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CU Pharmacy Announces 2021 Alumni Awardees

The Alumni Association proudly acknowledges this year's winners

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Written by Jaron Bryant on July 28, 2021

The Alumni Association for the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is proud to unveil the recipients for its second annual alumni awards. This year's honorees are Lucas Smith, PharmD '14 and Boris Tabakoff, RPh '66, PhD '70.Tabakoff will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest recognition bestowed by the CU Pharmacy Alumni Association. Lucas is this year's recipient for the Horizon Alumni Award, given to CU Pharmacy alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years and exemplify the highest potential for significant contributions to the profession of pharmacy.

“The body of work from both Boris and Lucas is truly indicative of the impact our alumni make in the professions of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. I have no doubt we'll see continued success from our accomplished friends," said Dean Ralph Altiere.


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Boris Tabakoff, RPh '66, PhD '70 

After obtaining his bachelor’s degree from the CU School of Pharmacy in 1966, Tabakoff returned to the School to pursue a PhD in Pharmacology. He completed his doctorate in 1970, while discovering the first members of what is now called the aldose reductase family of enzymes. His work with these enzymes completed the metabolic map for the biogenic amine neurotransmitter substances, characterizing the production of reduced metabolites. These metabolites are still commonly used to monitor physiological activity of noradrenergic and serotonergic systems in humans and other animals. Tabakoff is currently a faculty member of CU Pharmacy as a tenured professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

His numerous accomplishments as a widely recognized national and international leader in research and education come highly noted by CU Pharmacy Dean Emeritus Louis Diamond, PhD.

"Boris has an exemplary record of creative research, education, and service to the discipline of pharmacology," said Dr. Louis Diamond.

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Lucas Smith, PharmD '14

Smith is the owner of Buena Vista Drug. The Colorado Springs native started working at Buena Vista Drug in July of 2014 shortly after graduating from the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy the same year. At 29, Smith became the sole owner of Buena Vista Drug on U.S. 24 when he and his wife purchased the independent Pharmacy in August of 2017. They continue to expand and bring new services and the highest standard of care to the community. Smith was also the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year by the Colorado Pharmacists Society.

Smith also now operates the Salida Pharmacy & Fountain, which conjures a nostalgic sensation by reintroducing the concept of combining a fully functioning pharmacy with an old-fashioned soda fountain.

"From the moment Lucas began pharmacy school, he distinguished himself as a leader. His contributions as a student were significant and his legacy persists today," said Dr. Gina Moore, Associate Dean for Administration and Operations.


Both Tabakoff and Smith will be honored Thursday, Nov 4, 2021 during the 2nd Annual CU Pharmacy Alumni Awards as part of a 3-day celebration for Homecoming weekend. 

If you have a CU Pharmacy alumnus in mind for recognition, you're encouraged to provide a nomination for consideration next year.

Nominate Alumni for 2023 Awards