Author: Translational Science Ph.D. program | Category: Of Interest | Translational Science (Ph.D.) | August 21, 2015
Dr. Christopher Frei was
recently chosen to succeed Dr. Michael Lichtenstein as the next program director
for the Translational Science (TS) Ph.D. program.
The TS Ph.D. program is a joint program offered by four institutions in the University of Texas (UT)
System: the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, the UT San Antonio, the UT
Austin, and the UT School of Public Health San Antonio Regional Campus.
The TS Ph.D.
program recruits applicants with health professional doctoral degrees or
health-related Master’s degrees, and trains them to conduct innovative translational
research. The program admitted
its first class in fall 2012 and celebrated its first graduate in fall 2014. Dr.
Frei was the supervising professor for the program’s first graduate.
Dr. Frei is “deeply
honored to serve the program and its students as program director.” He is also
“very grateful for the leadership of Dr. Michael Lichtenstein these past
Dr. Lichtenstein led a
group of esteemed academic leaders and faculty from four universities to create
this unique program.
“This program would not be
here today if it were not for the vision and tireless efforts of Dr.
Lichtenstein as program director and Susan Stappenbeck as program
coordinator,” Dr. Frei said.
Dr. Lichtenstein will
continue as part of the Committee on Graduate Studies for the program and Stappenbeck will continue as program coordinator.
San Antonio has been home for
Dr. Frei and his wife since they came here to train in 1999. He earned
his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in a joint degree program between the UT Health
Science Center San Antonio and the UT Austin in 2001. He then remained in San
Antonio to complete his residency, graduate program, and postdoctoral training.
He became a faculty member of the UT Austin and the UT Health Science Center
San Antonio in 2006 and now serves as Pharmacotherapy Division Head; one of five divisions in the UT Austin College of
Pharmacy, and the only division located outside of Austin, in San Antonio. He
is also the Director of the
Pharmacotherapy Education and Research Center in the School of Medicine at
the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.
Frei’s research laboratory is currently pursuing two major research ventures.
One is to build and analyze large patient cohorts using the national Veterans
Affairs data repositories. The other is to conduct prospective clinical and
translational studies in medical clinics. Dr. Frei’s independent and
collaborative research has been supported by public and private sources.
published more than 95 peer-reviewed papers in leading journals, including JAMA, JAMA Internal Medicine, the American
Journal of Medicine, Chest, and Drugs. He has also given more than 400
scientific and educational presentations. He has been recognized as “Mentor of
the Year” by a state professional organization, “Young Investigator of the
Year” by a national professional organization, and “Distinguished Young Alumnus
of the Year” by the UT Austin College of Pharmacy.
He is a
Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist and a fellow of the American College
of Clinical Pharmacy and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
Finally, he serves as an ambassador for the NIH Loan Repayment Program.
“Graduate students are an integral
part of all of my research and scholarship activities,” Dr. Frei said.
He firmly believes that being
able to work with bright, highly motivated graduate students is one of the best
things he gets to do as a faculty member.
“They have so much
potential,” he said. “And this TS Ph.D. Program is an excellent mechanism to
help them reach their full potential while training to learn a type of science
that will help move new discoveries from research environments to people and
communities who need those discoveries.”
The TS Ph.D. program is
one of only a handful in the United States, and he is excited about what he
sees as a strong future for the program and its graduates.
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