Walid Gellad, associate professor of medicine and health policy and director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, was recently named a winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) — the highest honor awarded by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.
Gellad was nominated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who he previously worked with to examine veterans’ prescription opioid use.
“It really recognizes not just the research, but also the community service and leadership in science aspects,” Gellad said of the award. “It’s a very nice testament to the work I’ve done and the mentoring I’ve received.”
Gellad’s research focuses on physician prescribing practices and on policy issues affecting access and adherence to medications for patients, including two projects examining the use of artificial intelligence to better predict opioid overdose risk in patients on both national and regional levels. His work also spans clinical areas, from diabetes and hepatitis C, to prescription drug and substance abuse. Gellad is also a nationally recognized authority on improving the measurement of medication adherence, as well as an expert in prescription drug pricing and spending.
Gellad traveled to Washington, D.C., in late July to receive the award, along with about 300 other awardees. This year’s ceremony recognized three years’ worth of awardees.
Established in 1996, the PECASE “acknowledges the contributions scientists and engineers have made to the advancement of science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) education and to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, and community outreach,” according to whitehouse.gov. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates the PECASE with participating departments and agencies.