UB receives gift from alumna to create new endowed chair in clinical pharmacy

Gift will enhance the delivery of integrated care for patients with metabolic disorders and other rare diseases in the Western New York community

By Jennifer Boscia-Smith

Release Date: February 2, 2021

Portrait of woman wearing scarf and white shirt.

Margaret Hempling McGlynn, who graduated from UB with a bachelor's degree in 1982 and a MBA in 1993.

“I believe that the University at Buffalo can have a huge impact on patients in the rare disease community, particularly metabolic disease, in Western New York. ”
Margaret Hempling McGlynn, former president of Merck Vaccines, and founder of the Hempling Foundation for Homocystinuria Research and Homocystinuria Network America

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences recently received a major gift as part of the Boldly Buffalo campaign from alumna and South Buffalo native Margie Hempling McGlynn to create the Margaret Hempling McGlynn Endowed Chair in Clinical Pharmacy.

McGlynn, a former president of Merck Vaccines, is the founder of 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. McGlynn’s two sisters, Judy and Susie Hempling, both passed away from homocystinuria, a rare metabolic genetic disease, when they were children. It was the loss of her sisters that ultimately inspired McGlynn’s gift to UB, as well as her life’s work.

“I believe that the University at Buffalo can have a huge impact on patients in the rare disease community, particularly metabolic disease, in Western New York," said McGlynn, who lives in Flourtown, Pennsylvania. “I want the school and this position to take a leadership role in figuring out what the gaps are and to create solutions including educational modules across disciplines to deliver integrated care for these patients. This new endowed faculty position at UB will help harness the interdisciplinary nature of care that will deliver improved outcomes.”

“Patients are often diagnosed with these rare genetic diseases at birth or in childhood, and these families are usually overwhelmed in dealing with the diagnosis and complicated care regimens. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to provide support to help these families through UB – and have a lasting impact on their lives and the Western New Yok community,” said McGlynn.

Clinical pharmacists play a crucial role in the care of patients. The new endowed chair position established by McGlynn’s gift will enable UB to create and implement innovative, far-sighted programs providing pharmacy and other health sciences students with the opportunity to experience the importance of interprofessional care firsthand. UB will recruit a scholar to the role who will mentor students, explore new avenues of discovery for patients and families struggling with rare pediatric disorders, and will help elevate the care provided to children with metabolic and other genetic disorders in Western New York.

“We have a bold vision for the future of how pharmacy can improve patient care,” said School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Dean James M. O’Donnell. “Thanks to Margie’s remarkable commitment and belief in our mission, we can now build upon our expertise in these areas to take advantage of the interprofessional opportunities afforded as being part of a comprehensive academic health center to help the university become a leader in the field of pediatric genetics,” he added.

The school expects to name a researcher to the position in 2021.

The Margaret Hempling McGlynn Endowed Chair in Clinical Pharmacy is the third new endowed faculty position established in the school last year as part of the University’s Boldly Buffalo campaign. Since the launch of the campaign in 2013, the university has raised more than $670 million for student support, faculty research, and innovative programs that better our world.

In addition to the three new endowed faculty positions in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, since its inception the Boldly Buffalo campaign has secured commitments for 24 additional new faculty positions at UB, a critical tool for UB to be able to recruit and retain top-tier teachers and researchers to the university. The campaign has also yielded nearly 240 new scholarships and fellowships that help UB make college more affordable for both undergraduate and graduate students. The campaign has also helped UB build or renovate 15 new buildings or spaces since it began. Even during the COVID-19 crisis, UB alumni and friends have continued to show their support for the university; nearly $575,000 has been contributed in support of student and health science emergency funds this year.

“We are grateful to Margie McGlynn for this forward-looking gift to UB,” said UB Vice President for Advancement Rodney M. Grabowski. “And not only Margie, but the 70,000 and counting other alumni and friends who have already raised their hands to support the Boldly Buffalo campaign and the future of UB. As we continue our critical work of ensuring UB’s future – and the future of our students and the communities we serve - I am energized by the outpouring of support UB continues to receive from our graduates and friends,” he added.

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