PGY2: Solid Organ Transplant

The transplantation/solid organ pharmacy residency at UPMC is designed for the individual interested in developing specialized clinical expertise in pharmaceutical care for transplant patients. Residents will gain expertise in the management of transplant patients in all phases of their care, from the intensive care unit to the ambulatory clinic.

The transplantation/solid organ pharmacy residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is designed for the individual interested in developing specialized clinical expertise in pharmaceutical care for transplant patients. UPMC is the premier health system in western Pennsylvania, one of the most renowned academic medical centers in the United States, and a world leader in the field of transplantation. The transplantation pharmacy resident will gain expertise in the management of transplant patients in all phases of their care, from the intensive care unit to the ambulatory clinic. The resident will gain expertise in pathophysiology of disease leading to the need for organ transplantation, the management of immunosuppressive therapy, acute and chronic post-transplant complications, therapeutic drug monitoring, and management of drug interactions.

The resident will be integrally involved in research opportunities and education of students and other healthcare professionals. Through the Resident Research Series, the resident will identify a practice-related research project and mentor, learn about study design and implementation as well as complete a residency project suitable for publication. The Teaching Mastery Series allows residents to learn about various teaching methods as well as develop their skills as pharmacy educators and clinical preceptors. Many opportunities to present formal seminars, patient cases, journal clubs, and in-service education for UPMC staff occur throughout the year. The resident will gain experience in both didactic and experiential teaching and precepting at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. Flexibility is provided to meet the individual resident's goals and objectives.

Program objectives include:

  1. Demonstrate proficiency, confidence, and compassion in providing direct patient care to transplant patients
  2. Demonstrate professionalism and effective communication skills in all components of pharmacy practice
  3. Optimize pharmacotherapy and safe medication practices
  4. Provide effective education to healthcare professionals
  5. Apply clinical and outcomes research concepts to professional practice

The purpose of the PGY2 pharmacy residency is to build on Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) education and PGY1 pharmacy residency programs to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists in specialized areas of practice. PGY2 residencies provide residents with opportunities to function independently as practitioners by conceptualizing and integrating accumulated experience and knowledge and incorporating both into the provision of patient care or other advanced practice settings. Residents who successfully complete an accredited PGY2 pharmacy residency are prepared for advanced patient care, academic, or other specialized positions, along with board certification, if available.

Our purpose is to train graduates of the UPMC Presbyterian PGY2 Transplant Pharmacy Residency who are capable of providing comprehensive transplant pharmacy services, inpatient and ambulatory, for kidney, pancreas, liver, heart and lung transplant recipients. Furthermore, program graduates will be prepared to provide transplant-related education to patients and their families as well as teach current and future health care providers about pharmacy care for the transplant recipient.

Appointment Period: July 1 - June 30
Number Positions: 1
Starting Date: July 1
Salary: $51,037
Benefits: Health, dental, and eye care are provided free of charge. Life and disability are available. Vacation and professional travel provided.
Training Site Type: Hospital
Owner/Affiliates: Private
Model (type): Teaching, tertiary
Professional Staff: 48
Total Beds: 1093

All residents must be eligible for pharmacist licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Applications for Pharmacist License and Intern Registration are available.

Application Process

Eligible candidates must have graduated from an accredited school of pharmacy and have completed or be on track to obtain successful completion of a PGY-1 pharmacy residency. The candidate must submit the standard application requirements via PhORCAS by December 31st. Standard requirements for an application include: demographics, academic history, transcript, curriculum vitae, letter of intent, extracurricular activities, and three standardized reference forms. Select candidates will be invited for an on-site interview and an on-site interview is required.

Reference Guidance

We request a minimum of 3 references and ask that at least two of the three references come from preceptors with whom the applicant has worked in a direct patient care setting. The preceptor should be able to comment on the applicant’s responsibilities, patient workload, clinical problem-solving abilities, and time management skills. All reference writers must use the standard PhORCAS reference template and provide comments on a minimum of 7 of the 15 characteristics in the spaces provided.

This residency site agrees that no person at this site will solicit, accept, or use any ranking related information from any residency candidate.

Required Learning Experiences

  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Lung Transplantation
  • Heart Transplantation
  • Clinical Laboratory & Tissue Typing
  • Transplant Candidate Evaluation
  • Clinical Precepting

Required Longitudinal Learning Experiences

  • Transplant Pharmacy Operations
  • Resident Research Series
  • Multidisciplinary Committee

Select Elective Learning Experiences

  • Cardiothoracic Surgery ICU
  • Transplant ICU
  • Transplant Infectious Diseases
  • Outcomes Research

Other elective rotations are available based on resident interest and faculty availability.


Edward Horn, PharmD, BCCCP
Carlo Iasella, PharmD, MPH, BCPS
Heather Johnson, PharmD, BCPS
Catherine Kim, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP
Erin McCreary, PharmD, BCPS, BCIDP
Cody Moore, PharmD, MPH, BCPS
Ryan Rivosecchi, PharmD, BCCCP
Lauren Sacha, PharmD, BCPS
Kristine Schonder, PharmD (Director)
Kristin Shimko, PharmD
Raman Venkataramanan, PhD
Adriana Zeevi, PhD


UPMC Presbyterian

2020 – 2021
Kristina M. Burroughs, PharmD
Medstar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC

2019 – 2020
Stacy R. Fredrick, PharmD, MBA
University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY

2017 – 2018
Moses Demehin, PharmD, BCPS
VCU Health, Richmond, VA

2016 – 2018 Clinical Trials and Outcomes Research in Transplant Fellow
Carlo Iasella, PharmD, MPH, BCPS
UPMC Presbyterian, Pittsburgh, PA

2016 – 2017
Olya Witkowsky, PharmD, BCPS
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

2015 – 2017 Solid Organ Transplant Fellow
Cody Moore, PharmD, MPH, BCPS
UPMC Presbyterian, Pittsburgh, PA

2015 – 2016
Anh Vu, PharmD, BCPS
University of Kansas Hospital Center for Transplantation, Kansas City, KS2014

2014 – 2015
Alicia Lichvar, PharmD, BCPSU
UI Health – University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, Chicago, IL

2013 – 2014
Lauren Sacha, PharmD, BCPS
Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ

2012 – 2013
Amanda Ingemi, PharmD
Sentara Healthcare, Norfolk, VA

2011 – 2012
Gretchen Kipp, PharmD, BCPS
UPMC Presbyterian, Pittsburgh, PA

2010 – 2011
David Johnson, PharmD, BCPS
Temple University Health System, Philadelphia, PA

2008 – 2009
Phyllis Chow, PharmD, MHA, BCPS
Seton Heart Specialty Care and Transplant Center, Austin, TX

Rivosecchi RM, Samanta P, DemehinM, Nguyen MH. Pharmacokinetics of azole antifungals in cystic fibrosis. Mycopathologia. 2018;183(1):139-50.

Witkowsky O, Teutenberg J, Althouse AD, Shullo M. Thrombotic events with proliferation signal inhibitor-based immunosuppression in cardiac transplantation. J Heart Lung Transplant 2019;38(6):619-26.

Ensor CR, Goehring KC, Iasella CJ, Moore CA, Lendermon EA, McDyer JF, Morrell MR, Sciortino CM, Venkataramanan R, Wiland AM. Belatacept for maintenance immunosuppression in cardiothoracic transplantation: the potential frontier.Clin Transplant 2018;31(10). doi: 10.1111/ctr.13363.

Cheng J, Moore CA, Iasella CJ, Glanville AR, Morrell MR, Smith RB, McDyer JF, Ensor CR. Clin Transplant 2018;32(5):doi: 10.1111/ctr.13235.

Ensor CR, Iasella CJ, Harrigan KM, Morrell MR, Moore CA, Shigemura N, Zeevi A, McDyer JF, Venkataramanan R. Increasing tacrolimus time-in-therapeutic range is associated with superior one-year outcomes in lung transplantrecipients. Am J Transplant. 2018;18(6):1527-1533.

Moore CA, Pilewski JM, Venkataramanan R, Robinson KM, Morrell MR, Wisniewski SR, Zeevi A, McDyer JF, Ensor CR. Effect of aerosolized antipseudomonals on Pseudomonas positivity and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after lung transplantation. Transpl Infect Dis. 2017;19(3). doi: 10.1111/tid.12688.

Moore CA, Iasella CJ, Venkataramanan R, Lakkis FG, Smith RB, McDyer JF, Zeevi A, Ensor CR. Janus kinase inhibition for immunosuppression in solid organ transplantation: Is there a role in complex immunologic challenges? Hum Immunol. 2017;78(2):64-71. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2016.12.005.

Ensor CR, Rihtarchik LC, Morrell MR, Hayanga JW, Lichvar AA, Pilewski JM, Wisniewski S, Johnson BA, D’Cunha J, Zeevi A, McDyer JF. Rescue alemtuzumab for refractory acute cellular rejection and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after lung transplantation. Clinical transplantation. 2017;31(4). doi:10.1111/ctr.12899.

Lichvar AA, Moore CA, Ensor CR, McDyer JF, Teuteberg JJ, Shullo MA. Evaluation of Direct Oral Anticoagulation Therapy in Heart and Lung Transplant Recipients. Progress in transplantation (Aliso Viejo, Calif.). 2016;26(3):263-9. doi:10.1177/1526924816661951.

Kalluri HV, Sacha LM, Ingemi AI, ShulloMA, Johnson HJ, Tevar AD, Humar A, Venkataramanan R. Low vitamin D exposure is associated with higher risk of infection in renal transplant recipients. Clin Transplant 2017;31(5): doi: 10.1111/ctr.12955.