The American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, or ASCPT, presented three University of Florida College of Pharmacy trainees with 2021 Presidential Trainee Awards during its virtual annual meeting, March 10.
Presidential Trainee Awards are given annually to the top scoring abstracts submitted by clinical pharmacologists and translational scientists in training. Only 16 young scientists received the honors this year, and UF’s three awardees were the second most won by a pharmacy college. The UF College of Pharmacy’s award recipients included:
- Mai Mehanna, M.S., is a graduate student in the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research. Her study aimed to identify the different metabolites between hypertensive Black and white patients that make them respond differently to the antihypertensive drug metoprolol. The study’s findings shed light on several metabolic pathways that might explain this racial difference, which would improve understanding of the metoprolol blood pressure lowering mechanism. Rhonda Cooper-DeHoff, Pharm.D., M.S., FAHA, FACC, FCCP, an associate professor of pharmacotherapy and translational research, serves as Mehanna’s mentor.
- Cameron Thomas, Pharm.D., is a graduate student in the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research and a 2016 graduate of the UF College of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy program. His research focuses on the use of patient and genetic factors to personalize the medication patients receive. Among real-world patients who experienced a heart attack and received genotype-guided drug therapy, he tested the ability of a novel risk score that considers genetic and patient-specific factors to predict cardiovascular events. Patients with a high-risk score were more likely to fail therapy with the widely prescribed medicine, clopidogrel, and may benefit from treatment with a different medicine. His mentor is Larisa Cavallari, Pharm.D., BCPS, FCCP, an associate professor of pharmacotherapy and translational research.
- Guang Yang, Ph.D., is a 2020 graduate of the UF College of Pharmacy. His study examined the associations of ACE2 polymorphisms with susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2 and mortality of COVID-19. His analysis suggested that the ACE2 SNP rs2023802 (A>G) may be associated with increased mortality in COVID-19 patients. Yang was mentored by Yan Gong, Ph.D., an associate professor of pharmacotherapy and translational research in the UF College of Pharmacy.
Mehanna is a first-time winner, while this is the second time Thomas and Yang have won ASCPT Presidential Trainee awards. Since 2016, the UF College of Pharmacy has won 28 ASCPT Presidential Trainee Awards, the most earned by any college or university.