Recognizing Excellence

Recognizing Excellence

03.07.13 | By Preet Bilinski

Congratulations to Dr. Juan Lertora, the 2013 recipient of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Foundation Award in Excellence in Clinical Pharmacology. The award program, now in its 15th year, honors former Foundation grant recipients for outstanding career achievements.

Over the years Dr. Lertora has been a tireless advocate for the discipline of clinical pharmacology. He established the first joint academic section of clinical pharmacology between the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology at Tulane University. In his 25 years at the university, he was a very positive force for clinical pharmacology, serving as a physician, clinical investigator, teacher, trainer, and mentor, advising medical and graduate students, resident physicians, and postdoctoral fellows. More recently, at the NIH clinical center Dr. Lertora has raised the profile of clinical pharmacology, and with his excellent communication and teaching skills, has become a major resource for the NIH intramural community. In addition, his internationalization of the clinical pharmacology course that the clinical center presents annually has had a major impact on clinical pharmacology education internationally, particularly in China, Korea, and Japan.

We reached out to a few of Dr. Lertora's associates to hear their thoughts on him receiving this prestigious award.

Darrell Abernethy, a colleague of Dr. Lertora who has known him for over 30 years tells us, "Juan is an outstanding educator and advocate for clinical pharmacology. Personally, he is one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met. I consider him a personal friend as well as a professional colleague." As luck would have it Dr. Abernethy is the Chair of the Foundation's Clinical Pharmacology Advisory Committee and presented the award to Dr. Lertora, at the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT) Annual Meeting in Indianapolis on March 6th.

Albert Dreisbach, who considers Dr. Lertora one of his mentors in Clinical Pharmacology says, "Juan is an excellent teacher, scientist and compassionate clinician. He has had a major impact on my career as I did a 2 year fellowship with him at Tulane and returned to the University to be a member of the junior faculty in his Clinical Pharmacology Division. His guidance and support have been a valuable resource to me throughout my career." Dr. Dreisbach is a former PhRMA fellow, as well.

Eileen Cannon, the Executive Director of the PhRMA Foundation describes Dr. Lertora as an ideal candidate for the Award in Excellence. "The PhRMA Foundation is proud of Juan's many accomplishments throughout his career. He is an extremely dedicated educator and has been for many decades. He has an incredible track record with educating scientists in Clinical Pharmacology and has been a fabulous mentor. "

Many scientists who receive PhRMA Foundation grants early in their careers have achieved extraordinary success in academic, government, and industry positions. Award in Excellence recipients exemplify the very best in clinical pharmacology and pharmacology/toxicology.

To Dr. Juan Lertora we say an award well deserved, keep up the great work.

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