Alumni Honored by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists

January 4, 2023

St. John’s University is celebrating the accomplishments of two alumni from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences who were both recently honored by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS) and International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council (IPEC) at their conference last fall in Boston, MA.

Mansoor A. Khan, R.Ph. ’92Ph.D., Vice Dean, Irma Lerma Rangel School of Pharmacy, Texas A&M Health Science Center, received the 2022 Ralph Shangraw Memorial Award, which is given to a pharmacist who provides outstanding research contributions in the study of excipients or excipient-related technology. Amitava Mitra, Ph.D. ’02GP, Senior Director for Clinical Pharmacology at Kura Oncology, was named an AAPS Fellow. Fellows are AAPS members recognized as leaders in the pharmaceutical field.

Dr. Khan recalls his St. John’s experience with great fondness. “If you can succeed in New York, you can succeed anywhere. A highlight for me was the confidence I developed after completing my comprehensive examination and dissertation defense. I still carry those with me. If we are trained well and work hard for a defined mission and goal, our dreams will come true.”

“St. John’s program in Industrial Pharmacy is geared toward those who want a career in the industry,” Dr. Khan stressed. “Most of the well-known companies are nearby, and the students in the evening program bring their expertise to the table working to solve the practical problems faced by the industry. In my mind, there are very few programs like that in the country.”

Throughout his time in academia, Dr. Khan has served as a mentor to several doctoral students and numerous postdoctoral fellows, in much the same way St. John’s faculty members were for him. He continues to mentor graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and several professional colleagues.

St. John’s reputation as a premier pharmacy institution attracted Dr. Mitra, and he enjoyed the student-centered approach. “Conducting labs for Pharm.D. candidates as a teaching assistant was an interesting experience that extended my knowledge and taught me new skills such as teaching and effective communication,” he said.

Dr. Mitra’s current role includes developing and executing clinical pharmacology strategy and studies in early and late-stage clinical development. “My biggest challenge is developing clinical pharmacology strategy that is streamlined but is also acceptable to the worldwide regulatory agencies.”

Being named an AAPS Fellow is extremely humbling and gratifying, Dr. Mitra stressed. “It represents a recognition from leaders in the pharmaceutical sciences for my high quality and sustained contributions to the field.”