PharmD student Morgan Casal (Class of 2019) was selected as one of 15 students in the country for the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) Gateway to Research Scholarship for 2017-18. The primary goal of the Gateway to Research Scholarship program is to help students gain an understanding of the importance of research by enabling them to apply that knowledge to improve their clinical skills. This scholarship provides a unique opportunity for talented PharmD and baccalaureate degree students to participate in a faculty-mentored research project.

Casal will be optimizing and utilizing a novel Luminex bead-based flow cytometric assay in order to phenotypically characterize allospecific B lymphocytes in lung transplant recipients who have developed donor-specific HLA antibodies (DSA) to the graft. This data will be used to develop risk screening tools and guide personalized therapeutic strategies for lung transplant patients at risk for allograft rejection via DSA-mediated mechanisms.

Casal will be working with John McDyer, MD, in the UPMC Department of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and Pitt Pharmacy Assistant Professor Christopher R. Ensor, PharmD, BCPS-CV.



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