January 2019: Student/Trainee Profile

Published on 1/1/2019 12:00:00 AM

Tanaya Vaidya, Graduate Student, University of Florida, Orlando, FL

Tanaya majored in pharmaceutical sciences and technology during her undergraduate studies at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India. This program played a pivotal role in firming her decision to pursue graduate studies in pharmaceutical sciences. In 2014, she moved to the United States to pursue her master's degree in pharmaceutical sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo with a concentration in PKs and pharmacodynamics (PDs). Tanaya felt that the program was an extremely enriching experience that helped her lay a solid foundation in pursuing her goal of completing doctoral studies in the field. In 2016, she joined the PhD program in pharmaceutics at the University of Florida, Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology, in Lake Nona, FL, where she has been working as a graduate research student under the guidance of Dr. Sihem Bihorel.

All of Tanaya's professors, starting in her undergraduate years, have had an impact on her. She feels that she “wouldn't have been able to reach where [she] is today without their constant support, guidance, and encouragement.” In particular, she would like to thank her master's and PhD mentors, Drs. Robert Straubinger and Bihorel, for providing her with opportunities to work on exciting research projects and for their excellent mentorship, which allow her to hone her research skills in the field.

As a PK/PD student, Tanaya found the prospect of applying mathematical modeling and simulations to govern decision‐making processes in the area of drug development interesting and challenging. The areas of QSP and population PK/PD particularly fascinate her as they account for interpatient and intrapatient variabilities and can be potentially used to develop personalized medicine.

Tanaya's PhD research projects primarily focus on the application of QSP models to address issues in the areas of oncology and cardiotoxicity. The process of systematically investigating the mechanisms of efficacy and toxicity of chemotherapeutics through the use of mathematical modeling is something that deeply interests her. Tanaya hopes to play an important role as a researcher in this area to better integrate this valuable tool with the process of drug development to improve patient treatment.

In the long‐term, Tanaya aspires to become a quantitative clinical pharmacologist and a pharmacometrician, contributing to the decision‐making process of drug development in the pharmaceutical industry. The areas of QSP and pharmacometrics have been rapidly gaining momentum, as they contribute immensely to assessing the safety and efficacy of investigational new drugs. As valuable quantitative tools, they can help in designing optimal doses and dosing regimens to improve treatment outcomes in patients.

Tanaya learned about ASCPT through the faculty and her colleagues from the University of Florida, Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology. She decided to join the Society for the opportunity to connect with scientists and professionals from multiple disciplines, whose common goal is to advance patient care through the science and practice of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. Being one of the largest organizations in the field, ASCPT serves as a platform for both professional and personal development of young scientists who aspire to revolutionize health care by applying interdisciplinary knowledge and research better ways to understand and improve treatment outcomes in patients.

Her membership in ASCPT has allowed Tanaya to interact with scientists and professionals from several different fields, thus allowing her to gain valuable insights and information, for the advancement of her career. The educational resources provided by ASCPT have helped her expand her knowledge in the field. She is grateful to the Society for the opportunities to showcase her work as a Presidential Trainee at the 2018 Annual Meeting. This experience allowed her to gain valuable feedback from other professionals on her work, resulting in visibility and recognition of her work and development of her career.

Tanaya has been a member of ASCPT since 2017.

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