Alumni Weekend

The tradition of Alumni Weekend is returning this fall — albeit in a mostly digital format. The good news is, you can celebrate with us wherever you are!

From September 27th to October 2nd, you can access exclusive digital content straight to your device. You’ll find an exciting lineup of live virtual lectures, tours and more! Get your full fix of campus, all from the comfort of your couch.

Cheers to Pharmacy

Ever wonder how the pharmacy student experience has changed over the years or what lifesaving treatments are being developed right here at your alma mater?

Learn to mix a signature pharmacy-themed cocktail or mocktail with a seasoned bartender, raise your glass to the profession of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, and spend the evening sharing stories with fellow alumni, current students and researchers at our virtual Cheers to Pharmacy event.

Monday, September 27th, 2021
7:00pm to 8:15pm

Register Now

Cocktails with Sugar Water Bar

Make a pharmacy-themed signature cocktail or mocktail with born and raised Albertan and expert bartender, Kyo.

His food and beverage adventures started long before he was born in 1978, when his mother and grandparents started a cafe and deli in downtown Calgary called Ginseng House and then subsequently You & I Cafe. The cafe and deli is where his passion for food and service started and grew and since then Kyo has gone on to start multiple ventures across the industry including taking over You & I in the past year.

His most infamous project Sugar Water Bar has operated for the past 6 years striving to host and provide uniquely delicious libations in uncommon spaces with a focus on serving special events and creating unique pop-up and collaborative experiences in-person and virtually.

Register for the Cheers to Pharmacy virtual event above to receive your shopping list to make sure you have all the ingredients to join in on the fun!

Featured Alumni


Ali Damani
Director of Professional Affairs at Alberta Pharmacists' Association (RxA), Alumnus (BScPharm 2002)

Ali graduated with distinction from the Faculty in 2002. He practiced pharmacy in Washington State and Alberta before specializing in operations through his roles as Regional Pharmacy Director with Rexall Pharmacy Group LTD and Vice President of Operations with Medicentres Canada Inc. Currently, Ali is the Director of Professional Affairs at RxA, focused on building government and member relations. He has served as a board member and president of the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association, board member of the Canadian Pharmacy Benefits Association, member of the Faculty of Pharmacy Dean’s Advisory Council and vice-chair of the Education Board for the Ismaili Council for Edmonton, and he was awarded Top 40 under 40 by Avenue Magazine in 2017.


Chris Chiew
General Manager of Pharmacy, London Drugs + Alumnus (BSc Pharm 1994)

Chris started at London Drugs as a pharmacist and steadily progressed through the company as Assistant Pharmacy Manager, Pharmacy Manager, and Pharmacy Operations Manager for Manitoba and Southern Alberta. He was appointed to the Executive Committee in 2020 and is responsible for providing the strategic business plan for the pharmacy division, leading the senior pharmacy management team in implementing and executing the pharmacy strategy, and advocating the profession of pharmacy to the various provincial and federal governments. Before joining London Drugs in November 1994, Chris worked as a pharmacist at an independent pharmacy. He holds a B.Sc. in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Alberta, and is currently a board member and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (NPAC).


Bonnie Kirschenbaum
Healthcare Consultant, Pharmacy Practice News + Alumna (BSc Pharm 1971)

With her strong leadership skills and breadth of experience, Bonnie is a recognized industry leader in forging effective alliances between hospitals, physicians, pharmaceutical companies and distributors and has spoken extensively in these areas as well as written columns on finance and reimbursement in pharmacy that have had a positive influence on pharmacy practice nationally. Additionally, she consults in this area of practice, has presented the Reimbursement Update session at the ASHP Midyear for several years as well as working on Reimbursement issues with the ASHP Leadership Conference, ACCC, ACE, ASCO, Cancernet-US, IDN, state and local societies and multihospital groups. Bonnie authors 16 columns/year and has published an online multi-module self-teaching reimbursement course. Bonnie’s the 2015 OSU Latiolias Leadership Award recipient. She lives in Boulder and Breckenridge, CO where she’s the Past President of the National Repertory Orchestra Board of Trustees, and served on the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance Board of Directors.


Amber Ruben
Hospital Pharmacist, Indigenous Health Advocate + Alumna (BSc Pharm 2006)

Amber Ruben is a pharmacist at the Misericordia Community hospital and has practiced in family medicine, internal medicine, geriatrics and ICU over her 15 years at Covenant Health.  Amber is an Inuvialuk (Inuit from the northwestern Canadian Arctic region) and was born and raised in Ft. Smith, NT.  To pursue undergraduate studies, she moved to Lethbridge and obtained a BSc in Neuroscience, however decided not to continue a career in research and completed a BSc Pharmacy at the University of Alberta. Over the past few years, Amber has become more involved in educating pharmacy students and health care professionals on the history of Indigenous people within Canada and the link to current health issues facing Indigenous peoples. Starting this fall, Amber is continuing with her studies and has started a Master of Science degree in Pharmacy with a focus on Indigenous health.


Shivali Sharma
Pharmacist, Franchisee/Associate Owner with Shoppers Drug Mart, Alumna (BSc Pharm 2004)

Shivali Sharma graduated from the Faculty with a BSc Pharm with Distinction in 2004. She is a pharmacist, business owner, preceptor, women’s health advocate and leader. Since 2009, she has been a franchisee/Associate Owner with Shoppers Drug Mart and owns and operates two locations: Shoppers Drug Mart 2377, Mactaggart Ridge and 2379, and 104th Street and Jasper Ave. Shivali has served as Shoppers Drug Marts’ Chair of Women in Leadership for Associates Committee, Community Investment Committee, and Lead Captain for its Growing Women’s Health campaign. She also mentors and teaches pharmacy students as a preceptor. She is passionate about providing compassion and support for her patients and colleagues.

Featured Researchers


Morgan Bharadia, BScPharm, RPh, PhD(c)
Clinical Assistant Professor, PhD Candidate, Geriatrics Pharmacist, Alumna (BScPharm 2015)

Morgan Bharadia is a clinical assistant professor and PhD candidate who teaches patient care skills courses to learners in the PharmD and Certificate to Canadian Pharmacy Practice programs. She has been teaching at the Faculty since 2015, and maintains a clinical pharmacy practice in geriatrics. Her current area of research is on the use of natural health products (NHPs) in patients with cancer, including the identification of potential NHP-related adverse events and NHP-drug interactions.


Dr. Christine Hughes, BScPharm, PharmD, FCSHP
Interim Dean, HIV Pharmacist + Researcher, Alumna (BScPharm 1994)

Dr. Christine Hughes is interim dean and professor of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta. She joined the Faculty in 1997 and has taught in the areas of viral infections and vaccines as well as trained graduate students, pharmacy residents and post-professional PharmD students. For over 20 years, Christine has practiced in the area of HIV. 


Dr. John Ussher, PhD (Pharmacology)
Associate Professor, Diabetes Researcher, Alumnus (PhD Pharmacology 2010)

Dr. John Ussher is an associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Pharmacotherapy of Energy Metabolism in Obesity. Seminal work from Dr. John Ussher’s laboratory has revealed that the ability of our cells to properly burn fuel (e.g. sugar, fat) malfunctions in overweight/obese individuals, and that this is a key contributor to these individuals’ increased risk for both diabetes and heart disease. Dr. Ussher’s work will ideally lead to the development of new drugs that can prevent and/or reverse diabetes and heart disease in overweight/obese individuals.


Dr. Carlos Velazquez Martinez, PhD
Associate Professor, Medicinal Chemist (Oncology) + Alumnus (PhD 2005)

Dr. Carlos Velazquez Martinez is an associate professor and oncology researcher. His research program is focused on studying the structure-activity relationships between small-molecule drugs and the protein FOXM1, which is a transcription factor that is overexpressed in many cancer types. His lab is interested in understanding how to interfere with the biological activity of FOXM1, without affecting other proteins in the same family of transcription factors, for example, the structurally similar FOXO3a, which, unlike FOXM1, is a tumour suppressor.

Featured Students


Garrett Garlock
Student (PharmD 2023), President of the Alberta Pharmacy Students’ Association (APSA)

Garrett Garlock is a third year student in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the University of Alberta and president of the Alberta Pharmacy Students’ Association. Growing up in rural Alberta, one of Garrett's personal interests is remote pharmacy practice. Garrett enjoys the feeling of community and comradery that comes with being in pharmacy school.


Bojana Nikic
Student (PharmD 2024), President of the LGBTQ+ Pharmacy Student Club

Bojana Nikic is a second year student in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the University of Alberta and president of the LGBTQ+ Pharmacy Students’ Club. Outside of studying, she spends her time day-dreaming about travelling again, trying new places to eat with friends, and going on runs in the river valley. Her favourite parts of pharmacy school so far are the connections and friendships she has made and the challenging yet rewarding experience at the independent pharmacy where she works.


Tobi Obatusin
Student (PharmD 2022), President of the Black Pharmacy Students’ Association (BPSA)

Tobi Obatusin is a fourth year student in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the University of Alberta and co-founder and president of the Black Pharmacy Students’ Association (BPSA). She is an advocate for Black representation in health care and at the University of Alberta, and is passionate about providing the best of patient care.


Keeley Watt
Student (PharmD 2022), Pharmacy Indigenous Network member

Keeley Watt is a fourth year student in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the University of Alberta, an All-Canadian student athlete on the Pandas Swim Team, and a member of the Pharmacy Indigenous Network. She is passionate about pharmacy practice, including Indigenous Knowledge and Traditional medicine, vaccination and injections, compounding, veterinary medicine, asthma management and pharmacy ownership. In her free time, she enjoys staying active, spending time outdoors and reading.