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University of Iowa News Release

May 10, 2005

UI College Of Pharmacy To Honor Alumni, Faculty May 11

The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy will honor two alumni and a faculty member during the college's Senior Dinner and Awards Banquet May 11. The banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville.

Jordan Cohen, dean of the college, will present Distinguished Alumni Awards to Mary Ellis, who earned a bachelor's degree from the college in 1966, and Robert Sindelar, who earned a master's and a doctoral degree in 1975 and 1980, respectively. Cohen also will present Gilbert Banker, Ph.D., dean emeritus of the college, with the Honorary Alumnus Award.

Ellis, who also holds a master's degree in public administration, practiced pharmacy for 17 years at hospitals in Moline, Ill., Pittsburgh, Pa., and Colville, Wash., and at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, Iowa. In 1983, then Iowa Governor Terry Branstad appointed her to lead the Iowa Department of Substance Abuse and subsequently promoted her to director of public health for the state in 1986. Between 1990 and 2000, Ellis was employed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield, where she held three vice president positions. During this time, she worked closely with federal agencies including the FBI on Medicare fraud and provided testimony on the topic before Congress. Ellis continues to work as a consultant for Medicare administration at Blue Cross and Blue Shield and for the federal government. She also consults on pharmacy services for disease management, and is helping prepare for the 2006 initiation of Medication Therapy Management Services under the new Medicare drug bill.

Robert D. Sindelar, Ph.D., is dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC). His 2002 return to UBC, where he had conducted postdoctoral work, follows 19 years at the University of Mississippi, including nine years as professor and chair of medicinal chemistry in the School of Pharmacy. Sindelar’s expertise lies in natural products chemistry, computer-aided drug discovery and design, and pharmaceutical biotechnology. Over the course of his academic career, Sindelar has received more than $14 million in extramural funding, published 45 journal articles and been granted six U.S. and several foreign patents. He serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, including The APhA Biotechnology Initiative, Current Medicinal Chemistry and IDrugs: The Investigational New Drug Journal. Sindelar continues to teach several UCB courses in the professional undergraduate curriculum and is an active advocate for the profession of pharmacy.

Gilbert Banker, Ph.D., emeritus dean of the UI College of Pharmacy, is a graduate of Purdue University, where he received a doctoral degree in industrial pharmacy-pharmaceutical chemistry in 1957. Banker remained at Purdue as a faculty member for nearly three decades and was department head of industrial and physical pharmacy from 1967 until 1985, when he moved to the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy to become dean and professor of pharmaceutics. In 1992, Banker became dean of the UI College of Pharmacy and the John L. Lach Distinguished Professor of Drug Delivery. Banker retired from the UI in 1999. He currently is an active member of the scientific advisory board of Therapeutic Systems, a member of the board of directors for the Innovac Corporation and a board member for NexMed, Inc. He is also a member of numerous scientific and professional societies.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5135 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACT: Jennifer Brown, 319-335-9917 jennifer-l-brown@uiowa.edu