Drs. Cicali and Cook honored with AACP Pharmacogenomics Teaching Award

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, or AACP, Pharmacogenomics Special Interest Group presented its 2021 Innovation in Pharmacogenomics Teaching Award in the junior faculty category to two clinical assistant professors in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy. Emily Cicali, Pharm.D., BCPS, and Kelsey Cook, Pharm.D., BCPS, were honored with the national award in July during AACP’s annual meeting.

Drs. Cicali and Cook
Drs. Emily Cicali and Kelsey Cook

Cicali and Cook’s award-winning idea involved implementing a case-based pharmacogenomics module into the third-year skills lab. In the module, pharmacy students identify and interpret pharmacogenomic results in a web-based educational electronic health record. Then, they apply guidelines developed by the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium and other clinical sources to generate a recommendation for the patient. Finally, students practice counseling patients on the pharmacogenomic test results and conveying how the results could impact a patient’s medication use now and in the future.

“This lab module significantly impacts student pharmacist training by providing them an opportunity to practice applying pharmacogenomic results to clinical cases,” Cook said. “As the field grows, pharmacists are more likely to encounter pharmacogenomics in practice. We want our students to have a strong foundational knowledge of what pharmacogenomics resources are available and how to utilize them in making clinical recommendations.”

In addition to developing the pharmacogenomics skills lab module, Cicali and Cook are leading instruction in other pharmacogenomics courses. They also supervise research elective students and fourth-year Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience students training in pharmacogenomics. As the recipients of the AACP award, the pair was invited to present their skills lab module at the AACP Pharmacogenomics Special Interest Group, or SIG, Business Meeting.

“It was exciting to share our work with faculty from other colleges of pharmacy,” Cicali said. “We hope that our skills lab design will help others in creating their own pharmacogenomics activities.”

The Innovation in Pharmacogenomics Teaching Award is presented annually to SIG members who demonstrate innovative teaching and learning strategies, as well as assessment methods. AACP’s Pharmacogenomics SIG is an interdisciplinary academic forum for exchanging ideas and resources to effectively teach pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics in the professional curriculum at a college of pharmacy.