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Contact: Dan Lara, University Relations, (785) 864-8855, dlara@ku.edu.

Pharmacy students network with peers worldwide through GPEN

LAWRENCE -- Eight University of Kansas doctoral students and six faculty members from the School of Pharmacy spent three days this summer in Kyoto, Japan, to learn about the latest in pharmaceutical chemistry research and international culture at the 2004 conference of the Globalization of Pharmaceutics Education Network (GPEN).

The KU contingent was joined at the conference May 26-28 by students and faculty from 13 U.S. universities, 14 European universities and 12 universities in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

GPEN was created at KU in 1996, said Ronald T. Borchardt, Solon E. Summerfield distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at KU. The first conference was held in Lawrence, and faculty and graduate students from 12 universities internationally were invited.

"At that time, the big pharmaceutical companies were merging, and the trend was toward globalizing operations," Borchardt said. "We needed a way to introduce our doctoral students to this global environment and give them a global perspective. Many of our students had never left the United States."

To be eligible to attend a GPEN conference, students must have passed their preliminary exam for their doctorate degrees. At the conferences, students present research papers on the first two days, and the third day is reserved for special-topics courses presented by faculty.

The first GPEN was so successful that Borchardt turned the group into a non-profit organization in 1997 with the goal of having a meeting every two years. He estimates about 60 students have been through the program for KU. About 40 pharmaceutical companies support the conference with contributions.

The 10th anniversary for GPEN will be in 2006. The group, which now includes dozens of colleges and universities worldwide, will meet again in Lawrence.

"It's extremely important for our students to understand other cultures," Borchardt said. "The cultural intricacies of other nations are very, very important to the companies are students will work for someday."

KU faculty members who attended the conference are Borchardt; Ken Audus, dean of the School of Pharmacy; Elizabeth Topp, professor and interim chair of the pharmaceutical chemistry department; Christian Schoeneich, professor of pharmaceutical chemistry; Sue Lunte, professor of pharmaceutical chemistry; and Eric Munson, associate professor of pharmaceutical chemistry;

Following are the doctoral students who participated in the 2004 GPEN conference with their hometowns, their parents' or guardians' names and their undergraduate degree information:

From Lawrence
Stephanie Anderson Pasas-Farmer, daughter of Norm and Judy Pasas, Bluffton, S.C.; bachelor's degree in chemistry, St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Ind.
Sundeep Dhareshwar, son of Aruna and Sudish Dhareshwar, Pune, India; bachelor's degree in pharmacy, Poona College of Pharmacy, Pune, India
Bryan Huynh, son of Jack and Helen Huynh, St. Louis; bachelor's degree in chemistry, Truman State University, Kirksville, Mo.
Bianca Liederer, daughter of Justine and Johann Liederer, Neumarkt, Germany; bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, Fachhochschule und Berutskollegs, Isny/Allgaeu, Germany
Stephanie Winslow; daughter of Don and Connie Benson, Burnsville, Minn.; bachelor's degree in pharmacy, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa

From Olathe
Jeff Hemenway. See Grandview, Mo.
Amber Young, daughter of Carl Keehler of Raymore, Mo., and Sharolyn Keehler, of Pleasant Valley, Mo.; bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla

From Derby
Mary Houchin, daughter of James and Diane Houchin, Derby; bachelor's degree in chemistry, Creighton University, Omaha, Neb.

From Grandview
Jeff Hemenway, son of Nell Hemenway of Van Buren, Ark., and Robert Hemenway of Colorado Springs, Colo.; bachelor's degree in chemistry, University of Missouri-Kansas City; master's degree in pharmaceutical chemistry, KU.


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