Tobias Gerhard, an internationally renowned pharmacoepidemiologist whose career focuses on two related themes of research — the use and effects of drugs for mental health disorders; and the use and effects of drugs in the elderly — was named director of the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research this week.
Gerhard, who has served as acting and interim director of IFH since December 2021, was selected for the position after an extensive national search.
Gerhard has made extensive and impactful contributions to the real-world use, comparative effectiveness and safety of psychotropic medications. A fellow of the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (he also serves as the organization’s elected president), Gerhard’s research has been recognized with several national honors.
Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, applauded the news.
“The Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research exemplifies interdisciplinary research at its best,” he said. “I am delighted that we were, therefore, able to attract as candidates for the position multiple superb leaders from around the country. Dr. Gerhard stood out among them.
“I am confident that, under Dr. Gerhard’s leadership, the institute will continue to be at the forefront of population and health care research, expanding upon its impactful work in New Jersey and beyond, to help us build one of the best academic health centers in the country here at Rutgers.”
Gerhard earned his pharmacy degree from the University of Freiburg in Germany and his doctoral degree in pharmacoepidemiology from the University of Florida. He joined Rutgers University in 2007 as an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. In 2017, he became the founding director of the Rutgers Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Science. Since its formation, PETS has expanded to 10 multidisciplinary faculty with more than $20 million in extramural funding. A national search for a new director for the center will commence in the coming months.
“I am humbled and deeply honored to assume the leadership of the Institute for Health,” Gerhard said. “Its distinguished history, talented faculty and staff, and commitment to thoughtful multidisciplinary exchange position IFH well to become a unique incubator for innovative collaborative work that creatively combines diverse disciplinary perspectives, methods and theories to answer important questions for population health and improve the lives of the people of New Jersey and the world.”