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Hiring: Director, Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Science


Hiring Highlight

Date August 21, 2023

Media Contact

Nicole Swenarton | 732-284-6326 |

Director, Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Science

Position Description

August 2023


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The Opportunity

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS)/Rutgers Health seeks exceptional leadership candidates to apply for the role of Director, Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Science (Director, PETS) within the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research (IFH). This is a distinctive opportunity to further the growth of a leading pharmacoepidemiology group in a world class academic and healthcare institution that is uniquely committed to the field of pharmacoepidemiology.

PETS is supported at the highest levels of RBHS, including RBHS Chancellor Brian Strom, one of the founders of the field of pharmacoepidemiology and Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, and IFH Director Tobias Gerhard, the current President of the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE). RBHS will provide substantial resources for PETS commensurate with the Director’s vision. This includes commitments for multiple new faculty hires and funding to strengthen existing programs as well as identifying opportunities to build new programs. There are significant resources across IFH, RBHS, its partner hospitals, and the University for the Director to leverage.

The new Director of PETS will be an experienced and visionary pharmacoepidemiologist, researcher, and academic leader of national or international stature who can propel the growth of pharmacoepidemiologic research and education at Rutgers.

Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Science

The Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Science (PETS), established in 2017, was formed to create an interdisciplinary locus for world-class research and training in pharmacoepidemiology and related disciplines at Rutgers. Over the past 6 years, PETS has developed into a major pharmacoepidemiology group, recruiting numerous new core, part-time, and adjunct faculty, and an experienced team of highly trained administrative and analytic staff. The 10 current PETS core faculty have their tenure or tenure-track in Medicine, Pharmacy, or Public Health and have been funded by numerous R01s, K awards, and foundation awards. PETS core faculty work on a variety of topics in pharmacoepidemiology and related fields, including traditional drug safety studies, comparative effectiveness research, pharmacoepidemiologic methods, clinical epidemiology, and health services research. They regularly collaborate with researchers across campus, across the US, and internationally, including colleagues from academia, industry, and government.

PETS is a Chancellor-level center based at the IFH and reports dually to both the RBHS Chancellor and to the IFH Director. PETS is able to recruit faculty into all Schools within RBHS and Rutgers University, either based at the IFH or at their respective home departments. Its FY23 grant revenue  exceeded $4 million in direct costs, with well over $20 million in direct costs awarded to the Center since its inception in 2017. To support its ongoing operations, PETS receives a portion of its F&A expenditures.

PETS faculty have access to a variety of national electronic health record and claims databases housed at the IFH Survey / Data Core Facility, together covering several hundred million lives. In addition, Rutgers’ recent alliance with RWJBarnabas Health creates a unique opportunity to conduct pharmacoepidemiological research in collaboration with a statewide health system. Collectively, Rutgers and its clinical partners have approximately 5 million lives under a single system, unified with a single electronic medical record system, whose data are in house at Rutgers for research purposes.

PETS faculty are actively involved in educational efforts both locally and globally. PETS, in close collaboration with the Rutgers School of Public Health, has established active and rapidly growing Certificate, Master’s, and PhD training programs in pharmacoepidemiology. PETS faculty regularly mentor undergraduates, graduate students, and clinical trainees in pharmacoepidemiologic research. PETS, in partnership with Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy (EMSOP), offers a two-year pharmacoepidemiology fellowship as part of the broader EMSOP Industry Fellowship Program. PETS also developed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship program with funding from Sanofi for PhD-level graduates interested in the pharmaceutical industry and academia.

PETS faculty serve in a variety of positions locally, nationally, and globally to advance the health of individuals, communities, and populations. PETS faculty members serve on FDA Advisory Committees, on study sections at the National Institutes of Health, committees at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and in various roles within clinical and research organizations, particularly ISPE, where PETS faculty serve as past President, current President and incoming President-Elect, among numerous other leadership roles.

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Organization Overview

Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research

The Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, a unit within RBHS, is a hub for multidisciplinary and translational research focused on improving population health.

Since its 1985 founding by Dr. David Mechanic, IFH has become nationally renowned for meaningful and impactful work in health research. IFH continues to build on this legacy while preserving the multidisciplinary structure and dynamic that makes it truly unique.

IFH fosters rigorous theory-based research and innovative training and supports collaborative opportunities for investigators across New Jersey and beyond, advancing the translation of knowledge to impact policy and practice.

The Institute is home to a variety of interdisciplinary centers:

  • Center for State Health Policy
  • Center for Health Services Research
  • Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Science
  • Center for Population-Level Bioethics
  • Center for Population Behavioral Health
  • Center for Healthy Aging
  • Herbert and Jacqueline Krieger Klein Alzheimer’s and Dementia Clinical Research and Treatment Center
  • Rutgers Global Health Institute

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Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) serves as the umbrella organization for eight schools and seven centers and institutes focused on improving human health. Aligned with Rutgers University – New Brunswick and collaborating with scholars and researchers throughout the University, RBHS established Rutgers as one of the largest academic institutions in the United States providing health care education, research, and clinical service and care.  The brand name for RBHS in clinical and marketing contexts is Rutgers Health.

 Created ten years ago by a historic 2013 merger, RBHS has rapidly developed into one of the nation’s premiere academic health care centers. Committed to a mission of excellence in biomedical and health care education, research, and patient care, RBHS draws on insights from laboratory sciences and the clinical, behavioral, public health, and social sciences to train the next generation of health care professionals and researchers and improve access to high-quality care.


RBHS constitutes one of the few academic health centers in the country with schools in the full spectrum of human health. These schools educate a corps of top-flight health care professionals in medicine, dentistry, nursing, allied health, pharmacy, public health, and biomedical science.

  • 7,536 students
    • 1,862 undergraduate
    • 5,674 graduate
    • About 1,800 degrees awarded annually
  • 1,637 full-time faculty

Working collaboratively with academic, research, and clinical units throughout the University and the region, RBHS provides outstanding postgraduate training for residents and fellows and a vast range of continuing education options for health professionals.


Rutgers’ health sciences research activity is the largest and most comprehensive in New Jersey with over $547 million in research awards.  Across Rutgers as a whole the University exceeds over $872 million annually in research grants and sponsored program funding, more than all the rest of the universities in the state in aggregate.

RBHS centers and institutes focus on a wide range of human health issues, and their researchers work collaboratively with others at Rutgers and affiliated research centers to learn from the full range of human experience. RBHS research spans the spectrum from basic science, to clinical care, to implementation science.

RBHS/Rutgers Health

  • #1 top academic health care provider in the state
  • 2000+ specialty and sub-specialty service areas
  • Bringing together 1300+ health care professionals to serve patient needs
  • Currently conducting 450 clinical trials

The Rutgers University Board of Governors, in 2016, authorized the creation of Rutgers Health as an innovative, statewide academic health care provider organization to revolutionize patient care across New Jersey. Rutgers Health became one of the most comprehensive academic health care provider organizations in the nation, integrating a full range of health-related specialties – including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and public health – as well as more traditional fields such as neurology, surgery, cardiology, and oncology.

Rutgers Health brings together the clinical activities under one umbrella of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, that are provided through the many medical and health professions schools, centers, institutes, and practices. Rutgers Health staff includes some of the world’s most respected educators, researchers, and medical professionals. They are at the forefront of health care with their combination of medical expertise, research, and education, delivered by skilled professionals with compassionate care.

Clinical Partners

RWJBarnabas Health

RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers University have partnered to create the state’s largest academic health care system dedicated to providing high-quality patient care, leading-edge research and world-class health and medical education that transforms and advances health care in New

Jersey. The partnership enhances the delivery and accessibility of evidence-based health care across the state; boosts the recruitment of prominent academic, research, and clinical practitioners; and strengthens the advancement of health science innovation and education.

While the organizations remain separate entities, each retaining its own respective employees and independent boards, they have taken meaningful steps to participate in the governance of the other. This includes Rutgers Health providing access to its world-class researchers, faculty and staff while RWJBarnabas Health is investing more than $1 billion  to expand faculty recruitment, double the research portfolio, and increase educational opportunities. A Joint Committee has been formed for strategic planning and oversight of the academic health system. The clinical delivery of services is managed and led by RWJBarnabas Health in coordination with Rutgers, and the academic and research functions are managed and led by Rutgers in coordination with RWJBarnabas Health.

University Hospital

University Hospital (UH) in Newark, New Jersey, is the principal teaching hospital of the Newark-based schools of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.  The New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act of 2012 made University Hospital an independent state acute care hospital with its own board of directors. UH is a 519-bed academic medical center with a medical staff of more than 785 physicians.  It is home to northern New Jersey’s Level 1 Trauma Center, and a regional resource for specialized services and critical care in a wide range of medical specialties.  Specialty programs include an award-winning maternity program, the Center for Advanced Liver Diseases and Transplantation, a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and a comprehensive Weight Management Center.  Annually, UH sees over 75,000 emergency department visits, 230,000 outpatient clinic visits, and 107,000 EMS responses.

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a statewide institution comprised of three universities: Rutgers University – New Brunswick; Rutgers University – Newark; and Rutgers University – Camden; as well as an array of medical and public health schools and institutes organized under the banner of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, which is aligned with Rutgers – New Brunswick. Rutgers is a large, public land grant and research university with 29 degree-granting schools and colleges, more than 67,000 students, and over 22,000 faculty and staff, and over 570,000 alumni. The University also provides educational programs in many other communities throughout the state and has educational and research partnerships with institutions around the nation and the world.

Regarding clinical training, Rutgers has numerous affiliation agreements for clinical training sites for medicine, dentistry, nursing, and health professional programs, and has comprehensive affiliation agreements with the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and University Hospital in Newark to address undergraduate medical education, graduate medical education, and all other clinical training at the facility. University Hospital provides medical care services to a large, underserved urban population in Newark and is a prominent safety net hospital for the State of New Jersey. In 2016, all health care delivery units within Rutgers University came under a newly developed umbrella brand of Rutgers Health.


Position Summary

The Director of the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Science (Director, PETS) will be expected to demonstrate excellence in the leadership of their own research, to stimulate collaborative research in pharmacoepidemiology and related disciplines across PETS, RBHS, and other parts of Rutgers, to recruit and mentor faculty, and to leverage and expand the already diverse and rich pharmacoepidemiology assets at Rutgers University. The successful Director will further multidisciplinary research and educational initiatives in PETS to promote pharmacoepidemiology in its various facets, and including related fields, across the University, facilitating connections and collaborations between researchers from different departments and disciplinary backgrounds, and beyond.

The Director will be responsible for faculty recruitments in partnership with departments across RBHS and the rest of Rutgers, including Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Jersey Medical School (together now the Rutgers School of Medicine), Rutgers School of Public Health, the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, as well as the Rutgers Schools of Nursing, Health Professions, and Dental Medicine, and, along with the Center’s faculty, will be responsible for managing and expanding current academic research and training programs and developing new initiatives.

Building on RBHS’s history and playing a vital role in bridging multiple disciplines across Rutgers, RWJBarnabas Health System, and New Jersey, the Director will have the opportunity, expectation, and resources to solidify the Center as a leading nationally and internationally recognized entity. The Director will in fundamental ways shape the Center’s trajectory, structure, eminence, and value to RBHS and the University.


The successful Director, PETS will:

  • Inform and focus a pharmacoepidemiology research strategy and a distinctive identity for the Center at Rutgers University relative to peer institutions
  • Continue the expansion of the academic program in pharmacoepidemiology and related disciplines at Rutgers, in close collaboration with groups at the School of Public Health, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, and other relevant programs at Rutgers
  • Expand extramural funding for pharmacoepidemiology research
  • Advance the research and education missions of Rutgers Health by enhancing the institution’s activities in pharmacoepidemiology and by increasing the impact of its investments
  • Foster interdisciplinary and inter-professional approaches in research and education
  • Sustain a focus on strategic opportunities while also taking advantage of immediate ones
  • Mentor and support PETS faculty and senior staff
  • Work with the Director of the IFH Survey / Data Core to enhance the Core’s data portfolio and value to researchers at and outside IFH
  • Support the overall growth and development of relevant data resources at RBHS and the University

Goals and Objectives

The following goals and objectives have been identified as priorities for this position:

  • Firmly establish PETS as one of the leading pharmacoepidemiology research and training programs in the world
  • Foster strategic growth of PETS, its scholarly and teaching activity
  • Recruit and retain faculty, researchers, staff and students at PETS that strategically align with the vision of the Director and provide increasing value to the institution to expand its pharmacoepidemiology expertise
  • Identify opportunities to expand and sustain internal and external funding streams with the goal of growing a sustainable research program in pharmacoepidemiology
  • Sustain and expand relationships with industry, CROs, and regulatory agencies
  • Fully realize and expand opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations with the Rutgers School of Public Health, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Jersey Medical School, the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, and other schools, institutes, and programs at RBHS and Rutgers
  • Realize synergies with University Hospital-Newark and RWJBarnabas Health

Candidate Qualifications


  • A degree of PhD or MD or equivalent with appropriate research qualification

Knowledge and Work Experience

  • Academic and disciplinary distinction suitable for nomination as a tenured associate or full professor
  • Experience in performing and leading collaborative research, including interdisciplinary and translational science
  • A strong record of securing federal and other extramural funding and of fostering research productivity in pharmacoepidemiology
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to build effective partnerships and successful collaborations with faculty and external partners in a large, complex, decentralized environment

Leadership Skills and Competencies

  • Exceptional leadership skills and the ability to articulate a vision for the PETS Center
  • An entrepreneurial mentality combined with effective leadership skills that promote others’ successes
  • A commitment to transparency and an inclusive management style
  • Demonstrated experience in recruiting top faculty and/or students
  • Financial budgeting and resource management skills
  • Exceptional planning and organizational skills and superb follow-through
  • Leadership in ISPE or other relevant professional organization

The Community

New Brunswick, New Jersey

New Brunswick, New Jersey is a city in Middlesex County nestled within the New York City metropolitan area. With an estimated population of 59,910, New Brunswick is noted for its ethnic diversity with growing Asian and Hispanic communities near Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

Due to the concentration of medical facilities in the area, including Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Saint Peter’s University Hospital, as well as Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick is known as the “Healthcare City.” To be a distinguished center of medicine, you need the winning combination of the best research, human talent, and teaching – and New Brunswick leads in all three areas. The city has five nationally recognized hospitals, global biotechnology and pharmaceutical corporations, and internationally recognized medical research facilities. The world headquarters for healthcare giant Johnson and Johnson has been located in New Brunswick since 1886, and the company remains one of Middlesex County’s greatest corporate partners.

Also known as the “Hub City,” downtown New Brunswick draws thousands of patrons each year to award-winning productions at the State Theatre, George Street Playhouse and the Tony Award- winning Crossroads Theater.

For more information about living in New Brunswick, see

Athletics is also part of the city’s fabric. In 1869, the birth of intercollegiate football took place in New Brunswick as Rutgers and Princeton played the first intercollegiate game. The college football experience lives on today at the newly expanded Rutgers Stadium, which attracts more than 50,000 fans each game day.

The vibrant city of New Brunswick, with its restaurants, theaters, parks, medical centers and corporate headquarters, is the geographic midpoint of New Jersey—just 41 miles from New York City and 66 miles from Philadelphia. The Jersey shore, Appalachian Mountain trails and pristine Pine Barrens biosphere are also only an hour away. Adjacent town Franklin Township was recently ranked as one of the top 25 places to live in America.

Procedure for Candidacy

Interested applicants should submit a CV, cover letter, and personal statement of interest, briefly summarizing their accomplishments and and qualification for the position. Please apply through the online application system ( by December 31, 2023. Inquiries and nominations should be directed to Dr. Tobias Gerhard ( The search multidisciplinary committee is chaired by Professor Emily Barrett, Epidemiology Concentration Director at the Rutgers School for Public Health.

Rutgers Health values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other status protected by law.