August 2019: Student/Trainee Profile

Author: [AUTHOR] Published on 8/1/2019 12:00:00 AM

Sonal Singh, PhD, Post‐Doctoral Associate, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Dr. Singh began her training in India, completing her Bachelors and Master's degrees in Pharmacy. She completed her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Houston. During her PhD program, she was actively involved in cardiovascular pharmacology research. After working in the pharmacology field for over 8 years, she was focused on transitioning into clinical and translational research. She then joined Dr. Julie Johnson's group as a post‐doctoral associate at the University of Florida. In this role, she has had the opportunity to combine her interests of molecular pharmacology and clinical research in human genetics and pharmacogenomics. She views Dr. Johnson as a great mentor and as “instrumental in getting me to where I am.” She credits Dr. Johnson with having a great mentoring strategy in a place that helped Dr. Singh gain interdisciplinary skills. Dr. Singh explains that Dr. Johnson's continued guidance has helped her grow and evolve as an independent scientist, which will continue to shape her career for years to come.

The areas of human genetics and translational medicine are Dr. Singh's primary research interests. She believes that these interests will continue to drive her career. She feels that, in the coming years, big data and evolving data analytics are going to be “game‐changers” for widespread clinical adoption of precision medicine as well as precision drug development and safety. She is specifically interested in leveraging genomic and other omics data with clinical data using integrative approaches and bioinformatics for advancing the areas of precision medicine and drug development.

Dr. Johnson, a long‐time member and past president of ASCPT, introduced Dr. Singh to the Society when they began working together. Since then, Dr. Singh has viewed her membership as an incredible experience. She explains that the high‐grade science is a hallmark of the ASCPT Annual Meeting. The Meeting has been a great way to keep abreast of the latest in the area of clinical and translational science. She also credits the ASCPT webinars as a valuable resource that helps her stay involved all year round. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, Dr. Singh was recognized as a Presidential Trainee Awardee and also received the Goldstein Award in 2018 for her top scoring abstract presented that year. These not only recognized her hard work but also provided her with a platform to showcase her research to her peers and fellow scientists, giving her the visibility she needed to interact and network with various scientists and prominent people from industry, academia, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She goes on to say that “I enjoy being involved and have gained so much leadership experience by working in the Pharmacogenomics community as the co‐chair of the PGx Community Membership Outreach Steering Committee.”

Currently, Dr. Singh is working on projects that aim to successfully integrate “omics” research for further advance the understanding of hypertension pharmacogenomics. Using multiple statistical and computational approaches, she has been working toward identification of genetic predictors and biomarkers of drug responses and adverse events associated with various antihypertensive therapies. She is currently working to develop tools that can integrate these predictors to advance their clinical utility.

Dr. Singh has been a member of ASCPT since 2016.

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