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July 2019 Dedicated Member Profile

Published on 7/1/2019 12:01:00 AM

Melanie R. Nicol, PharmD, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Dr. Nicol is an early career investigator who views her ASCPT membership as a great networking opportunity. In particular, she points to her involvement in the Infectious Disease Community. Being involved in this Community has allowed opportunities for leadership.

Webinars are one of Dr. Nicol's favorite aspects of her ASCPT membership. She explains that sometimes she “feel[s] a bit siloed in [her] field of infectious disease and webinars are a great way to learn from other communities and networks about new tools and approaches to solving clinical pharmacology issues.” Dr. Nicol feels that ASCPT differentiates itself from other pharmacology societies through its educational offerings and by focusing on application and translation into clinical practice. Dr. Nicol hopes that ASCPT will continue to focus on the patient and how care providers can incorporate clinical pharmacology into improving patient outcomes.

Better understanding the factors that regulate or modify drug activity in tissue compartments is the focus of Dr. Nicol's work. She explains that although doctors frequently sample blood for convenience, for many diseases, particularly many infections, the site of action is in tissues and not in the blood. Dr. Nicol believes that “better characterization of what is happening in tissues will open the door for many therapeutic optimizations.” These optimizations can be in the form of nuanced dosing, targeted delivery, and maybe even new therapeutic targets. She feels that clinical pharmacology was promoting personalized medicine before “personalized medicine” was even a term. She believes that clinical pharmacologists, in many ways through ASCPT, have been leaders in translating the science of clinical pharmacology into practice.

Dr. Nicol encourages other young researchers to follow her example and get involved early. She urges them to take advantage of leadership opportunities as they appear. She reminds them: “ASCPT is extremely supportive of trainee and early career members.”

Dr. Nicol has been a member of ASCPT since 2010.

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