Student Hightlight Interviews

Amelia Deitchman, PhD

The Student Outreach Committee is honored to present the Student Highlight Interview with Amelia Deitchman, PharmD. Dr. Deitchman is an active Student Member of ACCP, co- chairs the Student Outreach Committee and has attended the ACCP Annual Meeting. Thank you, Dr. Deitchman, for sharing your experiences with us!

How long have you been a Member of ACCP? I have been a Member since February 2013.

Please describe your studies/research? I am a 2nd year PhD student in the Dept of Pharmaceutics at the Univ of Florida, College of Pharmacy under Professor Hartmut Derendorf. I received my PharmD also from the Univ of Florida in 2013. My PhD project involves investigation of a novel antimicrobial combination of tigecycline and tetracycline for activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In addition to the exploration of the mechanism in vitro, my project includes static time-kill curves to fully characterize the observed effect. When completed, results will be incorporated into a semi-mechanistic PK/PD model, which will be used to simulate possible dosing regimens for future trials.

Why did you choose the field of clinical pharmacology? During pharmacy school, I interned in the laboratory of Professor Hartmut Derendorf on various projects, particularly pertaining to applied pharmacokinetics and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD). It was during this time that I realized my passion for the field of clinical pharmacology and it became abundantly clear that my training during a PhD would provide me with the skills to preform more basic pharmacology and drug development research while keeping in mind the clinical perspective I gained during my PharmD.

Who was most influential to you in selecting your career path? Dr. Derendorf has by far been the most influential individual in guiding me in my career path. Throughout pharmacy school he fostered my interest in research by giving me the opportunity to work on research projects under one of his PhD students, Dr. Daniel Gonzalez, and take PhD courses while still in pharmacy school. I was and am still extremely grateful to have his support and mentorship to help me guide me to a successful professional career.

What advice would you give to another Student considering membership in ACCP? Join! ACCP is a wonderful organization that provides excellent networking and professional development opportunities for Student Members. It is easy to get involved with ACCP and all the members I have met are friendly, helpful and always excited to interact with students. Being able to get to know so many experts in the field so easily makes ACCP a more than ideal networking environment, as well as a great place to seek mentorship.

What qualities have you worked on during your graduate studies to become a successful scientist? I have tried my best to focus not only on learning the science and skills I need to become a clinical pharmacologist, but also recognize and develop the qualities it takes to be a successful professional and collaborator.

How has involvement in ACCP helped shape your career and what benefits have you enjoyed as a result of being an ACCP member (Mentoring, Committees, posters at Annual Meetings, etc.? Shortly after becoming a Student Member, I became involved with helping to establish the ACCP Gator Student Chapter at the Univ of Florida, serving as the chapter’s first Chair. After this, I became co-chair of the Student Outreach Committee. These are great opportunities to interact with the greater ACCP organization as well as work on student programming for the Annual Meeting. The interactions I have had at both levels have been invaluable to shaping my view of the field and working with a wonderful, enthusiastic group of professionals with a passion for clinical pharmacology.

How would you recommend that students get involved in the various initiatives of the college? Sign for committees, attend the Annual Meeting, present a poster, see if there is interest at your institution in building a chapter at your institution. It couldn’t be easier in such a close-knit organization to get involved and make a difference.

Please tell us about your experience as a Student at the ACCP Annual Meeting or on an ACCP Committee? I had the pleasure of attending my first Annual Meeting last year and participating in several student events, including attending the Student Tutorials, Podium Presentations, and guided Poster Tours. This year I have had the amazing opportunity to help contribute ideas for the student programming for the 2015 Annual Meeting as co-chair of the Student Outreach Committee.

What networking opportunities are available for Students attending the ACCP Annual Meeting? The organization is so close-knit and most Members are very involved, making it easy to interact and get to know professionals in the field at the Annual Meeting, be it through Student events or Poster Sessions.

What are some of the long term benefits of getting involved in ACCP as a Student? The connections and advice you receive at this point in your career is invaluable in shaping your view of and direction in the field. You are likely to meet your future boss, mentor, collaborator or colleague at an ACCP Annual Meeting. The career advice and insight gained will be priceless to growing a professional career in the field of clinical pharmacology.

What do you do when not working (i.e. other activities like sports, art, music etc.)? I enjoy travelling, being outdoors, camping, practicing yoga, going to the gym and reading.