July 20, 2021
Congratulations to the recipients of AFPE's prestigious Pre-Doctoral Fellowships. Top left: Kristen Hong, top right: Theodore Jennaro, bottom left: Abbie Leino, bottom right: Jesse Wotring.

The American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) announced the recipients of their prestigious Pre-Doctoral Fellowships for the 2021-2022 academic year. Four University of Michigan College of Pharmacy students are among the 13 winners selected nationally. 

These fellowships provide financial support to PhD candidates, allowing them to focus more of their time on their research project.

University of Michigan College of Pharmacy Awardees:

Kristen Hong received the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Drug Delivery, Bioengineering.

Kristen is a 3rd-year PhD candidate in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2017 with a BS in pharmaceutical sciences. Her research focuses on formulating and optimizing the lipid composition of micelles, a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) mimetic nanoparticle, for the treatment of atherosclerosis.

Theodore Jennaro received the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical and Translational Sciences.

Theodore is a 2nd-year graduate student in the Clinical Pharmacy Translational Sciences program. Before starting his studies at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy in 2019, Dr. Jennaro earned his PharmD from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. His research focuses on using pharmacometabolomics and other principles of precision medicine to better understand variable drug response and heterogeneous outcomes in sepsis, a life-threatening organ dysfunction that results from a bloodstream infection.

Abbie Leino received the AFPE-ASHP Fellowship in Clinical and Translational Sciences.

Abbie is a PhD student in the Clinical Pharmacy Translational Science program. She received her PharmD from the University of Michigan in 2013, followed by residency and fellowship training in solid organ transplantation. Dr. Leino’s practice as a clinical pharmacist has spanned the continuum of transplant care, from pre-transplant evaluation through the initial hospitalization and into the outpatient clinic. Grounded in this experience, her research interests include identifying strategies to optimize immunosuppression regimens through the application of innovative therapeutic drug monitoring, clinical PK/PD modeling, and interventions to incorporate patient preferences and behaviors to design more effective dosing regimens with fewer adverse events. Her dissertation proposes to implement home therapeutic drug monitoring in transplant recipients using dried blood sampling. She hopes to increase the accuracy and frequency of monitoring to better understand and apply PK/PD relationships.

Jesse Wotring received the AFPE Regional Award in Drug Discovery/Medicinal Chemistry.

Jesse is a 3rd-year PhD candidate in the Medicinal Chemistry Department. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BS in biochemistry in 2018. He is a member of Dr. Jonathan Sexton’s lab, which specializes in high-content screening, specifically of bioactive and FDA approved compounds. They use a compound repositioning approach to apply old drugs and small molecules to new targets. These compounds have a history of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic information, which means rapid application to in vivo and clinical studies is possible. As a drug repositioning lab, Jesse and fellow lab members were called to perform compound screening for Covid-19 during the height of the pandemic. Because of this work, Jesse has been a major contributor to several studies, some published and others under review.  

Congratulations to all the winners!