Deepika Rao

PhD Candidate, HSRP Program
Bachelor of Pharmacy, K.M. Kundnani College of Pharmacy, Mumbai University, India
Master's degree in Pharmacy Administration, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh

Deepika holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy (2016) from K.M. Kundnani College of Pharmacy, Mumbai University, India. As a pharmacy student, she was interested in research that focused on the social and environmental aspects that affect health behaviors. To this end, Deepika pursued a Master’s degree in Pharmacy Administration (2018) from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. Through this program, she developed an interest in behavioral theories and prospective data collection methods, especially in the area of mental health and substance use disorders. Her Master’s thesis was titled “Community Pharmacists and Substance Use Disorders: Attitudes, Knowledge and Practices” and involved a prospective electronic survey and qualitative analyses.

Deepika began her PhD program at UW–Madison in the Fall of 2018 and has worked as research assistant in the Shiyanbola Research Group. She is currently also a teaching assistant and continues to work on research projects in the lab studying illness perceptions and health literacy. Deepika enjoys the opportunity to help other graduate and undergraduate students on their projects. During her first year, Deepika completed a mixed-methods study focusing on changes in diabetes medication adherence among African Americans. She is now managing her research, teaching, and mentoring responsibilities while working on her own research.

Deepika is particularly interested in studying the application of dissemination and implementation sciences in pharmacy, especially in the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders. To that effect, she is pursuing a doctoral minor in Prevention and Intervention Science. Currently, her primary research interest involves exploring and developing patient-centered interventions for opioid misuse that can be implemented in pharmacy settings. Deepika is also interested in the pharmacist-patient interaction and the effect of stigma towards substance use disorders on practice. She aims to design and conduct such research as part of her doctoral dissertation.

Deepika is grateful to be part of the dynamic Shiyanbola Research Group team and hopes to use the experience from working on lab projects to build her own research as a graduate student and future academician.