Research opportunities can prepare Pharm.D. students for a range of career opportunities. Check out the available research positions with UF College of Pharmacy faculty below.
Our research aims will evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on MDRO/CD infections on both a broad public health scale and on an individual patient-level to address these gaps in our current understanding. Specific research aims of the current project include:
• Aim 1: To determine the incidence of hospital-acquired MDRO bacterial and CD infections during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to a historical control period in hospitalized inpatient adults
• Aim 2: Identify and the quantify factors that associate with the development of MDROs/CD infection in the pre-COVID and COVID periods to isolate contributory factors.
• Aim 3: Determine if COVID-19 patients have a higher incidence rate for developing MDRO/CD infections and worse clinical outcomes, compared to propensity-matched non-COVID-19 patients
The opportunity is available any semester and can be conducted as a research elective or volunteer experience. Preferred candidates will have experience with data collection and high motivation for success. Students can expect to work five hours weekly during this virtual opportunity.
The urological tumors make up approximately 25% of all human cancers, and their recurrence and progression rate are ~ 50-70% which is higher than other tumors. In order to have frequent and long-term follow up, developing non-invasive diagnostic strategy is imperative. Current gold standard diagnostic procedures for bladder cancer are cystoscopy and urinary cytology which are invasive and low sensitivity to small papillary or Cis tumors, and also frequently cause side effects such as dysuria, hematuria, or urinary tract infection. Urine extracellular vesicles (EVs) have become a valuable and promising source of biomarkers for urological tumor detection. However, due to large heterogeneity and significant size overlap between vesicle populations, identifying specific urinary EV markers for non-invasively diagnose bladder cancer remains extraordinarily challenging. In this proposal, we aim to overcome such challenge to translate our novel NanoPoms EV subtype isolation method for developing highly specific, non-invasive diagnostic strategy in bladder cancer. Through the collaboration with Dr. Padraic O’Malley for implementing clinical sample investigation, our novel NanoPoms technology can exploit translational significance and clinical utility, ultimately to advance the knowledge of molecular level interpretation of urological tumor progression. The technology innovation also paves a new avenue for developing a deployable urine EV-based diagnostic test for bladder cancer with improved specificity and sensitivity.
Paid research positions in this area are available as well as research elective credit. Interested students can expect to work 15-20 hours per week. The research opportunity is available any semester and preferred candidates will have biomolecualr bench skills, including pipetting, clinical urine sample processing, protein and RNA extraction, as well as the skills on statistical data analysis.
The Office of Research Affairs and College of Pharmacy are collaborating to give students the opportunity to be involved in research projects that are ongoing on the Jacksonville campus in the form of unpaid internships. Many Principal Investigators within the College of Pharmacy, College of Medicine, and within UF Health are interested in having pharmacy students participate in collecting data, prescreening patients for inclusions and exclusion criteria, developing abstract and posters, and collaborating on literature reviews among other research oriented tasks. Students will be expected to work 5-15 hours per week on campus. This volunteer opportunity is available any semester. A background in research is helpful, in addition to familiarity with Epic, CITI training, and RedCap, however no experience or background is necessary or required.
Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models have been developed to predict drug-drug interactions, dosing requirements in special population and ultimately, clinical outcomes. Expression and activity of drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters are major sources of variability in pharmacokinetics. We aim to integrate mechanistic in vitro data and clinical data using a quantitative translation through PBPK models. Ultimately we aim to departure from the “one-size-fits-all” to precision dosing strategies with the aim of improving drug efficacy and reducing adverse drug events.
The research project is available on a volunteer basis. Students can be expected to work 10-15 hours per week at the Orlando campus or remotely. The position is available in the fall semester. Preferred candidates will have a strong teamwork, time-management and organizational skills. Desired, but not required, skills are populational analysis using Monolix or physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling using Pk-Sim or Simcyp.
This research will involve developing Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML)-assisted imaging analysis and informatics tools that will accelerate the analysis of imaging data and provide insights into better understanding of disease progression. Ultimately, the AI/ML-based tools will help in the rational design of disease prevention and treatment strategies. Students are invited to participate in this research remotely or in-person at the Orlando campus. It’s estimated that the research will take five hours per week and interested candidates should have strong teamwork and organizational skills. Desired, but not required, skills are cloud computing using Python and QuPath: https://qupath.github.io/.
We study the involvement of glial cells in the CNS in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders including substance abuse, chronic pain and neurodegeneration to gain insight into the disease mechanisms and discover novel therapeutic targets. We employ a combination of biochemical, proteomic, cellular and in vivo approaches in our investigations. We are keen on mentoring student trainees in biomedical research and have a strong track record of promoting the career development of student trainees. Students interested in our lab can expect to work at least eight hours a week on campus. The opportunity is available any semester and can be conducted as a research elective or volunteer experience. Preferred candidates will have a strong interest in biomedical research, good time management skills and work well with others; Prior experience is not required.
This project will use existing computable phenotypes developed by Dr. McDonough and her lab group, and existing electronic health record based data to further characterize antihypertensive drug use patterns within these patient populations. Students can expect to work 5-10 hours per week in an on-campus or virtual environment. Some experience with statistical programs, SAS or R, and data management is preferred. Students can be taught if they are quick learners, and willing to work independently and problem solve. This research opportunity is available any semester and can be a paid, research elective or volunteer opportunity.
Chemokine receptors are cell surface receptors, which along with their natural chemokine ligand partners mediate cellular signaling pathways that play an important role in complex diseases such as inflammation, immune response, aberrant wound closure, carcinogenesis, tumor growth and metastasis. Our research lab operates in the field of chemical biology, drug discovery and development. We identify small molecules that can modulate the signaling of chemokine receptors and optimize these promising hit compounds via iterative process of design and chemical synthesis. Subsequent evaluation of the biological activity through biochemical and phenotypic assays and improvement in pharmacological properties results in optimized leads for preclinical studies and potential drug candidates.
Our lab employs a multi-collaborative approach including organic synthesis, analytical chemistry, biochemical, molecular biology and cellular approaches in our investigations. Students interested in our lab can expect to work at least 8-12 hours a week on Gainesville campus. The opportunity is available any semester and may be conducted as a research elective or volunteer experience. We are interested in candidates with interests in biomedical research, development and use of pharmaceuticals, good time management skills and team spirit. Prior experience is not essential, however, knowledge of organic chemistry and biochemistry are preferred.
Pharmacists are positioned to evaluate and educate patients regarding medication adherence; however, opportunities exist to leverage a collaborative approach in eliciting barriers encountered by patients, especially in minority groups.
Community health workers (CHWs) are individuals from the communities who form relationships with patients and help increase their access to health care resources. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a collaboration between CHWs and pharmacists in identifying and addressing medication adherence barriers faced by hypertensive patients. Pharm.D. students will expected to work at least three hours a week assisting study, and the activities can be done on-campus or in a remote work environment. The research opportunity can be a paid position, volunteer or a research elective and is available any semester.
Sarcomas are rare, aggressive cancers for which few therapeutic agents are available. Due to the rarity of sarcomas, this group of malignancies represent approximately 75-150 unique histologic and molecular disease. In this study we will make use of publicly available multi-omic data to classify novel subtypes of sarcoma in order to identify precision therapeutic strategies in this understudied disease state.
Students must have a working knowledge in R programing or be willing to learn R programing prior to beginning the project. The project is available Fall, Spring and Summer. The opportunity can be used as a research elective (requiring a total of 48 hours) or as volunteer work. Interested students can expect to work 4-12 hours weekly in this remote research project.
My lab focuses on identifying genetic, epigenetic and non-genetic factors affecting the expression and activity of drug metabolizing enzymes. The goal is to discover biomarkers predicting enzyme activity for personalized drug therapy.
The research project is available during the summer. The opportunity can be used as a research elective (requiring a total of 48 hours) or as volunteer work. Interested students can expect to work about 5-8 hours weekly. Preferred candidates will have some molecular biology lab experience (RNA/DNA preparation, PCR, gene expression, etc.) and will be responsible and careful.
Lipid nanoparticles have received clinical success in delivering the mRNA-based vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. To extend the application of lipid nanoparticle-based mRNA therapeutics beyond vaccine, more efficient and diverse mRNA delivery systems are needed. This project focuses on establishing a cell-based screening platform for identifying lipid nanoparticle formulation(s) that can efficiently transfect immune cells. The successful candidate will be used to develop next-generation cancer immunotherapy. Students under this project will be working on culturing mammalian cell lines, transfecting cells, and screening different lipid nanoparticle formulations. This is an on-campus research activity available during the summer. Students may volunteer in the lab or seek research elective credit and are expected to work 10 hours per week. Preferred skills include experience with cell culture and/or nanoparticle formulation and students should have a basic knowledge in chemistry, cell biology and molecular biology.