Pharmacy practice faculty members Wilhelm, Rabinak earn promotions

Wilhelm and Rabinak
Sheila Wilhelm and Christine Rabinak at the provost's celebration honoring WSU faculty promotions

The Wayne State University Board of Governors approved the promotion of two pharmacy practice faculty members: Sheila Wilhelm and Christine Rabinak. Based on the advice of the University Faculty Tenure and Promotion Committee, and with the support of Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Interim Dean Catherine Lysack, WSU Provost Keith Whitfield proposed the promotions to the board at its June meeting.

Effective Aug. 19, 2019, Sheila Wilhelm will be professor (clinical) and Christine Rabinak will be associate professor with continuing tenure.

“These are major achievements in the life and career of any faculty member and are deeply deserved by both Sheila and Christine. They have both contributed in all areas of academic life and serve as wonderful examples to students and other faculty members,” said Lynette Moser, Chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice.

Sheila Wilhelm joined Wayne State in 2004 as assistant professor (clinical) and was promoted to associate professor (clinical) in 2012. Until 2017, her position was based at Harper University Hospital for experiential teaching, practice-based research and patient care. In 2017, Wilhelm accepted the position of Director of the CVS Patient Care Laboratory and now coordinates the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum’s four patient care courses, which focus on assessment, communication and professional skills. Instrumental in aligning the Patient Care Lab courses with the content and philosophy of concurrent PharmD courses, she also proposed a process for mentoring junior faculty by engaging them as course coordinators. She has served on the PharmD Admissions Committee for more than 10 years, chairing it for four.

Teaching both didactically and experientially, Wilhelm contributes to multiple courses on diverse topics consistent with her background in internal medicine with a focus on the pharmacotherapy of gastrointestinal diseases. A fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), she has earned many awards in teaching and mentorship, including multiple Preceptor of the Year honors, and a WSU Applebaum Excellence in Teaching Award. She has been the mentor for two trainees who participated in the AACP/Walmart Scholars program. In addition, she maintains an active scholarship record, and many of her publications include students and residents.

Christine Rabinak joined the Department of Pharmacy Practice in August 2014. She holds adjunct appointments in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, and WSU’s Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child and Family Development. Prior to joining Wayne State, Rabinak received her PhD in biopsychology and completed a fellowship at the University of Michigan through the competitive Postdoctoral Translational Scholarship program in the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR), an NIH-supported institutional multidisciplinary career development award designed to foster the development of individuals with a PhD in biomedical science disciplines for independent careers in translational research.

Rabinak has established an internationally-recognized, productive, comprehensive and continuously funded research program in translational psychiatric neuroscience. She has developed a novel line of research in the areas of fear-related learning, the endocannabinoid system and anxiety disorders. She is working on the development of innovative new treatments for PTSD, including pharmacological interventions that work by targeting the endocannabinoid system, and also on identifying neurobehavioral mechanisms underlying the development of anxiety disorders. In her four years on the WSU faculty, she has shown a sharp upward career arc as a young scientist, garnering more than $4 million in competitive external funding.

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