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SPAC Comes to Space City for 2020

STEM Advocate, UH Alumnus and Former Astronaut Bernard Harris to Speak at UHCOP-hosted Southern Pharmacy Administration Conference June 11-13

March 5 — Providing a regional forum for graduate students to engage with peers and mentors and share their research projects and experiences, the Southern Pharmacy Administration Conference (SPAC) will be held in Houston June 11-3 for the first time since its founding in 1985.

Held biennially at a different academic institution in the southern/southeastern U.S., SPAC events feature poster and podium presentations in the areas of pharmaceutical management, marketing, health economics, health outcomes, comparative effectiveness, and policy research. In addition, SPAC programming typically encourages student and faculty interaction through such activities as networking socials.

bharris-photo250.jpgThe keynote speaker for SPAC 2020 in Houston will be former NASA astronaut Bernard A. Harris Jr., M.D., MBA, FACP, who currently serves as chief executive office of National Math + Science Initiative (NMSI), a nonprofit organization working to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement across the country. Harris was at NASA for 10 years, where he conducted research in musculoskeletal physiology and clinical investigations of space adaptation and developed in-flight medical devices to extend astronaut stays in space. A veteran astronaut for over 20 years, he has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space.

Harris earned a B.S. in Biology from UH, a Master of Medical Science from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, a Master of Business Administration from UH and a Doctorate of Medicine from Texas Tech University School of Medicine. He completed a Residency in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, a National Research Council Fellowship in Endocrinology at the NASA Ames Research Center and trained as a Flight Surgeon at the Aerospace School of Medicine, Brooks Air Force Base.

In addition to his work with NMSI, Harris has been involved with math and science education for over 25 years through his philanthropy efforts through the Harris Institute & Foundation. He also serves on the governing boards of the National Academy of Medicine, the Texas Medical Center, and HealthConnect. He is the author of "Dream Walker: A Journey of Achievement and Inspiration."

Organized by the college's Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy (PHOP) and The Prescription Drug Misuse Education and Research Center, SPAC 2020's early sponsors include ISPOR, Research in Social & Administrative Pharmacy journal, and TriNetX.

"We're very excited to serve as site host for this conference, which over the years has provided an exceptional opportunity for myself, other faculty members, and many of our current and former students to engage with our peers, establish lifelong friendships and collaborations, and generate intellectual fuel for our respective fields of inquiry and career development," said Rajender R. Aparasu, Ph.D., FAPhA, professor and chair of the PHOP department.

For more information, visit the SPAC 2020 page.