PAEA Announces 2019–20 Don Pedersen Grant Winners

PAEA is pleased to announce the investigators whose research projects will be funded by the 2019-2020 Don Pedersen Research Grants programWinners were selected after careful, blinded peer-review by members of the Grants Scholarship Review Committee. This year, the awardees are: 

  • Carey Barry, MHS, PA-C, assistant clinical professor at the Northeastern University Physician Assistant program 
  • Chris Gillette, PhD, associate professor of PA Studies at Wake Forest School of Medicine 
  • Sara Lolar, MS, PA-Cassistant professor of PA Studies at Wayne State University

Barry will partner with collaborators from the University of Utah and the Emory University School of Medicine on her project, “Professionalism in PA Education as a Predictor of Future Licensing Board Disciplinary Actions. The team will analyze 15 years of historic data on documented professional violations and post-graduate disciplinary actions (PGDA). Results from their study may help identify which students are at risk of PGDA. Barry’s research team has long-term goal to develop training programs that decrease unprofessional behavior in clinical practice. They are “hopeful that this research will provide an evidence-based foundation to advance the approach to professionalism in PA students.” 

Gillette and his colleagues at Wake Forest School of Medicine and the Medical College of Georgia will explore “Professional Identity Formation in Under-represented Minority Physician Assistants.” The study seeks to reduce the impact of societal forces that can negatively impact under-represented minority students development as health care professionals. Eventually, the team hopes their research will lead to policies in education and the workforce that recognize and eliminate these barriers.” 

Lolar will lead a team of researchers at Wayne State University and Yale University to investigate  “Barriers to Research: A National Survey of Physician Assistant Faculty,” Their study was inspired by the early years of Lolar’s career as an educator trying to create a work-life balance. Specifically, she wondered how new faculty are supposed to orient to institutional culture, develop a professional network, and figure out how to do research in between clinical shifts and administrative teaching responsibilities. The team hopes their findings can “suggest policy change at the program and institutional level” that support PA faculty.  

Please join us in congratulating our newest Don Pedersen grantees on their excellent work and in thanking Don Pedersen, PhD, PA, for his enduring support of PA researchers.  

Do you have a Don Pedersen-worthy research idea? We will be opening the new competition cycle in the spring. In the words of awardee Dr. Chris Gillette, “PAs are positioned by training and their clinical work to develop excellent research projects but need encouragement and mentors to make this happen.” Contact PAEA Research at to find out more about how to apply, how to find a mentor, or how to get started on the path to PA research.