Meet the UMB-ISPOR Student Chapter

Written By: Uzma Pathan, second-year PhD in PHSR student and ISPOR chapter president, and Tsung-Ying Lee, fourth-year PhD in PHSR student and ISPOR past president

The UMB-International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) student chapter is a student group based in the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s graduate program in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research (P-SHOR). The chapter serves as a platform to develop future leaders in the field of health economics and outcomes research (HEOR).

ISPOR is a leading and globally recognized professional society with a mission to promote HEOR excellence to improve decision making for health globally. HEOR is centered on the concept of two fields – health economics and outcomes research – that when combined provide powerful health care data and insights, which serve as evidence for health care decision-making.

Health care decision-makers are frequently required to choose therapeutic “interventions” among various treatment choices: biopharmaceuticals, medical technologies, and health care services. The costs and benefits of these therapies might differ significantly, and the benefits may be clinical, economic, or both. It can even be difficult to quantify expenses or outcomes that the patient personally experiences.

Health care decision-makers can benefit from the proper comparison and selection of the available options with the aid of HEOR. Health economics focuses on measuring the value of health care interventions, and outcomes research evaluates the effects of health care interventions on patients.

The ISPOR student chapter’s mission is to:

  • Provide an environment where students can share knowledge in HEOR
  • Serve as a bridge to bring together students interested in HEOR with members of the biopharmaceutical industry, health-related organizations, and academia
  • Act as a resource for new students interested in the field
  • Provide an opportunity for student chapter members to become familiar with and be represented in ISPOR

Across the world, all student ISPOR members are part of the Student Network – an engaged collection of people pursuing PhD, Masters, and PharmD degrees and those in HEOR-related disciplines. There are more than 140 ISPOR student chapters representing 30+ countries. The ISPOR Student Network also provides volunteer leadership opportunities: student network chair, seven student committees, three regional leads, and the student internship/fellowship subcommittee of the Faculty Advisor Council’s Fellowship Focus Group.

Past events and accomplishments

In the past few years, the UMB-ISPOR student chapter has successfully organized several collaborative events, including the ISPOR-ISPE alumni career experience seminar and ISPOR-AMCP trivia night.

Other accomplishments of the chapter include:

  • Our chapter won first place for the ISPOR Student Network Outstanding Chapter Award (2021-2022)
  • Chintal Shah served as the ISPOR Student Network Education Committee Chair (2021-2022)
  • Kayleigh Majercak served as the ISPOR Student Network Education Committee Chair (2020-2021)
  • Aakash Gandhi served as ISPOR Student Network chair (2018-2019)

The UMB-ISPOR student chapter has focused on the professional career development of our student members, which has led to a long-lasting relationship between our professional and student community. We will continue to hold events that successfully bridge developed professionals and students like alumni experience sharing panel sessions. In addition, we will involve guest speakers for educational webinars, as well as convene journal clubs to promote a learning environment for chapter members. We invite all UMB students interested in HEOR to join the UMB-ISPOR student chapter and take part in improving health care decision-making.

If you are interested in joining, please reach out to faculty advisor Dr. Julia Slejko at and visit our website to learn more about us.

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