UF leads all pharmacy colleges with four ASCPT Presidential Trainee Awards

The largest scientific and professional organization serving clinical pharmacology has recognized four University of Florida College of Pharmacy trainees for their exceptional research. The American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, or ASCPT, presented Presidential Trainee Awards at the organization’s annual meeting in Orlando, March 21-24.

ASCPT Student Slider 2018

Dean Julie Johnson with UF’s four ASCPT Presidential Trainee Award winners.

Presidential Trainee Awards are given annually to the top scoring abstracts submitted by clinical pharmacologists in training. Only 19 young scientists received the honors this year, and UF’s four awardees were more than any other pharmacy college. UF’s award recipients included:

  • Sarah Kim, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the department of pharmaceutics
  • Sonal Singh, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research
  • D. Max Smith, Pharm.D., BCPS, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research
  • Tanaya Vaidya, M.S., a graduate student in the department of pharmaceutics

Kim and Singh received Presidential Trainee Awards for the second consecutive year, while this is the first time that Smith and Vaidya have received the award.


Sonal Singh, ASCPT

ASCPT President Kellie Schoolar Reynolds presents the David Goldstein Trainee Award to Dr. Sonal Singh.

Dr. Sonal Singh wins David Goldstein Trainee Award for top scoring abstract

For the second consecutive year and third time in four years, a trainee from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy claimed top scoring abstract honors earning the ASCPT David Goldstein Trainee Award. Sonal Singh, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research, won the 2018 award for her abstract titled “targeted sequencing identifies missense variant in the BEST3 gene associated with antihypertensive response to thiazide diuretics.”

Sonal’s research attempts to identify the polymorphism that is driving the drug response of hydrochlorothiazide, or HCTZ, one of the most commonly prescribed blood pressure drugs in the U.S. HCTZ presents challenges to prescribers due to its wide patient variability in effectively lowering blood pressure. Previous studies identified a locus on chromosome 12 to be associated with blood pressure response to HCTZ, and Sonal advanced the research by successfully identifying a novel potentially functional single nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP, in the BEST3 gene that is highly associated with blood pressure response to HCTZ.

“Winning the David Goldstein Trainee Award gives credibility to my research and validates that the scientific community acknowledges my research is progressing in the right direction,” Singh said. “I’m honored to represent ASCPT as the recipient of this prestigious award.”

Sarah Kim, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the department of pharmaceutics, won the David Goldstein Award in 2017, and Mohamed Shahin, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in pharmacotherapy and translational research, won the award in 2015.


UF ASCPT Award Winners

Dr. Hartmut Derendorf was awarded the 2018 ASCPT Mentor Award. Derendorf is pictured with Dr. Sonal Singh, the 2018 ASCPT David Goldstein Award winner for top trainee abstract, and Dr. Mohamed Shahin, the Top Membership Recruiter Award winner.

Dr. Hartmut Derendorf named 2018 ASCPT Mentor Award recipient

The American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, or ASCPT, named Hartmut Derendorf, Ph.D., as the recipient of the organization’s 2018 Mentor Award. He received the award on March 22 at the opening session of the 2018 ASCPT Annual Meeting in Orlando.

As the V. Ravi Chandran Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a distinguished professor and chair of the department of pharmaceutics in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Derendorf has overseen the training of more than 50 doctoral students during his 35-year career at UF. The ASCPT Mentor Award adds to his collection of teaching and mentoring honors that include UF’s Teaching Improvement Award in 1995, the International Educator of the Year Award from 2004-07 and the UF Doctoral Advisor/Mentoring Award in 2009 and 2018, among many other accolades.

“During my career, I have been blessed with outstanding students and postdocs, and seeing them grow and be successful is the greatest achievement one can hope for in academia,” Derendorf said. “It is a privilege to work with these wonderful young scientists and help ensure that clinical pharmacology maintains a strong pipeline of well-educated and highly motivated researchers for academia, industry and regulatory agencies.”

Derendorf’s research focuses on finding the right dose for drugs in development, particularly corticosteroids, analgesics and antibiotics, as well as optimizing dosage and minimizing interactions for established medicines.

In addition to his numerous teaching and mentoring awards, Derendorf has received multiple recognitions for his research achievements. He was honored in 2010 with the Distinguished Investigator Award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacology, or ACCP, and the Volwiler Research Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. He won the Research Achievement Award in Clinical Sciences from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, or AAPS, in 2003, the Leadership Award from the International Society of Pharmacometrics in 2013 and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Mentorship Award in Clinical Pharmacology in 2015. He is a Fellow of ACCP and AAPS.

Derendorf has published more than 10 textbooks in English and German and more than 450 peer-reviewed papers.


 Dr. Mohamed Shahin receives ASCPT Top Membership Recruiter Award

ASCPT honored Mohamed Shahin with the 2018 Top Membership Recruiter Award for his efforts to grow the membership base. Shahin, a postdoc fellow in the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research, recruited 10 new members to the organization in the past year. An active member of ASCPT since 2012, Shahin has earned five Presidential Trainee Awards for his research excellence.


Five UF College of Pharmacy trainees awarded ASCPT travel grants

ASCPT also awarded $500 travel grants to five UF trainees that attended the annual meeting. They include:

  • Leanne Dumeny, MSM, an M.D./Ph.D. graduate student in the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research
  • Abhinav Kurumaddali, M.S., a graduate student in the department of pharmaceutics
  • Yi Ting Lien, M.S., a graduate student in the department of pharmaceutics
  • Oyunbileg Magvanjav, M.A., a graduate student in the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research
  • Mohamed Shahin, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research