Faculty spotlight is a new feature. The column will regularly feature NSU faculty who are making significant contributions to the university and the community.
Your opponent has been dealt his hand and you wonder how good it is. Will your two pairs have a chance or will he beat you with a full house? The deck does not bluff, but you sure can. Although you have a poor hand, you take a sip of your drink and, suddenly, you are betting higher. Your opponent is surprised. This time you have succeeded, but the question remains: did you do it alone or did the drink give you the courage you needed?
Kevin A. Clauson, associate professor in the department of pharmacy practice at the College of Pharmacy and adjunct associate professor in the Biomedical Informatics Program at the College of Osteopathic Medicine, was intrigued by this question and researched it with Joshua Caballero, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, and Jose A. Rey, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, to determine how the use of alcohol and other substances by poker players improves their performance.
Clauson’s research has received coverage from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, CBS, National Public Radio, USA Today, the Miami Herald, and BBC Radio. Clauson said that these accolades not only benefit him, but the university as well.
“Being interviewed by main-stream media opens up doors for other people in this field and in this university,” said Clauson. “NSU has many established researchers that perform world-class level research and should also enjoy that kind of exposure.”
Research is a common part of Clauson’s work. His investigative work includes research in consumer health informatics, which deals with patients’ access to health information, and other topics. His article “Scope, Completeness, and Accuracy of Drug Information in Wikipedia” examined the quality of medical information available on Wikipedia. The article received press coverage in the U.S., Australia, Denmark and England.
“I love the research process,” said Clauson. “Using your curiosity to ask questions that could benefit patients’ health, determining which answers are important and deciding how to implement those answers, is fascinating. This university gives me the opportunity to try to find answers to questions that could improve the health of patients and populations.”
Clauson is an invested re-searcher, but in his spare time he is dedicated to his two-year-old daughter and is a Tennessee Tigers fan. His philosophy is “Constantly strive to keep growing and learning” and he describes himself as a collaborator.
“I may not be the brightest guy in the room,” he said, “but I can put a team of brilliant people together and tackle an issue.”
Clauson, the recipient of the 2010-2011 Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence, has presented his findings nationally and internationally and plans to continue research primarily in the field of informatics. His next project will test the effectiveness of using text message alerts as daily reminders to patients to take their medication in order to increase medication adherence.