations as well as faculty judges of all participating colleges. We congratulate all of our trainees who participated—their posters and presentations allowed research in the College to stand out again this year!  

We are pleased to announce the following trainee award winners from the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition:

Asher Brandt, Pharmacy PhD
Supervisors: Dr. Robert Laprairie
1st Place – Basic Science 2
Targeting CB1 type Cannabinoid Receptor with GAT Allosteric Modulators 

Natasha Breward, Pharmacy MSc
Supervisors: Drs. Charity Evans and Jane Alcorn
1st Place – Clinical 2
Cannabis and Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review Examining Utilization and Effectiveness

Mahasti Khakpour, Nutrition PhD
Supervisor: Dr. Hassan Vatanparast
1st Place – Social Population Health 2
Food Security of Protracted Refugees: A Chronic Global Crisis

Kawthar Mohamed, Undergraduate
Supervisor: Dr. Robert Laprairie
1st Place  - Undergraduate Individual Research
Assessing the pharmacology of select plant-derived cannabinoids on the type 2 cannabinoid receptor

Mays Al-Dulaymi, Postdoctoral Fellow (College of Medicine)
Supervisors: Dr. Darryl Adamko and Anas El-Aneed
2nd Place – Basic Science 4
Targeted Mass Spectrometric Metabolomic Analysis of Urine for Asthma Diagnosis and Management 

Fatma Elessawy, Pharmacy PhD
Supervisors: Drs. Anas El-Aneed and Randy Purves
2nd Place – Basic Science 6
Polyphenols in lentil seed coats: antioxidants and iron chelators 

Anna Maria Smolyakova, Pharmacy Undergraduate
Supervisors: Drs. Robert Laprairie and John Howland
2nd Place – Basic Science 5
Characterization and modulation of the type 1 cannabinoid receptor in a rat model of absence epilepsy

 Natasha BrewardMahastiElessawy,-Fatma.JPG

990 Seminar Awards

Congratulations to the following students, who were awarded 990 Seminar Awards by the AAPS student chapter in 2018-2019 Term 2:

  • Raj Rai, Pharmacy MSc (Supervisors: Drs. Ildiko Badea and Humphrey Fonge)
  • Kelly Kizlyk, Pharmacy MSc (Supervisor: Dr. Kerry Mansell
  • Courtney Quiring, Pharmacy MSc (Supervisor: Dr. Dave Blackburn)


Presentations by Trainees

Frank De Silva, PhD student studying with Dr. Jane Alcorn, presented his poster Targeting Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) Quality Control in Dysregulated Prostate Cancer Cells: Understanding Enterolactone’s Cellular Effects at the CSPS Annual Conference held in Vancouver in May 2019.

Fatma Elessawy, PhD student with Drs. Anas El-Aneed and Randy Purves, had her poster Using mass spectrometry-based metabolomics to explore polyphenol profile diversity among different lentil seed coat colors and patterns presented at the 67th American Society for Mass Spectrometry Conference held in Atlanta, GA from June-6, 2019.

Mays Al-Dulaymi (former PhD student with Drs. Anas El-Aneed and Ildiko Badea) received the Canadian Society for Mass Spectrometry Travel Award to attend the 67th American Society for Mass Spectrometry Annual Conference and present her poster Mass Spectrometric Analysis to Assess the Skin Penetration of Lipid-Based Gene Delivery Vectors. 

U of S AAPS Student Chapter Update

On June 13-15th, the U of S AAPS student chapter collaborated with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) AAPS student chapter to host the Drug Discovery & Development Colloquium 2019. Two pharmacy graduate students, Asmita Poudel and Raj Rai, presented their work at this conference, with Asmita winning 3rd place in the oral presentations.

The U of S AAPS Student Chapter recently held an election for the 2019/2020 executive committee. Please welcome:

    1. Saniya Alwani- Chair
    2. Asmita Poudel- Chair-Elect
    3. Amir Khajavinia- Vice Chair
    4. Fatma Elessawy- Treasurer
    5. Kawthar Mohamed- Secretary
    6. Tallan Black- Design and Social Media Officer
    7. Robert Laprairie- Primary Faculty Advisor

Research Funding

Jaris Swidrovich is a collaborator on a $2.8M CIHR team grant titled Wuniska! Indigenous Centre on HIV/HCV/STBBI Inequities, led by nominated PI Alexandra King (Medicine).

Robert Laprairie was awarded a $188,250 NSERC Discovery grant for Biological Mechanisms of Sleep and Appetite Through Orexin and Cannabinoid Receptor Interactions.

CIHR travel awards were conferred to:

  • Allison Cammer to attend the Institute of Population and Public Health’s Starting Investigators Workshop in Ottawa, ON
  • Jaris Swidrovich to attend the Indigenous Gender and Wellness Idea Fair and Learning Circle in Montreal, QC 

SHRF Connection grants were awarded to:

  • Robert Laprairie for the Second Annual Saskatchewan Cannabinoid Research Symposium
  • Jane Alcorn for The Animal-Human Relationship
  • Kerry Mansell for Dissemination of the REACH (Real Education About Cannabis and Health) Program to Saskatchewan Youth 

Ed Krol is the lead on a $10,000 USask Science of Teaching and Learning Cluster grant titled Pharmacy Education Development Cluster with Roy Dobson, Yvonne Shevchuk, Jane Cassidy, and Kerry Alcorn.

Carol Henry was awarded a $35,000 USask Global Innovation Fund grant for the project Impact of Soil Acidity on the Nutritional Quality of Ethiopian Crops and Implications for Human Health and Food Security.

Recent Publications

  • *Al-Dulaymi, M., *Mohammed-Saeid, W., El-Aneed, A., & Badea, I. (2019). Peptide-Modified Gemini Surfactants: Preparation and Characterization for Gene Delivery.
  • Bhat, A., Mahalakshmi, A. M., Ray, B., Tuladhar, S., Hediyal, T. A., Manthiannem, E., … Sakharkar, M. K. (2019). Benefits of curcumin in brain disorders. BioFactors, biof.1533.
  • Canadian Center of Science and Education., G., Henry, C. J., & Zello, G. A. (2019). Journal of food research. In Journal of Food Research (Vol. 8).
  • Costain, W. J., & Laprairie, R. B. (2019). Recent Advances in Cannabinoid Research (W. J Costain & R. B Laprairie, eds.).
  • Dansa, R., Reta, F., Mulualem, D., Henry, C. J., & Whiting, S. J. (2019). A Nutrition Education Intervention to Increase Consumption of Pulses Showed Improved Nutritional Status of Adolescent Girls in Halaba Special District, Southern Ethiopia. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 1–13.
  • Dawicki, W., *Allen, K. J. H., *Jiao, R., Malo, M. E., *Helal, M., Berger, M. S., … Dadachova, E. (2019). Daratumumab- 225 Actinium conjugate demonstrates greatly enhanced antitumor activity against experimental multiple myeloma tumors. OncoImmunology, 8(8), 1607673.
  • *De Silva, S. F., Alcorn, J. (2019). Flaxseed Lignans as Important Dietary Polyphenols for Cancer Prevention and Treatment: Chemistry, Pharmacokinetics, and Molecular Targets. Pharmaceuticals, 12(2), 68.
  • Fang, N., Cheng, J., Zhang, C., Chen, K., Zhang, C., Hu, Z., *Bi, R., *Furber, KL, *Thangaraj, M., Nazarali, A., Ji, S. (2019). Sirt2 epigenetically down-regulates PDGFRα expression and promotes CG4 cell differentiation. Cell Cycle, 18(10), 1095–1109.
  • *Ford, K., Bobroff, L. B., & Whiting, S. J. (2019). Where Do Pulses Fit in Dietary Guidance Documents? In Health Benefits of Pulses (pp. 35–42).
  • Kaviani, M., Chilibeck, P. D., Jochim, J., Gordon, J., & Zello, G. A. (2019). The Glycemic Index of Sport Nutrition Bars Affects Performance and Metabolism During Cycling and Next‐Day Recovery. Journal of Human Kinetics, 66(1), 69–79.
  • *Khakpour, M., Iqbal, R., GhulamHussain, N., Engler-Stringer, R., Koc, M., Garcea, J., … Vatanparast, H. (2019). Facilitators and Barriers toward Food Security of Afghan Refugees Residing in Karachi, Pakistan. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 1–18.
  • Lane, G., Nisbet, C., Whiting, S. J., & Vatanparast, H. (2019). Canadian newcomer children’s bone health and vitamin D status. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 1–8.
  • Marcinow, M. L., Simpson, J. A. R., Whiting, S. J., & Buchholz, A. C. (2019). An Exploration of Milk Product Health Beliefs and Dietary Calcium Intake in Young Adults. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, 1–7.
  • Morgan, D., & Whiting, S. J. (2019). Nutrition Care for Residents with Dementia in Long-Term Care Homes: Umbrella Review of Care Aide and Registered Dietitian Services Integrated Agriculture-Nutrition Project
  • New, L., Goodridge, D., Kappel, J., Groot, G., & Dobson, R. (2019). “I just have to take it” – patient safety in acute care: perspectives and experiences of patients with chronic kidney disease. BMC Health Services Research, 19(1), 199.
  • Omer, A., Mulualem, D., Classen, H., & Vatanparast, H. (2019). Promotion of Egg and Eggshell Powder Consumption on the Nutritional Status of Young Children in Ethiopia
  • *Rai, R., *Alwani, S., & Badea, I. (2019). Polymeric Nanoparticles in Gene Therapy: New Avenues of Design and Optimization for Delivery Applications. Polymers, 11(4), 745.
  • Vatanparast, H., Islam, N., Patil, R. P., Shamloo, A., *Keshavarz, P., Smith, J., … Whiting, S. (2019). Consumption of Ready-to-Eat Cereal in Canada and Its Contribution to Nutrient Intake and Nutrient Density among Canadians. Nutrients, 11(5), 1009.
  • Vatanparast, H., Islam, N., Patil, R. P., Shamloo, A., *Keshavarz, P., Smith, J., … Whiting, S. (2019). Consumption of Yogurt in Canada and Its Contribution to Nutrient Intake and Diet Quality Among Canadians. Nutrients, 11(6), 1203.
  • Whiting, S. J., *Berhanu, G., *Haileslassie, H. A., & Henry, C. J. (2019). Pulses and Mineral Bioavailability in Low Income Countries. In Health Benefits of Pulses (pp. 43–53).
  • *Yunus, F. M., Jalal, C., Afsana, K., Podder, R., Vandenberg, A., & DellaValle, D. M. (2019). Iron-fortified lentils to improve iron (Fe) status among adolescent girls in Bangladesh - study protocol for a double-blind community-based randomized controlled trial. Trials, 20(1), 251.