Grant Supports College of Pharmacy Radiopharmacy Graduates

Three years ago the UNM College of Pharmacy was given funding from the Department of Energy to increase the enrollment of and provide support for students enrolled in the Radiopharmaceutical Sciences graduate program. Because of the success of this funding, UNM College of Pharmacy will graduate two students July 12, 2004.

Dr. Jeffery P. Norenberg, Director of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences, received the Nuclear Medicine Education Award from the DOE through the Advanced Nuclear Medicine Initiative. 

"This is important because as nuclear medicine procedures have increased around the world, so has the need for qualified nuclear pharmacists and radiopharmaceutical scientists," Norenberg said. "Not only are US pharmacists traveling the globe to help their international colleagues meet the health care needs of their patients, pharmacists from other countries are seeking training opportunities in the US."

Amitkumar H. Ahuja and Tapankumar Nayak will be the first to receive their Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree since the College received the grant in 2001.

In June, Ahuja defended his thesis entitled: "In Vitro Characterization of the Effects of Ambient Humidity and Impactor Temperature and Flow Rate on the Performance of Jet Nebulizers."  Nayak defended his thesis entitled: "Novel Approaches to Somatostatin Receptor Targeted Therapy Using Radionuclides of Varying Linear Energy Transfer with and without Gemcitabine Modulation."

The grant was used to support graduate students through stipends, tuition remission, research supplies and radioisotopes.

UNM College of Pharmacy is the only institution in the nation to offer a Masters of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Radiopharmacy) degree. UNM provides a unique and vital educational opportunity for students across the country—and the world. Because of its proximity to Sandia National Laboratories' reactor and hot-cell facilities and the accelerator and chemistry facilities at Los Alamos National Laboratory, UNM offers a rich environment for graduate student research collaboration. With UNM Hospital and the UNM Cancer Research & Treatment Center immediately adjacent to the College of Pharmacy, students are afforded a variety of pre-clinical and clinical research opportunities with radiopharmaceuticals.

Contact: Angela Heisel, 272-3322

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