RAD offers students, faculty opportunity to highlight research work

By Jan Jarvis

Rad Web
 
Pharmacy student Meredith Garrett is excited about presenting a poster for the first time at Research Appreciation Day.

“You always get that one question that you didn’t expect,” the first-year pharmacy student said. “So I’m trying to anticipate any question that might be asked and explain the clinical significance of our translational research.”

Garrett is among 258 students and residents who will present posters during Research Appreciation Day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday at the Gibson D. Lewis Library. An additional 18 students are expected to give oral presentations during the event.

For the first time, faculty members and staff will present 27 research posters as part of a reception at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Interdisciplinary Research & Education Building.

Now in its 27thyear, RAD has grown annually into a huge collaborative event that involves people from all departments, said librian Brandy Klug, librarian.

“It’s a chance to showcase the hard work of our students, residents and faculty, really everybody who does research here,” she said.

It is also like a dress rehearsal for students, said Ramona Holmes, Associate Director of the library.

“It’s an opportunity for students to practice doing something that they’ll be doing as part of their profession down the road,” she said.

Garrett has been practicing her presentation on how to improve the drug delivery systems used to treat breast cancer. The goal is to bridge the gap between scientific research and clinical practice.

“A lot of drugs are successful in the lab, but not in the clinic,” she said. “When a potential therapy goes to clinic and fails, it becomes super expensive.”

The goal is to develop a tool that weeds out which drugs will be unsuccessful before they get to the clinic, and enables their clinical translation, said Michail Kastellorizios, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

“With a translational tool like this, we will know which drugs are really worth pursuing at the expensive stage of clinical trials,” said Kastellorizios, who is entering his research as a faculty member.

The translation of research into successful clinical practice to individualize drug therapy will be addressed by keynote speaker Larisa H. Cavallari, PharmD, Associate Professor, Head of the Division of Translational Research and Director of the Center for Pharmacogenomics and Precision Medicine at the University Of Florida College Of Pharmacy.

“In the area of pharmacogenomics, the goal is to translate discoveries of genetic associations with drug response into clinical practice to guide drug prescribing and ultimately improve outcomes of the patients who we treat,” she said. “In this regard, I have been fortunate to be involved with moving pharmacogenetic discoveries at the bench to the patient bedside at both my prior position at the University of Illinois at Chicago and in my current position at the University of Florida.”

Research encompassing a wide range of topics will be presented at RAD. A presentation of awards will follow the event.

Women’s health and hormonal contraceptives is the focus of research by Annesha White, PharmD, MS, PhD,Associate Dean for Assessment and Accreditation, UNT System College of Pharmacy, and Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacotherapy.

Among the goals of her project is to examine the pharmacoeconomic impact of unintended pregnancy as compared to the cost of adverse events, she said.

Hormonal contraceptive failure is estimated to result in 6 million unintended pregnancies per year in developing countries, reflecting a need for improving their effectiveness.

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