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Brittany Jennings
June 11, 2021

Daisy Zhu, Pharm.D.

Ph.D. candidate Daisy Zhu, Pharm.D., recently received a $20,000 P.E.O. Scholar Award for the 2021-2022 academic year.

The P.E.O. Scholar Awards program was established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral level degree at an accredited college or university. Zhu was one of the 100 women out of 847 nominees selected to receive this year’s prestigious award.

“I am incredibly humbled to receive the P.E.O Scholar Award,” Zhu said. “But most importantly, I am excited to join this wonderful community that advocates for women in science. The International Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood is an organization that inspires and encourages one to not only achieve academically but also strives to be a role model for others. It is my honor to pass on the torch to others in our community.”

The award will help support Zhu’s research, which focuses on developing a precision dosing model for tacrolimus, an immunosuppressive drug given to bone marrow transplant patients to prevent graft versus host disease. Zhu’s work is mentored by UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Assistant Professor Daniel Crona, Pharm.D., Ph.D., CPP.

“I could not possibly be more delighted. To watch her go from a relative novice in research to now an up-and-coming expert in her field is such a rewarding feeling,” Crona said. “This award is a true reflection of her hard work and diligence in science, as well as her commitment to professional development, leadership and community service.”

Zhu said it is her hope that her research will generate data to support the best practices for dosing based on an individual patient’s genetic profile and clinical characteristics.

“This award will support my continuous effort in research and scholarship, and more specifically, in optimizing drug dosing in patients via clinical pharmacology methods. I wish to provide safe and effective doses to my patients as a clinician scientist,” Zhu said.

Zhu received her bachelor’s degree and Pharm.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Since coming to UNC, she has published five manuscripts, presented three oral presentations at national conferences, completed an ORISE Fellowship with the F.D.A and was the first Pharm.D. to receive a T32 post-doctoral fellowship in hematology from the UNC School of Medicine.

Additionally, she was also elected the UNC Chapter President of the American Society of Pharmaceutical Scientists in 2018, served as part of the leadership advisory board for Training Initiatives in Biomedical & Biological Sciences, and volunteered at the Student Health Action Coalition clinic as a pharmacy preceptor. She is currently co-PI of a prospective clinical pharmacokinetics study that supports the last aim of her research.

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