School of Pharmacy Faculty & Staff

Dean & Professor

Dean Marvanova is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist and Geriatric Pharmacist and Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. Her clinical expertise is neuropsychiatry and geriatrics.  She is member of the editorial board for Continuum: Life-long Learning in Neurology (American Academy of Neurology) and also serves as a clinical pharmacy specialist consultant in neurology and psychiatry for Lexicomp, Wolters Kluwer.  Dean Marvanova is also dedicated to providing service to community and patient support groups for epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, depression and bipolar disorders. 

Associate Professor

Dr. Backus maintains a small practice with Providence ElderPlace, a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. She spends most of her time on pharmacotherapy for older adults who live independently in or near Hillsboro, often meeting with patients in their homes to assist them with managing their pharmacotherapy regimen.

Associate Professor & Director of Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience

Area of practice is within care of underserved and minority populations within a primary care setting. Focus is on chronic disease state management with a primary emphasis on diabetes. Areas of research revolve around quality of care and outcome improvement for these patient populations. 


My basic science specialty is in the study of action of the drugs in neuropsychiatric disorders and chronic pain. My current scholarship focus is in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL), which focuses on identifying the best teaching methods to help students learn and succeed.

Assistant Professor

The long term goal of our research is to understand how Leishmania, a pathogenic protozoan parasite, adapts to changes its host environment to acquire essential nutrients for its growth and viability, and survive environmental stress. Our current research is focused on characterizing the parasite machinery used to capture purines (essential nutrients) from the host environment and in identifying pathways and cell components critical for the survival of the parasite when nutrients are limiting.

Associate Professor

My professional interest areas include preceptor development, emotional intelligence, resilience, motivation, and obesity. I practiced at Albertsons Pharmacy until 2015 as a Pharmacy Manager, Market Recruiter and Summer Intern Coordinator.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Doctor's practice interests are in ambulatory care pharmacy, where he helps patients manage their chronic disease states, such as diabetes and hypertension. He assists patients in making positive behavior changes to improve their health and wellbeing. His research focus is in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), which is the study and implementation of innovative teaching methods to improve student learning. He is particularly interested in studying the factors that affect a pharmacy student's growth of their professional identity as a pharmacist, and trying new methods to assist in that professional development.

Associate Dean for Pharmacy Practice & Professor

My professional interests include nephrology, immunology, and kidney transplantation. I maintained a collaborative practice at Legacy Good Samaritan Transplant Service in Portland until 2015, at which time I began serving as Assistant Dean for Pharmacy Practice. Research, which had included optimizing drug dosing of immunosuppressants and the medication adherence of transplant patients, has now transitioned to legal and regulatory affairs issues affecting pharmacy.

Professor Elbarby

My research interests revolve around two main projects related to drug metabolism:


  • Studying the Effect of Herbal Remedies on Drug Metabolizing Enzymes
  • Studying the Effect of Herbal Remedies on Arachidonic Acid Metabolism as a Target for Hypertension Treatment

Our research in the last 5 years has discovered several small and natural molecules (e.g. sulforaphane from broccoli) that inhibit the endogenous metabolism of arachidonic acid and reduces blood pressure in hypertension animal models. Additionally, we investigated the potential effect of these molecules on drug metabolizing enzymes to predict possible herb-drug interactions.

Coordinator for Experiential Education

Jenny provides administrative support for the Office of Experiential Education and assists with database management and student compliance for APPE and IPPE rotations.

Assistant Professor

My research interest is in the discovery and development of novel inhibitors of targets related to pain and addiction. Particularly I have focused on studying small venom-derived peptides, known as conotoxins, which have a level of selectivity for a variety of ion channels. Many of these ion channels appear to play a role in pain pathways, making them attractive targets for the relief of severe or intractable pain. My goal is to harness the properties of these peptides to one day produce analgesics for severe forms of pain that are non-addictive.


Dr. Fortner's practice and research interests include pharmaceutical compounding, patient-centered care in the community setting, and pharmacist provided clinical services. He maintains a practice site at an independent community pharmacy which also specializes in non-sterile compounding and long-term care medication preparation.​

Assistant Dean for Experiential Education & Associate Professor

Dr. Fry practices pharmacy as an ambulatory care pharmacist with Mountain View Medical Center, which is a small family medicine clinic in Forest Grove and Hillsboro, OR. She sees patients in clinic for many chronic disease states including blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol.

Associate Professor

Dr. Gibbard has practiced pharmacy primarily in the hospital setting with some moonlighting in the retail setting. His teaching responsibilities relate primarily to acute cardiovascular disease and the intersection of social sciences and humanities to patient-centered care. His research interests are typically related to the "soft skills" of pharmacy, including empathy, cultural sensitivity, and health literacy.


My overall focus is to contribute to scientific discovery and the effective use of medicines through collaborative science, teaching, mentoring, and active membership in the research community. We strive to discover mechanistic details that contribute to variability in drug response to identify new therapeutic targets for drug discovery, and to utilize current medications more effectively. Major areas of active research include drug metabolism, nicotine addiction, drug-drug/drug-herb interactions, bioanalytical methods (LC-MS/MS), inhibitor design, mechanistic enzymology, pharmacogenomics, in vitro-in vivo extrapolation, structure-toxicity relationships, and the modulation of letrozole metabolism (letrozole is a breast cancer drug).

Senior Administrative Assistant

Manages school sponsored events and work study programs, budgets, & communications. Provides widely varying administrative support to all students, faculty and administration including office operations, admissions, student support and the Assistant Deans.

Senior Manager of Administrative Operations

Amber works directly with Dean Marvanova and provides support to the School of Pharmacy faculty. She wears many hats in her position, from helping manage the School of Pharmacy budgets, to aiding in the coordination of special events, as well as assisting with fundraising efforts. 


Dr. Karimi's interest areas include pharmacy practice, biomedical & clinical sciences, and educational research and outcomes.

For more information, see Dean Karimi's list of publications.

Director of Student Experience & Professional Development

The Director of Student Success & Professional Development works with the Office of Student Affairs, Office of Experiential Education, and Office of Academics and Assessment to oversee career development, student leadership, social and behavioral learning outcomes assessment, and other aspects of student life and success.

Associate Professor

My primary research focus is connected through my interests in post-graduate training, experiential education, and preceptor development. I additionally have some projects focused in teaching methods and pharmacy school program assessment. Current projects include: a survey of grading systems in US Schools of Pharmacy including a focus on Pass/Fail/competency based programs; trends and factors impacting pharmacy residency match rates; quality assessment methods of experiential education sites; and development of critical appraisal of the medical literature training modules for residents and preceptors.

Director of Curricular Operations

The Director of Curricular Operations assists faculty and staff in providing training and assistance in curricular technologies and supports the office of Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs to maintain effective curricular and assessment endeavors. The director is responsible for facilitating training for students in ExamSoft.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Merlo's clinical interests include chronic disease state management including diabetes, COPD, and cardiovascular risk reduction.

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Associate Professor & PGY-2 Residency Program Coordinator

My practice area is ambulatory care pharmacy in a primary care clinic within a federally qualified health center. I see patients for management of diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, asthma and COPD as part of an interprofessional patient centered medical home. I also work closely with our post-graduate learners in helping to prepare them to be independent clinical practitioners. My research area of interest is related to student and post-grad learning. My current research is focused on student learning particularly in skills based courses. 

Associate Dean for Pharmaceutical Sciences & Professor

The neglected tropical disease leishmaniasis affects ~12 million people annually, with resulting illnesses ranging from cutaneous ulcerative lesions to fatal visceralizing infections. A better understanding of parasite biology and host-parasite interactions is critical for the development of much needed new therapeutic strategies and the overall goal of our research is to validate the polyamine pathway as a medical target. Polyamines are metabolites that play central roles in rapidly proliferating cells, and recent studies have highlighted their critical nature in Leishmania parasites. We are using a variety of techniques, including molecular biology, biochemistry, and tissue culture to elucidate the functions of polyamines for parasite proliferation and survival.

Photo of Eddie Saito
Associate Professor & PGY2 Residency Program Director

Dr. Saito's research and clinical interest areas include diabetes, cardiovascular risk reduction, asthma/COPD/tobacco cessation, integrating clinical pharmacists within primary care practices, advancement of comprehensive primary care, pharmacy residency training, and working with underserved patient populations.  He maintains a clinical practice at a local federally-qualified health center where he works as part of an integrated, interprofessional care team and has prescriptive authority to manage chronic diseases through collaborative practice agreements.  In addition, he coordinates pharmacist involvement in seasonal and migrant farmworker outreach events in the summer.

Coordinator for Faculty Affairs

The Coordinator for Faculty Affairs assists Faculty and staff and reports to the Associate Dean for Pharmacy Practice. The Coordinator provides Administrative support by providing efficiency in various areas and collaborates with the Office of Global Pharmacy Education and Research (OGPER) as well as the Office of Experiential Education.

Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs & Professor

Brendan Stamper's research is focused on projects that utilize comparative genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic approaches to identify pathways critical to propagating or preventing liver injury. 

Senior Research Assistant

The Research Assistant supports the daily operations of the pharmaceutical science laboratory by training students and other researchers, performing research techniques, and general laboratory maintenance.

Jon received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the Portland State University in 2010. Since then, he has worked at different research labs and gained a series of valuable skills in biochemistry, microscopy, immunology, tissue/cell culture, and laboratory animal models.


Dr. White serves as the Student Program Supervisor and Ambulatory Pharmacy Services Supervisor for Asante. In these roles, she oversees all pharmacy student rotations for the health system and works with pharmacists in primary care clinics who function as providers and conduct patient visits for complex medication management. Her main clinical interest is cardiology, and she teaches classes for outpatients in the cardiopulmonary rehab program.

Research Lab Coordinator

The Research Laboratory Coordinator manages administrative operations of the pharmaceutical science laboratory and provides support for the compounding lab. The Coordinator provides oversight for basic policies and procedures essential for regular lab activities and assures adherence to safety rules and regulations. Other responsibilities include service to the School of Pharmacy (SOP), College of Health Professions, and University, and participation in academic governance as appropriate per appointment.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Yanovich's research interests include projects and initiatives contributing to the areas of pharmacy education, pharmacy mentoring, professional growth and development in pharmacy, pharmacy research, pharmacy practice, pharmacy care oriented on rural population, ethnic minorities, immigrant and refugee populations.

To learn more, please review Dr. Yanovich's CV.