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Plein Center for Geriatric Pharmacy Research, Education and Outreach

Plein Scholars

The Plein Endowment for Geriatric Pharmacy Research is a scholarship opportunity to foster student interest in geriatrics-related research. We are currently accepting applications for the 2023-2024 cohort of Plein Scholars.

Eligibility: Currently enrolled professional pharmacy degree (PharmD) students or graduate students who have earned a professional pharmacy degree and who are interested in geriatrics research. 

Selection Criteria: Academic merit, potential for outstanding success in geriatric research, and financial need as determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid. 


  • Awards of up to $5,000 per student for 2023-2024 (July-June) are available. Scholarship amounts will be awarded based on the total number of eligible and meritorious applications. Funds may be used for tuition and fees, research costs, and other education-related expenses. 
  • Travel support ($500) is available for those who have an abstract of their supported project accepted at a professional conference. 
  • The award can be renewed for subsequent years through an application process. Evidence of sufficient progress on the initial award is required to be eligible for a subsequent award. 

Application Process:  

  1. Review the possible project proposals on the Plein Scholarship website (below). If interested in a project listed, contact the corresponding faculty mentor and ask them to submit a letter of recommendation in support of your project. You may also work with a faculty mentor to develop a project not currently listed as a proposal on the Plein Scholarship website. 
    • Suggested Time Frame: Contact faculty mentor by May 25th, 2023 
  2. By June 16, submit a brief proposal that outlines:
    • your mentor’s name;
    • summary of your interest in geriatrics and;
    • a description of the project (title, description of what will be done, your role, and the significance of the project to the field of geriatrics).
    • The proposal may be up to 2 pages double-spaced, 11-point font. 

Submitting Your Application: Both application components (the project proposal and letter of recommendation) should be emailed to Marina Gano Please advise your faculty mentor to send their letter of recommendation to this email. Both items must be received by the deadline to be considered.  

Deadline: 5pm, Friday, June 16, 2023. 

Schedule: Scholarship notifications will be sent by July 1, 2023, and funding will be available by the beginning of Autumn Quarter, 2023. Unless otherwise stipulated in the award, projects should be completed by June 30, 2024.  

Requirements: A summary presentation of the project (~15 minutes) will be required approximately three months prior to the conclusion of the project to Plein Center faculty and other student scholarship recipients. Additional details will be provided.  

Questions: Contact Shelly Gray, PharmD, MS at

Available Projects for 2023-2024

Note: students are encouraged to identify their own projects, but the following are possible projects submitted by the Plein Center faculty that are available for the 2023-2024 Plein Scholar funding cycle. 

  • Project #1
    • The student will assist and be a co-author with a brief review article of important geriatric research in the past year (2022).  Responsibilities include scanning select key journals to identify articles, manage a database that includes selected articles, prepare a brief article write-up to include in the review, prepare graphics to highlight results. The deliverable is review article submitted for publication for the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
    • Faculty Contact: Shelly Gray
  • Project #2
    • We will conduct 2-3 projects related to measuring and improving students’ attitudes and beliefs about older adults. Students will be involved in identifying and reviewing literature related to curricula to address ageism in pharmacy (and possibly other healthcare education).  Possible projects include:  1) writing a brief review article to submit for publication; 2) adapting learning materials to highlight the issue of ageism for pharmacy students; 3) developing a study to assess whether the learning materials are effective in improving pharmacy students’ attitudes and beliefs regarding the aging process; and 4) develop a survey to collect information from Schools’ of Pharmacy nationwide regarding how ageism is addressed in their curricula. Up to 3 students can be supported for this work.
    • Faculty Contact(s):  Shelly Gray, Leigh Ann Mike, Abby Winter
  • Project #3 
    • Project Title: Translational Neuroscience Research
    • Both Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and epilepsy, although considered distinct due to their clinical symptoms, are defined by temporal lobe atrophy, neuronal death, gliosis, neuritic alterations and neuroinflammation. The therapeutic management of epilepsy with antiseizure drugs (ASDs) in aged individuals, and patients with AD, is a significant public health concern as the US population becomes increasingly older. However, early ASD discovery and development is predominately conducted in healthy, young adult rodents (~3 months old), approximating a 20-26-year-old human. ASD development in aged animals on an AD-associated background is also distinctly absent. Despite this, ASD use in elderly populations is high; at least 10% of nursing home residents take at least one ASD. In this regard, the pharmacotherapeutic management of elderly patients with epilepsy, and patients with AD and epilepsy, is significantly under informed. In an effort to better define the preclinical effects of promising investigational compounds for epilepsy in these specific patient populations, as well as to discover new therapies for the treatment of epilepsy in geriatric patient populations, we are developing novel animal models of AD-associated mutations and epilepsy to more closely replicate the clinical pathology and condition for ASD discovery and development.
      • Translational research projects within this group include:
        1) Antiseizure drug discovery and development in rodent models with AD-associated risk genes
        2) Behavioral pharmacology studies in rodents with AD-associated risk genes and chronic seizures
        3) Preclinical models of learning and memory in the context of expression of AD-associated risk genes and chronic seizures
      • Role of student: Students can develop a research project in conjunction with Dr. Barker-Haliski related to ongoing research questions and goals of the lab.
      • Desired skills: Background experience in bench-based laboratory research or in vivo animal studies preferred. Strong working knowledge of molecular biology techniques and procedures also desired.
    • Faculty Contact: Melissa Barker-Haliski 

Past Plein Scholars


Chi Truong
Reducing hospital readmission by Pharmacists’ intervention through medication reconciliation
Mentor: Trang Le

Kevin Li
Antidepressants vs. cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of depression in older adults: a cost-utility analysis
Mentor: Dave Veenstra

Michelle Nguyen
Pharmacist-initiated interventions to deprescribe or optimize medication use in older individuals: a narrative summary of randomized controlled trials
Mentor: Shelly Gray

Nghi Nguyen
Pharmacist review for expired or unused medications
Mentor: Abby Winter

Tim Soverns
Meta-analysis: interventions to reduce adverse drug reactions in older adults
Mentor: Shelly Gray

Ziqi Liu
Evaluation in areas for improvement – geriatric pharmacy APPEs
Mentor: Leigh Ann Mike

Alexandra Kuo
Pharmacy student perceptions of older adults – Impact of interactions on ageism

Amanda Fairbanks
“You’re too old for that…” a Self-Study Module to Combat Ageism in Healthcare

Anh Khaouly & Heidi Chen
Use of Geriatric Assessment in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: A
Literature Review

Heather Huang
Improving transitions of care in geriatric patients with COPD through creation of multilingual informational pamphlets

Jinha Park
Listening to Older Adults

Logan So Jung Kim
Reducing Hospital Readmission by Pharmacists’ Intervention through Medication Reconciliation

Michelle Nguyen
Understanding Older Adults’ Knowledge, Perceptions, and Self-Motivated Health Behaviors Regarding Use of OTC Anticholinergic Medications: A Focus on Assisted Living Facility Residents

Mrunal Bhalerao, Victoria Lam, & CJ Squires
Deprescribing Medications in Cognitively Impaired Older Adults and its Role in Caregiver

Ziqi Liu
Educational handouts for English as second language geriatric patients at International
Community Health Service Clinic.

Heather Huang
Comparative Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacokinetics, and Physiology of Rapamycin (Sirolimus) on Aging in Animal Models and Humans.

Woojung Lee
The Use of Geriatric Assessment in Cancer Clinical Trials: A Systematic Review

Ananya Murali
Comparison of Anticoagulants/Antiplatelet drugs Based on Fall Risk Potential in Geriatric Patients

Caitlyn Tung
The Prevalence of Loneliness in Era Living Communities

Dana Hackett & Heidi Reynolds
Beers Criteria Talk / Continuing Education

Natalie Lim & Janey Guo
Reducing Hospital Readmission by Pharmacists’ Intervention through Medication Reconciliation

Ladan Mukherjee
Medication Safety in Nursing Homes

Nahid Khaghani
Use of Reversal Agents for Adverse Drug Reactions in Nursing Homes

Lena Chaitesipaseut
Analyzing Multi-year Falls Data to Improve Quality Outcomes at Era Living Facilities

Melissa Julyanti
SHAG Housing: Increasing Bone Health Awareness and Encouraging of Walks in a Senior Living Community

Richard Lee
i.) Chronic Condition Screening and the Assessment of Hypertension and Stroke Awareness Among Geriatric Patients in the Ekumfi district of Ghana
ii.) Cannabidiol Use in Geriatric Patients, a Literature Review and Study Design Creation for an Understanding of Perceptions with a Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices Study

Tamatha Mikes
PGx-MEDS: Medication Effectiveness Delivered Safely – Testing the Feasibility of Pharmacogenetic Testing to Optimize Medication Management

Tien Nguyen & Elizabeth Kong
Understanding the Needs of English-Second-Language Patients in Independent Living Facilities

Ananya Murali & Fendi Jan
From Hospital to Long-Term-Care (LTC): Assessing The Value Of Incorporating Inpatient Pharmacy Services To Improve Transitions Of Care And Reduce Medication Errors In Elderly Patients At Era Living Facilities

Michelle Lan. Impact of Osteoporosis Education Among Older Adults

Thanh Nguyen. Impact of Osteoporosis Education Among Older Adults

Tram Le. Developing Patient Education Pages for the Plein Center in Geriatrics

Quynh Tran. Developing Patient Education Pages for the Plein Center in Geriatrics

Mackenzie Bredereck. Identifying Potential for Pharmacist Involvement during Transitions of Care within ERA Living Communities

Soyoung Park. The Impact of Probiotics on Older Adults and Future Pharmacists’ Perception of Probiotics

Julia Yunkyung Yi. Review of the Impact of Pharmacist’s Intervention in Fall Risks in Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment

Lena Chaitesipaseut. Analyzing multi-year data to improve medication-related quality outcomes

Mat Jenkinson. SHAG Housing Goes Back-to-School: Pharmacist Interventions for Safer Medication Practices

Sean Linn. Managing Medications During Transitions of Care, ERA Living Residents

Jane Nazareno. Mapping UWSOP Curriculum to the ASCP Geriatric Pharmacy Curriculum Guide

Sarah Tu. Marijuana for Chronic Pain in the Elderly

Yutong Yang. Roles of Chinese Community Pharmacists in Osteoporosis Prevention and Management through Elderly Patient Education

Jina Yun. Student-pharmacist-led fall risk outreach event in older community-dwelling adults

Diosalyn Alonzo. Pharmacist-Led Interventions to Improve Medication Adherence. Zach Marcum (mentor).

Kyle Bigham. Evaluating Pharmacist-Led Transitional Care Management Services at a Senior Health Clinic. Laura Hart (mentor).

Mackenzie Bredereck. Hospital Readmission Rates: Comparison between Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing Care. Jennifer Wilson Norton & Karan Dawson (mentors).

Mallory Farrar. Demonstrating the Safety Benefits and Cost Savings of Deprescribing Insulin in a Defined Subset of Geriatric Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Leigh Ann Mike (mentor).

Erica Hecker. Identifying the Clinical Factors Associated with Altered Intestinal Microbiota in Older Adults. Lingtak-Neander Chan (mentor).

Michelle Lan & Thanh Nguyen. Common Dietary Supplements for Cardiovascular Disease in Geriatric Population. Shelly Gray (mentor).

Julia Yunkyung Yi. Review of Medications as a Modifiable Risk Factor in Older Adults with a Recent Injurious Fall. Shelly Gray (mentor).

Monish Naidu. Transitions of Care among Older Adults with Cancer: The Role of Pharmacists. Zach Marcum (mentor).

Soyoung Park. Neurodegenerative Disorders and Medication Adherence in Older Adults. Tom Linder (mentor).

Marian Dobles. Description of an Interprofessional Falls Prevention Initiative in Community Dwelling Older Adults. Shelly Gray (mentor).

Alaina Jewell. Pharmacist Home Visits for Aging Adults. Don Downing (mentor).

Emily Kill. End-of-Life and Long Term Care Education in Schools of Pharmacy. Karan Dawson (mentor).

Moonjoo Koh & Rebekah Sadikin. Pharmacists Learning to Advocate for Nutrition in Elders with Diabetes. Michelle Averill (mentor).

Minako Berthet. Effect of Pharmacists Performing Medication Reconciliation and Medication Reviews in a Geriatric Clinic. Trang Le (mentor).

Student Presentations and Publications


Marcum ZA, Tu S, Crawford C, Hirano L. Marijuana use in older adults: employing a risk reduction strategy. Ann Pharmacother 2019 [in press]

Park S, Marcum ZA. Interventions to improve medication adherence in older adults with cognitive impairment. Consult Pharm 2018;33:382-5.

Yi JY, Hart LA, Gray SL. Definitions of Fall Risk Increasing Drugs in the Literature: Challenges and Implications. Presented Research at American Society of Consultant Pharmacists National Meeting. November 2018, National Harbor, MD.

Yun, Jina. Student-pharmacist-led fall risk outreach event in older Korean adults: Summary of participants’ experience and satisfaction. Presented Research at American Society of Consultant Pharmacists National Meeting. November 2018, National Harbor, MD.

Farrar M, Mike LA. The Impact of Deprescribing Insulin in a Subset of T2DM Geriatric Patients: the Potential for Adverse Events Avoided and Cost Savings. Presented at AMCP Nexus, Dallas, TX 2017.

Farrar M, Mike LA. The Impact of Deprescribing Insulin in a Subset of T2DM Geriatric Patients: the Potential for Adverse Events Avoided and Cost Savings. Presented at Elder Friendly Futures Conference, Lynwood, WA 2017.

McDonald D, Chaitesipaseut L, Lan M. SB 5557: Washington Legislation Allows Patients Greater Access to Pharmacist Services. Presented at Elder Friendly Futures Conference, Lynwood, WA 2017.

Andrews C, Tran E, Lam A. Development and Growth of Student Involvement and Clinical Skills through the ASCP_UW Chapter During the 2015-2016 School Year. Presented at ASCP Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX 2016.

Dobles MJ, Chung SM, Murphy N, Gray SL. Description of an interprofessional falls prevention initiative in community dwelling older adults. Consult Pharm 2016;31:573. Presented at ASCP Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX 2016.

Lee G, Huang J, West R, Lam A. Overview of Transition of Care Processes in Two Washington State Hospitals. Presented at ASCP Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX 2016.