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Current Graduate Students

Anal Shah

Anal Shah is currently enrolled in Ph. D. program in Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes in the Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science at the School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University.  Her advisor is Dr. David Holdford.  She completed her Masters in Pharmacy from BITS-Pilani, India in 2009.  Upon completion of her Master's program she has had the opportunity to work with several Pharmaceutical companies (GSK, Dr. Reddy's and Astron) for over 3 years. During her work in industry she developed an interest in the field of Pharmacoeconomics.  With the urge to gain in-depth knowledge and  training in this area, she had applied to the graduate program at VCU. She intends to take extensive coursework and perform research in the area of Pharmacoeconomic evaluations and Modeling, Disease management, Database analysis and Patient Reported Outcomes. With the support of her wonderful advisor and faculty members, She is confident to have a very fulfilling educational experience and career in this area. She plans to pursue her career in industry or consulting.


Crystal Leibrand

Crystal Leibrand photo

Crystal Leibrand is enrolled in the Pharm.D./Ph.D. combined degree program in the Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science. Her advisor is Dr. MaryPeace McRae. Crystal obtained her Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Randolph-Macon College. She decided to work towards obtaining both a Pharm.D. and a Ph.D. so that she could serve patients both through patient care and through research. Her primary research focuses are in HIV/AIDS, drugs of abuse, and the blood-brain barrier. When not in the laboratory she enjoys volunteering at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry and with the Richmond City Medical Reserve Corps.


Duaa Bakhshwin

Duaa Bakhshwin

Duaa Bakhshwin is currently enrolled in PhD Program in the Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy. Her advisor is Dr. Patricia Slattum.  She completed her Masters in Pharmacology and toxicology in 2014. She received her MBBS (Bachelor degree of Medicine and Surgery) from King Abdul-Aziz University in Saudi Arabia in 2009. She also did a one year internship in 2010. After that she worked as a Teaching Assistant in King Abdul-Aziz University and also helped in some ongoing clinical research. She believes that with the support of her advisor, faculty members, and colleagues here at VCU she will gain the desired knowledge and experiences. Upon graduation she plans to go back to King Abdul-Aziz University and enhance the work and knowledge in the area of research and academia.


Emmanuel Cudjoe

Emmanuel Cudjoe

Emmanuel received his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in 2009 at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.  He completed a one year internship and passed the Ghana Pharmacy Professional Qualification Examinations. He was a practicing pharmacist in Ghana for two and a half years before his admission to VCU School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacotherapy & Outcomes Science. He also received a MPhil in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the same university in June, 2013. His research interests lie in the development of analytical methods for the identification and quantification of compounds and molecules. He will be working with his advisor Dr. Adam Hawkridge to develop some interesting methods for the analysis of many proteins which are implicated in diseases over the next few years.


Fawaz Alotiabi

Fawaz Altoibi

Fawaz Alotaibi is a PhD student in Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science at VCU in the Geriatric Pharmacotherapy Research Group. His advisor is Dr. Patricia Slattum.   He received his MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from VCU in May 2015 and his thesis research focused on dietary supplement use in older adults. He earned his PharmD from King Faisal University in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2011, and after completing his degree, Fawaz is planning to return to Saudi Arabia as an assistant professor in Dammam School of Pharmacy.


Hrishikesh Kale

Hrishikesh's photo

He is currently pursuing PhD in Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes. His advisors are Dr. Norman Carroll and Dr. Patricia Slattum. Before joining VCU, he completed BS in Pharmacy from University of Pune, and MS in Pharmacy Administration from St. John’s University. After completing his MS, he worked as a Research/Programmer Analyst in the Risk management and Epidemiology department at Purdue Pharma L.P for 3 years. At his job, he was involved in data analysis, SAS programming, protocol development and manuscript writing for observational studies conducted in the area of prescription opioid abuse, drug diversion and pain management.

Currently his current research interests include comparative effectiveness of drug therapies, geriatric pharmacotherapy, cost studies, patient reported outcomes in the area of chronic conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, psychiatric disorders, Hepatitis- C and others. His current goal is to complete graduate training and research at VCU. In future he would like to work as an independent researcher in the area of Pharmacoeconomics, Health Outcomes and Pharmacoepidemiology for healthcare consulting or pharmaceutical industry.


Julie Patterson

Julie Patterson photo

Julie Patterson is enrolled in the PharmD/PhD combined degree program in Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes. Her advisor is Dr. David Holdford. Julie completed her Bachelor's of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Cultural Epidemiology at the University of Richmond. Julie enrolled in the combined degree program after completing a VCU PharmD/PhD Summer Fellowship with the goal of gaining skills and perspectives to merge her clinical understanding of patient care with her interests in data analysis, economics, and marketing. She looks forward to using her interdisciplinary experiences to conduct population-based research that can improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of drug therapy.


Lauren Cox

Lauren Cox

Lauren Cox is originally from Richmond, VA. As a Richmond native, she has always known of the high quality health sciences programs that VCU had to offer, when she graduated from undergrad with a double major in  Biology and Spanish, and an aspiration to become a pharmacist, she knew that she wanted to enroll into Pharmacy School at VCU. While in pharmacy school she was accepted into a summer research fellowship with Dr. Leticia Moczygemba, one of the faculty in the Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Science (DPOS) at the School of Pharmacy at VCU who now is also her advisor. It was during this summer fellowship that her career path was altered and realized that she wanted to focus more on outcomes research. After graduating from pharmacy school, she decided to enroll into the PhD program in the DPOS at VCU School of Pharmacy. Her research interests focus on medication use and health care utilization among medically underserved and homeless populations. Upon graduation, she plans to enter into the field of academia and continue to pursue these research interests.


Mai Alhazami

Mai Alhazami

Mai is currently enrolled in the MS program in Pharmacoeconomics in the Department ofPharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science.  Her advisor is Dr. David Holdford.  She completed her Bachelor degree in Pharmacy from Kuwait University, in 2006. After that she worked at a pediatric hospital pharmacy for 3 years and at inpatient pharmacy for 2 years.  Her research areas of interest are pediatric health, pharmacoeconomics analysis, psychiatric diseases, and patient compliance.  Her  scholarship from Kuwait University is assisting with her goal to work as professor in Kuwait University School of Pharmacy.


Raheema Muhammad-Kah

Raheema Muhammad -Kah is pursuing a PhD in Pharmacoepidemiology in the Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Sciences. Her advisor is Dr. Norman Carroll. Raheema received a BSc in Mathematics (Magna cum laude) (2000), St. Mary's University and a Master of Science in Public Health in Biostatistics (2004) from Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA.

Raheema has spent the past decade as a biostatistician in both public health and industrial settings, working on multiple types of studies (clinical, non-clinical, epidemiological and behavioral) and modeling projects (Population Effect modeling).  She plans to enhance her career as a Pharmacoepidemiologist in the industrial or public health field and hopes to reach out not only in a local arena, but globally.


Sarah Almanie

Sarah Almanie

Sarah is currently enrolled in the MS program in Pharmacoeconomics in the Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science.  Her advisor is Dr. David Holdford. She received her bachelor degree from Kuwait University School of Pharmacy in 2006. Her  research interests are prescribing behaviors, management of kidney diseases, and health economics.  She plans to work as a professor in Kuwait University Pharmacy School  hoping to improve the current pharmacy practice and establish the basis of pharmacoeconomics research in Kuwait.


Sulay Patel

Sulay Patel Photo

Sulay Patel is currently enrolled in PhD Program in Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcome Science, at School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University. His advisor is Dr. MaryPeace McRae. Sulay had completed her Bachelor in Pharmacy from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in 2007. He had completed Master of Science in Medicinal Chemistry from National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Hyderabad, India in 2009 and have Master of Science in Chemistry from University of Iowa in 2013. His current research interest is studying transport across blood brain brain barrier in context of NeuroAIDS and substance abuse. When not doing research, he loves traveling, playing cricket and tennis. Upon completion of program, he intends to work in Pharmaceutical industry in Drug development arena.


Yoshita Paliwal

Yoshita Paliwal

Yoshita Paliwal received her first Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2006 from Banasthali University, India. After that she worked as a lecturer in SRMS Institute of Medical Sciences Bareilly, India. She recently earned her second Masters in Clinical Research from Cranfield University, UK and joined VCU in Fall 2013 for PhD Program in Pharmacotherapy. Her area of interest is Geriatric Pharmacotherapy and her adviser is Dr. Patricia Slattum. After completion of her PhD degree, she looks forward to continue her research and eventually work in academia.


Danah Alsane


Duaa Bafail


Amal Badawoud


Mohamad Kronfol