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Manchester's Kathryn Marwitz receives New Investigator Award for research on scientific literacy and debunking misinformation

MarwitzKathryn Marwitz, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Manchester University Fort Wayne, has been awarded an American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy New Investigator Award.

Her research focuses on ways to prevent the spread of health and scientific misinformation and improve information literacy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, and before, misinformation pertaining to vaccines, medications and other health interventions has posed challenges to public health efforts.

Marwitz was selected for her proposal, “Evaluating the Impact of Information Literacy Education on Misinformation Debunking.” She received a grant of $7,500.

“My project seeks to improve information literacy in the community through health care provider training,” Marwitz said. “We will offer a one-hour educational program to health care professionals who choose to participate.”

The project will involve an educational training to inform health care professionals on improving health and scientific literacy skills and engaging with their patients in misinformation debunking.

“Kathryn is emerging as a leading expert in this space, having delivered invited podium presentations at national professional meetings and published a book chapter,” said W. Thomas Smith, professor and dean of health sciences and pharmacy. “In addition to dispensing the correct medication itself, it is incumbent upon pharmacists to provide accurate information about the use of such medication and debunk myths and false beliefs patients may have as a result of widespread misinformation on social media.”

Marwitz joined Manchester University Fort Wayne’s Department of Pharmaceutical and Graduate Life Sciences in 2019. She is the fourth Manchester University faculty member in the pharmacy program to receive a New Investigator Award in the last six years.

The New Investigator Award assists early-career pharmacy faculty in the development of an independent research program and provides a foundation for future research funding success by enabling these faculty to generate preliminary data.

For the media

Kathryn Marwitz, Pharm.D., MPH, can be reached at 

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February 2023