36th Annual Research Showcase spotlights student and trainee-led research

The UF College of Pharmacy’s centennial-year edition of Research Showcase put the spotlight on graduate student and trainee research during an action-packed two days in February. The annual event featured poster and oral presentations by students and trainees. The keynote address was delivered by double Gator graduate Michael Taylor, Pharm.D., Ph.D., the vice president and global head of real-world data within the product development data sciences organization at Genentech/Roche in San Francisco.

The 36th Annual Research Showcase began on Feb. 6 and featured nearly 100 poster presentations. Poster boards lined the halls and atrium of the HPNP Building in Gainesville, as postdocs, graduate students, Pharm.D. students and undergraduates presented their research before their peers and a panel of faculty judges. The experience helped build confidence and communication skills among students and trainees who are learning to present their research before a large audience.

Graduate student Motomori Lewis

“Poster competitions provide a great opportunity to develop your elevator pitch and learn how to share your research findings in a concise and compelling way,” said Motomori Lewis, a fifth-year graduate student in the department of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy. “The faculty judges give you very beneficial feedback. They are supportive and want to help you improve your research presentation skills.”

Lewis presented a poster that examined geographic patterns of prescription opioid use among disabled Medicare beneficiaries. She assessed three high-risk opioid quality measures endorsed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service across 10 years of data. Her study revealed that there is much variation in how opioids are being prescribed and used across the country.

“The findings highlight opportunities for areas with poor performance in quality measures to receive targeted interventions and identify local issues driving the rates of problematic opioid use,” Lewis said. “I am passionate about this research and appreciate that the UF College of Pharmacy provides a venue for graduate students to showcase their work.”

On day two of Research Showcase, a dozen postdoctoral scholars and graduate students competed in the oral competition. Each presenter had 10 minutes to share their research findings before a panel of faculty judges, followed by 5 minutes to answer questions. Awards were given across four categories recognizing basic science and clinical research by graduate students and postdoctoral associates.

Michael Taylor
Keynote speaker Dr. Michael Taylor, a 2001 and 2005 graduate of the UF College of Pharmacy

Following the oral presentations, Taylor took the stage to deliver his keynote address. He highlighted how real-world evidence informs decision-making in four key areas: research and development, access and reimbursement, regulatory affairs, and clinical practice. Taylor took the audience on a journey through real-world data use at Genentech and shared examples of how data drives advances in drug therapy.

Taylor concluded his remarks by offering the graduate students and trainees in the audience five tips for a successful career in industry. He emphasized that developing communication skills through events like Research Showcase will pay dividends in the future.

“Anytime you can go before an audience and talk about your research as a graduate student is really beneficial,” Taylor said. “While the questions you receive from the judges may seem stressful at the time, this experience will only help you prepare for high-pressure situations later in your career.”

Taylor was mentored by Abraham Hartzema, Pharm.D., Ph.D., a professor of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy and an eminent scholar emeritus in the UF College of Pharmacy. He also worked closely with Almut Winterstein, Ph.D., R.Ph., a distinguished professor and director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Safety, and Richard Segal, Ph.D., R.Ph., M.S., a professor and interim chair of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy. Taylor spent 10 years at the UF College of Pharmacy, earning a Pharm.D. in 2001 and a Ph.D. in 2005.

UF College of Pharmacy

36th Annual Research Showcase Photos

View photos from the poster presentations, oral competition and awards ceremony

Research Showcase 2023

Award Winners

Poster Competition

Pharm.D. Student Division — Samantha Tournesy

Postdoctoral Trainee Division — Leyanis Rodriquez Vera

Graduate Student Divisions:

Basic Science: CNS Disorders — Dominique Johnson

Basic Science: Innovative New Techniques — Garret Rubin

Basic & Translational Science: Cancer — Francisco Marchi

Clinical Science: Outcomes in Chronic Disease — Piaopiao Li

Clinical Science: Drug Outcomes & Utilization — Mohammed Almoslem

Clinical & Translational Science: Drug Metabolism — Xuefen Yin

Oral Competition

Postdoctoral Scholar — Alaa Sayed
Finalists: Dipesh Dhkal and Phani Krisha Parcha

Junior Graduate Student — Yuzhao Zhang
Finalists: Zach Greenberg and Shyam Ramesh

William J. Millard Senior Graduate Student Basic Science — Chen Zhou
Finalists: Ke Liu and Carolin Werkman

Julie A. Johnson Senior Graduate Student Clinical Science — Richard Marrero
Finalists: Noor Nahid and Munaza Riaz


The UF College of Pharmacy would like to thank the following sponsors and contributors for their generous support of the 36th Annual Research Showcase:

Alumni Sponsors of Poster Presentation Award

  • Navin S. Goyal, Ph.D., ’09
  • Jinghua He, Ph.D., ’11
  • Yan Li, Ph.D., ’19 (Basic Science: CNS Disorders)
  • James Carmel Sacco, Ph.D., ’06
  • Sri Sahasranaman, Ph.D., ’04 (Basic & Translational Science: Cancer)
  • Amir Sarayani, Ph.D., ’22 (Clinical Science: Drug Outcomes & Utilization)

Oral Presentation Award Sponsors

  • Julie A. Johnson, Pharm.D. (Julie A. Johnson Senior Graduate Student Clinical Sciences Awards)
  • Maureen Keller-Wood, Ph.D. (Junior Graduate Student Awards)
  • John S. Markowitz, Pharm.D.
  • Michael Taylor, Pharm.D., ’01, Ph.D., ’05