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Current Fellows

Courtney Luterbach, PhD

2019-2021

“Use of a Systems-based Approach to Design Combination Therapy Against Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae”

Dr. Luterbach earned her PhD from the University of Michigan in Microbiology and Immunology along with a Masters in Epidemiological Sciences in 2018. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at UNC-Chapel Hill working under the guidance of Gauri Rao, PharmD, MS and David Van Duin, MD, PhD. Dr. Luterbach’s research interests are in the areas of Antimicrobial Resistance and Quantitative Systems Pharmacology Modeling.


photo Jessica Beers

Jessica Beers, Pharm.D.

2021-2023

“Investigating the Metabolism and Hepatotoxicity of Cannabidiol”

Dr. Beers obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and her PharmD from Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy. She is currently pursuing a PhD in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics in the laboratory of Dr. Klarissa Jackson at UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Jessica is studying the genetic and metabolic factors that influence adverse drug reactions and the role of drug metabolism and transport in informing pharmacokinetic models. Her current project focuses on characterizing the metabolism, transport, and hepatotoxicity of cannabidiol (CBD), a popular consumer product derived from Cannabis sativa that was recently FDA-approved to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy in children. She is also interested in identifying possible pharmacogenomic differences in drug metabolizing enzymes that may influence CBD metabolism and subsequent toxicity.


Spinel Karas

Spinel Karas, Pharm.D.

2021-2023

“Novel Method for Predicting Irinotecan-induced Neutropenia Through Genomics Integrated with Population Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic modeling and Machine Learning”

Dr. Karas earned her PharmD at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2016. She is currently a PhD student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She joined the training program in 2021 and is working under the guidance of Tim Wiltshire, PhD; Robert Bies, PharmD, PhD; Yanguang “Carter” Cao, PhD; Karen Mohlke, PhD; and Daniel Gonzalez, PharmD, PhD. Dr. Karas’s research interests are in the areas of Pharmacogenetics, Population Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Modeling, and Machine Learning.


photo of Caitlin King

Caitlin King, M.D.

2021-2023

“The Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacokinetics of Steroids in Critically Ill Children Hospitalized for Asthma”

Dr. Caitlin King earned her MD from the University of Arkansas for the Medical Sciences in 2015. She completed pediatric residency at Penn Sta​te Hershey in 2018 and stayed as chief resident until 2019. She is currently a Pediatric Critical Care Fellow at Duke University, to be completed in 2022.  She joined the training program in 2020, and is working under the primary mentorship of Dr. Christoph Hornik, MD, PhD, MPH, and Dr. Jason Lang, MD, MPH. Her research interests are in Obesity Medicine and Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics in the pediatric population.


Travis Maxfield, Ph.D.

2021-2023

Machine Learning in Computer-Aided Drug Discovery and Population Pharmacokinetics

Dr. Maxfield completed his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2017 and afterward joined Duke University as a postdoctoral associate in the department of physics. He transitioned to the electrical and computer engineering department in 2019, and in 2020 he joined the training program. He is advised by Christoph Hornik, MD, PhD, MPH; Ricardo Henao, PhD; and Alex Tropsha, PhD. His research is broadly focused on applications of machine learning to the entire drug development/clinical use pipeline.


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Joseph Nellis, M.D., M.B.A.

2021-2023

Development of a Porcine Complex Congenital Cardiac Model for Highest Fidelity Simulated Surgical Training

Dr. Nellis earned his MD from the University of Iowa in 2018 and his MBA from Cornell University in 2017. He is currently completing a two year research fellowship as part of his general surgery residency at Duke University. His project is being carried out under the guidance of Dr. Joseph Turek MD, PhD, MBA; and Dr. Christoph Hornik MD, PhD, MPH. Dr. Nellis’ research interests are focused on the utilization of pharmacokinetics to advance translational projects in the field of pediatric heart surgery.


photo of Rachel Randell

Rachel Randell, M.D.

2021-2023

Optimizing Hydroxychloroquine to Reduce Disease Activity in Pediatric Lupus

Dr. Randell earned her MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2015). She completed her residency at Duke University and is currently a Pediatric Rheumatology Fellow at Duke University. She joined the training program in 2020 and is working under the guidance of Stephen Balevic, MD, MS; Christoph Hornik, MD, PhD, MPH; and Laura Schanberg, MD. Her research interests are in the areas of Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics, Immunomodulators, and Pediatric Clinical Trials.

 

Fellowship Alumni

Avinash Patil, MD

2011-2013

“Fetal Metabolism of Progesterone: Effect of Proposed Metabolites on Uterine Contractility”

Dr. Patil earned his MD from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine-Memphis in 2006 and completed his residency training at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis in 2010 prior to his fellowship in Maternal–Fetal Medicine at Duke University. He was a member of this fellowship program from 2011-2013 under the guidance of Geeta Swamy, MD and Daniel Benjamin, MD, PhD, MPH. Dr. Patil’s research interests were in Fetal/Maternal Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics.

Following training, Dr. Patil accepted a position as Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine, Maternal and Fetal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology. While at Indiana University, he was awarded an Indiana Health Values Grant and a SONY Award for research in the area of endogenous progestins that modify the risk of premature birth in pregnancy. He is now the Director of the Center for Personalized Obstetric Medicine at Valley Perinatal Services in Phoenix, AZ. He also has an adjunct appointment as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Dr. Patil is board certified by the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology.


Mario Sampson

Mario Sampson, PharmD

2011-2013

“Population Pharmacokinetics of Azithromycin in Blood, Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells, and Polymorphonuclear Cells of Healthy Adults” and “Effect of Lovastatin on Warfarin Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics in Healthy Adults: Role of CYP4F2”

Dr. Sampson earned his PharmD from the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy in 2011. He came to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy where he was a member of this training program from 2011-2013 under the guidance of Kim L.R. Brouwer, PharmD, PhD and Daniel Benjamin, MD, PhD, MPH. Dr. Sampson’s research interests were in Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics, Drug Metabolism, and Antimicrobial Pharmacotherapy.

Following training, Dr. Sampson joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a Clinical Pharmacology Reviewer in the area of antivirals. He reviews clinical pharmacology aspects of IND, NDA, and BLA submissions from industry and non-industry sponsors.


Kevin Turner

Kevin Turner, MD

2011-2012

“Safety and Pharmacokinetics of Single and Multiple Dose Rifampin in Infants”

Dr. Turner earned his MD from the University of California, Irvine in 2007 and completed his residency at the University of California-Irvine/Children’s Hospital of Orange County in 2011. While completing his fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill, he participated in the training program under the guidance of Matthew Laughon, MD, MPH; Daniel Benjamin, MD, PhD, MPH; and Kim L.R. Brouwer, PharmD, PhD. Dr. Turner’s research interests were in the areas of Drug Safety and Pharmacokinetics.

Upon completion of fellowship training, Dr. Turner moved to Jacksonville, FL where he is a practicing Neonatologist with St. Vincent’s Healthcare System.


Gwen Bernacki

Gwen Bernacki, MD, MHSA

2012-2013

“Oral Anticoagulants in Older Adults with Atrial Fibrillation”

Dr. Bernacki earned her MD from University at Buffalo in 2007 and she completed her residency training at the University of Washington in 2010. While completing her Cardiology Fellowship at Duke University, she participated in the training program under the guidance of Richard Becker, MD and Daniel Benjamin, MD, PhD, MPH. Dr. Bernacki’s research interest was in the area of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy.

Following training, Dr. Bernacki entered clinical practice as a Cardiology Hospitalist at several hospitals in the Seattle area. In 2016, she joined the faculty of the Division of Cardiology at the University of Washington, School of Medicine as an Instructor, and is currently an acting instructor in Cardiology and senior research fellow in Palliative Care at the University of Washington, Seattle.


photo of Daniel Gonzalez

Daniel Gonzalez, PharmD, PhD

2012-2014

“Population Pharmacokinetics of Clindamycin in Premature Infants to Adolescents”

Dr. Gonzalez earned his PharmD in 2008 and PhD in 2012 both from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy. He came to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in 2012 and joined the training program under the guidance of Daniel Benjamin, MD, PhD, MPH; Kim L.R. Brouwer, PharmD, PhD; and Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, MD, PhD. Dr. Gonzalez’s research interests were in the areas of Pediatric Pharmacotherapy, Precision Medicine, and Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics and Pharmacometrics.

Following training, Dr. Gonzalez accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Since joining the faculty, he has received a Thrasher Early Career Award, a UNC-Duke Collaborative CTSA award, and a K23 entitled “Use of Physiologically-Based PK/PD Models to Streamline Drug Approvals” (K23 HD083465). This career development award enabled Dr. Gonzalez to investigate a novel approach to evaluate the utility of physiologically-based PK/PD models to shorten the lag time of antibiotic approvals in children, and to develop the necessary skillset to become a leader in the field of pediatric clinical pharmacology. In 2018, Dr. Gonzalez received his first R01 entitled “Physiologically-based Pharmacokinetic Modeling to Guide Drug Dosing in Children with Obesity” (R01 HD096435). In 2021, he secured a second R01 grant titled “Application of Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling to Characterize Drug-Drug Interactions in Infants” (R01 HD102949-01A1).

Dr. Gonzalez is currently an Associate Professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and he serves as a Faculty Mentor and Fellowship Co-Director for the training program.


Lawrence Ku

Lawrence Ku, MD

2012-2014

“Adverse Events in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants Exposed to Furosemide or Bumetanide in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit”

Dr. Ku earned his MD from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2009 and completed his residency training at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in 2012. While completing his fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Duke University, he participated in the training program from 2012-2014 under the guidance of Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, MD, PhD; P. Brian Smith, MD, MPH, MHS; and Daniel K. Benjamin Jr., MD, PhD, MPH. Dr. Ku’s research interests were in the areas of Pediatric Pharmacotherapy and Antibiotic Safety.

Following completion of his training and clinical fellowship, Dr. Ku joined the faculty of the Duke University School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics; he received support from the K12 Center for Molecular and Cellular Studies of Pediatric Disease (HD043494). In 2019, Dr. Ku accepted a position as a Neonatologist with Mercy Health Physician Partners in Grand Rapids, MI. Dr. Ku’s clinical interests focus on infant pharmacology and the care of extremely preterm infants by improving neurodevelopmental outcomes for infants in the NICU.


Kanecia Zimmerman

Kanecia Zimmerman, MD, MPH

2012-2013

“Pharmacokinetics of Dexmedetomidine in Pediatric Patients during Cardiopulmonary Bypass”

Dr. Zimmerman earned her MD from Duke University School of Medicine in 2007 and a MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006. She completed residency training at Duke University in 2011. While completing her fellowship in Critical Care Medicine, she participated in the training program from 2012-2013 under the guidance of Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, MD, PhD; P. Brian Smith, MD, MPH, MHS; and Kevin Watt, MD, PhD. Her research interests were in the areas of Pediatric Pharmacotherapy and Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics.

Following completion of her training, Dr. Zimmerman joined the faculty at Duke University as an Assistant Professor in Pediatric Critical Care and received KL2 funding through Duke’s CTSA program.  Dr. Zimmerman was promoted to Associate Professor in July 2019 at Duke University. She is a Program Director for the Duke Summer Training in Academic Research (Duke’s STAR) (R25 HD076475) at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. She has a K23 entitled “Investigating Polypharmacy-related Adverse Events in Critically Ill Children Using Electronic Health Records and Simulated Drug Levels” (K23 HD091398) and is PI on an FDA award entitled “Clinical Outcome Assessments for Acute Pain Therapeutics in Infants and Young Children (COA APTIC)” (UG3 FD006797).

Dr. Zimmerman is a new Junior Program Faculty Mentor for this training program.


Robert Mentz

Robert Mentz, MD

2013-2014

“Pharmacologic Interventions in Acute and Chronic Heart Failure Patients with Comorbid Diseases”

Dr. Mentz earned his MD from Emory University in 2007 and completed residency training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2010. While completing his fellowship in Cardiology at Duke University he participated in the training program from 2013-2014 under the guidance of Daniel Benjamin, MD, PhD, MPH; Christopher M. O’Connor, MD; and Michael Felker, MD, MHS. Dr. Mentz’s research interest was in Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy.

Following completion of his training, Dr. Mentz accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Duke University in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology with a dual appointment in the Heart Failure research group at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. From 2014 – 2019, he served as the Director of the Duke University Cooperative Cardiovascular Society (DUCCS), a consortium of prior Duke medicine trainees conducting clinical research throughout the United States.  Dr. Mentz is supported by both NIH funding and investigator-initiated industry grants including the NHLBI-sponsored Heart Failure Clinical Research Network. He is the PI for a large NIH-funded trial investigating loop diuretics in patients with heart failure TRANSFORM-HF (U01 HL125511) that he helped develop during his training period supported by the T32 grant. In 2019, Dr. Mentz was promoted to Associate Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Mentz currently serves as a Faculty Mentor for this training program.


MacKenzie_cottrell

MacKenzie Cottrell, PharmD

2013-2015

“Utilizing Clinical Pharmacology Methods to Optimize Antiretroviral Agents for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)”

Dr. Cottrell earned her PharmD from the University of Oklahoma in 2011 and completed her residency at Oklahoma University Medical Center in 2012. She came to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2012 and joined the training program in 2013 under the guidance of Angela Kashuba, PharmD, Julie Dumond, PharmD, M.S., and Heyward Hull, PharmD, M.S.  Her research interests were HIV Pharmacotherapy and Pharmacokinetics.

Following training, Dr. Cottrell joined the faculty of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as a Research Assistant Professor. Her research focuses on describing PK/PD relationships in mucosal tissues for antiretrovirals used in HIV prevention and cure interventions. She serves as PI and Consortium PI for multiple awards. She was awarded an R21 in 2019 entitled “Feminizing Sex Hormones Impact on PrEP Pharmacology in Transgender Women” (R21 AI145646), and she is the Co-Director for the CFAR Clinical Pharmacology and Analytical Chemistry Core.


daniel_crona

Daniel Crona, PharmD, PhD

2014-2015

“Predictive and Prognostic Germline Variations that Associate with Overall Survival in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Patients Treated with Sorafenib”

Dr. Crona earned his PharmD from the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2010. He came to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as a PhD student and joined the training program first as an affiliated fellow in 2011 and formally in 2014, under the guidance of Federico Innocenti, MD, PhD and Howard McLeod, PharmD His research area of interest was Anticancer Pharmacotherapy.

Following completion of his PhD in 2015, Dr. Crona joined the faculty of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as an Assistant Professor. He has received funding from the UNC Eshelman Institute for Innovation, the NC TraCS Institute, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the Hematology Oncology Pharmacy Association, IBM, Merck, and the National Institutes of Health (Loan Repayment Program).

Dr. Crona is a new Junior Program Faculty Mentor for this training program.


Onyekachukwu Nwankwo

Onyekachukwu Nwankwo, MD

2014-2016

“The Development of Gram Negative Antibiotic Resistance in Critically Ill Patients Receiving Extended Duration Therapy” and “Tigecycline Use and Clostridium Difficile Infection Rates in a Burn Unit.”

Dr. Nwankwo earned his MD from Case Western Reserve University in 2010 and completed residency training at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2013. While completing his fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he participated in this training program from 2014-2016 under the guidance of David Weber, MD, PhD and Angela Kashuba, PharmD. Dr. Nwankwo’s research interests were in Infectious Disease Pharmacotherapy and Antibiotic Resistance.

Following completion of his fellowship training, Dr. Nwankwo was appointed as a Clinical Instructor at the UNC School of Medicine leading the antibiotic therapy program within the Division of Infectious Diseases. Subsequently, he accepted a faculty position as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania where he serves as Chairperson of the Infection Prevention Committee and maintains an active research program with interests in Clostridium Difficile and hospital acquired infections.


Jennifer Waugh

Jennifer Waugh, MD

2014-2016

“Targeting AML through MerTK Inhibition: The Role of Stromal Interactions and Immune Evasion”

Dr. Waugh earned her MD from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in 2009 and completed residency training at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2012. While a fellow in Hematology/Oncology at UNC-Chapel Hill she participated in the training program from 2014-2016 under the guidance of Paul Armistead MD, PhD; Jonathan Serody MD; and Claire Dees, MD, MS. Her research interests were in Anticancer Pharmacotherapy and Pharmacogenomics.

Following completion of her fellowship training, Dr. Waugh accepted a position as Instructor at Northwestern University where she participated in an advanced developmental therapeutics fellowship. As part of this fellowship, she received training in the development of early–phase clinical trials. Dr. Waugh is currently practicing as an Oncologist with Kaiser Permanente in Washington state.


Nicole Zane

Nicole Zane, PharmD, PhD

2014-2015

“Pharmacokinetic Behavior and Dose of Sildenafil and Voriconazole in Pediatrics”

Dr. Zane earned her PharmD from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 2010. She enrolled in the PhD Program at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy where she initially participated in the training program as an affiliate fellow in 2011 and was formally appointed to the program in 2014 under the guidance of Dhiren Thakker, PhD; Daniel Benjamin, MD, PhD, MPH; and Kim L.R. Brouwer, PharmD, PhD. Dr. Zane’s research interests were in the areas of Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics, Pediatric Drug Metabolism and Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling.

Following completion of her PhD in 2015, Dr. Zane continued her training as a postdoctoral fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute (CHOP) funded by their T32 GM008568 “Clinical Pharmacology Training Program.” In 2017, Dr. Zane was promoted to Research Scientist at CHOP. In 2018, she was awarded a K99/R00 entitled “A Model Based Approach to Individualizing Antimicrobial Dosing in Pediatric Sepsis” (K99/R00 HD096123).


Austin Chan

Austin Chan, MD

2015-2017

“Clinical Pharmacology of Anti-Infective Agents in Special Populations”

Dr. Chan earned his MD from Emory University School of Medicine in 2011 and completed residency training at Emory University in 2014.  While completing Infectious Diseases Fellowship training at Duke University, he participated in the training program from 2015-2017 under the guidance of Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, MD, Ph.D and Susanna Naggie, MD. Dr. Chan’s research interest was in the area of Infectious Disease Pharmacotherapy.

Following completion of his fellowship training, Dr. Chan accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine where he is engaged in research in HIV and HCV in underserved populations with a focus on health disparities and outcomes in HIV minority populations. Dr. Chan was selected as the new principal investigator for the Georgia AIDS Education & Training Center (AETC). Dr. Chan was appointed to the position of clinical scholar for the medical school in July 2019. In this position, he assists the internal medicine clerkship director in developing and executing the curriculum for this clerkship.


Kishan Parikh

Kishan Parikh, MD, MHS

2015-2017

“Dose Effect of Beta Blockers in Heart Failure by Race”

Dr. Parikh earned his MD from the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in 2009 and completed residency training at the University of Chicago in 2013. Dr. Parikh completed his MHS degree with the support of this training program. While completing his fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease at Duke University, he participated in the training program from 2015-2017 under the guidance of Adrian Hernandez, MD, MHS. and Daniel Benjamin, MD, PhD, MPH. His research interest was Cardiovascular Pharamcotherapy.

Following completion of his fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease, Dr. Parikh completed an Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Fellowship at Duke University and is now an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Duke University. He maintains an active research program in clinical pharmacology in patients with pulmonary hypertension. He is leading a Phase 1 trial of a novel compound for this indication. Dr. Parikh serves on the Steering Committee for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry.


Allison Burbank

Allison Burbank, MD

2015-2017

“Novel Anti-inflammatory Therapies for Asthma”

Dr. Burbank earned her MD from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock in 2010 and completed residency training at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2014. While completing an Allergy-Immunology Fellowship at UNC-Chapel Hill, she participated in the training program from 2015-2017 under the guidance of David Peden, MD and Michelle Hernandez, MD. Dr. Burbank’s research interest was Asthma Pharmacotherapy.

Following completion of training, Dr. Burbank accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the UNC School of Medicine, in the UNC Children’s Research Institute. Her research continues to focus on the study of novel therapies for asthma. She is a co-investigator on multiple NIH and industry sponsored studies focused on drug development for the treatment of asthma. She also serves as a safety monitor for the NHLBI-sponsored “Precision-interventions for Severe Asthma (PrecISE)” network, which is conducting a large multicenter trial of up to six different asthma pharmaceuticals in teens and adults with severe asthma.


Stephen Balevic

Stephen Balevic, MD, MPH

2016-2018

“Effect of Serum Hydroxychloroquine Levels on Neonatal Outcomes During Pregnancy”

Dr. Balevic earned his MD from Marshall University School of Medicine in 2010 and completed residency training at the Medical University of South Carolina in 2014. He completed an MPH at UNC-Chapel Hill while supported by this program. While completing fellowship training in Adult and Pediatric rheumatology at Duke University, he participated in the training program from 2016-2018 under the guidance of Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, MD, PhD and Laura E. Schanberg, MD. Dr. Balevic’s research interests were in Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics, Pediatric Pharmacotherapy, and Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases

Following completion of his fellowship training, Dr. Balevic accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Duke University. He is also currently a PhD student in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. His research focus is in clinical trials and precision medicine using population PK/PD modeling. He has received early career awards from the Rheumatology Research Foundation and Thrasher Foundation to continue his research.


Samantha Dallefeld

Samantha Dallefeld, MD

2016-2018

“Pharmacokinetics of Dexmedetomidine in Children Supported with ECMO”

Dr. Dallefeld earned her MD at the University of Texas Medical Branch in 2012 and completed residency training at Dell Medical School in 2016. While completing fellowship training in Critical Care Medicine at Duke University, she participated in the training program from 2016-2018 under the guidance of P. Brian Smith, MD and Kanecia Zimmerman, MD. Dr. Dallefeld’s research interests were in Pediatric Pharmacotherapy and Pharmacokinetics and Drug Safety in Pediatrics.

Following training, Dr. Dallefeld accepted a position at Dell Children’s Hospital.


nazario chapparo

Nazario Rivera Chapparo, MD

2016-2018

“Micafungin Safety Profile in Neonates”

Dr. Rivera Chapparo earned his MD from the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus in 2012 and completed residency training at the University of Puerto Rico, University Pediatric Hospital in 2015.  While completing fellowship training in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Duke University, he participated in the training program from 2016-2018 under the guidance of Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, MD, PhD, and P. Brian Smith, MD, MPH, MHS. Dr. Rivera Chapparo’s research interests were in Pediatric Pharmacotherapy, Antimicrobial Resistance, and Pediatric Drug Safety.

Following completion of training, Dr. Rivera Chapparo accepted a position as a Pediatric Infectious Diseases specialist at Novant Medical Health Group Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, where he leads the infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship efforts.


Ryan Beechinor

Ryan Beechinor, PharmD

2016-2018

“Population Pharmacokinetics of Methotrexate in Infants”

Dr. Beechinor earned his PharmD from the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy in 2014 and completed residency training at UNC Health Care in 2016. He participated in the training program from 2016-2018 under the guidance of Daniel Gonzalez, PharmD, PhD, Angela Kashuba, PharmD, and Daniel Crona, PharmD, PhD. Dr. Beechinor’s research interests were in Pediatric Pharmacotherapy, Anticancer Pharmacotherapy, and Pharmacometrics.

Following training, Dr. Beechinor accepted a position as Lead Clinical Oncology Pharmacist at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation in Santa Rosa, CA. He is now an Oncology Specialty Pharmacist at the University of California Davis conducting clinical pharmacology research.


izna_ali

Izna Ali, PharmD, PhD

2017-2019

“Disease-mediated Alterations in Transporter Function and the Impact of Transporters on Drug Safety and Efficacy”

Dr. Ali earned her PharmD from Chicago College of Pharmacy, Midwestern University in 2014 and enrolled in the PhD program at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and completed the degree with support from this program. She participated in the training program from 2017-2019 under the guidance of Kim L.R. Brouwer, PharmD, PhD, and Paul Watkins, MD. Dr. Ali’s research interests were in Drug Transport, Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics, Drug-Induced Liver Injury, and Modeling & Simulation.

Following completion of her PhD, Dr. Ali joined the FDA for a 6-month ORISE Fellowship to investigate the role of transporters (including BSEP and MRPs) as predictors of DILI. She is now a Senior Clinical Pharmacokineticist in the Clinical Pharmacology group at AbbVie.


Estefany Garcia

Estefany Garcia, PharmD

2017-2019

“Double and Triple Combination in KPC-Producing Klebsiella Pneumononiae to Overcome Multidrug Resistance”

Dr. Garcia earned her PharmD at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2017. She participated in the training program from 2017-2019 under the guidance of Gauri Rao, PharmD, MS; Alan Forrest, PharmD; and Angela Kashuba, PharmD while a postdoctoral fellow at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Dr. Garcia’s research interests were Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics, Quantitative Systems Pharmacology, and Antimicrobial Resistance.

During her training, Dr. Garcia enrolled in the PhD program at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and is currently continuing her studies and research projects started while in the training program.


Sara Salerno

Sara Salerno, PharmD

2017-2019

“Application of Physiologically-based Pharmacokinetic Modeling to Characterize CYP3A Mediated Drug-Drug Interactions in the Pediatric Population”

Dr. Salerno earned her PharmD at the University of California San Francisco College of Pharmacy in 2013. She is currently enrolled as a PhD student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and participated in the training program from 2017-2019 under the guidance of Daniel Gonzalez, PharmD, PhD; Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, MD, PhD; and Kevin Watt, MD, PhD. Dr. Salerno’s research interests were in Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling, Pharmacometrics, and Drug-Drug Interactions.

Dr. Salerno completed her PhD studies in 2020 and is currently working as a Senior Quantitative Pharmacologist at Gilead Sciences, Inc.


Katherine Westmoreland

Katherine Westmoreland, MD

2017-2019

“Pharmacokinetics of Methotrexate in Children and Adolescents with Burkitt Lymphoma in Malawi”

Dr. Westmoreland earned her MD from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in 2009 and completed her residency at University of Utah, Primary Children’s Hospital in 2012. She also completed a fellowship in Global Health at the University of Pennsylvania, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2015. While completing her fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at UNC-Chapel Hill, she participated in the training program from 2017-2019 under the guidance of Satish Gopal, MD, MPH; Daniel Gonzalez, PharmD, PhD; and Patrick Thompson, MD. Dr. Westmoreland’s research interests were in Anticancer Pharmacotherapy, Pediatric Pharmacotherapy, and Pharmacokinetics.

Dr. Westmoreland received grants from NIH AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC), Burkitt Lymphoma Fund for Africa (BLFA), UNC Office for International Affairs, and North Carolina Children’s Promise Research Grant to support her research. Following completion of her fellowship training, Dr. Westmoreland accepted a position as Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology with the UNC School of Medicine, living in Malawi. Dr. Westmoreland leads the pediatric and adolescent oncology program for the Malawi Cancer Consortium at UNC Project-Malawi. Her research is supported by an NIH Fogarty International Center International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA) entitled Understanding Methotrexate Dosing, Pharmacokinetics, and Toxicities for Burkitt Lymphoma in Malawi (K01TW011191).


Karan Kumar

Karan Kumar, MD

2018-2019

“Predicting Post-Operative Insulin Use and Sternal Wound Infections after Methylprednisolone Exposure During Cardiopulmonary Bypass in Neonates”

Dr. Kumar earned his MD from Johns Hopkins University in 2012 and completed residency training at Stanford University in 2015.  While completing his fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Duke University, he participated in the training program from 2018-2019 under the guidance of Christoph Hornik, MD, PhD, MPH, and Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, MD, PhD. Dr. Kumar’s research interests were Biostatistics and Health Informatics and Pediatric Clinical Drug Trials.

Following training, Dr. Kumar accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and as Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Specialist at Duke University.


Christopher Park, MD

2019-2021

“Development of a Novel Administration Schedule for a Kinesin Spindle Protein Inhibitor, SB-743921, in the Treatment of Medulloblastoma in a Mouse Model”

Dr. Park earned his MD from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha in 2014 and completed residency training at the University of Nebraska-Creighton University Children’s Hospital in Omaha, NE in 2018.  He is currently a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill. He joined the training program in 2019 and is working under the guidance of Tim Gershon, MD, PhD and Paul Watkins, MD. Dr. Park’s research interests are in the areas of Anticancer Drug Development and Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics.

Dr. Park is currently a Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Fellow at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.


Emily Newton, M.D.

2019-2021

“Targeted Nitric Oxide Delivery to Prevent Restenosis in the Atherosclerotic Environment”

Dr. Newton earned her MD from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 2016. She is currently a general surgery resident at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working under the guidance of Melina Kibbe, MD; Paul Watkins, MD; and Craig Lee, PharmD, PhD. Dr. Newton’s research interests are in the areas of Drug Targeting and Nanotechnology and Drug Delivery.

Dr. Newton is continuing her general surgery residency at the UNC School of Medicine.


Sarah Jane Commander, MD

2019-2021

“Perioperative Tissue Penetration of Antimicrobials in Infants Assessed via Population Pharmacokinetic Modeling and Simulation”

Dr. Commander earned her MD from Baylor College of Medicine in 2017. She is currently a general surgery resident at Duke University engaged in her research rotation. She joined the training program in 2019 under the guidance of Christoph Hornik, MD, PhD, MPH; Elizabeth Tracy, MD. Dr. Commander’s research interests are in the areas of Antimicrobial Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics and Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology.

Dr. Commander is continuing her general surgery residency at the Duke University School of Medicine.


Daniella Vivaldi, DDS

2018-2020

“Medication Use and Effectiveness among Different Clusters of Patients with Chronic Pain”

Dr. Vivaldi earned her DDS from Campinas State University in Brazil in 1996. She came to UNC-Chapel Hill as a research fellow in Orofacial Pain at the Adams School of Dentistry in 2016 and joined the training program in 2018. She is working under the guidance of William Maixner, DDS, PhD, MS; Kim L.R. Brouwer, PharmD, PhD; and Pei Feng Lim, DDS. Dr. Vivaldi’s research interests are in the areas of Orofacial Pain Pharmacotherapy and Pharmacokinetics.

Dr. Vivaldi is a Clinical Associate and Pain Medicine Specialist in the Department of Anesthesiology for the Center for Translational Pain Medicine at Duke University.


Rachel Tyson, PharmD

2018-2020

“Population Pharmacokinetic Modeling of Direct Oral Anticoagulants  in a Real-World Population: Evaluation of Need for Individualized Dosing”

Dr. Tyson earned her PharmD from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in 2018 and joined the training program under the guidance of J. Herbert Patterson, PharmD; Robert Mentz, MD; and Kirkwood Adams, MD. Dr. Tyson’s research interests are in the areas of Precision Dosing, Pharmacokinetics, and Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy.

Dr. Tyson is a Clinical Pharmacology Scientist at Nuventra Pharma Sciences in Durham, NC.


Kathleen Marulanda, MD, MS

2018-2020

“Targeted Drug Delivery for Pulmonary Hypertension in Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia”

Dr. Marulanda earned her MD from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in 2015 and a MMS degree from Drexel University College of Medicine in 2011. She is currently completing her research rotation as a general surgery resident at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is working under the guidance of Melina Kibbe, MD; Sean McLean, MD; Daniel Gonzalez, PharmD, PhD; and Matthew Laughon, MD, MPH. Dr. Marulanda’s research interests are in the areas of Drug Targeting, Nanofiber Drug Delivery, and Opioid Treatment of Pain.

Dr. Marulanda is continuing her general surgery residency at the UNC School of Medicine.


Aaron Devanathan

Aaron Devanathan, PharmD

2018-2021

“Identifying Factors Influencing Antiretroviral Pharmacology and HIV Eradication in the Spleen”

Dr. Devanathan earned his PharmD at the University of Pittsburg in 2016. He is currently a PhD student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. He joined the training program in 2018 and is working under the guidance of Angela Kashuba, PharmD; Paul Watkins, MD; and Yanguang “Carter” Cao, PhD. Dr. Devanathan’s research interests are in the areas of HIV Pharmacotherapy, Drug Transporters, and Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling.

Dr. Devanathan is continuing his PhD studies at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.


 

Reid Chamberlain

Reid Chamberlain, MD

2018-2020

“Evaluating Post-operative Acute Kidney Injury Criteria in Infants with Congestive Heart Disease and the Protective Effects of Acetaminophen”

Dr. Chamberlain earned his MD from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2012. He completed his residency at Duke University and was a Pediatric Cardiology Fellow at Duke University during his fellowship. He joined the training program in 2018 and is working under the guidance of Kevin Hill, MD, MS; Christoph Hornik, MD, PhD, MPH; and Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, MD, PhD. His research interests are in the areas of Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics, Drug-Induced Kidney Injury, and Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy.

Dr. Chamberlain is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University.

 

Kevin Watt

Kevin Watt, MD, PhD

2011-2013

“Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetics in Critically Ill Children”

Dr. Watt earned his MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006 and completed residency training in 2009 and fellowship training in 2014 at Duke University. Dr. Watt participated in the training program as a PhD student in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics under the guidance of Daniel Benjamin, MD, PhD, MPH; and Kim L.R. Brouwer, PharmD, PhD. During that time, he was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University.

While on faculty at Duke University, he was selected as a scholar on the prestigious Pediatric Critical Care and Trauma Scientist Development Program (K12HD047349). He was subsequently awarded a K23 entitled “Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetics in Critically Ill Children” (K23HD075891). In 2019, Dr. Watt received his first R01 entitled “Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Approach to Determine Dosing on Extracorporeal Life Support” (R01HD096435). He recently accepted a position as Associate Professor and Chief, Division of Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Utah. He maintains an active research program on the effects and long-term safety of medications in children.


Melanie Nicol

Melanie Nicol, PharmD, PhD

2011-2013

“Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV: Linking Antiretroviral Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics to Identify Optimal Dosing Strategies”

Dr. Nicol earned her PharmD at Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy in 2009. She participated in the training program as a PhD student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy under the guidance of Angela Kashuba, PharmD. Dr. Nicol’s research interests were in HIV Pharmacotherapy, Precision Dosing, and Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics.

Following completion of her PhD, Dr. Nicol accepted a position as Assistant Professor, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Her research efforts are focused on identifying factors that influence the efficacy of antivirals (and other anti-infectives) in tissue compartments. She is currently funded by a K08 Career Development Award from the NIAID (K08AI134262) and an R21 from NINDS (R21NS108344). She is Board Certified by the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology.


Whitney Caron Kirschbrown

Whitney Caron Kirschbrown, PharmD, PhD

2011-2013

“Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Nanoparticles in Preclinical and Clinical Systems”

Dr. Kirschbrown earned her PharmD from Albany College of Pharmacy of Union University in 2009. She participated in the training program from 2011-2013 as a PhD student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy under the guidance of William Zamboni, PharmD, PhD. Dr. Kirschbrown’s research interests were in Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics, Anticancer Pharmacotherapy, and Nanoparticle Drug Delivery.

Following completion of her PhD, Dr. Kirschbrown initially accepted a position as a Scientist at AbbVie Pharmaceuticals. She is now a Scientist, Clinical Pharmacology, at Genentech, Inc.


Akinyemi Oni-Orisan

Akinyemi Oni-Orisan, PharmD, PhD

2012-2014

“Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase and Cardioprotection: Translation from Mice to Humans”

Dr. Oni-Orisan earned his PharmD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2010. He participated in the training program from 2012-2014 as a PhD student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy under the guidance of Craig Lee, PharmD, PhD, and Paul Watkins, MD. Dr. Oni-Orisan’s research interests were in Drug Metabolism and Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy.

Following completion of his PhD, Dr. Oni-Orisan accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. He is now an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy in the UCSF School of Pharmacy. Dr. Oni-Orisan holds a K01 entitled Characterization of response to lipid-modifying regimens for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease using electronic health records (K01HL143019). He remains actively engaged in clinical pharmacology research. Dr. Oni-Orisan currently serves as a mentor for the UCSF training program: “Clinical Pharmacology, Drug Action and Pharmacogenetics” (T32GM007546) and he serves as the Vice Chair of the Biomarkers and Translational Tools (BTT) community within the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Dr. Oni-Orisan is board certified by the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology.


rachel_church

Rachel Church, PhD

2014-2016

“Identification and Characterization of Biomarkers of Drug-Induced Liver Injury”

Dr. Church earned her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012. She joined the Hamner/UNC-Institute for Drug Safety Sciences as a postdoctoral fellow in 2012 and participated in the training program from 2014-2016 under the guidance of Paul Watkins, MD. Dr. Church’s research interests were in Drug-Induced Organ Injury and Biomarkers.

Following completion of her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Church accepted a position as Research Assistant Professor and Director of the UNC Organ Injury Biomarker Core. Her research focuses on utilizing novel biomarkers, which may outperform or add additional information to standard biomarkers, to inform on organ injury, particularly in the liver and kidney.


Corbin Thompson

Corbin Thompson, PharmD, PhD

2015-2017

“Characterizing Antiretroviral Distribution Within HIV Tissue Reservoirs”

Dr. Thompson earned his PharmD from Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy in 2012. He participated in the training program from 2015-2017 as a PhD student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy under the guidance of Angela Kashuba, PharmD and David Margolis, MD. Dr. Thompson’s research interests were in HIV Pharmacotherapy, Drug Transporters, and Pharmacokinetics.

Upon completion of his PhD, Dr. Thompson accepted a position as Scientist, Clinical Pharmacology, at Theravance. He recently started a position with ViiV Healthcare as a Scientific Investigator in drug discovery, where he serves as a functional representative for drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. He supports novel drug discovery and development projects for HIV treatment, prevention, and cure.


Nikolas Onufrak

Nikolas Onufrak, PharmD

2015-2017

“Optimizing Antimicrobial Therapy with Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Modeling”

Dr. Onufrak earned his PharmD from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2013. He participated in the training program as a postdoctoral fellow in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy from 2015-2017 under the guidance of Daniel Gonzalez, PharmD, PhD; Christoph Hornik, MD, PhD, MPH; and Alan Forrest, PharmD. Dr. Onufrak’s research interests were in Antimicrobial Pharmacotherapy and Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics/Pharmacometrics.

Following completion of his postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Onufrak accepted a position as Assistant Director, Pharmacometrics at the Institute for Clinical Pharmacodynamics, where he employed state-of-the-art PK-PD modeling and simulation techniques to optimize the risk:benefit ratio for drugs in development. He also remains active in advancing the utility of model-based approaches for the achievement of precision medicine. Dr. Onufrak recently started a new position as Assistant Director for Pharmacometrics at Boeringer Ingelheim.


Stephen Greene

Stephen Greene, PharmD

2016-2018

“Compartmental Pharmacology of Antiretrovirals in the Blood and Semen of HIV-Positive and Negative Men Taking Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate or Tenofovir Alafenamide” and “Hepatic Disposition of Tolvaptan in Patients with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease”

Dr. Greene earned his PharmD from Purdue University in 2016 and joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as a postdoctoral fellow. He participated in the training program from 2016-2018 under the guidance of Julie Dumond, PharmD, M.S. and Kim L.R. Brouwer, PharmD, PhD. Dr. Green’s research interests were in Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics/Pharmacometrics and Antiretroviral Pharmacotherapy

After completing postdoctoral training, Dr. Greene accepted a position as Clinical Pharmacology Manager at SK Life Science, Inc. investigating novel compounds for the treatment of epilepsy and other CNS disorders.