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Phi Kappa Phi

PHOP Ph.D. Candidate Archita Bhansali Welcomed into World's Oldest Multidisciplinary Honor Society

UH College of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy doctoral candidate Archita Bhansali, M.S. ('13), was inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the world's oldest multidisciplinary honor society, at an April 10 ceremony at UH. 

Election to Phi Kappa Phi membership is by invitation only. Each chapter screens juniors, seniors, and graduate students for membership based upon their grade point averages and good character. 

The goal-oriented, focused Bhansali completed her master's degree in only one year plus one semester and is on course to complete her Ph.D. at 25 years old, all while maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.99.

During her time at UH, Bhansali has had three manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals with another three submitted and seven more in development. Her projects with UHCOP faculty and others has earned gold and silver medals from the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, as well as the Best Poster Award at the PHOP department symposium she helped organize at UH three years ago.

In addition, she has served in leadership positions of two student organizations of fellow PHOP graduate students at the college. Outside of UH, Bhansali has completed summer research internships with pharmaceutical companies AbbVie and GlaxoSmithKline. 

As she was completing her undergraduate Pharmacy degree in her native India, Bhansali said she became increasingly interested in the analytical aspects of pharmaceutical care over the traditional career pathway of providing direct patient care.

"I loved doing puzzles as a kid, and health outcomes research is in many ways a puzzle: Although you know there is a bigger picture, you only have a few of the pieces," Bhansali said. "As I was first learning about health outcomes research, I was stunned by all of the work that goes on after a drug goes to market. It's a great field for someone with a data-centric curiosity, and you are not restrained to one disease state or area. I've done projects on everything from diabetes to breast cancer and endocrinology."

Her dissertation project is examining the decisions/beliefs processes toward FDA-approved chemopreventive agents in individuals with and without a family-based predisposition to developing breast cancer. 

"I've had two family members diagnosed with breast cancer, so I've seen the process over 20 years," Bhansali said. "Although taking these chemopreventive agents doesn't guarantee you won't develop the disease, but it's really surprising that utilization of these drugs is so slow, especially considering their relatively low cost. I'm interested in learning more about women's beliefs and knowledge and how they make their decisions toward risk reduction related to these agents."