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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 3, 2024) – In a forthcoming celebration of excellence and achievement, the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP) is set to induct three graduates into its Hall of Distinguished Alumni. The ceremony, honoring these individuals' significant contributions to the field, will take place Friday, April 19, 2024, at 6:00 p.m. EDT. 

The honorees for this year's Lifetime Achievement Award include Carol Gallagher (BS, PharmD ‘89) and Samuel Poloyac (PharmD ’95, Ph.D. ‘99), whose careers have exemplified the pinnacle of professional success, leadership, innovation, and sustained contribution. Danielle Griggs (PharmD ’14) will also be recognized with the Young Alumni Award, honoring her remarkable impact on the field within a decade of graduation. A panel comprising past inductees selected this year's recipients. 

“Their outstanding contributions, not only to the pharmacy profession but to healthcare as a whole, mirror the innovation, leadership, and dedication we aspire to cultivate in our graduates,” said Dean Kip Guy. “It’s a profound honor to recognize their groundbreaking achievements, which serve as inspiration for the next generation of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences leaders.” 

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Carol G. Gallagher, PharmD 

Carol Gallagher, a distinguished figure in the biopharmaceutical sector, most recently served as partner of global venture capital at New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA). Gallagher is a proven entrepreneur, operator, and investor with over 30 years of experience in drug development and business development roles. Since 2014, her focus at NEA has been on biopharma investments, where she leveraged her expertise across various therapeutic areas and stages of development. 

Before NEA, Gallagher held a venture partner position at Frazier Healthcare and served as an independent director on the boards of several groundbreaking biopharma companies, including Aragon Pharmaceuticals, eFFECTOR Therapeutics, and Seragon Pharmaceuticals. Her leadership roles extend to the boards of Atara Bio, AnaptysBio, Cleave Biosciences, and Millendo, where her strategic insights and industry experience contributed significantly to their success. Notably, Gallagher was the president and CEO of Calistoga Pharmaceuticals from 2008 to 2011, where she led the development and successful acquisition of the first-in-class cancer therapeutic, CAL-101 (now ZYDELIG), by Gilead Sciences. 

Gallagher’s career is marked by a passion for the "business of science," driving innovation and transformation in healthcare. In addition to leading Calistoga Pharmaceuticals to a successful exit, she has served in critical roles at Amgen, Pfizer, and Eli Lilly. She has been recognized for her contributions to the life sciences with the Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Award.

Gallagher received a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Pharmacy in 1989 from the University of Kentucky. 

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Samuel M. Poloyac, PharmD, Ph.D. 

Samuel Poloyac has served as dean and the James T. Doluisio Regents chair at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy (UTCOP) since October 2020. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and subsequently received a Doctor of Pharmacy (’95) and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (’99) from the University of Kentucky.

Before arriving at UT Austin, Poloyac served as professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and associate dean for graduate and postdoctoral programs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. Currently, he is focused on leveraging UTCOP’s strength as a national leader in practice, education, and research to advance pharmacy innovation for health. Poloyac is equally committed to training the next generation of outstanding pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists to become bold problem-solvers, talented communicators, and leaders to revolutionize patient care and health outcomes in Texas and the world.

His research career has focused on determining the role of drug-metabolizing enzymes in regulating brain blood flow and drug clearance in critically ill patients. Research in his laboratory has received support from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association, which led to over 115 peer-reviewed publications. He is a fellow of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Academic Leadership Program.

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Danielle M. Griggs, PharmD, MBA, MS

Danielle Griggs has served as chief pharmacy officer at UVA Health since October 2023. In this role, Griggs leads expansive pharmacy services across four medical centers in Virginia. Her promotion to this crucial role underscores her dedication and skill in steering over 500 frontline pharmacy team members. Pharmacy Services at UVA Health is pivotal in delivering critical medications to patients throughout central and northern Virginia, a task of immense responsibility and impact on community health.

Griggs has demonstrated significant contributions and leadership growth at UVA Health, illustrating her deep commitment to pharmacy excellence. She adeptly managed medication procurement and drug expense management, broadening her scope to include medication formulary oversight, clinical and operational program management, and addressing drug shortages and compliance operations. Her promotion in 2019 to senior director of pharmacy, becoming responsible for the health system’s pharmacy business operations, is a testament to her effective management and visionary leadership.

Griggs received a Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Kentucky, complemented by a health system pharmacy administration residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also earned a Master of Science degree. Her focus on innovative patient care solutions, pharmacy operational excellence, and team development underscores her commitment to enhancing healthcare delivery across Virginia. 


The College invites nominations for the Hall of Distinguished Alumni throughout the year, with selections made annually. This year's ceremony will also be accessible via live stream on YouTube.

The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy continually ranks as a top-ten institution of pharmacy education in the nation, and research funding has more than doubled in the last decade.  

We wish to remember and honor those who inhabited this Commonwealth before the arrival of the Europeans. Briefly occupying these lands were the Osage, Wyndott tribe, and Miami peoples. The Adena and Hopewell peoples, who are recognized by the naming of the time period in which they resided here, were here more permanently. Some of their mounds remain in the Lexington area, including at UK’s Adena Park.

In more recent years, the Cherokee occupied southeast Kentucky, the Yuchi southwest Kentucky, the Chickasaw extreme western Kentucky and the Shawnee central Kentucky including what is now the city of Lexington. The Shawnee left when colonization pushed through the Appalachian Mountains. Lower Shawnee Town ceremonial grounds are still visible in Greenup County.

We honor the first inhabitants who were here, respect their culture, and acknowledge the presence of their descendants who are here today in all walks of life including fellow pharmacists and healthcare professionals.