School of Pharmacy Student, Lyla White, Named a University Scholar

Lyla White (P2) has been named a University Scholar, the highest academic honor granted to an undergraduate student upon graduation.

Every year, the University Scholar Program provides thirty undergraduate students with the opportunity to conduct a project correlating with their specific academic interests. Each University Scholar must collaborate with an advisory board composed of three faculty members throughout this process. Together, they will construct a detailed plan to create this project in a way that will promote their academic success. The program is selective and to be considered, applicants must display academic excellence as well as an interest in research among multiple disciplines.

White’s University Scholar advisory board is made up of Robin Bogner, Professor of Pharmaceutics, Bodhi Chaudhuri, Professor of Pharmaceutics, and Youssef Bessada, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice. Her project is titled Development of a Stable Aspirin Suspension. The goal of this project is to find an alternative solution for people who are unable to swallow aspirin pills. White is working to create a liquid- based oral aspirin that will make it possible for more people to consume the medicine comfortably and effectively.

White earned her acceptance into the University Scholar Program because of her extensive research experience as an undergraduate student. Starting her freshman year, she was named a Holster Scholar for which she conducted a research project personalizing drug tablets for diabetes patients using 3D printing. During her sophomore year, she was awarded a Supply Grant which she used for a research project that involved testing the stability of aspirin tablets that have been repackaged in amber plastic vials and stored under common, but non-ideal conditions. For this project, she received the SURF Award which is a grant she is using to continue this project for her Honors Thesis.

White has also received the University Scholar designation and a nomination for the American Foundation of Pharmaceutical Sciences’ (AFPE) Gateway to Research Award. She has presented her work at two different School of Pharmacy Research Symposiums, four Frontiers in Undergraduate Research Exhibitions, the Holster Scholar Symposium, and the CT Pharmacist’s Association Midwinter Conference. Additionally, White also has two publications in academic journals for her clinical research and a publication in UConn Open Commons for her pharmaceutical sciences research. She will graduate in May with the Honors Laureate designation and as a Babbidge Scholar.

It may be hard to believe she has free time but White is also actively involved in a variety of clubs and organizations within the School of Pharmacy and across UConn.  She is the President of the UConn Climbing Team, is the co-founder of the Immunization Committee, is the Finance Vice President of the American Pharmacists Association, and is Chapter Coordinator for the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacists.  She is also a member of the Curriculum and Wellness Committees, is on the 2024 Clinical Research Challenge team for Student College of Clinical Pharmacy (SCCP), is on the Regulatory Affairs team for the Industry Pharmacists Organization’s (IPhO) VIP Case Competition, supports younger students as a Peer Allies Through Honors mentor for freshman honors students, a Peer Advisor for the School of Pharmacy, and a School of Pharmacy Ambassador.

“I’m so proud of being selected as a University Scholar,” says White. “Whether my career takes a clinical or research pathway, personal experience with drug discovery and being able to bridge the clinical and pharmaceutical sciences worlds will be invaluable.”