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1.  A Train-the-Trainer Approach to a Shared Pharmacogenomics Curriculum for US Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy 
Objective. To assess pharmacy faculty trainers’ perceptions of a Web-based train-the-trainer program for PharmGenEd, a shared pharmacogenomics curriculum for health professional students and licensed clinicians.
Methods. Pharmacy faculty trainers (n=58, representing 39 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States and 1 school from Canada) participated in a train-the-trainer program consisting of up to 9 pharmacogenomics topics. Posttraining survey instruments assessed faculty trainers’ perceptions toward the training program and the likelihood of their adopting the educational materials as part of their institution’s curriculum.
Results. Fifty-five percent of faculty trainers reported no prior formal training in pharmacogenomics. There was a significant increase (p<0.001) in self-reported ability to teach pharmacogenomics to pharmacy students after participants viewed the webinar and obtained educational materials. Nearly two-thirds (64%) indicated at least a “good” likelihood of adopting PharmGenEd materials at their institution during the upcoming academic year. More than two-thirds of respondents indicated interest in using PharmGenEd materials to train licensed health professionals, and 95% indicated that they would recommend the program to other pharmacy faculty members.
Conclusion. As a result of participating in the train-the-trainer program in pharmacogenomics, faculty member participants gained confidence in teaching pharmacogenomics to their students, and the majority of participants indicated a high likelihood of adopting the program at their institution. A Web-based train-the-trainer model appears to be a feasible strategy for training pharmacy faculty in pharmacogenomics.
doi:10.5688/ajpe7610193
PMCID: PMC3530055  PMID: 23275658
pharmacogenomics; curriculum; pharmacy colleges and schools; faculty development; train-the-trainer
2.  Waterpipe smoking among health sciences university students in Iran: perceptions, practices and patterns of use 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:496.
Background
In recent years waterpipe smoking has become a popular practice amongst young adults in eastern Mediterranean countries, including Iran. The aim of this study was to assess waterpipe smoking perceptions and practices among first-year health sciences university students in Iran and to identify factors associated with the initiation and maintenance of waterpipe use in this population.
Results
Out of 371 first-year health sciences students surveyed, 358 eight students completed a self-administered questionnaire in the classrooms describing their use and perceptions towards waterpipe smoking. Two hundred and ninety six responders met study inclusion criteria. Waterpipe smoking was common among first-year health sciences university students, with 51% of students indicating they were current waterpipe smokers. Women were smoking waterpipes almost as frequently as men (48% versus 52%, respectively). The majority of waterpipe smokers (75.5%) indicated that the fun and social aspect of waterpipe use was the main motivating factor for them to continue smoking. Of waterpipe smokers, 55.3% were occasional smokers, using waterpipes once a month or less, while 44.7% were frequent smokers, using waterpipes more than once a month. A large number of frequent waterpipe smokers perceived that waterpipe smoking was a healthier way to use tobacco (40.6%) while only 20.6% thought it was addictive. Compared to occasional smokers, significantly more frequent smokers reported waterpipe smoking was relaxing (62.5% vs. 26.2%, p = 0.002), energizing (48.5% vs. 11.4%, p = 0.001), a part of their culture (58.8% vs. 34.1%, p = 0.04), and the healthiest way to use tobacco (40.6% vs. 11.1%, p = 0.005).
Conclusions
Social and recreational use of waterpipes is widespread among first-year health sciences university students in Iran. Women and men were almost equally likely to be current waterpipe users. Public health initiatives to combat the increasing use of waterpipes among university students in Iran must consider the equal gender distribution and its perception by many waterpipe smokers as being a healthier and non-addictive way to use tobacco.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-496
PMCID: PMC3279519  PMID: 22087840
3.  HLA-B*5701 testing to predict abacavir hypersensitivity 
PLoS Currents  2010;2:RRN1203.
Abacavir is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor used for combination antiretroviral therapy for treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. An adverse effect from abacavir is a treatment-limiting hypersensitivity reaction, which can be severe and potentially life-threatening. Abacavir-induced hypersensitivity reaction has been associated with the presence of the major histocompatibility complex class I allele HLA-B*5701. A screening test for the HLA-B*5701 allele can assist clinicians to identify patients who are at risk of developing a hypersensitivity reaction to abacavir.
doi:10.1371/currents.RRN1203
PMCID: PMC3000684  PMID: 21151380
4.  Pharmacogenomics in the Curricula of Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy in the United States 
Objectives
To assess the breadth, depth, and perceived importance of pharmacogenomics instruction and level of faculty development in this area in schools and colleges of pharmacy in the United States.
Methods
A questionnaire used and published previously was further developed and sent to individuals at all US schools and colleges of pharmacy. Multiple approaches were used to enhance response.
Results
Seventy-five (83.3%) questionnaires were returned. Sixty-nine colleges (89.3%) included pharmacogenomics in their PharmD curriculum compared to 16 (39.0%) as reported in a 2005 study. Topic coverage was <10 hours for 28 (40.6%), 10-30 hours for 29 (42.0%), and 31-60 hours for 10 (14.5%) colleges and schools of pharmacy. Fewer than half (46.7%) were planning to increase course work over the next 3 years and 54.7% had no plans for faculty development related to pharmacogenomics.
Conclusions
Most US colleges of pharmacy include pharmacogenomics content in their curriculum, however, the depth may be limited. The majority did not have plans for faculty development in the area of pharmacogenomic content expertise.
PMCID: PMC2829155  PMID: 20221358
pharmacogenomics education; pharmacogenetics education; curriculum
5.  Development of A Web-Based Diabetes Patient Management Tool 
Diabetes is a common disease in the society. To optimize patient care and compliance with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) testing guidelines is the important process for diabetes patients. In this project, a Web-based patient diseases management program is developed in which the nurse practitioners would regularly track diabetes patients clinical information and contact the patients who have not been checked in some time, have not had certain screening tests done, have not achieved good control of their diabetes, to determine appropriate follow-up.
PMCID: PMC1560822  PMID: 16779443
6.  EM Clustering Analysis of Diabetes Patients Basic Diagnosis Index 
Cluster analysis can group similar instances into same group. Partitioning cluster assigns classes to samples without known the classes in advance. Most common algorithms are K-means and Expectation Maximization (EM). EM clustering algorithm can find number of distributions of generating data and build “mixture models”. It identifies groups that are either overlapping or varying sizes and shapes. In this project, by using EM in Machine Learning Algorithm in JAVA (WEKA) system, diabetes patient basic diagnosis index data have been analyzed for clustering.
PMCID: PMC1560662  PMID: 16779444
7.  Development of a Web-Based Quarterly Profile of Providers in ATP III Study 
A Web-based programmed lipid management reminder system has been developed to evaluate physician compliance with the National Cholesterol Education Program’s Third Report of the Adult Treatment Panel Guidelines in primary care clinics. The system builds a knowledge-based database from an EMR database first, then generates quarterly profiles of providers and sends the profiles with a reminder letter to each participated physicians by email every quarter to help primary care providers to improve the quality of their care.
PMCID: PMC1560484  PMID: 16779445
8.  Factors associated with herbal use among urban multiethnic primary care patients: a cross-sectional survey 
Background
The use of herbal supplements in the United States has become increasingly popular. The prevalence of herbal use among primary care patients varies in previous studies; the pattern of herbal use among urban racially/ethnically diverse primary care patients has not been widely studied. The primary objectives of this study were to describe the use of herbs by ethnically diverse primary care patients in a large metropolitan area and to examine factors associated with such use. The secondary objective was to investigate perceptions about and patterns of herbal use.
Methods
Data for a cross-sectional survey were collected at primary care practices affiliated with the Southern Primary-care Urban Research Network (SPUR-Net) in Houston, Texas, from September 2002 to March 2003. To participate in the study, patients had to be at least 18 years of age and visiting one of the SPUR-Net clinics for routine, nonacute care. Survey questions were available in both English and Spanish.
Results
A total of 322 patients who had complete information on race/ethnicity were included in the analysis. Overall, 36% of the surveyed patients (n = 322) indicated use of herbs, with wide variability among ethnic groups: 50% of Hispanics, 50% of Asians, 41% of Whites, and 22% of African-Americans. Significant factors associated with an individual's herbal use were ethnicity other than African-American, having an immigrant family history, and reporting herbal use by other family members. About 40% of survey respondents believed that taking prescription medications and herbal medicines together was more effective than taking either alone. One-third of herbal users reported using herbs on a daily basis. More Whites (67%) disclosed their herbal use to their health-care providers than did African-Americans (45%), Hispanics (31%), or Asians (31%).
Conclusions
Racial/ethnic differences in herbal use were apparent among this sample of urban multiethnic adult primary care patients. Associated factors of herbal use were non-African-American ethnicity, immigrant family history, and herbal use among family members. Whereas Hispanics and Asians reported the highest rates of herbal use, they were the least likely to disclose their use to health-care professionals. These findings are important for ensuring medication safety in primary care practices.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-4-18
PMCID: PMC539258  PMID: 15575960

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