Remembering Varsha Bhatt-Mehta
Dr. Varsha Bhatt-Mehta, retired clinical professor of pharmacy, died on February 16, 2023.
She is survived by her husband, Dr. Manish Mehta; sons, Anshul (Shreena), Vishal (Manali-fiancée); and Belle (pet dog) who were all by her side in her last days, as well as a large family based in London, U.K.
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. Dr. Bhatt-Mehta earned 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. Her research interests included the 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.
In honor of her contributions to the field, Dr. Bhatt-Mehta won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pediatrics Practice and Research Network of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy in 2020.
In 2021, Dr. Bhatt-Mehta announced her retirement from the University of Michigan after 31.5 years of service to pursue a new job opportunity that allowed her to make an impact at a national level. She took a position in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Senior Staff Fellow in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology to further new science in pediatric drug development.
Dr. Bhatt-Mehta was elected a fellow of two professional societies, and a board member/peer reviewer for many national and international pediatric scientific journals and published over 100 scientific papers, abstracts, and book chapters in medical journals. Outside work, she enjoyed family life, travelling, physical fitness, cooking and singing Hindustani classical and semi-classical music and choreographed many garba dances.
The College of Pharmacy expresses its condolences to the Mehta family and all those who were touched by Varsha.