Press Release updated: Feb 26, 2019 09:00 EST

IRVINE, Calif., February 26, 2019 – The winner of the 2019 Sternfels Prize for Drug Safety Discoveries has been announced, according to contest officials. Amber Beitelshees, PharmD, MPH was awarded the annual prize of $35,000 for her proposal, “Experimental Medicine Approach to Optimize Diabetes Treatments.” Dr. Beitelshees is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Dr. Beitelshees joins past Sternfels Prize winners, Dr. Merrie Mosedale for her proposal to research HLA-intermediated drug-induced liver injury and Dr. Jennifer Le for improved vancomycin dosing in pediatric patients on extracorporeal life support.

“Our proposed study will be an important step to guiding the prescription of add-on therapies for patients with diabetes,” Dr. Beitelshees said. “By identifying patients likely to derive the greatest therapeutic benefit with the smallest risk of adverse effects, these data could contribute to the long-term objective of using a patient-centered approach to treating diabetes.”

According to one of the judges, Dr. Dan Roden, “This research, if successful, can go a long way toward implementing a pharmacogenetic approach to prescribing diabetes drugs.” Dr. Roden is the Sam L. Clark, MD, PhD Endowed Chair Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Biomedical Informatics, and the Senior Vice President for Personalized Medicine at Vanderbilt.

The Sternfels Prize was created to incentivize scientists of all types to think about ways to minimize the risks of side effects that patients face when taking prescription drugs. The cash prize is awarded annually to the most novel, clinically relevant, and testable idea to reduce life-threatening drug-drug, drug-disease or pharmacogenomic interactions.

Sundar Srinivasan, Chief Executive Officer of Emerald Lake Safety (ELS), which was the 2019 underwriter of the award, said, “Dr. Beitelshees’ proposal not only embodies what the Sternfels Prize stands for, but it is also aligned with the goals of ELS. We are excited to see the results of her group’s work, as it will undoubtedly help improve the prescribing practices of diabetes medications. We thank all the applicants and our esteemed judges for making this a very successful year for the Sternfels Prize.”

Press Contact:
Christina Chow 
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Source: The Sternfels Prize for Drug Safety Discoveries

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