PharmD student combines research, clinical practice to enhance her education

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November 4, 2021

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Pharmacy Student Spotlight: Sophia Luk, PharmD Class of 2023

The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy is shining a spotlight on students throughout the year. Meet Sophia Luk, a P3 PharmD student who is interested in research and clinical pharmacy.

Luk uses her interests to find opportunities to enhance her education through internships, various student organizations and completing research opportunities.

Why did you decide to pursue the PharmD program at Ohio State?

I knew I wanted to go to Ohio State after high school and be a pharmacist, so the Early Assurance Program (EAP) was a perfect option for me. Reflecting on my undergrad now that I am in the PharmD program, I know that I made the right decision.

I felt like my senior year in the BSPS program was smooth sailing. I was set on going to pharmacy school and because of EAP, I didn’t have to worry about studying for the PCAT, applying to pharmacy school or preparing for pharmacy school interviews. This gave me an opportunity to focus on my senior-year classes and have time to make more memories.

The PharmD curriculum provides me with the foundational knowledge and skills I need to excel in patient care and my profession, and I’m already seeing that as I go through different rotations and internships.

Can you tell us a little more about your interest in both clinical pharmacy and research, especially working with Sylvan Frank, MS, PhD, faculty emeritus at the College of Pharmacy?

I love patient care, so clinical pharmacy seems like the right choice for me after graduation. I’ve been doing a lot of rotations in a hospital setting and these experiences have further strengthened my interest in this discipline.

I also love the science side of pharmacy. While in the BSPS program, I completed a research project with Dr. Frank. This was my start in research.

One of the biggest hurdles in pharmacy practice is making sure patients take their medications on time and as prescribed. Dr. Frank and I developed a prototype for a drug delivery system that would be implanted into a patient’s body, like insulin pumps that some diabetics have, and would slowly release drugs into the body so the patient gets their daily dose.

I wrote an honors thesis about it in undergrad and collaborated with biomedical engineering teams.

I am currently working on a research project at one of my internships where I’m assessing a new protocol for heparin, a blood thinner. We are examining how a clinician should proceed if lab results show that blood clots are still forming. We are hoping this new method shows statistical evidence that it is significantly helping patients.

What other activities are you involved in?

I have been in a community pharmacy internship for the past five years at Meijer and I am also an inpatient pharmacy intern at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital.

I am also:

  • A treasurer for Kappa Psi, a pharmaceutical fraternity
  • A historian for CARE Rx, a student organization focused on diversity, equity and inclusion and facilitating inclusive learning environments at the college
  • Secretary of Phi Lambda Sigma, a COP student organization dedicated to building leadership within pharmacy
  • Fundraising chair for Rho Chi, an academic honors society organization
  • Power to End Stroke Chair for the Ohio State chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), a student organization dedicated to serving the underserved

I started with three organizations, and I don’t know how it happened, but now I am in five.

How have these experiences enriched your time at Ohio State?

Through the organizations that I am a part of, I have developed organizational, leadership and budgeting skills. I’ve also met a lot of people who are now my lifelong friends and mentors, and I am grateful for that.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

There are so many opportunities at the College of Pharmacy and fantastic ways to further your education while also being able to network with others and learn more about the pharmacy profession. Take advantage of all the opportunities that the college has to offer regarding internships, research opportunities and clubs and organizations.