Student Hightlight Interviews

Daniela Conrado, MS

How long have you been a Member of ACCP? I have been an ACCP member since February 2011.

Please describe your studies/research? I am fourth-year doctoral student working under the supervision of Professor Hartmut Derendorf at the University of Florida. My thesis project focuses on the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) modeling of armodafinil in sleep deprived adults. We are investigating quantitative electroencephalography as a means to assess a wakefulness-promoting effect.

Why did you choose the field of clinical pharmacology? My interest in pharmacokinetics has its roots when I first attended a course on Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics in 2001. The idea of applying mathematics to understand kinetics of drug absorption, distribution and elimination presented me an opportunity to marry my passion for pharmacy with mathematics. Then, it was during my master's program that I conducted the preclinical pharmacological evaluation of a drug candidate to treat schizophrenia. In 2009, I joined Dr. Derendorf's group and was given the wonderful opportunity to work on a project with a focus on quantitative neuropharmacology.

Who was most influential to you in selecting your career path? Dr. Hartmut Derendorf has been a great mentor throughout my doctoral studies. He offered me the opportunity to carry out a clinical PK-PD study in the neurology area. Dr. Teresa Dalla Costa guided me during my master studies on pre-clinical pharmacokinetics. Dr. Julie Johnson introduced me to the field of pharmacogenomics and allowed me to enrich my expertise.

What advice would you give to another Student considering membership in ACCP? Become a member! ACCP is an outstanding organization which truly strives to meet the professional needs of its members.

What qualities have you worked on during your graduate studies to become a successful scientist? First, I pursued a thesis topic which I am really passionate about; this is the driving force behind my motivation and curiosity. Second, I have attended several activities within and outside my college (e.g. research showcases, seminars, journal clubs, and conferences). They have served as an excellent means to increase my knowledge of various fields, network with colleagues, and enhance my ability to communicate results with others.

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.? ACCP has offered me a great deal in a short time frame. I have enjoyed the educational material available through the ACCP website (e.g. pharmacometrics, pharmacogenomics), the FDA news Drug Daily Bulletin and the "Online First Alert" for The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology through my e-mail. Moreover, at the annual meeting in Chicago I had the honor of receiving the Wayne A. Colburn Memorial Award.

How would you recommend that students get involved in the various initiatives of the college? I encourage students to participate in the ACCP annual meetings and present their research. Besides all of the educational opportunities, it presents a unique opportunity to communicate your results to others, and improve your work. Also, I would suggest volunteering for an ACCP Committee.

Please tell us about your experience as a Student at the ACCP annual meeting or on an ACCP Committee? It was at the ACCP annual meeting in Chicago that I had one of the most noteworthy poster presentations. I had a chance to interact with intelligent scientists in my field who were able to offer suggestions. In addition, as a member of the Education committee, I realized the extent to which faculty and staff are committed to the organization.

What networking opportunities are available for students attending the ACCP annual meeting? ACCP offers several network opportunities through the annual meetings and their several events; for instance, the poster presentations and tours with mentors, the student networking reception and the Student Outreach Committee.

What are some of the long term benefits of getting involved in ACCP as a student? Students can enjoy many benefits to aid in their professional development, especially networking and leadership opportunities.

What do you do when not working (i.e. other activities like sports, art, music etc.)? I like spending time with my best friends. In my personal time, I relax listening to classical music and jazz or reading books. As a Brazilian, I also appreciate a good soccer match.