Directory Profile

James Coons, PharmD, FCCP, FACC, BCCP

Office: 9062 Salk Hall , 3501 Terrace St, 15261

Phone: 412-648-3088

Fax: 412-647-5847

Pager: 412-958-7848



Jim Coons is a cardiology pharmacotherapy specialist and clinical researcher who manages the care of patients with cardiovascular diseases and conducts clinical outcomes and translational research related to this patient population. He has been recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the American College of Cardiology, and is a Board-Certified Cardiology Pharmacist. He is also a past Chair of the ACCP Cardiology Practice and Research Network.

He has been active in clinical practice for 18 years having managed patients in multiple settings including cardiac intensive care, general cardiology, advanced heart failure, and pulmonary hypertension. He is core part of the PreCISE-Rx and Test2Learn teams which implement clinical pharmacogenomics, research, and educational initiatives. He has authored more than 60 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters and served as principal investigator or co-investigator on 10 grants.

He is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics and the Center for Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences. He also serves as the PGY2 Cardiology Pharmacy Residency Program Director at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital and Fellowship Director for the Implementation Science and PharmacoAnalytics Program at UPMC and Pitt. Additionally, he serves as Co-Director for the Pharmacotherapy Scholars Program Area of Concentration, an advanced clinical training program for P4 students. He serves as an expert advisor and helps to lead cardiovascular medication-related initiatives and policies for UPMC, an integrated delivery network of 40 hospitals.

Coons completed his PharmD from the University of Pittsburgh followed by residency training at the University of Virginia (PGY1) and UPMC (PGY2 cardiology). After completion of his training he served as a clinical specialist and PGY-1 Residency Director at Allegheny General Hospital before joining Pitt Pharmacy and UPMC in 2012.

My clinical research focus is on the evaluation of the pharmacotherapeutic management and outcomes related to the care of patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary vascular diseases. I have actively engaged in developing a research program centered on cardiovascular outcomes, translational pharmacogenomics, and implementation science. Through these research endeavors, I aim to contribute to the development and translation of new knowledge and skills needed to effectively pursue rational and precision pharmacotherapy for the cardiovascular and pulmonary vascular patient population. My educational research focus involves the use of novel instructional technologies, such as human patient simulation and virtual electronic health records, on student learning. I also teach pharmacogenomic concepts through an innovative participatory model involving learning engagement through personal genomic testing.

Click on the PubMed underneath the photo for a complete list.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Coons JC, Crisamore K, Adams S, Modany A, Simon MA, Zhao W, Shaik IH, Venkataramanan R, Empey PE. A pilot study of oral treprostinil pharmacogenomics and treatment persistence in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Ther Adv Respir Dis 2021;15:17534666211013688.

White E, Coons JC. Direct oral anticoagulant use in special populations: elderly, obesity, and renal failure. Curr Cardiol Rep 2021;23:27. doi: 10.1007/s11886-021-01456-9.

Coons JC, Albert L, Bejjani A, Iasella CJ. Effectiveness and safety of direct oral anticoagulants versus warfarin in obese patients with acute venous thromboembolism. Pharmacotherapy 2020;40(3):204-10.

Coons JC, Pogue K, Kolodziej AR, Hirsch GA, George MP. Pulmonary arterial hypertension: an update. Curr Cardiol Rep 2019;21:141.

Kido K, Coons JC. Efficacy and safety of pulmonary arterial hypertension medications in patients with pulmonary hypertension secondary to left heart disease: a systematic review. Pharmacotherapy 2019; 39(9):929-45.

Seybert AL, Smithburger PL, Benedict NJ, Kobulinsky LR, Kane-Gill SL, Coons JC. Evidence for simulation in pharmacy education. J Am Coll Clin Pharm 2019; https:

Coons JC, Iasella CJ, Thornberg M, Fitzmaurice M, Goehring K, Jablonski L, Leader D, Meyer A, Seo H, Benedict NJ, Smith R. Clinical outcomes with unfractionated heparin monitored by anti-factor Xa vs. activated partial thromboplastin time. Am J Hematol 2019;94:1015-19.

Crisamore K, Nolin TN, Coons JC, Empey PE. Engaging and empowering stakeholders to advance pharmacogenomics. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2019;106(2):305-08.

Coons JC, Benedict N, Seybert AL, Iasella CJ, Skledar SJ, Smith RM, Saul M, Ensor CR. Pharmacotherapy scholars program: intensive longitudinal training to enhance post-graduate readiness. Am J Pharm Educ 2019; In Press.

Iasella CJ, Kreider MS, Huang L, Coons JC, Stevenson JM. Effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on cardiovascular outcomes after percutaneous coronary intervention: a retrospective cohort study. Clin Drug Investig 2019;39(6):543-51.

Hicks JK, Aquilante C, Aitken S, Bright D, Coons JC, Dotson K, Dunnenberger HM, Elder C, Funk R, Gammal R, Groff L, Lee J. ACCP White Paper on Precision Pharmacotherapy – Focus on Pharmacogenomics. J Am Coll Clin Pharm 2019;2(3):303-13.

Reed BN, DiDomenico RJ, Allender JE, Coons JC, Oliphant CS, Cox JF, Johnson D, Jennings DL. Survey of anticoagulation practices with the Impella percutaneous ventricular assist device at high-volume centers. J Interv Cardiol 2019;Article ID 3791307.

Coons JC, Patel R, Coley KC, Empey PE. Design and testing of MEDIvate, a mobile app to achieve medication list portability using HL-7 FHIR. J Am Pharm Assoc 2019; doi:

Coons JC, Kobulinsky L, Farkas D, Lutz J, Seybert AL. Virtual electronic health record technology with simulation-based learning in an acute care pharmacotherapy course. Pharmacy 2018;6(4):123; doi:10.3390/pharmacy6040123.

Smith ZR, Rangarajan K, Barrow J, Carter D, Coons JC, et al. Development of best practice recommendations for the safe use of pulmonary hypertension pharmacotherapies in adults using a modified Delphi method. Am J Health-Syst Pharm 2019;76(3):153-65.

Coons JC, Miller T. Extended release oral treprostinil in the management of pulmonary arterial hypertension: clinical evidence and experience. Ther Adv Respir Dis 2018;4(2):2018:12:1-10.

Coons JC, Bunner C, Ishizawar DC, Risbano MG, Rivera-Lebron B, Mathier MA, Chan SY, Simon MA. Impact of four times daily dosing of oral treprostinil on tolerability and daily dose achieved in pulmonary hypertension. Pulm Circ 2018 Jan-Mar;8(1); 2045893217744512.

Whitman-Purves E, Coons JC, Miller T, DiNella JV, Althouse A, Schmidhofer M, Smith RE. Performance of anti-factor Xa versus activated partial thromboplastin time for heparin monitoring using multiple nomograms. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost 2018;24(2):310-16.

Empey PE, Stevenson JM, Tuteja S, Weitzel KW, Angiolillo DJ, Beitelshees AL, Coons JC, et al. on behalf of the IGNITE Network. Multisite investigation of strategies for the implementation of CYP2C19 genotype-guided antiplatelet therapy. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2017 Dec 26; doi: 10.1002/cpt.1006.

Cavallari LH, Lee, CR, Beitelshees AL, Cooper-DeHoff RM, Duarte JD, Voora D, Kimmel SE, McDonough CW, Gong Y, Dave CV, Pratt VM, Alestock TD, Anderson RD, Alsip J, Ardati AK, Brott BC, Brown L, Chumnumwat S, Clare-Salzler MJ, Coons JC, et al. on behalf of the IGNITE Network. Multisite investigation of outcomes with implementation of CYP2C19 genotype-guided antiplatelet therapy after percutaneous coronary intervention. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2018 Jan 22;11(2):181-191.

Allender JE, Reed BN, Foster JL, Moretz JD, Oliphant CS, Jennings DL, DiDomenico RJ, Coons JC. Pharmacologic considerations in patients receiving left ventricular percutaneous mechanical circulatory support. Pharmacotherapy 2017;37(10):1272-83.

Coons JC, Iasella CJ, Chanas T, Wang N, Williams K, Boyd A, Lyons J, Eckardt J, Rihtarchik L, Merkel A, Chambers A, Siminerio Lemon L, Smith R, Ensor CR. Comparative effectiveness and safety analysis of dual antiplatelet therapies within an integrated delivery system. Ann Pharmacother 2017; 51(8):649-655.

Verlinden NJ, Coons JC, Iasella C, Kane-Gill SL. Triple antithrombotic therapy with aspirin, P2Y12 inhibitor, and warfarin after percutaneous coronary intervention: an evaluation of prasugrel or ticagrelor versus clopidogrel. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther 2017; DOI: 10.1177/1074248417698042.

Coons JC, Miller T, Simon MA, Ishizawar DC, Mathier MA. Oral treprostinil for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension in patients transitioned from parenteral or inhaled prostacyclins: case series and treatment protocol. Pulm Circ 2016;6(1):132-5.

Adams SM, Anderson K, Coons JC, Smith RB, Meyer SM, Parker LS, Empey PE.
Advancing pharmacogenomics education in the core PharmD curriculum through student personal
genomic testing. Am J Pharm Educ 2016;80(1):Article 3.

Hedges A, Coons JC, Saul M, Smith RE. Clinical effectiveness and safety outcomes associated with prothrombin complex concentrates. J Thromb Thrombolysis 2016;42:6-10.

Verlinden NV, Coons JC. Disopyramide for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: a pragmatic reappraisal of an old drug. Pharmacotherapy 2015;35(12):1164-72.

Schwier NC, Coons JC, Rao SK. Pharmacotherapy update of acute idiopathic pericarditis. Pharmacotherapy 2015;35(1):99-111.

Jentzer JC, Coons JC, Link CB, Schmidhofer M. Pharmacotherapy update on the use of vasopressors and inotropes in the intensive care unit. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther 2015;20(3):249-60.

Harris JR, Coons JC. Ticagrelor use in a patient with a documented clopidogrel hypersensitivity. Ann Pharmacother 2014;48(9):1230-33.

Coons JC, Miller T. Strategies to reduce bleeding risk in acute coronary syndromes and percutaneous coronary intervention: new and emerging pharmacotherapeutic considerations. Pharmacotherapy 2014;34(9):973-90.

Rivosecchi RM, Rice MJ, Smithburger PL, Buckley MS, Coons JC, Kane-Gill SL. An evidenced based systematic review of remifentanil-induced hyperalgesia. Expert Opin Drug Saf 2014;13(5):587-603.

Coons JC, Schwier N, Harris J, Seybert AL. Pharmacokinetic evaluation of prasugrel for the treatment of myocardial infarction. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol 2014;10(4):609-20.

Coons JC, Clarke M, Wanek MR, Bauer A, Bream-Rouwenhorst HR. Safe and effective use of prostacyclins to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension. Am J Health-Syst Pharm 2013;70:1716-23.

Raina A, Coons JC, Kanwar M, et al. Transitioning from parenteral treprostinil to inhaled treprostinil in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Pulm Circ 2013;3(1):116-120.

Kanwar M, Agarwal R, Barnes M, Coons J, et al. Role of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors in heart failure: emerging data and concepts. Curr Heart Fail Rep 2013;10:26-35.

Coons JC, Sokos GG. Comment: Worsening heart failure in the setting of dronedarone initiation – reply-I. Ann Pharmacother 2011;45:690.

Coons JC, McGraw M, Murali S. Pharmacotherapy for acute heart failure syndromes. Am J Health-Syst Pharm 2011;68:21-35.

Coons JC, Plauger KM, Seybert AL, Sokos GG. Worsening heart failure in the setting of dronedarone initiation. Ann Pharmacother 2010;44:1496-1500.

Coons JC, Barnes M, Kusick K. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Am J Health-Syst Pharm 2009;66:562-6.

Coons JC, Battistone S. 2007 guideline update for unstable angina/ non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction: focus on antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapies. Ann Pharmacother 2008;42:989-1001.

Coons JC, Fera T. Multidisciplinary team for enhancing care for patients with acute myocardial infarction or heart failure. Am J Health-Syst Pharm 2007;64:1274-8.

Coons JC, Seidl E. Cardiovascular pharmacotherapy update for the intensive care unit. Crit Care Nurs Q 2007;30(1):44-57.

Seybert AL, Coons JC, Zerumsky K. Treatment of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia: is there a role for bivalirudin? Pharmacotherapy 2006;26(2):229-41.

Coons JC, Seybert AL, Saul MI, Kirisci L, Kane-Gill SL. Outcomes and costs of abciximab versus eptifibatide for percutaneous coronary intervention. Ann Pharmacother 2005;39:1621-26.

Coons JC, Barcelona RA, Freedy T, Hagerty MF. Eptifibatide-associated acute, profound thrombocytopenia. Ann Pharmacother 2005;39:368-72.

Coons JC, Shullo M, Schonder K, Kormos R. Terbutaline for chronotropic support in heart transplantation. Ann Pharmacother 2004;38(4):586-89.

Seybert AL, Coons JC. Bivalirudin combined with provisional gp IIb/IIIa blockade is safer than heparin plus planned gp IIb/IIIa blockade during percutaneous coronary intervention. Commentary. Evidence-based Cardiovascular Medicine 2003;7:173-75.

Coons JC. Hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors in osteoporosis management. Ann Pharmacother 2002;36(2):326-30.

Selected Book Chapters:

Coons JC, Miller T. Acute coronary syndrome/acute myocardial infarction. In: Murphy JE, Lee MW, editors. Pharmacotherapy Self-Assessment Program (PSAP) 2019 Book 1 (Cardiology). Lanexa (KS): American College of Clinical Pharmacy; 2019.

Coons JC. Pulmonary arterial hypertension. In: Baker WL, Beavers C, Bolesta S, et al., eds. Updates in Therapeutics®: Cardiology Pharmacy Preparatory Review Course, 2018 ed. Lenexa, KS: American College of Clinical Pharmacy, 2018:159-190.

Coons JC, Abel EA. Cardiovascular critical care. In: ACCP/SCCM critical care pharmacy preparatory review and recertification course. Lanexa (KS): American College of Clinical Pharmacy; 2017-2018.

Coons JC, Empey PE. Drug metabolism in cardiovascular disease. In: Xie W, editor. Drug metabolism in diseases. Elsevier Inc.; 2017.

Coons JC, Wanek MR. Perioperative management: cardiac and vascular surgery. In: Erstad B, editor. Critical Care Self-Assessment Program (CCSAP) 2016 Book 3 (Pain and Sedation/Support and Prevention). Lanexa (KS): American College of Clinical Pharmacy; 2016.

Coons JC, Devabhakthuni S. Thrombolytics/Anticoagulants. In: Kane-Gill S, Dasta J, editors. High-risk IV medications in special patient populations. Amhert (MA): Springer-Verlag London Limited; 2011. p. 1-68.

Seybert AL, Coons JC. Atrial arrhythmias. In: Crouch MA, editor. Cardiovascular pharmacotherapy: a point-of-care guide. Bethesda (MD): American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Inc.; 2010. p. 235-57.

2021: Outstanding Scholarly Contribution Faculty Award, Rho Chi Society

2016: Innovations in Teaching Award, Rho Chi Society

Selected Invited International/National Presentations:

“Making the Transition: How to Switch Between Treatments.” Presented as part of session, “Progression of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Pharmacotherapy: Plainly Played-out in a Patient Case.” American College of Cardiology 70th Annual Scientific Sessions and Expo. Virtual presentation, OnDemand Pathway Session.

“Cangrelor: Friend or Foe - Not the CHAMPION We Hoped For.” Presenter as part of symposium, “Cardiovascular Professionals Symposium: Antithrombotic Pharmacology.” The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) Scientific Sessions. Virtual presentation, May 14, 2020.

“Updates from the 6th World Symposium on Pulmonary Hypertension.” Presenter as part of symposium, “Updates in Pulmonary Hypertension Management Across the Continuum of Care.” American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Annual Meeting. Pulmonary Practice and Research Network Focus Session. Presented to pharmacy audience, New York, NY, October 29, 2019.

“State of the Art Case Based Lecture: WHO Should Get What? A WHO PAH Group-Based Approach to Treatment.” Presenter as part of Session: “Clearing the Air on Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Pharmacology Session I.” American College of Cardiology 68th Annual Scientific Sessions and Expo. Presented to multidisciplinary audience, New Orleans, LA, March 17, 2019.

“Who, What and Why of Cardiovascular Simulation: From Learning Outcomes to Return on Investment.” Presented as part of Session: Personalized Skills & Simulation Center.” American College of Cardiology 68th Annual Scientific Sessions and Expo. Presented to multidisciplinary audience, New Orleans, LA, March 16, 2019.

“Management and Trends in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.” Presenter. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) 53rd Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition. Presented to pharmacists and nurses, Anaheim, CA, December 5, 2018. American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) universal program number: 0221‐0000‐18‐395‐L01‐P.

“Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.” Presenter. National Association of Specialty Pharmacy. Presented to pharmacists and nurses, Washington, D.C., September 25, 2018. American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) universal program number: UAN 0221-0000-18-373-L01-P.

“Cardiovascular Critical Care.” Presenter as part of Critical Care Pharmacy Board Preparatory Review and Recertification Courses. Society of Critical Care Medicine Critical Care Congress. Presented to multidisciplinary audience, San Antonio, TX, February 24, 2018.

“Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.” Presenter as part of American College of Clinical Pharmacy Updates in Therapeutics 2018 Cardiology Pharmacy Board Preparatory Review Course. Presented to pharmacists, Jacksonville, FL, February 16, 2018.

“Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Collaborative Care. Presenter. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) 52nd Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition. Presented to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, Orlando, FL, December 5, 2017. American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) universal program number: 0221-0000-17-427-L01-P.

“Upfront Combination Therapy in PAH: Why Do It, When to Do it, and How to Get it Done.” Presenter as part of Session: “Hot Topics and Great Debates in Pulmonary Hypertension.” American College of Cardiology 66th Annual Scientific Sessions and Expo. Presented to multidisciplinary audience, Washington, DC, March 17, 2017.

“Cardiovascular Critical Care.” Presenter. American College of Clinical Pharmacy Updates in Therapeutics 2017 Preparatory Review and Recertification Courses. Presented to pharmacists, Jacksonville, FL, February 17, 2017.

“Integration of Virtual Electronic Health Record Technology into a Core Therapeutics Course for PharmD Students.” Presenter. American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting. Presented to pharmacists, Anaheim, CA, July 27, 2016.

“Bivalirudin versus Heparin During Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: Review of the Recent Literature.” Presenter. American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Global Conference on Clinical Pharmacy. Cardiology Practice and Research Network Focus Session. Presented to pharmacy audience, San Francisco, CA, USA, October 19, 2015.

“A Lifecycle Journey in Pulmonary Hypertension.” Co-Chair and Presenter. International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) 34th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions. Presented to multidisciplinary audience, San Diego, CA, April 11, 2014.

“IV Prostaglandin Therapy: Indications and Mechanism of Action for PAH.” Presenter as part of Symposium: “The Effects of Prostaglandin Therapy in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: The Seen and Unseen Risk/Benefit Profile.” International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) 34th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions. Presented to multidisciplinary audience, San Diego, CA, April 11, 2014.

Precision Medicine Pilot Award Program, University of Pittsburgh Institute for Precision Medicine
“Whole Genome Sequencing to Explore Variability in Treprostinil Response in Patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension”
Role: PI; 2019-2020

United Therapeutics, Industry-sponsored
“ADAPT (A Patient Registry of the Real-world Use of Orenitram)”
Role: PI; 2019-2020

United Therapeutics, Industry-sponsored (Simon)
“EXPEDITE (A Study of Remodulin Induction Followed by Orenitram Optimization to Treat Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension)”
Role: Co-I; 2019-2020

United Therapeutics, Investigator-initiated
“Evaluation of Factors Influencing Dosing and Clinical Response to Oral Treprostinil”
Role: PI; 2017-2019

McCune Foundation (2013039201) (Lee)
“Development of Pharmacogenomics”
Role: Co-I; 2015-2017

Pittsburgh Health Care Data Alliance Project: Center for Commercial Applications of Healthcare Data at Pitt, Early Stage Research Award (Empey)
Role: Co-I; 2015-2016

National Association of Chain Drug Stores (Empey)
“Test2Learn®: Community pharmacists pharmacogenomics education certificate program”
Role: Co-I; 2016-2021

University of Pittsburgh, Institute of Personalized Medicine/Clinical and Translational Science
Institute/McCune Foundation, demonstration project (Empey)
“PreCISE-Rx: Pharmacogenomics-guided care to improve the safety and effectiveness of medications”
Role: Co-I; 2014 – 2016

University of Pittsburgh, Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence (ACIE) Grant Award (Empey)
“Using personal genome testing to teach pharmacogenomics in a large lecture course”
Role: Co-I; 2014 – 2015

University of Pittsburgh, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, project funding (Empey)
“MEDIvate: achieving great medication outcomes together”
Role: Co-I; 2014 - 2015

American Society of Health System pharmacists, Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative
“Pharmacist-Delivered Pharmacogenomic Care”
Role: PI (multiple PIs); 2013 – 2015