School of

UMKC to recognize three School of Pharmacy I-Ph.D. graduates

Mid-year commencement at T-Mobile Center will feature Olympian and UMKC alumn Courtney Frerichs

The field of pharmaceutical researchers is continuing to grow thanks to the UMKC School of Pharmacy. The school will recognize three graduating I-Ph.D. students during the university’s “Roos in the City” mid-year commencement celebration for the Class of 2021 at Kansas City’s T-Mobile Center.

This year’s event at 3 p.m. on Dec. 19 will be a single ceremony for all of the university’s academic units with more than 1,000 graduates expected to take part.

Olympic silver medalist Courtney Frerichs, a 2015 UMKC graduate, will deliver the keynote address at the commencement ceremony. A graduate with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Frerichs won the silver medal in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She also competed in the 2016 Olympics and won a silver medal in the 2017 World Championships.

The School of Pharmacy graduates include Abdullah Alsalhi, Sadia Sikder and Taj Kumari Yeruva. The three completed their final dissertations earlier this year.

Alsalhi came to UMKC after receiving a bachelor of pharmaceutica science at King Haled University in Abha, Saudi Arabia. Alsalhi’s dissertation, Enhanced Etoposide Solubility and Anticancer Activity Using Complexation and Nanotechnology, focused on enhancing etoposide (VP-16) solubility, dissolution, and improve its antitumor activity using emerging formulations strategies such as complexation and nanotechnology.

Sikder received a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Tech in Dhaka, Bangladesh before coming to UMKC. The hypothesis of Sikder’s Ph.D. dissertation, Novel Nanocarriers to Improve Drug Delivery for Age-Related Macular Degeneration, was to develop aqueous, clear and drug-loaded nanomicellar formulations using FDA-approved polymers.

Yeruva came to UMKC with a bachelor of pharmacy from Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India. Yeruva’s final thesis, Smart Hydrogel for Enzyme Responsive Vaginal Delivery of Anti-HIV Peptide Therapeutics, discussed her development of a hydrogel that can be used by women for HIV prevention without the knowledge of their partner.

In addition to the three graduating students, UMKC has also recognized School of Pharmacy student Saloni Patel as this semester’s Dean of Students Honor Recipient. The honor recognizes students who have maintained high academic performance and actively participated in university leadership and service activities outside the classroom. Patel was nominated for the award by Cameron Lindsey, chair of pharmacy practice and administration.

Published: Dec 16, 2021