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Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine & Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy

Research: Clinical pharmacy; pharmacoepidemiology; Geriatrics; health services research; Medicare administrative data; polypharmacy; deprescribing chronic medications that may no longer have value for patients

Education Chronology:

BS: University of Pittsburgh, 2013; PharmD: University of Pittsburgh, 2015; PhD: University of Pittsburgh, 2019; Pharmacist: UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital, 2015-2019; Postdoctoral Scholar: University of Pittsburgh, 2017-2019; Research Health Science Specialist: VA Pittsburgh Health System, 2016-present; Research Assistant Professor of Medicine: University of North Carolina, 2019-present.

Research and Clinical Interests:

I am a geriatric health services researcher with clinical training in the pharmaceutical sciences. My research interests are focused on evaluating the quality of medications in older adults to improve the safety of medication use in this population. I have developed expertise in pharmacoepidemiology, with skills in observational and quasi-experimental study designs, large database analyses, statistical approaches to minimize confounding, responsible conduct of research, scientific writing, and grantsmanship.

Most recently, my work has focused on evaluating the impact of deprescribing or discontinuing chronic medications that may no longer have value in nursing home residents with severe dementia as a means for evaluating the quality of prescribing in this population. I see my passion for ensuring the quality and safety of medication use in older adults continuing to serve as the foundation for my future research, as I look to build a federally-funded research program in geriatric pharmaceutical health services research.

Selected Bibliography:

Niznik JD, Zhao XZ, He W, Aspinall SL, Hanlon JT, Nace DA, Thorpe JT, Thorpe, CT. Factors associated with de-prescribing AChEIs in older nursing home residents with severe dementia. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 Jun 4.

Thorpe CT, Gellad WF, Mor MK, Cashy JP, Pleis JR, Van Houtven CH, Schleiden LJ, Hanlon JT, Niznik JD, Carico RL, Good CB, Thorpe JM. Effect of dual use of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare Part D drug benefits on antihypertensive refill adherence in a national cohort of Veterans with dementia. Health Services Research. 2018 Dec;53 Suppl 3:5375-5401.

Niznik JD, Zhang S, Mor M, Zhao X, Ersek M, Aspinall S, Thorpe J, Gellad W, Hanlon J, Schleiden L, Springer S, Thorpe C. Adaptation and Initial Validation of the Minimum Data Set (MDS) Mortality Risk Index to MDS version 3.0. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 Dec;66(12):2353-2359.

Schleiden LJ, Thorpe CT, Cashy JP, Gellad WF, Good CB, Hanlon JT, Mor MK, Niznik JD, Pleis JR, Van Houtven CH, Thorpe JM. Characteristics of dual drug benefit use among veterans with dementia enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration and Medicare Part D. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2018 Sep 8. pii: S1551-7411(18)30387-5.

Niznik J, He H, Kane-Gill SL. Impact of clinical pharmacist services delivered via telemedicine in the outpatient or ambulatory care setting: A systematic review. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2018 Aug;14(8):707-717.

Niznik J, Zhao X, Jiang T, Hanlon J, Aspinall S, Thorpe J, Thorpe C. Anticholinergic Prescribing in Medicare Part D Beneficiaries Residing in Nursing Homes: Results from a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of Medicare data. Drugs & Aging 2017 Dec;34(12):925-939.

Aspinall S, Hanlon JT, Niznik J, Springer S, Thorpe CT. Deprescribing in Older Nursing Home Patients: Focus on Innovative Composite Measures for Dosage Deintensification. Innovation in Aging 2017. Dec 20;1(2):igx031.

Kane-Gill SL, Niznik J, Kellum JA, Culley CM, Boyce RD, Marcum Z, He H, Perera S, Handler SM. Use of telemedicine to enhance pharmacist services in the nursing home. Consult Pharm 2017 Feb 1;32(2):93-98.

View a list of my publications on PubMed:

Recognition and honors: 

The American Geriatrics Society Scientist-in Training Research Award, 2018

American Geriatrics Society Best Paper Award, Health Services & Policy Research, 2018

UPMC Aging Institute Best Postdoctoral Clinical Research Award, 2018

Joshua Niznik, PharmD, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Division of Geriatric Medicine