3 College of Pharmacy Students Receive OTM Award for Research Production & Excellence


The UIC Office of Technology Management (OTM) has sponsored the OTM Award for Research Production & Excellence for College of Pharmacy students who have made significant progress in research during the COVID-19 pandemic. One student from each department was nominated by their advisor to receive this prize.

The award recipients are:

• Kyle Mangano, PhD candidate - Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Alesia Vialichka, P3 PharmD candidate - Pharmacy Practice
• Dr. Connie Yan, PhD candidate - Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes, & Policy


Their advisors discussed why each student was selected for this award.

Kyle Mangano


“During the shut-down, Kyle has spearheaded collaboration with Prof. Joseph Wade from the Wadsworth Center (Albany NY) on using the ribosome profiling data for identifying hidden bacterial proteome. In his nearly daily Zoom sessions with Dr. Wade, Kyle and the members of Wade’s team have developed a python script that uses antibiotic-assisted ribosome profiling data for predicting the unknown genes in bacterial genomes. The results of this study have been presented last week at a multi-institution online seminar and will likely be prepared as a publication. I want to emphasize that for participating in this activity Kyle had to significantly advance his fairly rudimentary programming skills and that the newly gained knowledge will be indispensable for the completion of his PhD studies.” – Drs. Shura Mankin & Nora Vazquez-Laslop

Alesia Vialichka

Alesia Vialichka

“[Alesia] is a soon-to-be P3 who’s worked in my lab for about a year now and she’s really been the only one keeping my entire lab running this whole time through COVID. She has pretty much shown up to work every single day she’s been allowed on campus and was the only one of my employees who actually worked during the time they were home but getting paid. She’s been instrumental in keeping the lab going through all of this and has definitely solidified herself as a leader among the group. She was also the first one to volunteer to help with the HERO COVID clinical trial including being willing to draw blood on potentially positive subjects. She’s just an all-around rockstar and my research would have all stopped completely during COVID if it weren’t for her so I think she’s as deserving as it gets!” – Dr. Eric Wenzler

Dr. Connie Yan

Connie Yan

“During the past 3 months, Connie has continued to coordinate numerous activities within the PSOP community as well as moving her dissertation proposal forward in a nice clip. Connie assisted in organizing “congratulations” and “good-bye” messages for several of the graduating students and for Alem. She has also continued to lead weekly meetings for Dr. Suda’s R01, which requires communication across the research team to update the weekly agenda. In addition to serving as the project coordinator, she has been working with a small team of us to code over 70 qualitative interviews from dentists. This requires a tremendous amount of time and hard work to do remotely on WebEx. Finally, Connie has also managed to write up two of her three dissertation aims. One of those aims employs statistical approaches with which she has limited exposure, hence she has had to do significant exploration of existing information and coordinate with faculty to get consultation.  Overall, Connie has managed to juggle many balls and maintain her typical pleasant, optimistic, and kind attitude.” – Dr. Lisa Sharp