Past Trainees


Monica Akre, PhD

Monica AkreMy work focusses on the use of cell line expression data and corresponding drug responsiveness with the goal of identifying predictive expression profiles that will better direct use of effective therapeutics and avoid ineffective options.

Samuel Callisto, PhD

Samuel CallistoSamuel Dr. Callisto received a PhD in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology. During his time in the program Samuel pursued various avenues of research related to precision medicine in neuropharmacology with a focus on anti-seizure drugs. Projects included the effect of patient demographics on likelihood of experiencing side effects from topiramate, the pharmacogenomic underpinnings of lamotrigine clearance changes during pregnancy, and clinical applications of pharmacogenomics to epilepsy treatment.

Elise Durgin, PharmD

Elise DurginDr. Elise Durgin graduated from the University of Minnesota PharmD program.  She then completed a PGY-1 residency in Pharmacy Practice at the University of Minnesota.  She was the first PGY-2 resident in Clinical Pharmacogenomics at Children’s Minnesota, where her residency focused on developing expert skills providing clinical pharmacogenomic consultations to health-care providers and patients/families. In addition she gained experience developing the educational and EHR resources necessary to implement new clinical services by participating in ongoing pharmacogenomics program expansion at Children’s Minnesota. Dr. Durgin's research evaluated the association of CYP2D6 genotype on treatment outcomes with atomoxetine in patients with ADHD treated at Children's Minnesota. This project laid the foundation for a prospective evaluation of the implementation of recently published Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium Guidelines for CYP2D6 Genotype and atomoxetine. She is now a pharmacogenomics pharmacist at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby, Minnesota.

Seenae Eum, PharmD

Seenae EumMedications with high anticholinergic activity have adverse effects on neuropsychological performance. During her time at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Eum worked on quantifying neuropsychological performance relationships with anticholinergic burden and genetic factors in patients with psychotic disorders, first degree relatives, and controls with the goal of identifying key genetic variants associated with anticholinergic effects on cognitive phenotypes.

Asmaa Ferdjallah, MD

Asmaa FerdjallahAsmaa Ferdjallah completed a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/BMT fellowship at the University of Minnesota.  She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee followed by a medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine in D.C. She is interested in pharmacogenomics, bone marrow transplant, and global health and is obtaining lab experience studying the relationship between lncRNAs and response to certain chemotherapeutic agents.

Taylor Harding, PhD

Taylor HardingDr. Harding graduated from the PhD program in Biological Sciences. He used pre-clinical modeling to identify transcriptomic signatures that accurately predict drug resistance in multiple myeloma. Additionally, we are testing new chemotherapeutic approaches to target unique features of the myeloma epigenome and improve the efficacy of current therapies.

Megan Hundertmark, PharmD

Dr. Megan HundertmarkHundertmark graduated from the PharmD program at the University of Minnesota Duluth campus. For her research emphasis, she hasworked with Jacob Brown, PharmD, MS to research the implementation of pharmacogenomic testing. She published a survey, Primary Care Clinicians Attitudes and Knowledge of Pharmacogenetics in a Large, Multi-state, Healthcare System, which showed that primary care clinicians think pharmacogenomics is important for practice and that pharmacists are the best suited to take on the task. She worked on another survey that was administered to pharmacists to determine if post-graduate education and board certification has an impact on a pharmacist’s opinion of pharmacogenomics.

Gregory Laffen, PharmD

Gregory LaffenDr. Laffen graduated from the University of Minnesota PharmD program.  He studied pharmacogenomic determinants of the serum uric acid lowering effects of the drug fenofibrate. He worked to determine if genetic markers can be used as predictors of drug response and serum uric acid levels and if they can be used to guide clinical decision in improving the treatment of gout and help ease the burden of comorbid cardiovascular disease.

Lauren Lemke, PharmD

Lauren LemkeLauren graduated from the University of Minnesota PharmD program in 2020. She completed a PGY1 residency at Essentia Healthcare in Duluth, MN and is now completing a PGY2 residency in PGx at the University of Minnesota.  Originally from small-town Wisconsin, her PharmD research was in the lab of Stephanie Huang and centered around identifying and validating biomarkers for anticancer drug resistance and sensitivity. She is interested in both somatic and germline pharmacogenomics as well as their implementation into clinical practice.

Tiana Luczak, PharmD

Tiana LuczakTiana Luczak is a 2018 College of Pharmacy (Duluth) PharmD graduate. After graduation, she completed her post-graduate year one residency training at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, MN. She then completed a fellowship in the College of Pharmacy and Essentia Health in Dulut. Tiana's research focused on implementation of pharmacogenomics, bringing a pharmacist-managed pharmacogenomics service to a large, rural health system. She is now a pharmacogenomics pharmacist at Fairview MHealth in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Marissa Nolan

marissa nolanDuring my time at the University of Minnesota, my research project involved studying Multiple Myeloma and the long-term effects of an epigenetic modifying drug called EPZ-6438 on human myeloma cell lines. This drug is an EZH2 inhibitor; EZH2 is a protein complex in the cell attributed with oncogenic activity in Multiple Myeloma. We concluded EPZ-6438 to be a potential novel therapy in treating Multiple Myeloma.

Tam Nguyen, PharmD

Tam NguyenTam Nguyen completed a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree at the University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy in 2021. She received a Bachelor of Science in Genetics, Cells Biology, and Development at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities - College of Biological Science in May 2017. She was involved in a translational pharmacogenomics research at the University of Minnesota Medical Center - East Bank Fairview Hospital with Dr. Jacobson and Dr. Skaar. The purpose of her research is to investigate how genetic variations affect ICU patients' responses to sedative medications. Tam is now completing a USC fellowship.

Malek Okour, PhD

Malek OkourDr. Okour completed his PhD in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology.  He studied pharmacometrics, and specifically, the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics analysis of mycophenolic acid (MPA) in kidney transplant recipients. The goal was to individualize therapy while keeping in mind exposure relation to acute rejection and side effects. Dr. Okour is now Manager of Clinical Pharmacology Modeling and Simulation at GlaxoSmithKline.

Christopher Olson, PharmD

Christopher OlsonDr. Olson graduated from the University of Minnesota PharmD program. As a student, he studied pharmacogenomics of psychotropic medications. The current lifetime prevalence of psychotic disorders is approximately 4.1% with non-response to standard treatments being in the range of 40-50%. This reveals a need for improvements in current treatment practices and the use of pharmacogenomics can help to improve the precision of individual patient treatments; therefore, we aimed to analyze various dopamine receptor and transporter single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in relation to participant’s antipsychotic dosing.

Rachael Pearson, PharmD

Rachael PearsonRachael Pearson graduated from the University of Minnesota PharmD program in 2021. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development also from the University of Minnesota.  Rachael gained experience in basic, translational, and clinical research settings during her PharmD. She studied under Dr. Pamala Jacobson and was in the Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology Research Emphasis Track. Rachael’s research involved determining the frequency of actionable pharmacogenomic variants in a large transplant cohort as well as evaluating the role of pharmacogenomics in the response to post-transplantation medications in human subjects. She now works at United Health Group  as part of the genomics program.

Rebecca Pulk, PharmD

Rebecca PulkDr. Pulk graduated from the University of Minnesota PharmD program.  The then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Geisinger Health Systems.  She is now the Pharmacogenomics Clinical Coordinator at Yale New Haven Health.  As a student, she worked to improve our ability to select an optimized tacrolimus dose for kidney transplant patients based on their individual clinical and genetic factors to decrease time to optimal coverage and improve clinical outcomes.

Zack Rivers, PharmD, PhD

Zachary RiversZach Rivers graduated from the PharmD program  at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. He then received a PhD in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, also from the University of Minnesota. His research focused on identifying and translating clinically valid pharmacogenomic data into patient care, with an emphasis on overcoming financial and reimbursement barriers. He is now completing a fellowship at the University of Washington.

Youssef Roman, PharmD, PhD

youssef romanDr. Roman completed a PhD in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota.  He studied genetic polymorphisms in select genes responsible for uric acid disposition and the drugs used to treat hyperuricemia and gout. His work identified key genetic variants to guide drug selection to manage patients with gout, hyperuricemia, and their associated comorbidities. He is now an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Kinjal Sanghavi, PhD

Kinjal Sanghavi Dr. Sanghavi completed a PhD in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota.  She studied immunosuppressive therapy in transplantation using population pharmacokinetic and pharmacogenetic approaches to optimize dosing for tacrolimus (for kidney transplant recipients) and fludarabine (for hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients). She is now Associate Director in Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics at Genmab.

Aileen Scheibner, PharmD

Aileen ScheibnerDr. Scheibner graduated from the University of Minnesota PharmD program. She then completed a PGY-1 residency at University Health System in San Antonio, followed by a PGY2 residency in critical care at Barnes Jewish Hospital. As a student, Dr. Scheibner studied the relationship between fludarabine and cyclophosphamide pharmacokinetics, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and non-relapse mortality, neutrophil engraftment, overall survival and acute graft-versus-host disease in patients undergoing allogeneic nonmyeloablative HCT. Understanding the relationships between target SNPs, pharmacokinetics, and clinical outcomes will facilitate the development of a personalized approach to HCT preparative regimens that improves safety and overall survival while minimizing the risk of acute graft-versus-host disease.

Stephan Seibert, PharmD

Stephan Seibert Dr. Seibert graduated from the University of Minnesota PharmD program. As a student, Dr. Seibert studied the associations between intra-patient tacrolimus pharmacokinetic variability, CYP3A5 loss of function alleles, and acute rejection in a large cohort of African American and European American kidney transplant recipients.

Tyler Stevens, PharmD

tyler stevens bioTyler Stevens is a graduate of the University of Minnesota PharmD program. He completed a PGY2 residency in Clinical Pharmacogenomics at Children’s Minnesota.  His residency focused on enhancing clinical skills in pharmacogenomics and developing expertise in clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics into the electronic health record.  Specifically, he helped with implementation of the recent Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium Guideline for CYP2C9 and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Prior to his residency at Children’s Minnesota, Tyler completed a PGY-1 at CentraCare through the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Residency Program.  Tyler is now a pharmacogenomics pharmacist at Essentia Health.