American College of Clinical Pharmacy
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ACCP Report - August 2019

ACCP Foundation MeRIT and FIT Programs Provide a Productive Week of Investigator Development


FIT/MeRIT Class of 2019. Front Row: Hetrick, Hatton Kolpek, Rodgers, Leonard
Second Row: Cucci, Johnson, Allen
Third Row: Moye-Dickerson, Manis, Jones, Kolesar
Fourth Row: Rhoney, Ellingrod, Sikora-Newsome, Chahine
Fifth Row: Crona, Johnson, Dowling
Back Row: Hughes, Felbinger, Daley
Not Pictured: Zillich

Fourteen investigator-participants and eight mentors teamed up for 5 days of intensive investigator development at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, June 17–21.

This marked the fifth offering of the ACCP Foundation Mentored Research Investigator Training (MeRIT) Program. The 5-day primer session kicked off this individualized, 2-year longitudinal program, which is designed to mentor participants throughout the research process – from research idea and study design to institutional review board and funding application to data collection, results presentation, and manuscript submission.

The Foundation’s flagship course, the Focused Investigator Training (FIT) Program, was delivered for the 11th time in 2019. FIT delivers an unparalleled, intensive, hands-on grant refinement experience for pharmacist-investigators pursuing funding from the NIH and other similarly competitive sources as a principal investigator.

Assisted by skilled and successful research mentors, 2019 attendees concentrated on developing and revising their individual proposals throughout the week. Small-group sessions and individual work time allowed mentees to focus on their individual projects and immediately address questions and the recommended revisions. The small-group sessions were complemented by tip-rich lectures and discussions, one-on-one mentor and biostatistician appointments, and continual revision and feedback on ideas and proposals.

The 2019 MeRIT primer participants will present posters of their proposed research projects during the ACCP Annual Meeting in New York City, October 26–29, 2019. In addition, during the Annual Meeting, the MeRIT 2018 participants will present posters of their completed research projects. Please stop by to learn about these projects, ask questions, and offer advice to these motivated researchers.

Learn more about the FIT or MeRIT Program by visiting the Foundation booth during the 2019 Annual Meeting or at any time on the Foundation website (

Watch for the summer 2020 FIT and MeRIT Program application materials on the ACCP Foundation website and accelerate your growth as a clinical pharmacy researcher by submitting your letter of intent in February 2020. This approach to proposal development and investigator training with experienced and passionate mentors is unmatched by any other pharmacist training program.

2019 Investigator-Participants:

  • John M. Allen, Pharm.D., BCCCP, FCCM
    University of Florida
  • Elias Chahine, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS, BCIDP
    Palm Beach Atlantic University
  • Daniel Crona, Pharm.D., Ph.D.
    University of North Carolina
  • Michaelia Cucci, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCCCP
    Cleveland Clinic Akron General
  • Christopher Daly,
    University at Buffalo
  • Matthew Felbinger, Pharm.D., BCPS
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Kayla Hetrick, Pharm.D.
    Cleveland Clinic
  • Mitchell Hughes, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCOP
    University of Pennsylvania
  • Eric Johnson, Pharm.D., BCCCP
    University of Kentucky
  • Hannah Johnson, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCCCP
    University of Kentucky
  • Mikael Jones, Pharm.D., BCPS
    University of Kentucky
  • Melanie Manis, Pharm.D., BCPS
    Samford University
  • Pamela Moye-Dickerson, Pharm.D., BCPS
    Mercer University
  • Andrea Sikora-Newsome, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCCCP
    University of Georgia

2019 Mentors:

  • Thomas C. Dowling, Pharm.D., Ph.D., FCCP
    Ferris State University
  • Vicki L. Ellingrod, Pharm.D., FCCP
    University of Michigan
  • Jill Kolesar, Pharm.D., M.S., FCCP, BCPS
    University of Kentucky
  • Jimmi Hatton Kolpek, Pharm.D., FCCM, FCCP
    University of Kentucky
  • Charles E. Leonard, Pharm.D., MSCE
    University of Pennsylvania
  • Denise H. Rhoney, Pharm.D., FCCP
    University of North Carolina
  • Jo Ellen Rodgers, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS
    University of North Carolina
  • Alan J. Zillich, Pharm.D., FCCP
    Purdue University