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OHIO STATE PHARMACY PROFESSOR NAMED TO INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A longtime scholar and educator in Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy is the first pharmacist from Ohio, and one of fewer than 10 pharmaceutical scientists nationally, to be elected a member of the Institute of Medicine, one of the National Academies.
Milap Nahata, professor and chair of the Division of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, is one of 65 new members elected to the IOM this year. Election to the institute is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, and recognizes individuals for outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.
Nahata, also a professor of internal medicine and pediatrics in Ohio State’s College of Medicine, specializes in research on the effectiveness and safety of medications for a variety of human illnesses. He also has studied drug stability and pharmacokinetics, the analysis of how pharmaceuticals are absorbed, distributed, metabolized and eliminated by the body, and he is particularly well-known for his expertise in developing drug formulations for safe use in children.
With about 80 percent of prescription medications on the market created for people age 12 and older, Nahata stresses the importance of helping health-care providers properly formulate doses that a small child’s body can handle. He is the primary author of a manual describing almost 300 formulations for drugs that are commonly used to treat children, but aren’t manufactured in child-friendly doses. The manual, Pediatric Drug Formulations, now in its fifth edition, is the most widely used source in the field.
In recognition of that expertise, Nahata was invited several years ago to serve on an IOM subcommittee examining emergency care in the United States. He was responsible for exploring medications used to treat children in emergency departments, and assisted in preparing one of three books issued by the group in 2007.
“It was a tremendous learning experience to serve on that subcommittee,” Nahata said. “I was the only pharmacist on the panel.”
He views his own election to the institute as an indication that public health issues are too complex for any single health discipline to tackle alone.
“Diversity allows the institute to address broad issues of global importance,” he said. “I want to contribute in the most meaningful way, to make sure everything that needs to be considered is included in reports that have a wide impact.”
The IOM is both an honorific membership organization and an advisory group that is recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on human health issues. Members commit to volunteer significant time to institute committees, which conduct a broad range of studies on health policy. New members are nominated and elected by current members.
Nahata’s status as one of only a handful of pharmacy experts weighing in on institute issues is likely to elevate Ohio State’s reputation as a contributor to major national public health policy discussions, said Caroline Whitacre, vice president for research.
“Institute of Medicine membership is a well-deserved individual honor for Milap Nahata,” Whitacre said. “And a national honor of this magnitude reflects Ohio State’s ongoing commitment to enhance its research enterprise in ways that carry clear benefits for the public.”
The service for the institute won’t be new to Nahata, who has maintained a rigorous schedule of pharmacy clinical practice, teaching, research, and college and professional service during his 31 years at Ohio State. Even as a division chair with heavy administrative duties, he still teaches regularly in the college and conducts research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio State’s Medical Center, where he is also associate director for education within the department of pharmacy.
“We are so proud of Dr. Nahata’s election to the Institute of Medicine, which is truly an exceptional honor. His teaching, research, scholarship and service continue to enrich our college, the university and the pharmacy profession,” said Robert Brueggemeier, dean of the College of Pharmacy.
Nahata received bachelor’s degrees from the universities of Jodhpur and Bombay in India, and earned a master’s in pharmaceutics and a doctor of pharmacy degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
He joined Ohio State in 1977. He has authored or coauthored more than 500 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and three books about medication use in and drug formulations for pediatric and geriatric patients. He has been recognized with five national research achievement awards, two national distinguished educator awards and election to fellow status by five professional and scientific societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also has received numerous teaching awards from the College of Pharmacy and the university. He is a past president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and is current editor-in-chief of the journal The Annals of Pharmacotherapy.
Nahata also remains modest about his individual accomplishments.
“I’m so grateful to be at Ohio State,” he said. “I could not have succeeded without the help of a lot of people.”
Including Nahata, 23 Ohio State faculty currently serve as members of one of the national academies: the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences or the National Academy of Engineering. Nahata is among four IOM members at Ohio State.