Member Spotlight June 2019

Published on 6/1/2019 12:03:00 AM

Charles Oo, PharmD, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Clinical Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Morris Plains, New Jersey

Currently, Dr. Oo teaches at the School of Pharmacy, Fairleigh Dickinson University as well as consults for the pharmaceutical industry. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology as well as a Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology. Dr. Oo has practiced in both retail pharmacy and hospital settings, both in his native country of Malaysia and in the United States. His research interests are in basic and clincal drug development of new molecular entities, orphan drugs, and drug combinations for unmet medical needs. In addition to setting drug development strategies, he has hands‐on experience in development activities from the formative stages of target identification to passing regulatory hurdles for registration, postmarketing, and franchising. He hopes to impart the knowledge he has gained to his peers as well as to younger generations of researchers with the goal of alleviating disease in patients.

Dr. Oo trained both in Malaysia and in the United States at Wayne State University and the University of Kentucky. He recalls his program chair at Wayne State University having a global view of pharmaceutical education, which was helpful to his acceptance and success in the program. After completing his PharmD at Wayne State, he met a faculty member from the University of Kentucky, Robert A. Blouin, who recruited him into a clinically oriented PhD program. At the University of Kentucky, his academic advisor was Patrick J. McNamara, and Dr. Oo describes the environment there as “a fertile ground to ferment professional growth.”

After completing his PharmD and PhD degrees, Dr. Oo engaged in a complete spectrum of drug development, in the reverse. He began by studying phase IV developments in medical affairs, then phase III, and then phase I to II at variously sized companies. He has had diverse experiences in development and regulation, both in the United States and internationally. Eventually, Dr. Oo was approached again by Dr. Blouin, who at the time was the dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and who suggested that Dr. Oo pass his knowledge on to the younger generation. This is how he came to be an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University after being approached by Drs. Yong Guo and Dean Avaltroni about this role. He enjoys playing a part in exposing students to a potential career path in clinical pharmacology and drug development. He explains that a quote from Ever Garrison runs deep in his soul: “A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils.” He believes that the future of the field rests in the hands of students.

Dr. Oo describes ASCPT as one of the premier societies in clinical pharmacology, therapeutics, and translational medicine. He believes that ASCPT has been instrumental in disseminating the most recent developments, to benefits its members and the public at large. ASCPT offers several tools and resources for career development and scientific development in the three professional journals, webinars, and blogs. He goes on to explain that “most meaningfully, it allows networking with professional ‘giants’ in their chosen field and incubates mentor‐mentee relationships.” Dr. Oo connects his own decision to join ASCPT with the publication of an article by his advisor in 1995: “Active Transfer of Cimetidine Into Milk.” He credits Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics with wide dissemination of this article and an increase in interest in drug transport in human milk. This article (and two other articles by Dr. Oo) were cited in the issuance of a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance in 2005 regarding clinical lactation studies. After this initial encounter with ASCPT, Dr. Oo became an active member in the Society and has engaged in publication and review with the Journal Family as well as presentations at the Annual Meeting.

From his own personal experience, Dr. Oo believes that the benefits of active participation in ASCPT are enormous. He describes active engagement with ASCPT as “a key to the gateways of professional development in this era of personalized medicine, for the optimal use of medicinal products, and for expanding the frontier in science in disease treatment, to the betterment of humankind.”

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