Published November 24, 2021
Mary B. Riedy has been named the first Margaret Hempling McGlynn Endowed Chair in Clinical Pharmacy at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
In the new role that will merge the disciplines of pharmacy, genetics and pediatrics, Riedy will implement an innovative teaching and research program that engages pharmacy and other health sciences students and explores new approaches to better support patients and families struggling with rare genetic pediatric disorders. She will also collaborate with the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital to elevate the delivery of integrated care provided to children with metabolic and other genetic disorders in Western New York.
The position was established through a major gift to the university as part of the Boldly Buffalo campaign from School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences alumna and South Buffalo native Margaret Hempling McGlynn, former president of both Merck Global Vaccines and Infectious Disease, and U.S. Hospital and Specialty Products. McGlynn is also founder of both the Hempling Foundation for Homocystinuria Research, which funds research for new therapies for patients afflicted with homocystinuria, and HCU (Homocystinuria) Network America, which provides advocacy and support for affected families.
“This gift has allowed us to recruit an extraordinarily talented clinician-scholar to focus on a significant unmet need. This is an area in which pharmacy can have a profound impact. I am glad that UB is in the position to lead the way and am extremely grateful for Ms. McGlynn’s passionate support,” says Gary M. Pollack, dean of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Riedy will also work directly with the Department of Pediatrics and the Division of Genetics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB. The cross-disciplinary nature of her work will allow Riedy to mentor students across the health sciences and build interprofessional experiences for students in clinical pharmacy, genetics and pediatrics.
“We have worked very hard to grow interprofessional education, practice and research at our university over the past decade,” says William A. Prescott Jr., clinical professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice in the pharmacy school. “This hire will establish an academic program centered on genetic and metabolic disorders, and in doing so will provide faculty and students from across the Academic Health Center with an opportunity to work and learn together, taking our interprofessional program to the next level.”
The appointment of Riedy will advance the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ vision to become a leader in the development of effective therapies for rare genetic pediatric disorders, as well as strengthen the school’s unique concentration on research discovery and clinical application in pediatrics.
The role will draw on Riedy’s experiences as a pediatric pharmacy clinician and emerging researcher. Prior to joining UB, she held clinical pharmacist positions at Oishei Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
“As a pioneer in this field of pediatric clinical pharmacy, I am eager to work as a member of the multidisciplinary care team to bring medication expertise to the new and emerging treatments in the care of children with rare genetic and metabolic disorders,” says Riedy, who was also appointed a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. She previously taught in the department as an adjunct instructor in the pediatric curriculum.
Riedy, who knew at an early age that she desired a career in health care, is involved in early-stage clinical research, and has published several studies and shared numerous presentations on pediatric health and genetic disorders, including Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare condition that causes a range of physical symptoms, learning difficulties and behavioral problems from infancy.
She earned a doctor of pharmacy degree from Duquesne University, and completed a general pharmacy residency at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, as well as a specialized pediatric residency at Boston Children’s Hospital.
The Margaret Hempling McGlynn Endowed Chair in Clinical Pharmacy is the second new endowed faculty position established last year in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The creation of the position holds personal significance to McGlynn. Her two sisters, Judy and Susie Hempling, both passed away when they were children from homocystinuria, a rare metabolic genetic disease that interferes with the body’s ability to process certain amino acids. It was the loss of her sisters that ultimately inspired McGlynn’s gift to UB, as well as her life’s work.
“The endowment helps further strengthen and support the leadership role clinical pharmacists play in the utilization of novel therapies for rare genetic diseases, and positions UB to have a substantial impact on the care of children with genetic disorders in Western New York and beyond,” says McGlynn, who graduated from UB with an MBA in 1993 and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1982; she was awarded an honorary doctorate of science in 2017.