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Sebok Pharmacy Lecture to feature top cardiovascular pharmacogenomics expert

Jan 7, 2013

Julie A. Johnson, V. Ravi Chandran professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Florida Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine as well as director of the University of Florida Center for Pharmacogenomics, will be the guest speaker during the Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy’s fourth annual Sebok Pharmacy Lecture in ONU’s Freed Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m.

Johnson’s research focuses on cardiovascular pharmacogenomics. She leads a research group in the NIH-supported Pharmacogenomics Research Network, with a project focused on pharmacogenomics of antihypertensive drugs. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how an individual’s genetic inheritance (his/her genome) affects the body's response to drugs, and it holds the promise that drugs might one day be tailor-made for individuals and adapted to each person’s own genetic makeup. Environment, diet, age, lifestyle and state of health all can influence a person’s response to medicines, but understanding an individual’s genetic makeup is thought to be the key to creating personalized drugs with greater efficacy and safety.

Johnson is the director of the Personalized Medicine Program at UF&Shands, the University of Florida Academic Health Center. She joined the faculty at the University of Florida in May 1998 and, before that, spent nine years on the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy faculty. She received her B.S. in pharmacy from Ohio State University in 1985 and her Pharm.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 1987. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cardiovascular pharmacology/ pharmacokinetics at Ohio State University in 1989.

The Sebok Pharmacy Lecture was established by alumni and friends to honor Dr. Albert A. Sebok, a 1953 graduate of the Raabe College of Pharmacy and one of its most distinguished alumni. A Cleveland native, Sebok joined Standard Drug as a store manager after graduation. In 1961, Revco acquired Standard, and Sebok began his rise in store operations, culminating in his appointment in 1971 as senior vice president for store operations of Revco Drug Stores Inc. Under his leadership, Revco became the largest discount drug chain in America, with more than 2,000 stores. He was an original member of ONU’s Pharmacy Advisory Board and the founder and instructor of the college’s contemporary pharmacy practice class. He received an honorary doctorate degree from Ohio Northern in 1988.