Mortar & Pestle - May 2016

In This Issue:

Greetings from West Lafayette

Photo of Craig SvenssonWe are delighted to bring you this issue of Mortar & Pestle to provide you an update from your College of Pharmacy. As we prepare to launch a new group of graduates, this is a wonderful time to reflect on the alumni, students, and faculty that make our College a program of excellence.

This past Fall we announced the launch of >Ever True: The Campaign for Purdue University with a University goal of $2.019 billion. One of the key initiatives for our College for the Campaign is attracting and retaining the best faculty. Our alumni and friends are well aware of the tremendous history of outstanding faculty that have been a part of the College of Pharmacy. Their investment in the preparation of the next generation of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists make a lasting impact in the lives of the young people who have entrusted us with their education. In this issue of Mortar & Pestle, you will read about some of our outstanding faculty and the impact of their scholarship. Among the stories is our first venture into crowdfunding. This innovative approach provides an opportunity for individuals to make a contribution to help support a specific research project being conducted by one of our faculty members. So many of us have family members or close friends who have been touched by breast cancer that we can readily embrace the goals of the research of Dr. Michael Wendt. I encourage you to consider supporting this opportunity. If we find that crowdfunding resonates with our alumni and friends, we will provide similar opportunities for you to support research projects in the future.

On behalf of the faculty and staff of the College of Pharmacy I extend our best wishes to each of you for a refreshing and enjoyable summer!

Hail Purdue!

Craig Svensson

Dr. Karen Hudmon's Work with Tobacco Cessation Counseling

Dr. Karen Hudmon, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, is helping change the way tobacco cessation counseling is taught through a program she helped develop, Rx for Change. Click here to read Dr. Hudmon’s profile about what inspired her to develop this program. More information about Rx for Change: Clinician-Assisted Tobacco Cessation can also be found here.

Photo of Dr. Karen Hudmon

Dr. Kyle Hultgren Helps Diabetes Patients through Startup Company

Dr. Kyle Hultgren, Director of the Center for Medication Safety Advancement, has founded Imagine Medical Device Inc., a medical device startup company devoted to helping people in the advanced stages of diabetes. The company is commercializing a Purdue University-designed syringe for concentrated dosages of insulin, and Dr. Hultgren is the designer/inventor of this new technology. You may read more and watch a video here.

Photo of Dr. Kyle Hultgren

Crowdfunding Project: Dr. Michael Wendt's Research

Purdue University has launched a new Crowdfunding program where various areas across campus can focus on fundraising for a targeted project during a specific amount of time. The Purdue College of Pharmacy is pleased to support the research being conducted by Dr. Michael Wendt, Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. Make a gift, and make a difference!

Crowdfunding project: Wendt Breast Cancer Research
Crowdfunding project owner: Dr. Michael Wendt
Crowdfunding start date: May 23, 2016
Crowdfunding end date: June 22, 2016
Crowdfunding goal: $30,000

The Wendt Lab
“The goal of our lab is to understand the plasticity of tumor cells and get to the heart of that. The future of personalized
medicine lies in the appropriate application of therapeutics that target very specific aspects of cancer cell biology.”
- Dr. Michael Wendt

About Us

Purdue University’s College of Pharmacy and the Center for Cancer Research are teaming up to help fight breast cancer through the research of Dr. Michael Wendt and the Wendt Lab. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. In fact, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. When people rally together, powerful things can happen. Join us in helping continue the research that Dr. Wendt has started so we can continue to fight breast cancer together!

Our Project

Research in the Wendt Lab is focused on the development of new models that test new therapies for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is described as breast cancer that has spread to other areas of the body such as lymph nodes. Specifically, we are focused on developing model systems that will allow oncologists to determine which therapies will work for a specific patient’s disease. To do this, we engraft patient tumor biopsy material onto recipient mice, and these “avatar” mice are being developed as a platform to test which therapies will work best for a particular patient.

To learn more about the work on targeting metastatic breast cancer, please visit Dr. Wendt’s website at You may also follow him on Twitter @WendtLab_cancer where his team will be posting updates about this project and the progress of the lab.

Why Contribute?

This type of approach requires a team effort from surgeons to nurses, pathologists to researchers, as well as animal care staff. We have brought all these components together here at Purdue University, but we need financial assistance to support these personnel and cover other numerous costs that are associated with biomedical research. Our goal of $30,000 will allow us to continue to optimize our techniques in creating the avatar mice, and to continue to establish our panel of anti-cancer treatments capable of combating metastatic breast cancer. Once these methods are established, we will be ready to bring our approach to the market on a commercial basis and begin serving the cancer community.

How to Make a Gift

Visit between May 23rd through June 22nd and select to support Dr. Wendt’s Pharmacological Targeting of Metastatic Breast Cancer project. The link will not be available until May 23rd, so mark your calendars now and show your support. Please note that 100% of the collected funds will go towards supporting metastatic breast cancer research in the Wendt lab. If you are interested in learning more about making a major gift to this campaign, please contact John Dinkens, Director of Advancement, at (765) 494-0501 or

Photo of Dr. Michael Wendt
About Dr. Michael Wendt

Dr. Wendt was born and raised just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He obtained his BS from St. Norbert College and PhD from the Medical College of Wisconsin. After completing his graduate studies, he became an American Cancer Society Research Fellow at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. In 2010, he moved to Case Western Reserve University where he received a Pathway to Independence Award from the National Cancer Institute. In 2014, Dr. Wendt joined the faculty of Purdue University and became a member of the Center for Cancer Research. His entire career has been focused on the study of metastatic disease, a health concern he is personally and intellectually passionate about because of the women in his life and future generations. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife, Becky, and their two children, Maya and Isaac. 

Alumni Profile: Rae Willis (BS 1961, MS 1964, PhD 1966)

Despite showing an aptitude in high school for dairy farming, Rae Willis had no desire to pursue agriculture. After researching other possible career choices, he learned that pharmacists were in demand and that employment upon graduation was high. He decided to look into pharmacy and narrowed his choice of schools to Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin, having no desire to venture east or west. Rae was born in Madison, but his family moved to Lafayette in 1945 and four years later to West Lafayette. “My parents were friends with a lot of Purdue professors and administrators, so I was acquainted with many of them as a child,” Rae says. He spent summers mowing their lawns or caddying at the Elks Club and the Lafayette Country Club, and later had a paper route that included Cary Hall and married student housing on campus. He remembers having Sunday dinners with his parents in the Purdue Memorial Union and attending musical and theatrical performances on campus. His parents moved to Fort Wayne prior to his senior year at West Lafayette High School, so Rae stayed behind with a neighbor until graduation. Ultimately, he chose Purdue over Wisconsin. “Purdue just seemed like the right choice for me for so many reasons, and I felt at home immediately.”

Rae is retired as Vice President of Corporate Business Development at Berlex Laboratories. For many years, he attended management conferences at Purdue while he was employed. He served on the Dean's Industrial Advisory Council for several years spanning the direction of Deans Rutledge, Pezzuto, and Svensson. In 1990, the Purdue College of Pharmacy honored him as a Distinguished Alumnus.

Both Rae and his wife, Candie Oldham, are pilots. They reside in Falmouth Airpark, a fly-in community in Massachusetts where they keep their personal air carrier, a Mooney “Missile”, in the house. Many of their visits to Purdue have been made via their plane. Candie, a certified flight instructor, has flown four times in the Air Race Classic, the country’s only women’s air race, placing as high as fifth. She is also a member of The Ninety-Nines, Inc., an international association of women pilots started by Purdue’s own Amelia Earhart in 1929. The couple has flown coast to coast, to Canada, and to the Bahamas. They often attend EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and the Mooney Aircraft Pilots Association in Kerrville, Texas.

What was your experience at Purdue as a student? I had a great experience at Purdue as both an undergraduate and a graduate student, but I have to say that after eight years, I was happy to move on at the end. While an undergraduate, I spent summers at my family home in Fort Wayne and worked in a pharmacy (Meyer Brothers Rexall), in construction (houses and underground utilities), and the summer before my senior year at a wholesale lumber company. Working in the pharmacy pretty much convinced me that I did not want to go into retail pharmacy. I think that is what led me to industrial pharmacy and graduate school.

My undergraduate years were taken up by coursework and fraternity life, and I was pretty much your average student in all respects with one exception which I only learned about after leaving Purdue. The exception was that my father was being kept informed of my progress—and other less academic activities—by certain faculty and administrators. This came to light many years later when I came across some letters my father had kept. Among the most interesting were those from Professor Gustav Cwalina, one of my father's fellow Kiwanians. I wish I had saved them.

What is a favorite memory of your time as a student at Purdue? I think I learned to appreciate the institution more as a graduate student. As an undergraduate, however, I remember just enjoying the experience of learning. I did my best to work out a study routine during the day so I did not have to cram late at night. I recall meeting so many people on campus who I knew through living in the area and being somewhat embarrassed when President Hovde stopped to talk with me in the company of other students—from whom I got a real ribbing.

I remember Professors Cwalina and Belcastro with a degree of fondness, as well as Dean Jenkins from my undergraduate days. My co-major professors for my Masters degree were Gil Banker and George DeKay, and I continued under the direction of Professor Banker for my PhD degree.

What motivates you and Candie to give back to the Purdue College of Pharmacy? I believe I gained a great advantage in my ability to secure employment as a result of having matriculated from Purdue and what was then known as the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacal Sciences. For example, when I was scheduled to give a presentation of my Masters work at the APhA Annual Meeting in New York City on August 4, 1964, I was invited to visit Lederle Laboratories to "explore summer employment." Although I was continuing on for a doctorate, Lederle hosted me at their Pearl River laboratories on August 3rd anyway (I think Professor Banker might have had something to do with this). Even though I was not looking for a job at the time, I was thereafter inundated with interview requests to the extent that I accepted a job on February 15, 1965, almost a year before finishing my PhD. I also believe my academic associations probably helped me in getting an NIH Fellowship during my doctoral studies. Subsequently, in my career I had no trouble securing employment whenever I felt the need to move on.

I have supported the College of Pharmacy in appreciation for what I gained throughout my career as a result of a good education from a well-recognized university and pharmacy school. Now that college education has become such an economic burden for so many, Candie and I feel scholarship support is appropriate. We applaud Purdue for freezing tuition and are motivated to support students through the Willis-Oldham Scholarship fund.

Rae and Candie pose in front of their Mooney "Missile"
Rae and Candie pose in front of their Mooney "Missile"

Pharmacy Alumnus Samuel Arnett Turns 105!

Alumnus Samuel ArnettSamuel Arnett was born on February 25, 1911, in Indianapolis, Indiana. This year marked his 105th birthday, making him the oldest living Purdue College of Pharmacy alum.

Sam’s father, William Arnett, received his Pharmacy degree from Purdue in 1894. He owned a drugstore, and Sam decided to follow in his father’s pharmacy footsteps. Sam first earned an MBA in 1933 from Butler University, but then went on to earn his BS (1936) and MS (1937) in Pharmacy from Purdue. Upon graduation, he joined Eli Lilly and Company as a pharmaceutical chemist. He remained at Eli Lilly for 34 years, retiring in 1970.

Sam’s wife, Dorothy, passed away in 2008. His daughter, Anne (Arnett) Ripley, is a former student of the Purdue College of Science. His son, David Arnett, received his BS in Electrical and Chemical Engineering in 1964 from Purdue. Sam currently resides in an assisted living facility in Westfield, Indiana. To help celebrate his 105th birthday, the College of Pharmacy presented him with a photo album of the Purdue campus.

To learn more about Sam’s life, please read, an article that was written about him upon his 103rd birthday.

Welcome Daniel Bolsen, Director of Development Photo of Daniel Bolsen

The Purdue College of Pharmacy is pleased to introduce Daniel Bolsen as Director of Development. Dan comes to Pharmacy from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, where he served as Associate Director of Development in the Office of Alumni and Development. In that role, he oversaw the Big Blue Club, an all-encompassing annual fund athletic revenue generator, served as a major gifts officer, and assisted with the annual fund. He received his BS (2013) in Sport Management and BA (2013) in Communication from Eureka College and his MS (2015) in Recreation, Sport & Tourism, with a concentration in Sport Management, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he held an Illini Scholars Program Graduate Assistantship working for Fighting Illini Athletics.

Dan joins the Pharmacy Advancement team comprised of John Dinkens, Director of Advancement; Katie Skeel, Manager of Development Operations and Donor Relations; Dana Neary, Manager of Alumni Relations and Special Events; and Amy Chandler, Communications Manager. You can learn more about Dan in the upcoming Summer 2016 edition of The Purdue Pharmacist



PharmD Student Spotlight: Theophilus Anguah

Photo of Theophilus AnguahGraduation Date: May 2016

Hometown: Akuapim Mampong, Eastern Region, Ghana

Participation in Organizations: Purdue College of Pharmacy Orientation Committee member, Purdue Pharmacy Ambassadors (PPA), American Pharmacist Association - Academy of Student Pharmacist (APhA-ASP), Multicultural Association of Pharmacy Students (MAPS), Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNAPhA)

Honors and Awards: Angelo & Jeannine Carnaghi Scholarship, Lynn Mathews Memorial Scholarship, Christen & Raymond A. McCullough Scholarship

Hobbies/Pastimes: Playing table tennis and basketball, spending time with family (wife and son), and watching movies

Post-graduation plans: Start as a retail pharmacist and work up the corporate ladder

Experience as a Pharmacy student: Chairman Mao once said, “Be resolute, fear no sacrifice, and surmount every possible difficulty to win victory.” That has been my mantra since starting Pharmacy school. I learned to be very resilient and developed various ways of overcoming the hurdles that came my way to emerge a victor in all my endeavors.


Why did you choose Purdue? Purdue has world class research facilities and research scientist that are at the forefront of drug discovery. The pharmacy program is ranked in the top 10 in the country, it has a nuclear pharmacy program so I could get certified as a nuclear pharmacist, and it has a global health residency program from which I could potentially benefit. There was also an added advantage of being able to live with my wife on campus as she pursued an advanced degree.

Have there been challenges being an international student? Yes, there have been many challenges, but God placed angels in my way to help me to prevail. When I first arrived to start Pre-pharmacy in the spring of 2011, it was extremely cold. That was the first challenge I had to deal with. Furthermore, my professors and I could not understand each other very well in the beginning because we both had accents, but that barrier was eliminated very early in the course of my studies.

The culture was entirely different from what I was used to. To acclimatize, I joined various student organizations on campus and got involved in the activities they organized to have a clear understanding of the way people think and behave. The late Ms. Jackie Jimerson, my first academic student advisor in the College of Pharmacy, was extremely helpful in the transition process. She guided me to revise my study methods to be able to excel in this fast-paced environment. Also, she drew my attention to things I had to do to increase my chances of gaining admission into the Doctor of Pharmacy program and steered me in the right direction.

As I advanced in the Pre-pharmacy program and later the Doctor of Pharmacy program, I developed very good relations with all the academic advisors in the Office of Student Services and most of the professors who taught me. They have been of great help. I benefited immensely from the mentorship of Professors Steven Abel, Steven Scott, Kevin Sowinski, Patricia Darbishire, Tony Hazbun, Cynthia Koh-Knox, Marc Loudon, and Kara Duncan Weatherman, as well as Mr. Patrick George, Mrs. Brooke Linn, Mrs. Linnette White, Dr. Nicole Noel and all the pharmacists who work at the Purdue University Pharmacy.

Any additional information you’d like to share with our readers? I will advise students to take their studies seriously, make time to have fun, get to know their classmates very well, and develop very good relations with their academic advisors and professors since they can be great mentors. Also, students should take advantage of opportunities that come their way to network with alumni because that is always a game changer and can open many doors.

Lastly, I wish to thank the alumni who instituted the scholarships and corporations that donate to the College of Pharmacy. There is hope for the future because of the benevolence of such people and corporations. I encourage the entire class of 2016 from the College of Pharmacy to emulate this example so that together we can uphold the image of the College and strengthen it for generations to come. BOILER UP.

Interprofessional Education Patient Case Competition

The Purdue College of Pharmacy is pleased to share news about a successful collaboration among our College, the Indiana University School of Medicine - West Lafayette (IUSM-WL), and the Purdue University Academy of Student Pharmacists (ASP). The first annual Interprofessional Education (IPE) Patient Case Competition took place took place on March 2, 2016, at the Purdue Cordova Recreational Sports Center (CoRec). Fourteen medical students from IUSM-WL teams and 16 Purdue Pharmacy students participated in the event. Judges included Drs. Steve Scott, Brian Shepler, and Yaman Kaakeh from the College of Pharmacy, and Drs. Julianne Stout, Ray Munguia, and Mitch Krathwohl from IUSM-WL.

Team #3 was selected as the winner for their presentation of a congestive heart failure case. Medical students Bryan Edwards, Lakshmi Nemani, and Mimi Tudyk, and pharmacy students Jackie Campi, Anne Rodino, and Luke Smedley will receive engraved plaques in recognition of their work.

The event was planned through a collaboration between the Purdue ASP chapter, Drs. Amy Heck Sheehan and Megan Brown from the College of Pharmacy, and Dr. Julianne Stout from IUSM-WL as part of a research project designed to evaluate pharmacy and medical students perspectives on interprofessional education. 

Interprofessional Education Patient Case Competition photo Interprofessional Education Patient Case Competition photo

Ever True Campaign Logo

Ever True: The Campaign for Purdue University is an invitation to the Purdue family to join together, through private giving and personal involvement, to boldly advance our University as a national and global leader that continues to move the world forward. 

With a goal of $2.019 billion, Ever True is the largest fundraising effort in Purdue history. The campaign spans July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2019, concluding in the University's 150th anniversary year. 

Make a profound impact at Purdue University by partnering with the College of Pharmacy. Through Ever True: Campaign for Purdue University, the College seeks to attract outstanding prospective students and reduce their debt, recruit and retain the best faculty, and plan for the future through various giving opportunities which will enable us to further our mission.

BoileRx Golf Classic 20th anniversary logo

20th Anniversary BoileRx Golf Classic
Friday, June 3, 2016

Registration begins at 10:30 a.m.
Lunch will be served at 11:00 a.m.
Shotgun start at noon.
We will be playing 18 holes on the Ackerman-Allen Course.

With your support, our mission is a hole in one! More information can be found at or by contacting Dana Neary, Manager of Alumni Relations and Special Events, at or (765) 494-2632.


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