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  • Fast-Track: Sickle Cell Drug Targets Key Enzyme

    Woster research an awardee in Sickle Cell Disease/Advancing Cures funding; fast-track research focused on developing a new gene-modifying sickle cell disease treatment at MUSC could lead to human clinical trials in as few as three years.

  • MUSC Team Takes Tops Prize in KPIC Business Plan Competition

    The MUSC team Fins Pharmacy won first place in the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center 6th Annual Business Plan Competition, winning a prize of $6,000. Team members include Philip Tampis, Patrick Holloway, Aaron Smith and Andrew Swanner.
  • drug discovery

    The College

    The College of Pharmacy at the Medical University of South Carolina provides a premier pharmacy education leveraging the innovative inter-professional learning opportunities offered at South Carolina’s only comprehensive academic health center with a full range of programs in the biomedical sciences.

  • Pharmacy Students Hone Skills at Compounding Boot Camp

    MUSC pharmacy students immersed themselves in compounding during a special boot camp on campus February 23-24. Twenty-seven students participated in the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA) Boot Camp, an intensive two-day session that furthered their compounding training.


  • Alumni Ambassador Program Helps Expand Recruiting Outreach

    The MUSC College of Pharmacy Alumni Ambassador Program was a big part of the fall recruiting campaign, in which the College was represented at formal recruitment events at Clemson, UGA, Furman, USC, North Carolina State, the Atlanta University Center and many more. Contact Abby Grady for information.   

  • Compounding Team Qualifies for National Competition

    The 2018 Medisca Student Pharmacist Compounding Competition winners are Meghan White, Zach Posey and Ryan Rosenblatt. The team will go on to represent MUSC in the eighth annual national competition, held March 17-18, which includes a practical lab, a Q-and-A, a presentation and a compounding challenge.

News & Accolades

Abby Grady, assistant director of college relations, and pharmacy students Adrienne Busch ’21,  Makayla Dudley ’20 and Ashley Mitchell ’20 hosted the College’s first “Future Pharmacist Academy” with Horizons at Ashley Hall (HAH) on July 18.

The College team conducted two different “classes” of about 14 rising first- and second-graders, using fun, hands-on activities to teach lessons about compounding pharmacy, community pharmacy and medication safety.

“Making slime is always pretty popular with the under-10 crowd,” Grady said. “As soon as we started, they immediately cascaded to that table. They were also excited to learn how hands-on a pharmacist is and that a pharmacist is actually a scientist.”

Horizons at Ashley Hall (HAH) is a six-week summer learning experience that supports girls from underserved communities throughout their K-8 academic careers; taking place at Charleston’s Ashley Hall, it is part of the Horizons National program serving more than 5,000 students in 17 states. Students in the “Future Pharmacist Academy” are from Mitchell Elementary and Memminger Elementary.

College of Pharmacy Class of 2018 Forrest Westley

Forrest Westley ’18 has known what kind of diploma was going to be hanging on her wall for a long time. As a young girl, she became interested in pharmacy by watching the community pharmacist and the native Charlestonian always planned to come to MUSC. Now she is taking her MUSC PharmD to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where she serves as pharmacist-in-charge (PIC) at PURE Compounding.

As the PIC at PURE, she’ll be responsible for overseeing all activities of the pharmacy, especially with regard to USP 795 (nonsterile compounding), 797 (sterile compounding) and 800 (safe handling of hazardous drugs). PURE offers a variety of products both non-sterile and sterile for humans and animals, as well as hormone counseling and recommendations for patients.

The mother of three also likes to travel. “I was able to maximize my clinical experiences at MUSC to allow me to travel to many areas of the US and Internationally to Australia in order to get the most out of my education,” she said. The family has taken their RV all over the East Coast and across the country to places like Albuquerque, N.M.

Pre-Pharmacy: College of Charleston

MUSC Activities: Kappa Epsilon, Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International, American Pharmacists Association, Student Society of Health-System Pharmacy, Rite-Aid scholarship, Waring Student Library Board

Random Thought: “The opportunities that were provided by MUSC to explore the many different areas of the pharmacy profession allowed me to really pursue compounding pharmacy. I love the idea of meeting a need that isn’t provided by commercially available products to patients of all shapes and sizes.”

College of Pharmacy Class of 2018 Alex Holt

His pictures have appeared in national newspapers and magazines, his Coast Guard boat has chased drug smugglers in the Caribbean, and now Alex Holt ’18 will take his multiple talents to the United States Air Force (USAF).

The Richmond, Kentucky native is an award-winning photographer who also served in the United States Coast Guard from 2004-2009. He was awarded a USAF scholarship during his P4 year and this fall will join the 633rd Medical Group in Langley, Va. as a pharmacist with the rank of captain. He is considering applying for a USAF residency, for which he will be eligible in two years.

Holt could be working in any area as USAF staff pharmacists rotate in and out of various specialties, from an ambulatory clinic to in-patient. Variation was part of the military’s appeal, as you can become a very well-rounded pharmacist rotating into many areas without having to change your job. You might also be deployed to some infectious disease hot spot with an opportunity to create pharmacy infrastructure.

“I think the idea of being deployed is kind of exciting. When you deploy, you get to use a balance of leadership in the expanded roles of pharmacy and experience in how to manage and run a pharmacy operation.”

Pre-Pharmacy: University of Kentucky

Interesting Background: Holt served in the Coast Guard from 2004 to 2009, finishing as avionics electrical technician (E-4). He is an award-winning photographer who has been published in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Rolling Stone Magazine, Billboard, Fortune Magazine, Associated Press and many others.  To see some of his photography, visit

Advice to Students: “No matter if you think you know what you want to do going into your fourth year of pharmacy school, take as wide a variety of rotations as you can. Going into fourth year I was pretty sure I wanted to go into retail and then my first rotation in acute care internal medicine at the VA really energized me and opened my eyes as to what you can do with a PharmD degree.”

Donald B. Wiest, associate professor of clinical pharmacy and outcomes sciences, is retiring after 32 years as a member of the MUSC pharmacy faculty.

Wiest earned a bachelor’s in pharmacy from the University of Louisiana and then his PharmD from MUSC in 1985. He completed an MUSC residency in pediatric pharmacotherapy in 1986 and joined the MUSC faculty as assistant professor that same year. He has served in multiple roles as a teacher and administrator, including as assistant dean of academic affairs from 2000-2005. In 1988, Wiest became director of the pharmacy residency program and led it to its first accreditation by the American Society of Health–System Pharmacists.

As a clinician, he provided direct care for almost all patient care services in the Children’s Hospital and operated the pediatric on–call clinical pharmacist service. His dedication to patient care garnered multiple recognitions, including the College’s Clinical Professor of the Year (1990) and MUSC-wide honors with Outstanding Service Award (1998), Clinical Services Recognition Award (2004)and the Outstanding Clinician Award (2015). He has also been an accomplished researcher, winning the Ross Laboratories Outstanding Research Award in 1991 for his work in neonatal clinical research and development of Survanta, a drug used for neonatal respiratory distress syndrome.

This year, he was selected for the 2018 Distinguished Faculty Service Award. The MUSC-wide award is given at the 2018 Faculty Convocation in the fall to recognize faculty who, over a substantial portion of their careers, have provided exceptional and sustained service and who have made contributions in teaching, research, health care, and/or public service to the University and to the citizens of South Carolina.

“In addition to his outstanding clinical service and teaching contributions, Dr. Wiest has played an important role in representing pharmacy both at MUSC and nationally,” said Kelly Ragucci, chair of clinical pharmacy and outcomes sciences. “His ability to serve as a respected mentor for numerous students and residents over the past 32 years has been a significant value to the department, the College and the profession. We’ll miss the distinctive brand of wisdom and experience he brought to everything he did.”

Students interested in getting into the pharmaceutical industry have a new resource at their disposal in the curriculum: COP 517 Pharmaceutical Industry. The elective provides students with an overview of the pharmaceutical industry with an emphasis on the drug development process, including sales, clinical research, regulatory affairs, and marketing.

Interest in industry careers was one of the driving forces behind developing the new class, which debuted this past year with the prerequisite of being a second- or third-year student. XXX students ended up taking the class, which included pharmaceutical company representatives serving as guest lecturers and discussing their roles in their companies.

“Bringing in people who are currently active in industry is a way to give students the most accurate picture possible of that kind of career,” said Philip D. Hall, dean of MUSC pharmacy. He acted as course coordinator for the new elective. “Drug development in the pharmaceutical industry and drug development in an academic setting can be very different experiences. It’s a good way for students to get a taste of what it is like in case it turns out to be their area of passion.”

As an example, one of the lecturers was alumnus Mark Kaldas ’08, a senior medical science liaison with AbbVie in Washington D.C. Kaldas, who also has a master’s of science degree in cell and molecular pharmacology and experimental therapeutics from MUSC and an MBA from The Citadel, joined AbbVie in 2015 after working with both Novartis and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Also this year, students formed a chapter of the Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO). The IPhO offers resources to help its student members develop an excellent working knowledge of common industry pharmacist roles and key pharmaceutical industry driving forces, as well as an understanding of the skills and experiences necessary to become a successful industry pharmacist.


Giving Headlines

Pharmacy alumni, ’95, commit to taking care of patients, mentoring the next generation

'If we’ve proven one concept, it’s that you can take care of people in this corporate climate.'

Kelly and Kandi Hunt, a husband-and-wife business team, joke that they’d be a lot skinnier if they didn’t run a traditional family pharmacy...Read More

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