Joshua Reeder

Joshua Reeder, PhD student, pharmaceutical sciences and experimental therapeutics

Calibrates antibiotic doses

“This project combined clinical study with mathematical modeling, and the result of Josh’s work has made immediate clinical impact. UIHC has updated guideline for redosing antibiotics based on our modeling results.” -Guohua An, associate professor

Independence, Iowa

Faculty mentor/advisor:
  Guohua An, MD, PhD, associate professor, pharmaceutical sciences and experimental therapeutics, College of Pharmacy

What is your degree program and anticipated graduation date?
PhD in pharmaceutical sciences, December 2024

Please describe your research:
My research focuses on surgical site infections (SSIs), which can occur in up to 30% of patients after surgery, leading to longer hospital stays, higher costs, and increased health risks. To prevent these infections, doctors often use antibiotics like cefazolin and ampicillin-sulbactam. However, there is a challenge with how often to redose these antibiotics to ensure effectiveness while avoiding potential side effects. My goal is to find the right redosing frequency for patients undergoing prolonged surgeries, improving patient safety and preventing SSIs.

In simple terms, why does this research matter?
This research is highly important because it helps us evaluate the current antibiotic redosing guidelines recommended by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), as well as explore other potential regimens. We aim to address two main concerns: 1) Are surgeons and anesthesia providers providing adequate care by reducing the frequency of redosing? 2) What is the best redosing schedule for patients undergoing prolonged surgeries, especially if the current guidelines are too conservative? This project combined clinical study with mathematical modeling, and the result of our work has made an immediate clinical impact – University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics has updated its guidelines for redosing ampicillin-sulbactam based on our modeling results. Ongoing research is still being conducted to provide conclusive answers for cefazolin.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research?
I was able to start participating in research immediately after starting my PhD program in the summer 2019.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa?
Participating in research has significantly contributed to my success at the University of Iowa. It has improved my critical thinking skills, deepened my knowledge in my field of study, and provided valuable hands-on experience. Moreover, engaging in research has provided me with the chance to establish connections with a diverse group of fellow students and industry professionals, enhancing my overall experience.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation?
Ever since I embarked on my PhD journey, my ultimate dream has been to work as a clinical pharmaceutical scientist for a pharmaceutical company or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The thought of contributing to cutting-edge medical advancements and ensuring the safety and effectiveness of life-changing drugs fills me with tremendous excitement and drive. My passion for healthcare and innovation fuels my desire to be at the forefront of groundbreaking research, collaborating with brilliant minds and utilizing state-of-the-art technologies to develop new therapies for patients in need. Embracing the challenges that come with this role, I envision a future where my expertise and dedication will play a pivotal role in positively impacting global health outcomes and making a lasting difference in countless lives.

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