Two students in the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program at Washington State University received Gateway to Research Scholarships in the amount of $5,000 from the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE).

“There were only 15 award winners nationally, so this is quite an accomplishment,” said Brian Gates, an associate dean at the WSU College of Pharmacy.

The AFPE is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting pharmaceutical sciences education at U.S. schools and colleges of pharmacy, in part by awarding fellowships and grants. The Gateway to Research Scholarship program provides funding for student pharmacists to participate in a faculty-mentored research project.

Nawsheen Shoaib is a student pharmacist located in Yakima and will be working with Dr. Scott Vanhorn at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. Paul Hardy is a student pharmacist located in Spokane and will be working with Dr. Mary Paine in the WSU Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The two were notified of their selection this May and their research will run over the next year.

Research Spotlight – AFPE Gateway to Research Scholarship

Paul HardyName: Paul Hardy

Class of: 2019

Hometown: Portola Valley, CA

Where did you complete your undergrad coursework?
North Idaho College / Gonzaga University

What is the title of the research project you will be working on?
Green Tea as a Novel Precipitant of an Intestinal UGT1A-Mediated Natural Product-Drug Interaction in Healthy Human Volunteers

Where will the research activities be located?
WSU College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and WSU College of Nursing Clinical Research Unit

Tell me about what you will be doing, and what groups/people will you be working with?
I am working in Dr. Paine’s lab as a study coordinator for an ongoing clinical pharmacokinetic natural product-drug interaction study designed to discern the effects of a widely used green tea product on intestinal UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A (UGT1A) activity using raloxifene as the object drug.

I am responsible for managing multiple aspects of the study. Specifically, I oversee subject participation throughout the course of the study, coordinate acquisition of study materials, document all study data, and coordinate study team personnel tasks. I also help prepare quarterly reports for an Independent Monitoring Committee (IMC) responsible for providing unbiased oversight, including participant accrual, progression, and safety.

I work with Dr. Paine and members of her lab including Pharm.D. candidates, post-doctoral researchers, staff, and faculty associated with the lab. I work with Dr. John White (Pharmacotherapy) and Dr. Matthew Layton (College of Medicine) to screen subjects and ensure subject safety measures are maintained. With respect to the IMC, I interact with Drs. Julie Akers (Pharmacotherapy), Joshua Neumiller (Pharmacotherapy), and Kenn Daratha (College of Nursing).

Upon study completion, I will work with Dr. Paine and her group to analyze plasma and urine samples for raloxifene and green tea constituents for subsequent pharmacokinetic analysis; determine whether differences exist between baseline and green tea treatment phases; and work with Dr. Paine to write a manuscript describing the study. I plan to submit an abstract to the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics this fall, with the goal of presenting this work at the annual meeting in March 2018.

What about this experience are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to solidifying some of the basic research principles I’ve learned in the year since joining Dr. Paine’s lab. I will gain not only valuable translational research experience but also develop the critical thinking, manuscript writing, and oral presentation skills I will need as I pursue my interests in pharmaceutical research.

How does this relate to your Doctor of Pharmacy degree?
Pharmacy students have a variety of opportunities to learn and perfect professional pharmacy skills and learn and engage in pharmaceutical research while pursuing their education. I want my career to be balanced between ‘bench’ and ‘bedside’ research. I am interested in a career in clinical and translational research, particularly in the conduct of clinical trials of new drug candidates.

I am currently in the process of applying to the WSU graduate program in pharmaceutical sciences to pursue my research interests further. My hope is to use my doctor of pharmacy degree to facilitate my career ambitions in translational research in academia or pharmaceutical industry, as well as engage in pharmacy practice to give back to my community, particularly to underserved populations.

Where do you want to work as a pharmacist?
I have considered opportunities in both academia and pharmaceutical industry focused on clinical and translational research.

Anything else you want to add?
Thank you to the WSU College of Pharmacy and Dr. Paine for providing me the education and support to pursue this amazing research opportunity!

[Lori J. Maricle] 7/31/17]