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undefinedBetsy Sleath, PhD

George H Cocolas Distinguished Professor and Chair, Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy
University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy
Director of the Child Health Program, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research


undefinedAllie Karshenas, PHD, CLDir (ASCP), SS/BB

Patient/Consumer Engagement, Personalized Medicine and Big Data-What do they have to Do with Career Opportunities for the Pharmaceutical Professional?

Dr. Karshenas is the GM and Clinical Director of West Virginia University’s Clinical & Pharmacologic Research Center (CPRC) as well as an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Systems and Compliance in the School of Pharmacy.  Dr. Karshenas came to WVU from Abbott Laboratories where he functioned as their Director of patient Services and the Privacy Officer.



Adrian J. Fretland, PhD


Research Advisor, Lilly Research Laboratories
Eli Lilly and Company





Betsy Sleath, PhD


Betsy Sleath, Ph.D. is George H Cocolas Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She is Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Health Policy and Management at the UNC School of Public Health. She is co-director of research services for the community engagement core of the North Carolina Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.  In addition, she is a senior research fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research where she directs the child health research program. Her work in this area has been funded by NHLBI, NIA, NEI, NIMH, AHRQ, PCORI, and the Bayer Institute for Health Communication. She is on the editorial boards of Patient Education and Counseling and the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice.
Most of her current research focuses on the relationship between provider-patient communication and patient outcomes.  She currently has a large grant from the National Eye Institute which is focusing on how ophthalmologist-patient communication about glaucoma is associated with medication adherence and persistence and eye drop technique over an 8 month period.   In addition she has a grant from the UNC Center for Diabetes Translational Research to Reduce Health Disparities which is developing and testing an Internet based diabetes medication tool to improve adherence. She also is co-investigator on a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) grant titled "Padres Efectivos (Parent Activation): Skills Latina Mothers Use to Get Healthcare for Their Children".  In addition, she is conducting several pilot studies that are examining how to involve and empower children and parents more during pediatric asthma visits and attention deficit disorder visits.​


Patient Communication Research-Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?

Despite technological advances and the ongoing approval of new medications in society, patient non-adherence remains a serious issue across all therapeutic areas.  Communication between health care providers and patients is critical to motivating and educating patients about how to take their medications. 

Medications can have incredible benefits to patients, but at the same time they can also have serious adverse effects.  Risk/benefit communication has become an important focus of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On June 5, 2007, the FDA announced the establishment of a risk communication advisory committee as a result of the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine's 2006 report "The Future of Drug Safety: Promoting and Protecting the Health of the Public". Risk/benefit communication is only going to continue to become increasingly important in the future.  Patients need to be informed about risks and benefits so that can make choices when deciding whether or not to take prescription medications. Provider-patient communication is key to patients being able to understand risks and benefits.

The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is a new funding agency that was created as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Provider-patient communication and its relationship to patient outcomes is a focus of this new institute.  A new concept that communication researchers must now consider and include in their grant applications is stakeholder involvement and engagement in all aspects of a research project.  How do you involve patients, health care systems, and other stakeholders as part of investigative teams?

In addition, health informatics is another area that is influencing patient communication research.  Whether it is electronic health records or technology based communication interventions, health informatics is rapidly influencing the field of patient communication research.

In this presentation, I will discuss where the field of patient communication has been and where it is going and how health informatics and organizations like the FDA and PCORI are shaping the future of this field.

Allie Karshenas, PHD

Dr. Karshenas is the GM and Clinical Director of West Virginia University’s Clinical & Pharmacologic Research Center (CPRC) as well as an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Systems and Compliance in the School of Pharmacy.  Dr. Karshenas came to WVU from Abbott Laboratories where he functioned as their Director of patient Services and the Privacy Officer.

Dr. Karshenas received his doctorate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Laboratory Medicine with emphasis in infectious diseases.  He has carried out his Diagnostic internship at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, TN and his Post-doctorate at Gulf Coast Research Laboratories in Biloxi, MS.

Shortly after his post-graduate work, Dr. Karshenas joined Roche Diagnostics where he functioned as the Division technical Director for over 5 years.  .Dr. Karshenas led the Global Clinical and Technical Engineering functions for Becton Dickinson (BD) for 5 years before he joined Thermo-Fisher as their Vice-President of Clinical Operations in  Molecular Genetics and Pharmacogenomics.

In 2006 Dr. Karshenas Joined Siemens/ Drager Acute Care Division to lead their Clinical and Application Engineering functions as their Vice President of Clinical Operations.  Subsequently he joined a global Contract Research Organization, Kendle International as their Clinical Director of Operations for Phase-I  Clinical Pharmacology.

Dr. Karshenas has a diverse clinical and technical expertise with highly specialized leadership skills in organizational development.  In his 25 years of industry careers, he has had experience with STARS (Start-ups, Turn-around, Realignments, and Sustaining Success) organizations.  He is a Six-Sigma Black Belt professional with certifications in Lean-Sigma operations.

Adrian J. Fretland, PhD


Adrian Fretland is a native of North Dakota and obtained his bachelors at the University of North Dakota.  He began his graduate studies at the University of North Dakota in Pharmacology and Toxicology in the laboratory of Dr. David Hein.  He completed his PhD at the University of Louisville in Dr. Hein’s laboratory in 2000.  After completing postdoctoral work in the laboratories of Dr. Curt Omiecinski at the University of Washington and Oliver Hankinson at the University of California, Los Angeles, he began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Amgen in Thousand Oaks California where he developed novel methods for investigating pre-clinical drug metabolism issues.  He then moved to Roche in Palo Alto, California, Nutley, New Jersey, and Basel, Switzerland.  While at Roche he was responsible for leading a group responsible for investigative drug metabolism and high throughput DMPK screening, in addition to a role as DPMK project leader.  In 2013, he moved to Eli Lilly as a Research Advisor, and currently is an ADME scientist in the Toxicology-Drug Disposition-PK/PD Department.  In his current position, he is responsible for the development and implementation of ADME strategies on drug discovery and development projects.  He also is actively involved in collaborations within the department to develop novel translational assays for the prediction of DDIs and human PK.

Throughout his graduate studies and industrial career, Adrian has contributed to 39 peer reviewed manuscripts, 2 book chapters, and several invited lectures.  His current research interests include in vitro and computational methods for the prediction of DDIs, investigative, and translational PBPK approaches.
Title:  “Translational ADME: pre-clinical support of drug discovery and development”
In the past twenty years, the use of in vitro systems to predict human PK has led to a decrease in the failure rate of drugs in clinical development due to human pharmacokinetics.  This success has made in vitro ADME data an integral part of the drug discovery and development process.  Additionally, the development of sophisticated modeling and simulation tools has led to early, advanced, and mechanistic predictions of human PK that help drive the development of human therapies.  Despite this increased success, there is still progress to be made and the field of translational ADME is attempting to fill the gap with novel in vitromethods and physiologically-based modeling tools.  Furthermore, the use of translational ADME strategies is leading to virtual drug development scenarios before clinical testing has begun.  Evermore, the focus on the patient is taking priority in drug discovery and a “Bench to the Bedside” approach will be critical for the rapid development of novel drug therapies.