Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research is a PhD program in the graduate program in Clinical Pharmacy. This program is housed in the Center for Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research (CePOR, SEE-por), a school-wide center in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy. Our doctoral curriculum is designed to provide competent and highly skilled researchers in the study of patient, provider, or population-level health care and health system interventions. We most often focus on economic, clinical, and humanistic outcomes such as clinical or cost effectiveness or safety. Areas of focus available to students undertaking this course of study include pharmacoeconomics, pharmacoepidemiology, health services research, and drug policy.​​​

The traditional requirements for admission to the graduate program in pharmaceutical sciences include:

  • BA or BS from an accredited institution
  • Academic record
    • Satisfying the minimum admission requirements established by the CU Graduate School
    • Normally admission dependent on GPA of 3.0 or better
    • GPA <3.0 may be considered individually on a provisional basis

If you do not have a degree from a U.S. or Canadian institution, it is required that an outside professional evaluation of your higher education credentials be conducted. This evaluation must include an analysis of courses, grades and grade point average, and U.S. degree equivalency. Evaluations will be accepted from any reputable professional company. Three recommended credential evaluation companies are:

  • World Education Services (Highly recommended) - (request the Course by Course evaluation)
  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (request the Course by Course evaluation)
  • International Education Research Foundation (request the "Detail Report")

The admission deadline for completed applications is December 1.

Application Information

Given that admission to the program is very competitive, it is impossible to evaluate your qualifications for admission (test scores, grades) until the selection committee assesses the entire applicant pool. If you are selected for an interview, we do our best to pay your travel expenses to and from campus. The initial process involves submitting an online application to graduate school and can be initiated by following the link on the main page.

We do not have the resources to cover international travel expenses for applicants who live outside North America (regardless of nationality).

Admission to the program may include financial support via a stipend awarded on a 12-month basis.

Although a priority of the School of Pharmacy is to provide financial support to its graduate students, payment of stipend, tuition and any fees by the School of Pharmacy or by grants, contracts or gifts to the School of Pharmacy faculty is contingent upon availability of funding, satisfactory academic progress (as defined by the UCD Graduate School, Graduate Student Handbook) and completion of required teaching duties, core courses, and examinations. The School of Pharmacy also reserves the right to review and adjust its funding policies at any time. All students are expected to work full-time toward program requirements for 12 months of the year.

Generally, the first year of financial support will be in the form of stipend support for working as a teaching assistant. Depending on availability, teaching assistantships may be offered beyond one year to students. Faculty may choose to offer research assistant scholarships to students as well. Other funding opportunities in the form of external student grants and awards also exist. Students are encouraged to talk to the faculty about funding and scholarship opportunities. Funds for travel to one meeting where students are presenting a poster or giving a podium presentation are limited to $500 per fiscal year.

Students who do not remain in good graduate standing (3.0 GPA or above) or maintain satisfactory academic progress are placed on academic probation. Probation and suspension policies are described in the UCD Graduate School, Graduate Student Handbook. Payment of stipend, tuition, insurance and fees for a student while on academic probation is at the discretion of the graduate program committee.​​


Advance the science of pharmaceutical outcomes research by training scientists who generate and synthesize evidence to inform practice and policy.


The goal of the PhD n pharmaceutical outcomes research is to develop methodological experts. Graduates will have the knowledge and extensive skills necessary to conduct pharmacoeconomic, pharmacoepidemiologic, health services, and drug policy research. We train individuals who can contribute to T3-T4 clinical translational pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, specifically on effective, population health, and policy studies. These contributions should ultimately benefit pharmacists and society with safe, effective, and efficient use of pharmaceutical care.​​

The Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research PhD program trains graduate students to become proficient and successful investigators who are able to:

  1. demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of central concepts in Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research, including the areas of pharmacoeconomics, pharmacoepidemiology, and/or drug policy.
  2. critically appraise existing literature and sources of information.
  3. formulate hypotheses based on current concepts in the field and accurately and correctly design, conduct, and interpret their own research projects.
  4. present research results in peer-reviewed publications and in a dissertation.
  5. perform research that adheres to the principles and guidelines of ethical conduct.
  6. communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific seminars, conferences, and other venues

Required Courses

BIOS 6611/6612​Biostatistical Methods I and Biostatistical Methods II
EPID 6630Epidemiology
PHSC 7620Research Design and Methodology in Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research
HSMP 6604Health Care Economics
EPID 6631Analytical Epidemiology
PHSC 7611Pharmacoeconomics (Campbell)
PHSC 7613Pharmaceutical and Drug Related Policy (Nair)
PHSC 7615Pharmacoepidemiology (Valuck)
PHSC 7570Graduate Student Seminar
PHSC 7911Research Practicum
Total Required Core Course Credits for All Students
CLSC 8990Doctoral Thesis

Approved Elective Courses

BIOS 6643 Analysis of Longitudinal Data
BIOS 6646 Survival Analysis
BIOS 6648/6649 Design of Clinical Trials and Experiments (can take 6648 OR 6649)
BIOS 6649 Design of Studies in the Health Sciences
BIOS 6659 Statistical Methods in Genomics
BIOS 6680 SAS Programming for Data Analysis
BIOS 6683 Introduction to Health Information Technology
BIOS 7711-7713 Advanced Statistical Methods Courses
CBHS 6620 Survey Research
ECON 5813 Econometrics I (UCD downtown campus)
ECON 5823 Econometrics II (UCD downtown campus)
EPID 6632 Advanced Epidemiology
EPID 6646 Introduction to Systematic Reviews
EPID 6635 Epidemiology of Communicable Disease
EPID 6636 Chronic Disease Epidemiology
EPID 6638 Cardiovascular Epidemiology
EPID 6639 Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology
HSMP 6603 Health Care Systems
HSMP 6609 Cost Benefit and Effectiveness in Health
HSMP 6617 Introduction to Health Services Research
HSMP 6625 Methods in Health Services Research

The program’s strengths in outcomes research are emphasized in 35 credits of several areas:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Economics
  • Health Policy
  • Research/Study Design
  • Doctoral Thesis

The program has experience in accessing a multitude of data such as MEPS, PHARMetrics, University Health-System, Consortium and MarketScan. Students are encouraged to utilize these datasets as well as primary data collection. Students may enroll in courses not listed (e.g courses in downtown campuses and/or newly developed courses) by consulting with the program director.


Heather Anderson PhD

Associate Professor Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research PhD Program Director


Pharmaceutical and Drug Related Policy


Monica Bianchini

Monica Bianchini

Monica Bianchini is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated with a PharmD and MPH in 2017. After school, Monica started a pharmacy residency program at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan . The first year of her residency focused on general inpatient pharmacy practice and the second year specialized in Infectious Diseases. Monica was introduced to outcomes research during residency and was inspired to pursue a PhD in Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research. She joined the CePOR in 2019 and is interested in researching infectious diseases epidemiology and public health policy. Since moving to Colorado, Monica has enjoyed exploring the mountains by hiking, camping and skiing with friends.

Kimberly Deininger

Kimberly Deininger

Kimberly Deininger was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a BS in Biology in 2006. She later moved to Colorado and earned a MPH in Epidemiology from the Colorado School of Public Health in 2015. She joined the POR PhD program at the University of Colorado in 2016 to advance her research methods skillset and pursue her career goal of increasing patient access to medications from the pharmaceutical industry perspective. She is currently a PhD candidate, working under the mentorship of Dr. Christina Aquilante, PharmD. Her research focuses on pharmacogenetics of tacrolimus immunosuppressant therapy in solid organ transplant patients and includes qualitative and survey-based patient-reported outcomes, retrospective database analysis, and cost-effectiveness modeling. In her free time, Kimberly enjoys hiking and camping in the mountains, live music, and traveling to new locations. LinkedIn:

Katia Hannah

Katia Hannah

Katia Hannah was born and raised in Washington State. She graduated from Washington State University with a BS in Zoology in 2010. She then moved to Colorado to attend Colorado School of Public Health, completing both the Certificate and Master’s in Public Health programs with a focus in Epidemiology. During the Master’s program, she worked with Dr. Rob Valuck and Dr. Heather Anderson on her capstone project studying the association between anticholinergic toxicity and adverse health outcomes using measures of toxicity generated by three anticholinergic toxicity scales. Katia went on to join the POR program in 2016 and become a Doctoral candidate in Fall 2019. She is currently conducting outcomes research related to patient preferences and use of continuous glucose monitoring devices in type 1 diabetes with Dr. R. Brett McQueen. Her expected dissertation defense is Summer 2021. Linkedin:

Sue Kwon

Sue Hyun Kwon

Sue is a third year PhD student at CePOR. Sue studies coverage and reimbursement value framework for MS drugs from qualitative and quantitative lens. Her dissertation mentors are Dr. Kavita Nair and Dr. Brett McQueen. Prior to grad school, she graduated in 2018 from Pomona College where she studied Neuroscience. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, and finding new scenic spots outdoors. Linkedin:

Nicholas Mendola

Nicholas Mendola

Nick Mendola was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He graduated from The University of Akron with a BS in Exercise Science in 2016. He then moved to Washington D.C. to attend The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. There he obtained his MPH in Epidemiology, in 2018. During this time, he worked researching the pharmaceutical industry’s marketing to healthcare professionals, and its influence on prescribing practices and population level drug utilization. Nick joined the POR PhD program in 2018. His favorite aspect of the program has been the CePOR faculty, and their dedication to student success. Nick currently working with Dr. Robert Brett McQueen and The Center for Pharmaceutical Value (pValue), exploring the use of Mult-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) as a novel health technology value assessment tool. His work specifically explores MCDA in evaluating treatments for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, an ultra-rare neurological disease.

Vanessa Patterson

Vanessa Paul Patterson

Vanessa Paul Patterson is originally from Kansas City. She graduated from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with an MPH concentrating in Epidemiology and Maternal and Child Health in 2012. Vanessa went on to work as an applied epidemiologist for government public health agencies for six years. Vanessa joined the Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research program in the fall of 2018. She is currently working with Dr. Heather Anderson in support of the Colorado Evidence-Based Drug Utilization Review Program. Her dissertation will focus on the utilization of cardioprotective medications among patients with a history of breast cancer.

Why CU's Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research PhD Program?

Chong Kim: There were several factors that ultimately led me to choose POR training program. The biggest factor was the research output from alumni. Although individual capacity may determine the amount of research that may be done, I felt that at least everyone had enough exposure to opportunities to contribute to various projects that the faculty were a part of. Another factor was the prospects for a future career. Some of the alumni graduated to take the academic route, some took on the industry route. What allowed me to be at ease of mind was the fact that none of them had difficulty in job searching and were doing quite well due to the opportunities (research and networking) they had during their stay in the program. I’ve been involved in several projects throughout my first and second semester and I know I’ve definitely made the best choice in coming to this program based on just that.

PhD Student Research Projects

  • Cost Effectiveness of New Hepatitis C Therapies
  • Associations between Antibiotic Exposure and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
  • Clinical Utility of Pharmacogenomics in Solid Organ Transplant
  • Patient Preferences and Use of Real Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring Devices in Type 1 Diabetes

Julia Slejko, PhD ('12)
Assistant Professor
Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

R. Brett McQueen, PhD ('13)
Assistant Professor
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

William Padula, PhD ('13)
Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical and Health Economics, School of Pharmacy
Fellow, Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics
University of Southern California

David Tabano, PhD ('18)
HEOR Senior Health Economist
Evidence for Access (E4A)
Genentech, Inc.

Katie Sullivan, PhD ('18)
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Data Science to Patient Value, School of Medicine
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Angela Czaja, MD, PhD ('19)
Associate Professor
Pediatrics-Critical Care Medicine
Children’s Hospital Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Chong Kim, PhD ('20)
Manager, HEOR Consultant
Stratevi LLC

For questions regarding graduate school programs contact:

Jackie Milowski - 303-724-7263,​​​​​

Heather Anderson PhD

Associate Professor Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research PhD Program Director