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A GRaSP of Quality Research 

UHCOP Graduate Students Earn People's Choice Award, Runner-up Honors at Annual UH Research and Scholarship Event

Two UH College of Pharmacy graduate students were recognized at the 2nd Annual UH Graduate Research and Scholarship Projects (GRaSP) Day Oct. 30 for their poster presentations detailing their ongoing projects in cardiovascular pharmacology and insulin-medication adherence.

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Dmitri Litvinov, Ph.D., UH vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, congratulates UHCOP Pharmacology graduate student Santosh Suryavanshi for winning the 'People's Choice Award' at the UH GRaSP Day.

Pharmacology doctoral program student Santosh Suryavanshi was honored with the audience-nominated "People's Choice Award" for his project entitled "Absence of Gravin's Scaffolding Increases Cardiac Sensitivity to Calcium." Suryavanshi's coauthors on the project were UHCOP graduate Sonal Singh, Ph.D. ('15), who recently joined the Center for Pharmacogenomics at the University of Florida as postdoctoral research associate; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Associate Professor Wei Dong Gao, M.D., Ph.D.; and Suryavanshi's graduate advisor, UHCOP Associate Professor Bradley K. McConnell, Ph.D., FAHA. 

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Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy graduate student Ruta Sawant proudly displays her Runner-up award at the UH GRaSP Day.

Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy doctoral candidate Ruta Sawant, who presented a poster on her project, "Impact of Insulin Tier Status on Medication Adherence for MAPD Beneficiaries," was recognized as the Runner-up in the Poster competition. Sawant's coauthors were UHCOP alumni Alexander Nguyen, Pharm.D. ('14), UnitedHealth Group clinical pharmacist and past resident at Cigna HealthSpring; Omar Serna, Pharm.D. ('08), BCACP, clinical pharmacy manager at Cigna HealthSpring; Tara Esse, Pharm.D. ('09), BCACP, clinical pharmacist at Cigna HealthSpring; and Sawant's advisor, UHCOP Associate Professor Sujit Sansgiry, Ph.D. 

In addition to Suryavanshi and Sawant, several other UHCOP graduate students were selected to be among the nearly 100 UH students invited to participate in GRaSP Day. Following are the other presenters, their project titles and advisors: 

  • Archita Bhansali (PHOP, Sujit Sansgiry), "Does Congruent Information Improve Label Understanding?";
  • Pankajini Mallick (Pharmaceutics, Romi Ghose): "Mechanism Involved in Irinotecan-induced Liver Steatosis";
  • Naimesh Solanki (Pharmacology, Samina Salim): "Beneficial Effects of Grape Powder Supplement in a Rat Model of Social Stress";
  • Guncha Taneja (Pharmaceutics, Romi Ghose): "Role of c-Jun-N-terminal Kinase (JNK) in Regulation of Enzyme CYP3A4"; and
  • Aisha Vadhariya (PHOP, Michael Johnson): "Utilization Patterns of Lipid-lowering Medications in High Risk Diabetic Patients."

PHOP Ph.D. candidate Pratik Rane was selected among one of only 10 GRaSP participants to present a "TED Talk" on his research. Rane's talk was on the "Dangers of the Long-term Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors."

GRaSP Day is presented by the UH Graduate School and the Office of the Provost.