UH Hilo Pharmacy to award historic PhD degrees

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669
Dir, Media Rel, University Relations
Posted: May 3, 2016

Mayuramas “Jan” Sang-ngern
Mayuramas “Jan” Sang-ngern
Susanne R. Youngren-Ortiz
Susanne R. Youngren-Ortiz

The first two students in the Pacific region to earn a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences are taking part in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo spring commencement, scheduled for Saturday, May 14 at 9 a.m. at Edith Kanaka`ole Stadium.

Mayuramas “Jan” Sang-ngern (Ma-yu-ra-mas “Jan” Sang-nyon), who is originally from Thailand, came to UH Hilo with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Rajabaht Suratthanee (Raj-Cha-Phat Su-Rad-Tha-Nee) University, Thailand and a master’s degree in pharmaceutical chemistry and phytochemistry from Mahidol University, Thailand. Her major professor is Leng Chee Chang. She received a full scholarship from The Office of the Civil Service Commission in the Thai Royal Government. After graduating, she will work as a lecturer at the School of Cosmetic Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand. 

Susanne R. Youngren-Ortiz is from Merrillville, Indiana. She received a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences with specialization in industrial and physical pharmacy and minors in both statistics and chemistry from Purdue University’s College of Pharmacy. Her major professors are Mahavir Chougule and Kenneth Morris. She hopes to work as a research and development formulation scientist within the pharmaceutical industry and gain more experience in the area of pharmaceutical inhalable aerosols and their FDA regulations.

The students are part of the inaugural group of seven students who began work on their PhD at the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy in the fall of 2011. The doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences is the first program of this type to be offered by the University of Hawai‘i, and the only program of this nature to be offered in the state of Hawai‘i and the Pacific region. 

Charles R. "Chipper" Wichman Jr., president and chief executive officer, National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), will deliver the keynote address. Carrie Soo Hoo, a marine science, psychology and communication major, represents the graduating class as student speaker.