Discovery Spotlight

Brandon LaPorte, ACPHS Class of 2018

Brandon LaPorte '18 B.S. and M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Brandon LaPorte knew he wanted to be a doctor while still in high school. A high performer, he took International Baccalaureate (IB)  and Advanced Placement (AP) courses and was one of a select few students in ACPHS’s annual High School Summer Research Program. This inspired him to come to ACPHS as a pre-med student in the Bachelor's program in Pharmaceutical Sciences. He subsequently transitioned into the Master's program in Pharmaceutical Sciences, a joint degree program that will allow him to earn both degrees in just five years.

“It’s beneficial to be at a pharmacy school before going to medical school,” he says. “I’ve learned physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology so I’ll know what can go wrong with the human body and how medication can be used to treat it.” 

He’s putting his inquisitive mind to use in Dr. Marcel Musteata’s lab. They embarked on a research project involving construction of a mechanical pharmacokinetic profile generator while Brandon was an undergraduate. “Drugs are absorbed, distributed, metabolized and eliminated in each person differently based on their size, weight, and various other factors,” he explains. “This notion is synonymous with lab animals.”

By creating a system that can simulate realistic pharmacokinetic profiles, scientists “won’t need to use lab animals, which will help improve this area of research." As a graduate student, Brandon wants to use this system to determine the best way of calculating drug elimination, perhaps even creating a new equation for it.  

Brandon has presented his research at international and national conferences. He works as a medical scribe, shadowing doctors, documenting consults and placing orders in real time and does the same as a volunteer at a local rescue mission clinic.
    
Why is he so driven? His calling is to dedicate his life to those in need. “I chose medicine more than anything because I want to help people.”