Alumni Honorees

Mel Baron

Lifetime Achievement Award


Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Southern California

Dr. Baron was in private practice from 1957 to 1987 and developed a unique home health care center. He joined the USC School of Pharmacy faculty in 1981.

As a member of the clinical faculty, Dr. Baron served as the Director for the first level externship program, which he helped create. In addition, he is the co-director of the PharmD/MBA Program and is responsible for teaching clerkships in Pharmacy Administration and Health Care Needs of Special Populations.

He is a Fellow of the California Pharmacists Association, the American College of Apothecaries and the American Pharmacist Association.

Dr. Baron’s focus is on his Health Literacy Program, whose purpose is to develop, distribute, and evaluate health-related media for underserved and low literacy Latino populations.

In 2008, Dr. Baron was named "Pharmacist of the Year" by the California Pharmacists Association. He and other faculty colleagues received the 2007 Pinnacle Award of the American Pharmacists Association and the 2009 Transformative Community Service Award of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. In 2011, Dr. Baron was awarded a Pinnacle Award for individual achievement recognizing his health literacy projects. In 2012, Dr. Baron was inducted into the Half Century Trojan Hall of Fame.

Roslyn Blake

Community Service Award


CEO, MB Ellison, Inc.; COO, Bob Blake & Associates, Inc.

Dr. Blake left the field of consulting pharmacy in 2000 to join her husband’s thriving insurance agency, Bob Blake & Associates, Inc. Then in 2003, Dr. Blake launched a third party billing business, M.B. Ellison, Inc., which channels insurance premiums from employee’s paychecks to insurance carriers. She developed a proprietary software product which tracks and reconciles the billing and membership services for insurance carriers and employee associations. This business has been responsible for managing over 30 million dollars a year of insurance premium and employee association dues. This unique market niche of MB Ellison, Inc. eliminates one of the most time consuming jobs for insurance carriers, employee associations, as well as non-profit and for profit organizations.

Dr. Blake is presently on the Board of Councilors at USC’s School of Pharmacy. She has also served as President of the Aquatics Foundation of Metropolitan Los Angeles under the 2nd district of the County of Los Angeles, and a board member for the Getty House Foundation which maintains the residence for the Mayor of Los Angeles. Dr. Blake’s other affiliations include: Women Presidents’ Organization, Women Impacting Public Policies, National Association of Women Business Owners, California Pharmacist Association, and American Society of Consulting Pharmacist.

Dr. Blake is married with 2 adult sons and 2 beautiful Grand Girls.

Danielle C. Colayco

Young Alumni Award

Pharm.D., MS

President & CEO, Komoto Family Foundation

Danielle Colayco is the President and CEO of the Komoto Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and educational initiatives that improve healthcare access to underserved communities.

Dr. Colayco completed her undergraduate training, PharmD, and Masters fellowship in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy at USC. Following her graduation, Dr. Colayco worked as part of the Global Health Outcomes team at Allergan until 2011, when she joined Komoto Healthcare to lead its health economics department. In 2012, she established the Komoto Family Foundation, which funds research that demonstrates the value of clinical pharmacy services and informs the development of programs to serve patients in need.

In her free time, Dr. Colayco enjoys traveling with her husband, Kevin Komoto, and breaking up fights between her dogs and her two-year-old daughter.

Michael Hochman

Honorary Alumni Award


Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine; Director, Gehr Family Center for Implementation Science

Dr. Michael Hochman is a board certified general internist who attended Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. He is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, and director of the Gehr Family Center for Implementation Science. Previously, Dr. Hochman served as the Medical Director for Innovation at AltaMed Health Services, the largest independent community health center in the nation. Before that, Dr. Hochman was a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was previously a freelance health writer for the Boston Globe and several other lay news publications. Dr. Hochman recently authored the book 50 Studies Every Doctor Should Know (, which is being developed into a series that he is editing for Oxford University Press.

Dr. Hochman is a primary care physician at Keck Medicine of USC with a research interest in improving health care system models. As director of the new Gehr Family Center for Implementation Science, he will lead the mission to develop models that are more efficient and allow for the delivery of higher quality care for patients.

Peter Lassoff

Innovation in Regulatory Science Award


Vice President and Head, Global Regulatory Affairs, QuintilesIMS

Peter Lassoff is Vice President and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs at Quintiles. In his role, he works with global clients in the pharmaceutical, medical device, cosmetic, nutrition and other industries on regulatory strategy and implementation to ensure their products are placed on the market in the fastest, least expensive manner. Dr. Lassoff has deep expertise in the development and worldwide registration of medicinal products, biotech products, ‘borderline’ products, medical devices, cosmetics and ‘cosmeceuticals’, nutritional supplements and other regulated healthcare products.

He has registered hundreds of products in Europe, the United States and global markets, including joint NDA/Centralised EMA submissions. He provides regulatory strategies for the development of products for global markets from preclinical to post-marketing as well as expert regulatory due diligence services for companies purchasing products or companies.

Dr. Lassoff has always taken a strong interest in the development and evolution of the regulatory affairs profession, and has worked with professional associations, trade organisations and others to advance regulatory affairs. He is on the Board of Supervisors for the International Center for Regulatory Science at the University of Southern California and provides training for their students.

Dr. Lassoff has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 30 years. Prior to joining Quintiles, he held other leadership positions in the CRO field, and has held previous positions at BMS, ConvaTec and Stiefel.

Dr. Lassoff holds a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy.

Charles Leiter

Distinguished Alumni Award


Vice President of Business Development, Leiter's

Chuck has been practicing Pharmacy in a variety of settings for over 30 years. A 1983 graduate of the USC School of Pharmacy, he joined his family at Leiter’s Pharmacy in 1985. Chuck is the 3rd generation to graduate from USC School of Pharmacy. Chuck is recognized as one of the leading Ophthalmic Pharmacists in the world. He regularly consults with most of the major teaching hospitals and institutes in the country and abroad. These include, Stanford University Hospital, Bascom Palmer Eye Hospital, Wills Eye Hospital, Johns Hopkins, The Wilmer Eye Institute, UCSF, The Francis Proctor Foundation, The Cleveland Clinic, NIH, The Singapore Eye Institute, etc.

Chuck founded Leiter’s Compounding in 1989, and together with his wife Sue built it into one of the largest compounding pharmacies in the USA. Chuck and Sue sold to a Private Equity group 2 years ago. Chuck is now a VP of Business development and during his free time, he spends it with his family or consulting on a charitable basis around the world.

Chuck is on the board of That Man May See, a charitable organization affiliated with the Department of Ophthalmology at UCSF. In addition, Chuck is an Adjunct Professor at Keck Graduate Institute, and on the Board at Leiter’s Enterprises. Chuck also is involved in many FDA clinical trials and drug studies. He brings this expertise to all the other disciplines of Pharmacy.

Chuck has been a member of PCCA (Professional Compounding Center of America) since 1992, CPHA (California Pharmacist Association), and IACP (International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists). He has received extensive training and continuing education in the areas of Infectious Disease, Veterinary Compounding, Pain Management, Ophthalmic Compounding, Natural Hormones, Sterile Compounding, cGMP, USP 797 compounding and the compounding of Injectable Medications.

Chuck lives in Saratoga, CA with his wife Susan and children, Emily, Rachel and Max.

Rita Shane

Dean's Medallion Award


Chief Pharmacy Officer, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Rita Shane, Pharm.D., FASHP, FCSHP is Chief Pharmacy Officer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, an 886 bed acute, tertiary care, teaching institution in Los Angeles and Assistant Dean, Clinical Pharmacy Services, at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Pharmacy. Dr. Shane played a key role in obtaining State Board approval for tech check tech and has been involved in research to advance pharmacy services in the emergency department and in transitions of care. Over the years, Dr. Shane has been recognized for her passion for the profession. She was one of the “50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety,” in the 2013 Becker Hospital Review. She is the 2012 recipient of the Harvey A.K. Whitney Award, the highest honor in health-system pharmacy. She also received the ASHP Distinguished Service Award, the ASHP Distinguished Leadership Award and the John Webb Professorship in Hospital Pharmacy on management excellence. She has written over 90 papers and given over 190 presentations at the local, state, national and international level. Dr. Shane loves teaching and has mentored over 115 residents. Her Big Hairy Audacious Goal is that patients ask “Where is my pharmacist?” whenever they receive healthcare services.

Eric Q. Wu

Research Achievement Award


Managing Principal, Analysis Group

Dr. Wu is a health economist specializing in health economics, outcomes, and market access issues related to pharmaceuticals, biologics, and devices. He has broad experience consulting to pharmaceutical and device companies, payers, providers and government agencies globally. Dr. Wu has extensive experience in the development of health economics and outcomes research strategy, analysis of medical claims and clinical trial data, patient chart review, patient surveys and physician surveys, and economic modeling to support treatment guideline development; global formulary and reimbursement submission; step therapy design; appropriate generics and biosimilar use; and investigations in comparative effectiveness, personalized medicine, direct and indirect resource utilization and costs, work loss, quality of life, treatment pattern, disease prevalence, and adverse events. His interests also include developing new methods and statistical tests to address challenges in health care research and application of medical big data. He was a coeditor of Pharmacoeconomics journal’s special issue on health care in China.

Yong Yuan

Innovation in Pharmacoeconomics Award


Director, Global Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Bristol Myers Squibb Co.

Yong has 25 + years of experience in health economics and outcomes researches (HEOR) with a focus on pharmaceutical products, generating real world evidence using claims databases, electronic medical records, chart review or registry, developing economic models, analyzing clinical trial-based patient reported outcomes and health care resource utilization data, and conducting systematic literature review and meta-analysis.

Yong holds a Medical degree and a MPH from Fudan University (formerly Shanghai Medical University), China (1986 to 1993). He has received an M.S. in Economics, an M.A. in Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy from University of Southern California, USA (1994 to 1998).

Yong Yuan joined Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS) in 1998 as a Senior Health Economist in the US HEOR group, supporting cardiovascular and metabolic products, and assumed increasing responsibilities for economic modeling and OR strategies across different disease areas. Currently, Yong is a Director of World Wide HEOR, where he leads the implementation and strategy for value demonstration of immune-oncology therapies in small cell lung cancer. During his 19-year tenure at BMS, Yong has been recognized with several awards related to successful development and adaptation of economic models in virology HBV and HCV. He has led various project teams on HEOR studies and advisory boards on economical modeling.

Yong has authored/co-authored 50+ peer-reviewed manuscripts, including developments and applications of innovative methodologies for economic modeling and database analyses, as well as 150+ abstract presentations at international meetings, including a recent methodology workshop on single-arm trials at ISPOR 2016. He has served as the primary reviewer for several OR-related journals as well as for scientific protocol review committees at BMS.

Yong lives in Princeton, NJ with his wife and two children, Jonathan (age: 18) and Jeffrey (age: 11). He likes to stay active by running and enjoys playing online Bridge and Go.