Carolyn Thorpe, Ph.D., M.P.H., has been hired as an associate professor with tenure at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She joins the Department of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy while having continued affiliation with the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Health System. This new partnership between the School and the VAPHS’s Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion will provide new training and research opportunities for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students at the School.
Thorpe earned her Ph.D. at UNC Gillings School of Public Health in 2006 and her M.P.H. in epidemiology at George Washington University in 2001. She served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center in health services research from 2006 to 2008.
Thorpe comes to the School from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, which she joined in 2011 and where she was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2017. At Pitt, Thorpe helped establish a new graduate program track in pharmaceutical outcomes and policy research, as well as a postdoctoral fellowship in medication safety and pharmacy outcomes in collaboration with the national VA Center for Medication Safety and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Before joining the University of Pittsburgh, she was the associate director of quantitative research at the Health Innovation Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Thorpe’s research program focuses on pharmaceutical policy, treatment decisions, quality and safety of prescribing and medication adherence in older patients faced with the demands of managing multiple conditions. Her work on these topics has been supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institutes of Health, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, as well as nonprofit foundations. Thorpe is currently the principal investigator for a study on de-intensifying unnecessary chronic disease medications in VA nursing home residents as they near the end of their lives. The study was awarded over $1 million in funding from the VA. She also leads a study on outcomes of de-prescribing of antidementia medications in nursing home residents enrolled in Medicare, funded by the Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation. Thorpe has published 79 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.