MU | Features
PRECISION PHARMACY IN DOUBLE TIME
E ach spring , a cohort of students graduate from Manchester Pharmacy with their Pharm . D . degrees . This year was no different – except that four of these students were the first to graduate with a Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics ( M . S . in PGx ), simultaneously .
Pharmacogenomics is a “ breakthrough science that uses an individual ’ s genetic markers to customize and optimize his / her / their medication therapy ,” according to Dean Tommy Smith .
The first of its kind nationally , Manchester ’ s innovative dual degree program that combines the Pharm . D . with the M . S . in PGx provides students with valuable hands-on experiences in a rapidly expanding field seeking skilled practitioners .
“ I really didn ’ t know much about pharmacogenomics until I was in pharmacy school ,” said Ellen Line ’ 21 Pharm . D ., M . S . in PGx , “ Learning more about how we as pharmacists help patients manage their prescriptions , pharmacogenomics offered a path to further ensure patients are on all of the right medications and treatment options .”
The University launched the dual degree program in 2018 , led by a group of faculty including Dr . David Kisor , Pharm . D ., FCP , director of pharmacogenomics at Manchester .
“ The whole idea of taking patient information and assimilating that to provide the best pharmacotherapy is something that we ’ ve been aiming
Manchester Pharmacogenomics Experiential Rotations :
Top : Ellen Line , Pharm . D ., M . S . in PGx ’ 21 , and preceptor , Jennifer Hockings , Pharm . D ., Ph . D . at Cleveland Clinic , Department of Pharmacy and Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare
Bottom : Aaron Perkins , Pharm . D ., M . S . in PGx ’ 21 and preceptor , Valerie Baron , Pharm . D ., a pharmacogenomics pharmacist and product lead at Invitae in Seattle for throughout the history of pharmacy ,” Kisor explained . “ You add in how a patient responds to medication based on their genetics and now you ’ ve got an optimal group of information to really help the patient out .”
Providing an option to combine a Pharm . D . with a Master in Pharmacogenomics made perfect sense to Kisor . Because pharmacists have the most training in pharmacology , pharmacokinetics , and pharmacodynamics , adding pharmacogenomics – with its focus on genetics – to the mix is optimal for applications in the realm of pharmacy , he said .
During the 2020-2021 academic year , Line and Aaron Perkins ’ 21 Pharm . D ., M . S . in PGx , were dual degree program students who were able to get a taste of the real-world applications of pharmacogenomics through their PGx rotations .
Line ’ s rotation took her to the renowned Cleveland Clinic , where she worked closely with her preceptor , Jennifer Hockings , Pharm . D ., Ph . D ., in the organization ’ s Department of Pharmacy and Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare .
“ In addition to consults with patients , any time a genetic test was ordered , I reviewed it and made sure it was appropriate ,” said Line . “ I reviewed patients ’ histories and interpreted results to make sure appropriate actions were made .”
Line also created a handout for the pharmacists at the Cleveland Clinic that showed which drugs have specific FDA indications for genetic testing .
“ Before they approve the drug , they can reference the patient ’ s chart and make sure that they have any necessary genetic testing done ahead of time ,” Line said .
Hockings said that , in her role as a pharmacogenomic clinical specialist , she focuses on a combination of patient care , education , research and implementation .
Manchester University | ManchesterRx 9