Manchesterx Magazine Pharmacy Magazine 2022 | Page 23

MU | Alumni Notes

Ann Savariar-Drummond

An Ambassador for PGx : ‘ Preparing students for successful careers in an ever-changing world ’

Quoting the university ’ s vision statement , Instructor of Pharmacogenomics Ann Savariar-Drummond ‘ 17 , MS in PGx explains why she chose Manchester Pharmacy .

“ An ‘ innovative health science education , and vibrant and transformative student experiences ’ are what drew me to Manchester – and kept me here ,” she said .
More specifically , the newly launched Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics Program brought her to Manchester Pharmacy . After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from nearby Huntington University , she contacted Program Director David Kisor , Pharm . D . He invited her to campus to learn more about the study of pharmacogenomics .
“ It was fascinating to hear about the variability of peoples ’ genetic interactions with medications ,” said Savariar-Drummond . “ Knowing it was the cutting edge of science and health care with the ability to improve people ’ s lives convinced me to apply .”
After graduation , she stayed on , working as a graduate assistant for Dr . Kisor and Teri Beam , Ph . D ., associate dean of academic programs . Both are professors of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics at Manchester and teach in the MS in PGx program . As the program continued to grow over the following year , it expanded to offer an online option for those who were developing their careers or living at a distance from the Fort Wayne campus . With the expansion came a need for more instructors , and the professors who had mentored Savariar- Drummond encouraged her to apply .
As an instructor , Savariar-Drummond teaches established health care professionals , students in pharmacy school , and recent college graduates .
“ My favorite part about being an instructor is watching the students grow in their knowledge and skills . At the beginning of the program , a student will learn how to hold a micropipette ,” she said , “ and at the end , they confidently run instrumentation that allows them to generate genotyping reports .”
Some might think of her as an ambassador for pharmacogenomics .
Savariar-Drummond enjoys demonstrating Manchester ’ s PGx instrumentation and technology to other PGx laboratories to show how a more efficient process translates to improved PGx testing . She also conducts community outreach for the PGx Programs , visiting high schools and colleges in her role as a program instructor . In presentations or virtual symposiums , she explains pharmacogenomics , its impact in health care , and the MS in PGx curriculum .
Her passion for science extends to getting younger children involved in science . Savariar-Drummond teaches pharmacogenomics to middle and high schoolers in Huntington and Fort Wayne summer camps , including fifth graders at DoD STARBASE in Fort Wayne . Serving historically underrepresented students , the Starbase Indiana Academy provides students with STEM activities at military installations in Indiana . The program hopes to motivate students to study Science , Technology , Engineering , and Math as they continue in their education .
“ I introduce PGx through small demonstrations like a strawberry DNA extraction . I really enjoy seeing younger children become enamored by the science . I love seeing their faces light up when they realize they extracted DNA from a household food item ,” she said .
In her free time , she loves growing all sorts of vegetables and fruits and cooking delicious foods to share with others . She enjoys exchanging gardening news and tips with several faculty who share her enthusiasm .
Savariar-Drummond ’ s experiences at Manchester also might be summed up in its Vision Statement : ‘ Manchester will seize the future by preparing students for successful lives and careers in an ever-changing world .’
She has not only benefitted by this vision but is also paying it forward to the students she now helps to prepare . by Linda Homewood
Manchester University | ManchesterRx 23