ISPOR Group PhotoMORGANTOWN, W.Va. — They kept their cool and showed off their creativity – that’s how West Virginia University School of Pharmacy Ph.D. students won several national awards at the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) 14th Annual International Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Competing against nine other teams from the United States and China, the WVU-ISPOR team won the Student Research Competition, which tests students’ knowledge of definitions and concepts related to pharmacoeconomics and health outcomes research methods. The WVU team consisted of Rahul Khanna, team captain; Pramit Nadpara; Pallavi Rane and Tricia Wilkins, Pharm.D.

“It was not just about being knowledgeable in terms of answering the research questions,” Suresh Madhavan, Ph.D., professor and chair, department of Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy, said. “It was also about competitive strategy and being cool under extreme time pressures. The WVU-ISPOR team simply excelled in all aspects and outperformed the other teams.”

The WVU students also received second place for the ISPOR Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year Award. The chapter received $500 in recognition of their fundraising, community service, educational outreach projects, research projects and other activities.

The third award the chapter received was the ISPOR Distinguished Service Award. Kim Blake, 2008-09 student chapter president, was the recipient in recognition of her outstanding dedication and work.

The chapter also showcased their creative talents and won the ISPOR Student Network T-shirt Competition. Ph.D. student Gretchen Peirce designed the graphic for the shirt that was given to all participants at the international conference.

Neel Shah, a graduate student in health outcomes, was selected as a finalist for the poster presentations segment of the meeting. Shah presented “Alprazolam-Related Deaths in West Virginia.”

“The accomplishments of our students bring great pride to WVU and the WVU School of Pharmacy,” Madhavan said. “Our health outcomes Ph.D. students have a rich tradition of winning awards for podium and poster research presentations at national meetings — over a dozen in the last few years. It is an honor that we can say we have excelled again this year.”

“In receiving these awards and being a finalist in the poster presentation segment, we have showcased our graduate program research capabilities,” Patricia Chase, Ph.D., dean of the WVU School of Pharmacy, said. “It was thrilling to see our Ph.D. students and the WVU School of Pharmacy and WVU-ISPOR chapter being so prominent at this international meeting.”

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For more information: Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192