Two new faculty members joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics on July 1. Get to know Benyam Muluneh, Pharm.D., BCOP, CPP, and Klarissa Jackson, Ph.D.:
Q: What is your hometown?
Benyam: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Klarissa: Tyler, Texas
Q: What are you looking forward to about your new role?
Benyam: I am looking forward to contributing to the teaching and scholarship missions at the School with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of patients. I am excited about collaborators and mentors within the Eshelman School of Pharmacy in order to further the innovative vision of this preeminent institution.
Klarissa: I am looking forward to collaborating with outstanding researchers in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and other research partners to advance the research mission of the School.
Q: What do you feel is your greatest career accomplishment?
Benyam: I am most proud of the recognition our pharmacy-led oral chemotherapy program received with the ASHP’s Best Practice designation.
Klarissa: My greatest career accomplishment was to receive a K01 Career Development Award from the NIH National Cancer Institute Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities. This funding has given my laboratory the opportunity to uncover new insights regarding individual differences in the metabolism of clinically relevant tyrosine kinase inhibitors used in cancer therapy.
Q: What do you love most about UNC?
Benyam: I love the spirit of innovation and collaboration. I love the diversity in backgrounds and expertise. I love our basketball team!
Klarissa: I love the School’s commitment to excellence in everything, its culture of innovation, and its focus on collaboration in all aspects of work – pharmacy education, pharmacy practice, and pharmaceutical sciences research. I appreciate how each member of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy strives to embody and live out its core values.
Q: What’s one thing you want us to know about you?
Benyam: I am a Tar Heel lifer. I went to undergrad and pharmacy school at UNC. I have worked over the past 7 years at UNC Medical Center and now will be faculty at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Along the years I met my wife (also a UNC alumnus) and have two wonderful children, ages 5 and 1.
Klarissa: I am honored to join the faculty, and I look forward to working with each of you.
Benyam Muluneh, Pharm.D., BCOP, CPP., will be an integral member of the Pharm.D. curriculum by progressing the teaching mission of the school. His scholarship interests include adherence to oral oncolytics and precision dosing in hematology/oncology patients in an effort to improve outcomes. He also has a passion international health and serves as a preceptor for one of the Global Pharmacy Scholar (GPS) experiences to Ethiopia. Additionally, he remains involved clinically as clinical pharmacist practitioner in the UNC Medical Center’s Leukemia Clinic. Benyam graduated from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and completed both his PGY1 and PGY2 residencies at UNC Medical Center.
Klarissa Jackson, Ph.D., will develop a translational research program in drug metabolism. Her research focuses on understanding the impact of variability in drug metabolism and disposition on individual risk for drug toxicity. The long-term goal of this research is to better predict and prevent serious adverse reactions and improve drug safety in diverse patient populations. Prior to joining UNC, Jackson was an assistant professor at Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and an adjunct assistant professor at Vanderbilt University in the Department of Pharmacology. She received her B.S. in chemistry from Jackson State University and her Ph.D. in pharmacology from Vanderbilt University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington School Pharmacy in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry supported by a fellowship from the UNCF-Merck Science Initiative.