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Innovations and Transformations in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2024

A summer learning experience for current and future scientists to learn about the discovery, delivery, and clinical use of drugs and vaccines.

July 8, 2024 - July 26, 2024

ITPS is a three-week course offered to learners around the world by the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. This program will expose learners to world-class professors from the No.1-ranked school of pharmacy in the United States. Participants will explore cutting-edge research and innovative technologies as professors explore the lifecycle of drugs and vaccines in our modern world. Participants have two options to attend ITPS: either in-person on the UNC campus or virtually.  Participants who attend in-person will receive 4 UNC credit hours and an official UNC transcript upon successful completion of the program. Participants who attend virtually will be able to join lectures live or watch recordings at their own convenience and will receive a Certificate of Completion at the conclusion of the program.

Register now to save your spot for this unique summer learning experience!


“Through the study of this program, I not only have a deeper understanding of various fields of pharmacy, but also a strong guidance for the direction of subsequent study. I also learned a lot of cutting-edge knowledge in the field of pharmacy, including the establishment and use of various models. During this process, I have seen the world’s cutting-edge research results and advanced scientific research ideas, and my participation in the [ITPS Program] has provided guidance for my future study and research.”

– ITPS 2023 Participant

Informational Session

Join us for an informational session to learn more about the ITPS program and connect with the program faculty and coordinators.

December 13, 2023 | 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. EDT

Sign up to attend the informational session here.



ITPS Residential: $5,750 USD*

*Pricing includes housing, meals, health insurance, tuition, transportation for program activities, and cultural activities

ITPS Virtual: $500 USD

Early registration and group discounts are available! See the registration tab for more details.

Who Should Attend?

Students or working professionals interested in a career in pharmaceutical sciences, biopharmaceutical research, or drug development.

Why Attend?

Through ITPS, participants will have the opportunity to learn about and develop valuable skills in topics related to the drug development pipeline (from discovery and delivery to outcomes and practice), pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy practice, and professional development.

Participants will learn from world-renowned researchers as they discuss hot topics such as pharmacogenomics,unique drug delivery systems, and so much more!

When to Attend?

July 8 – July 26, 2024

See below for the agenda from the 2023 Innovations and Transformations in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (ITPS) program. More information about the 2024 programming will be added soon!

2023 Agenda

(This is the most current version of the agenda and may be subject to minor changes)

Week Date Time (EST) Lecture Topic Presenter
Week 1 July 10th (Mon) 8:15-10:15 Welcome and Overview to the School Dr. Sarah Merritt and Mr. William Taylor
10:30-11:30 Introduction to Drug Discovery Dr. Padam-Prasad Acharya
11:30-12:30 Catered Lunch
12:30-2:30 UNC Campus Tour
July 11th (Tues) 8:30-9:30 Data Visualization Dr. Michael Stepanovic
10:00-11:00 Introduction to Drug Delivery Dr. Yutian Ma
1:15-4:00 Site Visit – UCB Biosciences Inc.
July 12th (Wed) 8:30-9:30 Using Glycoscience Tools to Aid in Drug Discovery Dr. Katelyn Arnold
10:00-11:00 Computational Approaches to Accelerate Small Molecule Drug Discovery Jon-Michael Beasley
July 13th (Thurs) 8:30-10:00 Development of Phenotypic Screens for Drug Discovery Merrill Froney
10:30-11:30 Antibiotic Natural Products Dr. Albert Bowers
1:00-4:30 Skills Lab – Pharmacy Compounding Dr. Bob Shrewsbury
July 14th (Fri) 8:30-9:30 Introduction to Pharmcokinetics and Pharmacodynamics Dr. Carter Cao
10:00-11:00 Preclinical and Clinical Vaccination Strategies Dylan Hendy
1:30-3:30 Cultural Activity – UNC Basketball Museum and Tour of Smith Center
Week 2 July 17th (Mon) 8:30-9:30 Overview of Evidence-Based Literature Rebecca Carlson
10:00-11:00 Overview to Scientific Abstracts and Posters UNC Writing Center

Site Visit – Core Lab at UNC Medical Center

July 18th (Tues) 8:30-9:30 Biodegradable Polymeric Platforms for Cancer Combination Therapy Ryan Woodring
10:00-11:00 Personal Statements and CVs Dr. Mike Jarstfer
2:00-4:30 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Virtual Tour John Schelp
July 19th (Wed) 8:30-9:30 Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) in Modeling Neurodevelopmental Disease and Implications in Therapeutic Management Dr. Dulcie Lai
10:00-11:00 Entrepreneurism in Pharmacy Dr. Stephen Eckel
July 20th (Thurs) 8:30-9:30 Pharmacogenomics Bethany Latham
9:45-12:30 Site Visit – Lindy Biosciences
July 21st (Fri) 8:30-9:30 Vaccinations and Medication Quality Dr. Sachiko Ozawa
10:00-11:00 Considerations for Adult Vaccinations Dr. Dennis Williams
1:30-3:30 Cultural Activity – Ackland Art Museum Guided Tour
Week 3 July 24th (Mon) 8:30-9:30 The Role of the Liver in Drug Metabolism Dr. Kim Brouwer
10:00-11:00 The Emerging Role of Quantitative Systems Toxicology in Drug Development Dr. Paul Watkins
2:00-4:30 Skills Lab – HPLC Simulation Raeanne Geffert and Kelly Vantreeck
July 25th (Tues) 8:30-10:00 Effect of Body Habitus on Pharmacology of Complex Drugs Dr. William Zamboni
10:30-11:30 Implementation Science Dr. Megan Roberts
July 26th (Wed) 8:30-9:30 Prescriptive Authority and Access to Care Philip Hughes
10:00-11:00 Fentanyl Test Strips in Community Pharmacies Dr. Grace Marley
1:15-4:30 Site Visit – KBI Biopharma
July 27th (Thurs) 8:30-9:30 Opioid and Substance Use Among American Indians Dr. Ronny Bell
10:00-11:00 Overview of Grant Writing Dr. David Carroll
2:00-4:30 Skills Lab – Excel Basics for Research Dr. Mike Stepanovic
July 28th (Fri) 8:30-12:00 Group Presentations and Closing Ceremony Dr. Mike Jarstfer, Dr. Stephen Eckel, and Dr. Sarah Merritt
12:00-2:00 Lunch and Certificate Presentation Dr. Mike Jarstfer, Dr. Stephen Eckel, and Dr. Sarah Merritt
5:20-10:00 Cultural Activity – Durham Bulls Baseball Game


2023 Innovations and Transformations in Pharmaceutical Sciences (ITPS) Speakers


Albert Bowers, PhD

Albert Bowers, PhD is the Vice Chair of the Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry. He received his PhD in organic chemistry (synthetic methods) from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He carried out postdoctoral research (total synthesis) at Colorado State University before moving as an NIH sponsored fellow to Harvard Medical School (biosynthesis).  He is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and affiliate member of the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery.

Research in his lab is concentrated on the synthesis, assessment, and modification of potential therapeutic leads, especially those derived from natural products. His lab uses chemical synthesis as well as genetic manipulation of the natural biosyntheses to access and modify compounds to study structure-activity relationships (SAR). These efforts involves the integration of basic concepts in organic reaction mechanisms, synthetic organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, bioinformatics and computational chemistry.


Yanguang Cao, PhD

Yanguang Cao, Ph.D., joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in the division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics. Prior to joining the School, Cao served as a research assistant professor at SUNY Buffalo for two years after completing a postdoctoral training program at SUNY, Buffalo.

Dr. Cao has training in pharmacology, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, and computational oncology and immunology. He led a multidisciplinary team having scientists in the field of molecular biology, pharmacology, and pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. His group is currently funded by the National Institute of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.


Rebecca Carlson, MLS, AHIP

Rebecca Carlson, MLS, is Health Sciences Librarian and Liaison to the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Rebecca is the primary provider of library support for the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and is responsible for collaborating with faculty to design and provide curriculum-integrated instruction; participating in new program planning, accreditation processes, and the scholarship of teaching and learning; providing research and scholarly communication consultations, expert literature searches, and other services for teaching, clinical care, research, and administrative purposes.

Rebecca is the Clinical Librarian for the Department of Surgery at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is the primary provider of library support for surgery, including collaborating on surgical research, evidence-based practice, and clinical education. Rebecca also serves as one of the Interprofessional Education and Practice Directors for the Health Science Library and works with the Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice at UNC-Chapel Hill. Rebecca has her Master of Science in Library Science degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and is a senior member of the Medical Library Association’s Academy of Health Information Professionals.


Stephen Eckel, PharmD, MHA

Stephen Eckel, Pharm.D., M.H.A., is associate dean for global engagement and a associate professor in the Division of Practice Advancement and Clinical Education. He leads a two-year Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a specialization in health-system pharmacy administration. This degree is hosted at eight hospitals, five of which are in North Carolina and others are located in 3 other states. At UNC Medical Center, he is director of pharmacy for innovation services, where he is residency program director for the 2-year health system pharmacy administration and leadership residency program. He has worked with almost 200 residents over the years.

As an innovator and entrepreneur, Eckel spearheaded the development of UNC Pharmacy Grand Rounds with ASHP and launched ChemoGLO, LLC with Bill Zamboni, Pharm.D., Ph.D. He is also the founder of Assure Technologies, LLC, which is leading the development of the medical device Precynge (precise syringe). Eckel is the previous editor of the health-system edition of Pharmacy Times and a passionate supporter of the role of the pharmacist and technology in patient care. He conducts and publishes his research and is frequently asked to speak around the world on these issues.

Dylan Hendy

Dylan Hendy is a second year PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Kristy Ainslie. His research focuses on using microparticle formulations to increase the efficacy of broadly active influenza vaccines.


Mike Jarstfer, PhD

As Assistant Dean for Graduate Education, Mike Jarstfer is the Director of Graduate Studies for Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD Program and in this role advances innovative approaches to enhance graduate training. The Jarstfer lab is interested in targeting telomere biology for aging disorders and cancer treatment strategies and exploring the mechanism of oxytocin in controlling social behavior.

Dulcie Lai, PharmD, PhD

Dulcie received her PhD at Queen’s University in cancer research followed by her PharmD at the University of Waterloo. She is currently a post-doctoral research scientist in Erin’s Heinzen’s lab where she is modeling SLC35A2-associated epilepsy using human induced pluripotent stem cell derived neuron models.

Yutian Ma

Yutian Ma, PhD

Yutian Ma is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. He conducted his Ph.D. at the University of Melbourne (Australia). He has a background in biomedical engineering, biomolecular engineering, nanomedicine and drug delivery. In Australia, he worked on developing nanoengineered drug delivery systems for the treatment of inner ear disease. He is currently working on developing non-viral vectors for improving the efficacy and safety of RNA therapeutics.


Sachiko Ozawa, PhD, MHS

Sachiko Ozawa, Ph.D., M.H.S., is a health economist whose work focuses on generating evidence that can be used to improve the health of populations globally. Her research focuses on examining the value of vaccines, assessing the economic burden of diseases and examining the demand and utilization of health care. She is interested in the interface between pharmacy and public health from the perspective of a global health economist. She serves on the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts Global Vaccine Action Plan Working Group on the demand for immunization. She is also a member of the Scientific Committee Review Panel for the International Health Economics Association.

Megan Roberts, PhD - Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Megan Roberts, PhD

Megan Roberts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy and the Director of Implementation Science in Precision Health and Society at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Her research focuses on evaluating and improving the implementation of genomic medicine. In particular, she is interested in conducting research to understand how precision medicine technologies can be implemented to improve access to and reduce disparities in high-quality care and prevention. To date, her research has largely focused on the intersection between genomic medicine, health equity and implementation science including research about the implementation of population genetic screening, cascade screening for hereditary conditions, precision diagnostics in low resourced settings both globally and in the US, and building capacity for precision public health.


Dennis Williams, PharmD

Dennis Williams, Pharm.D., is an associate professor and the vice chair for professional education and practice for the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics.

Dr. Williams earned his Bachelor of Science in pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist, as well as a certified asthma educator. He has received fellow recognition from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and American Pharmacists Association.

Dr. Williams focuses his practice, teaching, and research on the management of patients with pulmonary and infectious diseases. He is a member of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Coordinating Committee of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and several other boards.

Dr. Williams has published research papers and book chapters in the area of pulmonary diseases and infectious diseases, and he regularly speaks on these topics at national and international professional programs. He has trained thousands of pharmacists and students about pulmonary, infectious disease, and immunization sciences, as well as practice considerations related to these topics.


William Zamboni, PharmD, PhD

William Zamboni, Pharm.D., Ph.D., serves as the director of the UNC Advanced Translational Pharmacology and Analytical Chemistry (ATPAC) Lab and Recharge Center in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy (ESOP), the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC), and the Carolina Institute of Nanomedicine. The UNC ATPAC Lab consists of the UNC Translational Oncology and Nanoparticle Drug Development Initiative (TONDDI) Lab and the UNC LCCC Analytical Chemistry and Pharmacology Core (ACPC) Lab. The UNC ATPAC Lab supports research from the Zamboni lab and highly collaborative and team science-based research with faculty members in the UNC ESOP, UNC LCCC, and Carolina Institute of Nanomedicine (CIN), as well as investigators from the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, other academic research centers, and the pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Zamboni’s research program is part of the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. The research program is also part of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC) and Carolina Institute of Nanomedicine (CIN). He considers himself as a translational pharmacologist where he applies standard and novel analytical chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and biomarker methods to preclinical, translational, and clinical development of drugs, especially anticancer agents.

Register here to attend the ITPS Residential program.
Deadline: March 8, 2024

*Register by January 31, 2024 to get a $250 USD discount!

Register Now - In-Person

Register here to attend the ITPS Virtual program.
Deadline: June 21, 2024

*Register by April 30, 2024 to get a $50 USD discount!

Register Now - Virtual

For more information or questions, please contact us at

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