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School of Pharmacy Hosts First Practice-Based Research Day

Event highlights the research of students and trainees in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, and offers participants an opportunity to enhance presentation skills.

Student and trainee award winners pose with faculty from the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science.

By Malissa Carroll
June 27, 2018

The Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy hosted its first practice-based Research Day in April to highlight current research endeavors in which its students and trainees are engaged. In addition to allowing participants to showcase their research to the department’s faculty and leadership, the event offered a forum in which students and trainees could receive constructive feedback to help enhance their presentation skills.

“Research Day provided an opportunity to bring faculty, staff, students, and trainees from across the department together to help foster the professional development of some of our profession’s newest researchers,” says Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, associate professor and chair of PPS. “The students, residents, and fellows who presented posters at this event received thoughtful feedback that they will be able to use to help strengthen their presentations for future regional, national, and international meetings and conferences. It was a remarkable event, and a truly beneficial experience for all who participated.”

More than 40 posters highlighting research conducted by student pharmacists, residents, fellows, and their faculty mentors were displayed during the event. The research showcased addressed a number of important issues related to health disparities, medication use, and best practices to prevent and treat a variety of illnesses. Members of the department’s faculty and leadership spoke with students and trainees to learn more about their research, evaluating them based on the quality of their research abstracts, posters, and presentation skills.

The student and trainee who had the highest scoring abstracts were given an opportunity to deliver podium presentations highlighting their research. Shamir Kalaria, PharmD, postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Translational Medicine at the School, received the highest scoring trainee abstract and presented his research titled “A Quantitative Approach to Optimize Levetiracetam Dosing in Critically Ill Patients Undergoing Continuous Venovenous Hemofiltration” at the podium, while third-year student pharmacist Alan Lin received the highest scoring student abstract and presented his research titled “Comorbid Asthma Increases Severity of Anaphylaxis.”

“Faculty in our department are committed to equipping the next generation of pharmacists with the knowledge and skills they will need to be leaders in both pharmacy practice and clinical research,” says Neha S. Pandit, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP, associate professor and vice chair for research and scholarship in PPS. “This year’s friendly competition encouraged students and trainees to bring their ‘A-game’ to Research Day. We congratulate Dr. Kalaria and Mr. Lin on their tremendous achievement. Their research will have a positive impact on countless patients in the future.”

Awards were also presented to the students and trainees who had the highest and second highest scoring abstracts and poster presentations combined.

Sari Freedman, PharmD, resident in the PGY-2 Solid Organ Transplant Pharmacy Residency Program at the School of Pharmacy, and Laetitia N’Dri, third-year student pharmacist, received awards for the highest scoring abstracts and poster presentations for their research projects titled “Cytomegalovirus Prophylaxis Following Alemtuzumab Induction in High Risk Renal Transplant Recipients Experiencing Delayed Graft Function” and “Patient-centered Approach to Developing a Plan to Achieve Blood Pressure Control,” respectively.

In addition, Ana Vega, PharmD, resident in the PGY-2 Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Residency Program at the School, and Heather Kirwan, fourth-year student pharmacist, received awards for the second highest scoring abstract and poster presentations for their projects titled “Characterizing Variability in Calculated Vancomycin Pharmacokinetic Parameters in Hospitalized Patients” and “Identifying Medication Discrepancies During Medication Reconciliation Utilizing Different Sources for Information,” respectively.

“The breadth of research showcased at this year’s Research Day truly exemplifies the many ways in which pharmacists can impact patient care not only as practitioners, but also as researchers,” says Pandit. “The event was an overwhelming success, and we cannot wait to see the innovative research that these students and trainees are inspired to pursue as they continue to progress in their careers.”

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