From maintaining a near-encyclopedic knowledge of potentially harmful drug interactions to easing the worries of first-time medication takers, pharmacists play a vital role in modern medical care.
In honor of the many contributions pharmacists make to communities nationwide, the American Pharmacists Association has dubbed October American Pharmacists Month. The goal of American Pharmacists Month is to recognize the commitment that doctors of pharmacy, or PharmD’s, have to comprehensive patient care and personalized medication management.
At Genelex, our team of highly skilled pharmacists plays a crucial role in helping advance the use of pharmacogenetics to personalize prescribing and medication management.
Officially started in 2012 by Dr. Jessica Oesterheld, MD, Genelex’s director of pharmacologics, the pharmacy department has since grown to include five pharmacists and several other researchers, interns and support staff. Dr. Oesterheld has decades of experience as a child psychiatrist and a drug interactions expert, and has written a number of books and papers on cytochromes and their development and interactions.
Now led by Dr. Oesterheld and Tyler Mamiya, PharmD, the pharmacy department is responsible for providing customized personalized prescribing reports for all patients with clinically significant interactions, conducting clinical research and cultivating the YouScript interaction and clinical evidence database. Genelex focuses on the pharmacogenetic testing of the highly variable cytochrome system and clinical decision support tools like YouScript that identify potentially harmful drug interactions caused by genetics or cumulative drug interactions.
“Genelex is one of the most exciting companies to work for,” says Pharmacologics Manager Tyler Mamiya.
“Working at the leading edge of pharmacogenetics is what drives me every day.”
Each pharmacy department staff member brings a unique perspective to their work:
- Brian Hocum, a certified geriatrics pharmacist who has worked with providers at various hospitals and clinics to help integrate pharmacogenetics into their work flows.
- Meghan King-Moreno, a certified smoking cessation counselor who has been with Genelex since 2011.
- Rachel Sass, a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist who did her residency at the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System.
- Valerie Fishbeck, a certified geriatric pharmacist who previously worked as an ambulatory clinical pharmacist specialist.
- Jennifer Jepsen, a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist who worked for seven years at Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Washington.
- PharmD interns Kaitlin Kiter, who participated in a Medical Brigade in Honduras to provide comprehensive medical services to a rural community with limited healthcare.
- PharmD intern Ichiko Petrie, who has participated in studies involving the risk assessment of medication use in assisted-living facilities and Vitamin A intake in chronic kidney disease patients.
- Clinical Trial Manager Richard Newman, who holds a Master’s of Public Health degree and previously led research projects for Seattle’s esteemed Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute.
- Drug research, support and database management is provided by Pharmacy support specialists John Hodges and Derry McDonald.
Together, the Genelex Pharmacy Team works at the forefront of personalized medicine, advancing the use of pharmacogenetics and sophisticated drug and gene interaction software to improve the management of complex medication regimens.