Leadership

On this page:

Charles Venuto

Charles Venuto, PharmD's research is focused on the application of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) analyses for optimizing drug delivery and development, with an emphasis in drug-drug and drug-disease interactions. The majority of his work in PK/PD modeling and simulation has been in the field of HIV and Parkinson’s disease.  For nearly a decade, he has worked closely with Dr. Gene Morse, PharmD, and the University at Buffalo Pharmacology Specialty Laboratory (PSL), on national and international projects characterizing the disposition and metabolism of antiretrovirals in HIV-infected populations. He is completing his second year of training as a K23 grant recipient, which is focused on characterizing and predicting the pharmacokinetics of HIV antiretrovirals and hepatitis C direct acting antivirals in co-infected populations using advanced modeling and simulation techniques. As a faculty member at the Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics and the Department of Neurology at the University of Rochester, he has extensive experience in designing and conducting clinical trials in collaboration with local investigators, as well as through large clinical trial networks like the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, the Parkinson’s Study Group, and the Huntington’s Study Group. A developing interest that has resulted from this work is to modernize the clinical trial process through modeling and simulations of disease progression and trial designs in order to make trials more efficient while decreasing risk of failure. He also holds teaching responsibilities at the University of Rochester and the University at Buffalo, lecturing on clinical pharmacology and drug development.  Over the past year as a pharmacologist for the Hepatitis Transformative Science Group, he has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge around how clinical trials are designed and conducted for viral hepatitis and other liver diseases. In his second year of service to the group, he hopes to apply his interest and expertise in modeling and simulation to the design of future Hepatitis TSG studies, as well as continue to support the group’s overall scientific agenda.

Chiedza Maponga

Chiedza Maponga, PharmD, is director in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Zimbabwe’s College of Health Sciences, and he also holds a visiting faculty position in the University at Buffalo, Buffalo New York’s School of Pharmacy.  As Director of the International Pharmacotherapy Education and Research Initiative and the Co-Director of the UB-UZ HIV International Training and Research Program, he rotates several times annually between the USA and Zimbabwe. He has been actively involved in the International AIDS Clinical Trials Group activities in the past ten years mainly through the UB and UZ collaboration. He provides collaboration and act as co-chair responsible for the academic and administrative aspects of the AITRP in Zimbabwe through his role as chairman of the Zimbabwe Multidisciplinary Clinical Pharmacology Research Priorities Committee (ZMRC).  His understanding of the Zimbabwean health care system is a great asset in ensuring smooth implementation of the project. Within Zimbabwe, the current national ETA program is designed to implement current strategies for preventing HIV and optimizing treatment with the goal of slowing and eradicating HIV. 

Gene Morse

Gene Morse, PharmD, is a tenured, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Morse is  Director of the Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo and Co-Director of the SUNY Global Health Institute. Dr. Morse has been actively involved in drug development and translational research since the introduction of antiretrovirals for the HIV epidemic and currently has funded research programs through the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Fogarty International Center. Dr. Morse is director of the Drug Development Core for the University at Buffalo Clinical and Translational Research Institute. He has been actively involved in drug development research since the introduction of antiretrovirals for HIV in 1986. Currently, he has National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) support for the UB AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Pharmacology Specialty Laboratory and a contract for the HIV Clinical Pharmacology Quality Assurance Program.  The UB laboratory receives funding toward drug development research in HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) research and has gained an international reputation for its work in bioanalysis, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacogenomics.

Jeffrey Lombardo

Jeff Lombardo, PharmD, has a broad background in pharmacy as a clinical pharmacy specialist with specific training and expertise in solid and hematological oncology. Specific duties and responsibilities performed are drug utilization review and assist in optimizing patient's drug regimens; participate in patient care rounds; conference with physicians and nurses for potential drug-drug interaction; counsel discharged patients on proper drug use, precautions, and potential adverse reactions. He has teaching experience as a preceptor for pharmacy students on rotations at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Jeff has expertise improving operational & financial pharmacy performance, being in charge of medication safety, patient safety, resource utilization, financial reporting, performance improvement, use of technology, regulatory compliance, drug utilization, clinical education and staff development, management of appropriate drug utilization, drug spend analysis, and quality improvement activities.

Qing Ma

Qing Ma, PharmD, specializes in pharmacokinetics, drug interactions, pharmacogenomics and implementation research. He has vast expertise mentoring international fellows, and two former fellows have been playing a leadership role in clinical pharmacology research in Zimbabwe and Nigeria.  Based on his research experience in HIV clinical pharmacology, neuroAIDS and pharmacogenomics, and interest in mentoring the next generation of Jamaican clinical and translational scientists, he is well suited to participate as a mentor in the future.

Robin DiFrancesco

Robin DiFrancesco, MT ASCP, MBA has over 30 years of experience in pharmacology research (20+ in HIV research) and has a variety of knowledge, practical and theoretical, to offer our global students. She is appointed at the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences as a research assistant professor and as a voluntary adjunct faculty member for the UB Department of Biotechnology and Clinical Sciences within the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She holds an ACSP certification as a medical technologist and a NYS license as a clinical laboratory technologist. Her experience in clinical pharmacology research and quality assurance, as it applies to the clinical pharmacology laboratory and laboratory sciences, is extensive. She has served almost 16 years in this capacity within the NIH/NIAID/DAIDS networks as well as a laboratory technologist on the ACTG/IMPAACT Laboratory Technoligists committee. She is also appointed as the scientific manager of the Drug Development Core, part of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University at Buffalo. In addition, she has served as both vice-chair and chair on two specialty sections for The Society for Quality Assurance. Robin has co-authored and published  over 60 articles.