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SOP Researcher Named Associate Editor of Prestigious Medical Journal

New appointment will continue Dr. Peter Doshi’s work to build rich collaborations across the fields of health care, journalism, and law.

By Malissa Carroll
February 21, 2014

Peter Doshi, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has been named an associate editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ). BMJ is an international peer-reviewed journal that aims to help doctors make better decisions by leading the debate on health and engaging, informing, and stimulating doctors, researchers, and other health care professionals in ways that will improve outcomes for patients.

“Though still early in his career, Dr. Doshi has quickly gained the respect of his colleagues around the world for his work to develop solutions that address the problem of reporting biases,” says C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, professor and interim chair of PHSR. “We are pleased to learn that he has been selected as an associate editor of BMJ, and feel confident that his demonstrated ambition, dedication, and commitment to his work will serve him well as he helps improve journalistic standards for health and medicine reporting.”

Named “one of the most influential voices in medical research today” by the New York Times, Doshi received his doctorate in history, anthropology, and science, technology, and society from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011. He joined the School of Pharmacy earlier this year, following the completion of a post-doctoral fellowship in comparative effectiveness research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“I was initially attracted to the School of Pharmacy after learning about its many faculty whose research focuses exclusively on issues related to drug policy and drug research. These are people with tremendous insight,” says Doshi. “In addition, I appreciated that all six professional schools, as well as the graduate school, at the University of Maryland, Baltimore were located in the same area, offering great opportunity for interdisciplinary collaborations.”

In addition to teaching and mentoring students in the School’s PHSR Graduate Program, Doshi will conduct research focused on improving understanding of drug safety and effectiveness, with the goal of fostering collaborations across the fields of health care, journalism, and law – an intersection at which he believes there “exists a great opportunity to enact change in the policy and professional world, and allow research to become more relevant.”

As a post-doctoral fellow, Doshi fiercely advocated for improving third party access to clinical trial data after participating in a Cochrane review of neuraminidase inhibitors for the treatment and prevention of influenza, of which the most well-known is Tamiflu®. This in-depth review developed novel methods to systematically review information from detailed clinical study reports and other regulatory documents.

Thanks in part to his efforts to publicize the correspondence between his research team and the drug manufacturers whose medicines were being evaluated, a number of companies, including Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Boehringer Ingelheim, have made public commitments to improve third party access to their clinical trial data, bringing Doshi into the spotlight and gaining the attention of individuals like Fiona Godlee, MD, editor in chief of BMJ.

“I first became acquainted with Dr. Doshi through his work on the Tamiflu® reviews,” says Godlee. “Each meeting left me more impressed with his thoughtfulness, thoroughness, independence, and courage – all qualities that are highly valued at BMJ. As soon as the opportunity arose to invite him to join our team, I followed my instincts and took it. He has been warmly welcomed by his new colleagues.”

Doshi, who identifies journalism as one of his passions, is excited about his new appointment, noting that it could not have come at a better time. “Journals provide a unique platform for allowing critical debate and discussion about the practice of health care. With BMJ at the forefront of this discussion, it was a great honor to be asked to join their team,” he says.

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