April 25, 2023
Dr. Ilisa Bernstein accepts her award at the 2023 University of Michigan College of Pharmacy PharmD Commencement.
Dr. Ilisa Bernstein accepts her award at the 2023 University of Michigan College of Pharmacy PharmD Commencement.

Ilisa Bernstein, PharmD’87, JD, FAPhA, has been named the 2023 Alumni Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award winner. This award honors alumni who have made significant lifetime contributions to their profession or society through practice, research, education, or public service.

Dr. Bernstein is the interim CEO and executive vice president at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Prior to this position, Dr. Bernstein was senior vice president for pharmacy practice and government affairs at APhA.

“The College could not be thankful of everything that Dr. Bernstein has done for the profession,” says Vicki Ellingrod, PharmD, FCCP, FACNP, dean and John Gideon Searle Professor of Pharmacy. “She shows the national and the world how the profession of pharmacy can advance patient care and everything that you can accomplish with a University of Michigan Pharmacy degree. She truly exemplifies our motto of leaders and best.”

Dr. Bernstein has served the U-M College of Pharmacy as both a preceptor and member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee. She became an adjunct clinical assistant professor in 2005, mentoring over 20 students to date. Dr. Bernstein was nominated for the Preceptor of the Year Award twice. Dr. Bernstein joined the Dean's Advisory Committee in 2009, where she has helped the College’s leadership assess the overall strategic direction of the College.

She has over 30 years of experience advocating for pharmacy and patients at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where she held several senior leadership positions. Prior to joining APhA, Dr. Bernstein was deputy director of FDA’s Office of Compliance in the Center for Drug Evaluation & Research, leading policies, compliance, and enforcement in areas including drug compounding, supply chain security, drug manufacturing and quality, drug shortages, and post-market drug safety. Dr. Bernstein also served as director of pharmacy affairs for the FDA and senior advisor for regulatory policy in the Office of the Commissioner. She started at FDA as clinical pharmacology reviewer of investigational and new drug applications.

Previously, Dr. Bernstein was senior associate director of worldwide regulatory affairs for Pfizer. After earning her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, she completed a post-doctoral clinical residency at the National Institutes of Health, later completing her Juris Doctor from American University Washington College of Law.