Please tell us about yourself
Graduate student Ajit Menon plays tennis in his free time, but his research work is in the area of direct-to-consumer advertising, or marketing of pharmaceuticals directly to consumers through television, print and internet ads. His research, which recently won a UGA Graduate Research Award, shows that many consumers ignore the fine-print information regarding a drug’s side effects. This finding may promote advertising guidelines that require drug information to be more visible.
What did you study?
I did my Bachelors in Pharmacy from Mumbai University and PHd in Pharmacy Administration from University of Georgia.
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
I’ve passionately enjoyed working with patients and consumers to try and figure out how we, as pharmacists and health care professionals, can communicate medication-related information to the public. I think my research and work is making a real difference to how the general public will receive information about the prescription drugs they take. I love that I have been able to come here to UGA and have the opportunity to work with a talented group of people who are devoted to patients’ health, wellness and overall well-being. This, I believe is my biggest achievement in the time I’ve spent at UGA. (Editor’s note: Menon has also received numerous scholarships, grants, fellowships, assistantships, published papers and given presentations while at UGA.)
I work out of Athens, as a consultant with Roger Green & Associates, a pharmaceutical market research consultancy in Philadelphia. My work involves designing and conducting interviews and surveys with doctors and patients to learn how they feel about prescription drugs that are already available on the market and what features they would like to see in drugs that are about to be launched.
Family Ties to UGA:
My family consists of my parents and brother and recently, my fiancee! My parents and brother are far from me—back in India—and that makes it difficult at times because I’m so close to them. In fact, coming to the U.S. five years ago was hard on all of us because we had always been together until that time and since then, I’ve been back only a couple of times.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
… to walk around downtown, go window-shopping with my fiancee, and frequent the fantastic variety of restaurants in Athens. I enjoy racquet sports and try to play as much tennis and squash as possible. I really am passionate about exercise and fitness and try to get over to the Ramsey Center as much as I possibly can! I also love going on long walks over by Lake H
The craziest thing I’ve done is…
In my culture, an engagement is a big family function. Well, on the day of our engagement, in the rush of everything that was happening, I forgot my fiancee’s engagement ring and had to borrow someone else’s just so that the ceremony could proceed!
My favorite professor is…
…Matt Perri at the School of Pharmacy. He is my favorite professor not only because of our similar interests and type of work we do, but because he is the type of person I would like to become. He is one of the most admired professors not just in the School of Pharmacy, but across UGA. One of his most remarkable qualities is that he can make the most complicated study material seem simple. He also communicates with students without any attitude. His community work and caring attitude has earned him love and respect among his peers, students and patients. I look up to him and sincerely respect him.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
… someone who actually fought in the Civil war (especially on the confederate side) to know how they felt fighting their fellow Americans. I would like to know what the reasons were for them (personally) to go to war and what they felt both during the war and after the war was over. Alternatively, I would like to talk with someone who fought at Normandy in 1944 to know how they felt just as the landing began on D-Day. I would love to know what was going on in their minds just at that moment—who they were thinking about. I really believe theirs was the “greatest generation.” They believed in sacrificing for their country without questioning motives.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
…as a graduate student, getting invited to the 2004 Research Awards Banquet and getting to meet with President Adams, deans and administrators. At the banquet, Dr. Grasso, Dean of the Graduate School, and Dr. Patel, VP for Research, felicitated me with the Excellence in Research Award. This is one UGA experience I will always remember and cherish.