Award-winning researcher and mentor retires from the School of Pharmacy

Monday, July 13, 2020

A pharmacy professor devoted to researching chronic conditions in the Mountain State is retiring this summer. Dr. Usha Sambamoorthi has provided the School, University and State with over ten years of outstanding service to cap off an impressive career. 

During her time at WVU, she served the School in several capacities. Most recently, she was interim chairperson of the Department of Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy.

Since she arrived in 2010, Dr. Sambamoorthi has committed herself to teaching, mentoring and researching some of West Virginia’s most debilitating conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Her studies examined issues of access, disparities, quality of health care and economic burden associated with these chronic health conditions. In recognition of her work, WVU presented her with the 2018 Women in Science and Health Advanced Career Excellence Award.

In addition to her other appointments, Sambamoorthi served as director of the School’s Health Services and Outcomes Research graduate program. Often referred to as “Mentor Extraordinaire” by her peers, Sambamoorthi has advised dozens of graduate students, post-docs, junior faculty and clinicians from different health professions. The American Public Health Association recognized her style of one-to-one mentoring and hands-on training in 2010 with an Outstanding Mentor Award. In 2017, she earned the WVU Vice President’s Award for Outstanding Mentorship. This year, the WVU Office of Graduate Education and Life honored her with the Outstanding Mentor award.

WVU School of Pharmacy Dean William Petros says he is grateful for Sambamoorthi’s service and collegiality. “Usha is a role model for graduate student mentors, a multidisciplinary collaborator and an all-around nice person,” said Petros. “She has unselfishly given in so many ways throughout her career. Working with her as interim chair for the past year, I have personally very much enjoyed and appreciated her insight and dedication.”

Sambamoorthi has more than 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals and numerous research grants, including collaborations with a wide range of healthcare professionals. To support her research, Dr. Sambamoorthi has received millions of dollars in extramural funding from foundations, industry and federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health and Veterans Health Administration.

Dr. Sambamoorthi earned her PhD in 1981 from the University of Madras in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.