Researcher Profile: Anna Hitron, PharmD

Anna Hitron, PharmD, obtained her undergraduate and doctorate of pharmacy degrees at the University of Kentucky. She completed her post graduate pharmacy practice residency at the University of California San Francisco and her post graduate hematology/oncology residency at the University of Kentucky. Hitron is currently completing a master’s degree in pharmacoepidemiology and outcomes research at the University of Kentucky. Hitron also has professional licensure as a registered pharmacist.

To support the completion of her Master’s program, Hitron is currently engaged in a cancer research project with the support of an American Cancer Society research grant. Her research, titled The Stimulation of IGF-R1 by Insulin in the Progression of Prostate Cancer, focuses on the relationship between the diagnosis of diabetes and the development of prostate cancer. While observational studies have shown that a diagnosis of diabetes may protect patients from the development of prostate cancer, the studies are unable to provide that diabetes is the true cause of decreased cancer rates in these patients. Hitron plans to apply the knowledge from previous human and animal evaluations to determine the impact of insulin on the aggressiveness and overall progression of prostate cancer. Since many diabetic patients use medications that alter insulin levels, the knowledge of this interaction could potentially lead to improved cancer prognosis.

She has gained professional experience from being a clinical staff pharmacist at UK Healthcare, UCSF Medical Center and an intern at Kroger Pharmacy in Lexington. While completing her education, Hitron has served as a teaching assistant as well as an instructor in classes and laboratories at the University of Kentucky and UCSF.

Hitron has been a part of several professional organizations at the local, regional, national and international level. Currently, she serves as a member of the American Pharmacists Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Phi Lamda Sigma Leadership Society, Rho Chi Academic Honor Society, Hematology/Oncology Pharmacists Association, American College of Clinical Pharmacists, Kentucky Pharmacists Association and Kentucky Society of Health Systems Pharmacists. She is also active within the Lexington community, having volunteered at UK Healthcare clinic and participating in projects for the Habitat for Humanity and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Hitron has received various honors and awards, including: 2008 Gary Rifkind Research Award, 1st Place Resident Poster; 2007 Outstanding Graduating Woman Award, 2006 Albert Turk Award for Outstanding Scholastic and Professional Achievement and 2006 Rho Chi Service Award.

Read how Oncology Pharmacist Anna Hitron is improving quality of life.