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Van Driest lands young investigator award from the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

May. 22, 2019, 11:50 AM

Sara Van Driest, MD, PhD, with Dan Roden, MD, who nominated her for the award from the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
Sara Van Driest, MD, PhD, with Dan Roden, MD, who nominated her for the award from the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. (photo by Joe Howell)

 

by Christina Echegaray

Sara Van Driest, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, recently received the 2019 Leon I. Goldberg Early Investigator Award from the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

The award was established in 1986 to honor a young scientist for accomplishments in the field of clinical pharmacology achieved early in his/her career. It seeks to encourage and recognize scientists who have made a substantial contribution to clinical pharmacology within 10 years of the completion of an advanced degree and/or a post-doctoral fellowship or residency program.

Van Driest received her award during the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics annual meeting held March 13-16, in Washington D.C.

She is the third Vanderbilt investigator to receive the award, joining Dan Roden, MD, in 1992, and Richard Kim, MD, in 2000.

Roden, senior vice president for Personalized Medicine and professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Biomedical Informatics, also nominated Van Driest for the award.

“Sara Van Driest is an emerging leader in Clinical Pharmacology in general and in particular as it applies to children. Her expertise is in analysis of large datasets, and the attributes that she brings to her science and her patient care include what you can see on her CV as well as what you can’t see — her passion for excellence, her curiosity and maturity, her own science and her ability to interact and collaborate with many others. She is truly deserving of the award,” said Roden, also Sam L. Clark, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine.

Van Driest earned her Bachelor of Science in Physiology from the University of Minnesota, and MD and PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. She came to Vanderbilt for her pediatric residency and clinical pharmacology fellowship, when she joined Roden’s lab. She joined the faculty in 2012 in the Division of General Pediatrics.

Van Driest is focused on using clinically generated datasets to inform precision medicine for pediatrics. Her ongoing work includes using electronic health records and DNA sequences to predict and improve children’s response to medications including antibiotics and pain relievers.

“I am honored to receive the Leon I. Goldberg Award from ASCPT, particularly because my mentor, Dan Roden, is a prior awardee,” Van Driest said. “The prior Goldberg award winners have gone on to make tremendous contributions to the field of clinical pharmacology. The mentorship, collaborations and supportive environment I have at Vanderbilt gave me the chance to do the same.”

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