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March 2019 - Dr. Paul Beringer

Many students know Dr. Paul Beringer as one of the course coordinators for the pharmacokinetics module and as the new faculty advisor for the Rho Chi Theta Chapter. After graduating from the University of California, Irvine, Dr. Beringer attained his Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the University of Southern California in 1990. He then went on to complete a residency in Pharmacy Practice and Clinical Pharmacokinetics at the University of California, San Francisco in 1992.

Dr. Beringer joined the USC faculty in 1992 as an inpatient pharmacist at Keck Hospital, which is where his interest in the field of cystic fibrosis research began. At the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center at USC, which he helped to establish, Dr. Beringer was the medication expert on the cystic fibrosis team, ensuring appropriate therapies, monitoring the response to these therapies, and providing patient education for cystic fibrosis patients. In 2017, Dr. Beringer was appointed chair of the Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy, where he is involved in faculty recruitment and mentoring as well as serving as the clinical pharmacy department’s chief academic officer.

In addition to Dr. Beringer’s remarkable achievements in the field of pharmacy, he also conducts innovative research in the field of cystic fibrosis. His research laboratory focuses on the novel macrocyclic peptide rhesus theta defensin-1 (RTD-1) as a potential therapeutic treatment for cystic fibrosis, and he has been awarded funding from the Cystic Fibrosis Research Institute and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for the past six years. Dr. Beringer has authored over 45 journal articles and 20 book chapters on cystic fibrosis, pharmacokinetics, and various other topics.

Dr. Beringer has received the Fellowship in the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (FASHP) award in 2000 and the Fellowship in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (FCCP) award in 2006. In 2003, Dr. Beringer won the ACCP Career Development Research Award, and in 2004, he received the USC Residency Preceptor of the Year Award. With his numerous achievements in pharmacy, research, and education, we feel very fortunate to have Dr. Beringer as our faculty advisor, and we are excited to see the great things he will accomplish within this role.

Q&A Interview

Q: What do you feel is one of your greatest accomplishments as a pharmacist?

A: My greatest accomplishments are the former postdoctoral fellows and graduate students that I have had the distinct opportunity to train. In particular, it has been rewarding to see these former trainees successfully launch their careers in clinical practice, at the FDA, in industry, and academia.

Q: Please describe how being a member of the Rho Chi Society has impacted your professional career or your life in general?

A: Being inducted into Rho Chi impacted my early professional career. During my pharmacy education it provided me with the confidence and validation of the profession I was choosing as a career. It also provided me the opportunity to interact with a group of my peers at a time when we were all making decisions about where in pharmacy we wanted to pursue. Ultimately, I chose to pursue training in academia.

Q: What are some of your goals as the new Rho Chi Theta Chapter Faculty Advisor?

A: Assist in integrating Rho Chi tutoring/teaching into the course curriculum, and encourage development of proposals for chapter projects.

Q: How did your interest in cystic fibrosis pharmacotherapy research begin?

A: I began my clinical career at Keck hospital working as an inpatient pharmacist. One of my first goals was to establish a clinical pharmacokinetic consult service. One of the populations that I frequently consulted on where patients with CF who were initiated on intravenous aminoglycoside therapy for treatment of acute pulmonary exacerbations involving Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The challenge for treatment in these patients is altered pharmacokinetics, reduced antibiotic susceptibility, and lack of effective treatments for airway inflammation. Recognition of these challenges has guided my research over the past 20 years in the laboratory and at the bedside.

Q: What words of advice/encouragement do you have for the future pharmacists at the USC School of Pharmacy.

A: Keep an open mind about your career path. It is important to prepare for your future career; however, the profession is evolving and new career pathways are opening up that will need well trained individuals to continue to define and establish. Don’t be afraid to be a trailblazer to take on this challenge, the rewards in terms of career satisfaction and impact on the field are tremendous.


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