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

Dr. Anita Cleven has a background in leadership and was a pharmacist in charge, summer intern
coordinator, market recruiter for a community pharmacy chain and former assistant dean for
experiential education. She has her certification in John Maxwell Leadership, master certified life coach,
and has attended several professional development sessions on leadership.

She currently teaches in the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum with an emphasis in the Social and
Administrative Sciences covering regulatory affairs, management, leadership, personal and professional
development. She precepts in the pharmacy skills and application courses as well as teaches obesity in
integrated science and therapeutics. Dr. Cleven also teaches in the foundations for interprofessional
practice in the College of Health Professions.

Her scholarly interests include health and humanities, personal and professional development in the
area of professional identity formation. Please see: Associating Growth Mindset with Emotional
Intelligence and Why It’s Needed for Professional Identity Formation
. Reevaluating Core Elements of
Emotional Intelligence in Professional Identity Formation for Inclusion in Pharmacy Education
. She has
presented several platform presentations with topics inclusive of mindset, resilience, well-being and

She is Pacific University’s faculty liaison for the Oregon State Pharmacy Organization and has
participated in legislative and policy making activities. She also serves on their annal planning and
scholarship committee. Dr. Cleven serves as the research residency preceptor for the joint Pacific
University Albertsons PGY-1 community pharmacy program.

For more information, see Dr. Cleven's scholarly workher LinkedIn page, as well as her CV

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.

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 is an Associate Professor and board certified ambulatory care pharmacist. Her clinical expertise is in chronic disease state management with a focus on population health and quality improvement. She has a green belt certification in Lean for healthcare.  Dr. Fry also serves as the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education where her scholarly endeavors focus on experiential assessment and management. Prior to taking on this administrative role Dr. Fry’s scholarship was focused on quality improvement and patient safety.

For more information, please review Dr. Fry's CV.

Interim Assistant Dean of Pharmacy Practice & Associate Professor

Prior to his faculty appointment, Ryan practiced primarily in the hospital setting with experience in critical care, general adult medical/surgical, inpatient/outpatient oncology, and informatics.  He currently maintains a practice site as an acute care pharmacist at Legacy Meridian Park (LMP) Hospital where he also supports IPPE, APPE and PGY-1 residency learners.  He co-chaired the Legacy Pharmacy Resident Research Committee and continues to support residency research at LMP through preceptor development and project proposal review.

His professional interests are focused on continuing professional development and legislative/policy making activities in Oregon. He is active in the Oregon Society of Health-system Pharmacists (OSHP) and recently served as OSHP president and as a representative on the OSPA/OSHP Joint Legislative Committee. He participates on the OSHP Legal and Regulatory Affairs Committee, OSHP Practice Advancement Initiative workgroup, and in monthly legislative calls with the American Society of Health-system Pharmacists (ASHP). He is currently an Oregon representative for the ASHP House of Delegates.

Ryan teaches in several courses, covering topics in acute cardiovascular disease, oncology, pharmacy law and regulatory affairs, and biostatistics/study design. His scholarly interests include health humanities, scholarship of teaching and learning, and interprofessional education where he and colleagues from across the College have used improvisational theater as a tool for promoting interprofessional communication.

Ryan is a Board-Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (2014-present) and completed the Research and Scholarship Certificate program through ACCP in 2018 and the Compass Program for Academic Advancement (Academy of Academic Learning) in 2016.  He received OSHP’s “Excellence in Education” and Pacific University’s AACP P-2 Teacher of the Year” awards in 2018.

For more information, please review Dr. Gibbard's CV.


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. 

Research Assistant

As a Research Assistant (RA), Julia participates in research characterizing and validating the polyamine biosynthetic pathway as a potential therapeutic target for neglected tropical diseases.


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

For more information, see Dr. 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

Kris Marcus brings 20 years of health-system based practice in the academic medical center setting to her teaching. After completing a general pharmacy practice residency at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), she joined the pharmacy administrative team and physician and nursing stakeholders to create business plans and start up the first operating room pharmacy satellite in the state and an ophthalmic specialty outpatient pharmacy. Once those new practices were up and running, she moved back to inpatient team-based care roles including cardiology, critical care, internal medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, oncology/BMT, and solid organ transplantation. After working in direct patient care, she transitioned to her “dream job” focused in drug information, formulary management, drug policy/MUE and institutional guideline development, provider education, and staff development. During her time at OHSU she was also involved in classroom and experiential teaching for the OSU College of Pharmacy and OHSU’s residency programs. She served for 8 years as the PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program Director and also helped establish and precept in the PGY2 Drug Information Residency. She was part of the team that designed the first accredited PGY2 Pharmacy Informatics Residency in the nation.

She is one of the founding faculty of the Pacific University School of Pharmacy and enjoys collaborating with faculty, staff, and students to continually improve and innovate within the student focused curriculum. While she has taught in most coursework areas, her current classroom teaching is focused in social and administrative sciences (SAS), personal and professional development (PPD), pharmacy skills (PSA), and therapeutics (IST). Some of the major themes of her current teaching mirror her practice experience in drug information, drug policy, evidence-based practice, and pharmacy administration. She adopts an application mindset in her teaching and often includes real world examples and practical activities in her lesson plans to show students the connection between the clinical, professional, and administrative responsibilities of the pharmacist. Since the school opened in 2006, she has also been heavily involved in teaching pharmacy clinical skills and problem solving and designing and implementing the activities and assessment of those curricular outcomes. Recently she partnered with other faculty on curricular redesign and mapping for the SAS stream and the PPD stream, the latter of which she is a multi-course chair and stream chair. In addition to other school, college, and university service, she has an academic appointment as the School’s Coordinator for Pharmacy Residency Preparedness Program where she provides structured support to students and alumni exploring or navigating the process of obtaining a post-graduate training program position.

Her professional involvement has been oriented toward health-system practice, pharmacy technician practice advancement, and pharmacy residency training. Her national involvement in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) has included policy making, white paper publication, and practice change task forces. Since joining the academy, she has added involvement in teaching oriented professional organizations such as the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the teaching Sections of ASHP and ACCP, and the AACP Faculty Sections connected to her curricular areas. She is active in the Oregon Society of Health-System Pharmacists (OSHP) as a past chair and member of the planning committee for the Northwestern States Residency Conference. She remains engaged in the future direction of the Oregon society as a member of the OSHP Past Presidents council.  She received the lifetime fellowship professional achievement award, FOSHP, in 2015. She has made numerous presentations to her peers at regional (OSHP) and national meetings (ASHP and AACP) and has participated as a school representative at AACP’s Institutes.

Her primary research foci are connected through her evidence-based practice and teaching experiences. Her scholarship interest areas are: evidence synthesis, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and pharmacy administration training topics (post-graduate residency training, experiential education, and preceptor development). Current projects include: a survey of grading systems in US Schools of Pharmacy, a systematic review of trends and factors impacting pharmacy residency match rates, collaborative systematic reviews of clinical research questions, and development of critical appraisal of the medical literature and systematic review training modules for graduate students, residents, and preceptors.

For more information, please review Associate Professor Marcus’ CV

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 clinical interest areas include lifestyle medicine, nutrition, diabetes, cardiovascular risk reduction, and asthma/COPD/tobacco cessation.  His research and practice interests include integrating clinical pharmacists within primary care practices, advancement of comprehensive primary care, pharmacy residency training, health equity and working with underserved patient populations.  He teaches within the PharmD curriculum in the following course streams/content areas: Core Pharmaceutical Sciences & Therapeutics (dyslipidemia, cardiovascular risk reduction, cardiovascular nutrition, lifestyle medicine, anticoagulation), Social & Administrative Sciences (pharmacy benefit, pharmaceutical supply chain, healthcare quality, healthcare reimbursement, value-based care), and Pharmacy Skills & Applications.  As PGY2 Residency Director, he leads the school’s principal post-graduate training program.  Additionally, he coordinates the school’s cohort of students participating in the AHEC Scholars Program, a national and statewide training program the focuses on rural and underserved populations.  He maintains a clinical practice at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center (VGMHC) a local federally qualified health center where he works as part of an integrated, interprofessional care team, has prescriptive authority to manage chronic diseases through collaborative practice agreements, and bills for his services.  In addition, he coordinates pharmacist involvement in seasonal and migrant farmworker outreach events in the summer.  An active advocate for the advancement of pharmacy practice, he recently served as the chair of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners Section Advisory Group on Clinical Practice Advancement, he is an elected state delegate to the ASHP House of Delegates, and serves as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the Oregon Board of Pharmacy and Public Health & Pharmacy Formulary Advisory Committee.

For more information, please review Dr. Saito's CV.

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. 

Assistant Professor

Dr. Steele spends most of her time focusing on ambulatory care, cultural competency, underserved populations, patient education, mentorship and post-graduate education.

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 has precepted pharmacy students for IPPE and APPE in the hospital/health system environment for 15 years, also serving as the site coordinator. During that time she was a member of the inpatient pharmacy management team, assigned to manage various areas and projects within the department. Her research has mainly consisted of implementing and evaluating pharmacy services in the health system setting with PGY1 residents and students, with a current research focus in the scholarship of teaching and learning. In the therapeutics course stream, she teaches acute cardiology topics, nutrition, and gastrointestinal disorders. She continues to work with a health system in southern Oregon as a supervisor for ambulatory pharmacy services and teaches medication classes to patients who have cardiac conditions. Her supervisory experience informs her teaching in Social and Administrative Sciences (SAS) courses where she serves as the SAS Stream Coordinator, overseeing that section of the curriculum. Topics include paying for healthcare, transitions of care, state pharmacy law, human resources, and privileging, credentialing, and billing. Recently Dr. White served on the Oregon Board of Pharmacy Workgroup regarding new intern regulations. 

For more information, please review Dr. White's CV.

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.