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Revered in Research

Aparasu Awarded by APhA for Excellence in Research

Feb. 20 University of Houston College of Pharmacy’s Rajender R. Aparasu, Ph.D., FAPhA, Mustafa & Sanober Lokhandwala Endowed Professor and chair of the college's Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy (PHOP), has been named the 2024 American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Academy of Pharmaceutical Research & Science (APRS) Research Achievement Award recipient. He will be formally recognized at the APhA Annual Meeting & Expo March 22-25 in Orlando, Fla.

Aparasu’s expansive research is in the area of outcomes research and pharmacoepidemiology with a focus on improving the quality of medication use in older adults. He has edited four textbooks and authored over 175 peer-reviewed manuscripts, earning thousands of citations and the notable distinction by the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE as one of the world’s top 2% most-cited scientists. Additionally, he has made over 250 presentations at national and international meetings.

For his support of the Economic, Social, and Administrative Sciences Section within APhA-APRS, Aparasu was named a Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association in 2012. For many years, he has reviewed manuscripts for the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association and served on several APhA committees and task forces. At multiple annual meetings, he has led roundtable discussions and presented both his and his students’ research.

“Dr. Aparasu is an extremely accomplished scholar, a committed educator, an outstanding academic citizen, a dedicated mentor, and an exceptional collaborator,” said longtime colleague and award nominator John P. Bentley, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management, professor of pharmacy administration, and research professor of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Mississippi. “He is also a very positive, enthusiastic, and supportive individual who regularly demonstrates his concern and compassion for others.”

Aparasu helped build the PHOP department from the ground up, leading to the development of dual-degree programs, a certification program and the academic component of the M.S./PGY1-PGY2 pharmacy residencies in Health-System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership. PHOP now boasts over 100 Ph.D. and M.S. alumni. He has personally mentored 18 M.S., 14 Ph.D. and numerous Pharm.D. students as well as five postdoctoral fellows.

As Principal Investigator, Aparasu has received continuous research funding from such sources as the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and pharmaceutical companies. As a founding director of the Center for Population Health Outcomes and Pharmacoepidemiology Education and Research (P-HOPER Center), Aparasu recently secured the center’s first grant:  $1.6 million award from AHRQ to evaluate deprescribing in older adults with multiple sclerosis.

Aparasu’s other accolades include the Paul R. Dawson Award for Excellence in Patient Care Research from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and UHCOP’s Research Excellence Award and designation as a Fulbright Specialist.