Dr. Varsha Bhatt-Mehta wins ACCP Lifetime Achievement Award
Varsha Bhatt-Mehta, PharmD, MS, FCCP, has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Pediatrics Practice and Research Network of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. The award will be presented during the ACCP 2020 annual meeting on October 26. This award recognizes outstanding and sustained contributions to practice, education, research, service, and advocacy in pediatric pharmacy.
Dr. Bhatt-Mehta is a Clinical Professor of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy; Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Medical School; and Clinical Pharmacist, Michigan Medicine. She was inspired to study pharmacy from a young age. “I wanted learn more about medicines, how they work and how one decides which ones to use,” explains Dr. Bhatt-Mehta. “This inspiration stemmed from my mother’s chronic asthma from which she suffered for most of her life.”
Dr. Bhatt-Mehta earned her BS in Pharmacy and MS in Medicinal Chemistry from LM College of Pharmacy, Gujerat University in India. She completed a one-year course of study in pharmacy at Sunderland Polytechnic in England before starting her Doctor of Pharmacy education at the University of Cincinnati. She completed a two-year postgraduate research fellowship in Pediatric Pharmacotherapy at The Ohio State University and Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH, where she focused her research on drug therapy in newborn infants. Most recently, Dr. Bhatt-Mehta completed a Master of Science in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis at the University of Michigan School of Public Health as part of a Research Scholar’s Program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.
For over 30 years, Dr. Bhatt-Mehta’s clinical practice and research has focused on children. “After joining the PharmD program at UC, I was looking for a challenging specialty to focus on,” recalls Dr. Bhatt-Mehta. “My Pharm. D. investigations project happened to be in pediatrics, which I enjoyed greatly. I learned how challenging it was to study medicines in children. Since I love challenges, I decided to focus my career on pediatric pharmacotherapy research and practice.”
Dr. Bhatt-Mehta’s clinical services are dedicated to the care of full term and premature newborn infants. Her current research interests include study of safe and effective drug therapies in pediatric and neonatal patients with a special emphasis on clinical trials and pragmatic study designs evaluating pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and clinical outcomes using population methods. She is currently a site principal investigator for the Pediatric Trials Network (funded by NICHD) and is also involved in collaborative clinical research that uses complex national network data. Her international collaborations in neonatal research include membership and participation in the International Neonatal Consortium (Critical Path Institute entity).
Dr. Bhatt-Mehta has been an active member of various national organizations. She is an active member of American College of Clinical Pharmacy, where she is involved in the Pediatrics and the Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamics/Pharmacogenomics (PK/PD/PG) Practice and Research networks. She is member of American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS) with membership in various AAPS communities, including Pharmacometrics and the Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Research community among others.
Dr. Bhatt-Mehta serves on the editorial boards of Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Journal of Drug Development and Research and has served as associate editor of the AAPSOpen, an open access journal of AAPS. She is a peer reviewer for many national and international pediatric scientific journals. She has traveled internationally to deliver scientific presentations in the UK, Europe, India and Singapore. Dr. Bhatt-Mehta has published over 100 scientific papers, abstracts and book chapters in peer- reviewed scientific journals.