PHSR Professor Awarded University System’s Wilson H. Elkins Professorship
C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, will use award to expand his work in patient-centered outcomes and health disparities research in west Baltimore.
By Malissa Carroll
September 16, 2013
C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) and director of the Patient-Centered Involvement in Evaluating the Effectiveness of Treatments (PATIENTS) program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has been awarded the University System of Maryland’s Wilson H. Elkins Professorship in recognition of his contributions to the field of comparative effectiveness research and service to the University community and beyond.
“Any university would consider itself fortunate to have someone with a record of teaching, research, and service that has reached the heights that Dr. Mullins has achieved,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FAAPS, FCP, dean and professor of the School of Pharmacy. “Dr. Mullins has been one of the School’s most impactful scholars and educators for nearly two decades. He is a leader poised to build bridges across the University System of Maryland, to develop new educational offerings as well as improvements in collaborative community service, and to conduct impactful research. He is the embodiment of the Elkins Professorship.”
Mullins’ work at the School of Pharmacy focuses on comparative effectiveness research – research designed to inform patients and providers’ health care decisions by providing evidence on the effectiveness, benefits, and risks of different treatment options. Recently, he has gained national attention in recognition of his efforts to ensure that this research reflects the diversity of patients in the United States, including minorities and patients with physical and cognitive impairments.
“The Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research is privileged to have Dr. Mullins as a member of its faculty and believes he is most deserving of this prestigious recognition,” says Ilene Zuckerman, PharmD, PhD, professor and chair of PHSR. “He has an exceptional and sustained record of distinguished scholarly achievements. Through his work as a researcher and educator, he has made a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands of students within the University, as well as countless members of the local community. He is truly a star in his field.”
Established in 1978, the Elkins Professorship is named in honor of Wilson H. Elkins, a former Rhodes Scholar and president of the University of Maryland, College Park from 1954 to 1978. It is awarded to professors and researchers who demonstrate an outstanding ability to inspire students and whose professional and scholarly work make a positive impact beyond the University System of Maryland.
“It is an honor to receive this award and to be recognized by the University for the work that I have done over the past decade,” says Mullins. “I believe that this award not only acknowledges the impact of my research, but also the University’s understanding of the importance of this research and its implications on making health care more patient-centered and ensuring that future health-related research includes patients who represent the diversity of Maryland’s population.”
With funds allocated through the professorship, Mullins plans to expand the number of junior trainees participating in patient-centered outcomes and health disparities research. His ultimate goal is to increase the number of researchers, particularly minority researchers, who are interested in these fields.
“I am actively engaged in a number of research projects in west Baltimore, but the professorship will allow me to expand my efforts,” says Mullins. “My greatest desire is that, through interactions with junior researchers, our collaborations will inspire future researchers to engage in similar projects aimed at achieving health equity for the citizens of west Baltimore and other areas across the state of Maryland and United States where health disparities currently persist.”
Mullins has received 84 research grants from a wide range of private, government, and non-profit institutions, and was awarded one of the first contracts issued by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which was established as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by President Barack Obama. He has also served as principal investigator on studies conducted in two institutes within the National Institutes of Health and been selected as co-editor-in-chief of Value in Health, the journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research.
“I owe a lot to my current and former mentors, including Claudia Baquet, MD, and Elijah Saunders, MD, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, from the University of Maryland School of Nursing,” says Mullins. “These individuals have helped to shape my approach to research, and their passion for research is exemplary.”
Mullins joined the School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in 1995, and was later promoted to associate professor in 1999 and to professor in 2003. He served as the PHSR graduate program director from 1999 to 2003, and was chair of the department from 2003 to 2008. “I cannot express how much I appreciate the support that I have received from individuals such as University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay A. Perman, MD, Bruce Jarrell, MD, chief academic and research officer and senior vice president for the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Dean Eddington, and other deans on campus. It is a great feeling to know that I work for a university where the highest level of administration is committed to improving the health of all people,” he says.