Several PittPharmacy students recently received awards for their poster presentations.

The annual University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine Research Day was held April 30 and May 1, 2018 featuring research from over 100 presenters including graduate students, residents, fellows, postdocs, and faculty from the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC, and the VA Pittsburgh Health System.

Joshua Niznik, PharmD was awarded a best poster award at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Medicine Research Day in the category of Health Services/Clinical Epidemiology Post-Doctoral Fellow Research. Niznik presented his work entitled “Validating the MDS mortality risk index in older adult veterans using MDS version 3.0” which sought to adapt and validate a mortality risk index to predict 6-month mortality in VA nursing home residents using administrative data. The work presented is part of a larger project at the VA Pittsburgh Health System led by his advisor, Dr. Carolyn Thorpe, and is currently being used to study the risks and benefits associated with medication use in chronic conditions at the end of life. Niznik is an alumni of the Pitt PharmD program (Class of 2015) and is currently a PhD student in the graduate program in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Health Policy track.

PharmD student Amanda Schwenk,(Class of 2019), presented a research poster she compiled with her mentor, Dr. Evan Ray, titled “Opioids, NSAIDs, and AKI: Unintended consequences of the PA prescription drug monitoring program.” After presenting to numerous judges, Schwenk was awarded the Clinical Graduate Student Research Award for her research and presentation.


Firuz Gamal Feturi, BS and PhD candidate was awarded J.K. Hardesty, MD Best Poster Award at 2018 Plastic Surgery Research Council May 17-20, 2018. Feturi’s abstract was titled Single Locally Implanted Tacrolimus-eluting Disk Promotes Long-term Vascularized Composite Allograft Survival via Loco-regional Immunosuppression and Without Systemic Side Effects.

For the first time in organ transplantation, a novel, re-loadable drug delivery system that consists of an encapsulated sustained-release version of oral TAC alone or combined with other drugs was developed that provides sustained drug release into the graft tissues and regional lymph nodes, while minimizing systemic blood levels. This results in lower overall systemic drug exposure, while the sustained loco regional delivery facilitates VCA survival.

Feturi, is a fifth year clinical pharmaceutical science graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. Professor Raman Venkataramaan, PhD is her faculty advisor and Dr. Mario Solari, MD is her Co-mentor.


Leave a comment