UF College of Pharmacy Professor Dr. Larisa Cavallari receives mid-career leadership award from ASCPT

By Tyler Francischine

Larisa Cavallari, Pharm.D., FCCP, the Debbie DeSantis Term Professor and a professor of pharmacotherapy and translational research in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, was named the 2024 recipient of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, or ASCPT, Malle Jurima-Romet Mid-Career Leadership Award.

This is a graphic containing a headshot and the text "ASCPT Dr. Larisa Cavallari, Malle Jurima-Romet Mid-Career Leadership Award."

According to the ASCPT, the award honors those in the field of clinical pharmacology who are at least 10 years post-training and have demonstrated exceptional and ongoing leadership, remarkable scientific achievements in their area of practice and a commitment to the future of clinical pharmacology and translational medicine. Cavallari, who serves as director of the UF Health Precision Medicine Program and co-director of the UF Center for Pharmacogenomics and Precision Medicine, has demonstrated leadership on a national scale in a host of ways.

She led the Pharmacogenetic Working Group of the National Institutes of Health-funded Implementing Genomics in Practice, or IGNITE, Network from 2015 to 2022 and currently serves as chair of the newly formed Implementation Working Group of the Pharmacogenomics Global Research Network, or PGRN. She was elected to the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, or ACCP, Board of Regents and served on the ACCP Board of Trustees, including as its chair. She also served as chair of the IGNITE Network and is a member of the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium Scientific Advisory Board.

“One of my most rewarding experiences was leading the IGNITE Pharmacogenetics Working Group,” Cavallari said.

The group included members from 23 U.S. health care institutions working to collectively disseminate information on pharmacogenetic implementation strategies, metrics and health-related outcomes.

“I was able to form meaningful collaborations with clinicians and investigators across the country. Together, we published some of the earliest data showing improved clinical outcomes with pharmacogenetic testing.  I look forward to expanding this work on a global scale through the PGRN group,” she said.

Dr. Cavallari on stage accepting the award at the ASCPT Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Cavallari feels grateful for the guidance of her mentors, including UF College of Pharmacy Dean Emeritus Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., who taught her the nature of true leadership. As Cavallari keeps her gaze set on transforming the future of her field, receiving the Malle Jurima-Romet Mid-Career Leadership Award feels like confirmation that she’s on the right path.

“There are a limited number of adopters of pharmacogenetic testing in clinical practice. UF is one of these. If we can contribute to the evidence base to a degree that it changes clinical practice guidelines, we could have a national, even international, impact,” she said. “That’s a big dream, but that’s the goal of all of us coming together: we can provide the data and the information that’s needed to support widespread implementation of pharmacogenetics.”