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Faculty Profile

Austin De La CruzAustin De La Cruz

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Translational Research

Office: Health 2
University of Houston College of Pharmacy
4849 Calhoun, Room 4031
Houston, TX 77204-5039

Contact: aidelacruz@uh.edu - 832-842-8356

Research:

Dr. De La Cruz's clinical practice interests include management of various mental health disorders including major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorders. Other specific areas of interest include neurology, geriatrics, and academia. His research interests include evaluating the use of evidence based therapies for treatment resistant major depressive disorder, expanding substance use disorder education in the pharmacy curriculum, assessing the impact of mental health pharmacists on acute care psychiatry, and developing the role of psychiatric pharmacy services. In addition, he also values improving patient safety and therapeutic outcomes of patients diagnosed with epilepsy and seizure disorders. His practice site is at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center where he serves as a preceptor for pharmacy students and residents in primary care mental health.

  • Doctor of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy, Dallas, TX
  • Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist (BCPP), Board of Pharmacy Specialties
  • PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency, North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System Gainesville, Florida
  • PGY1 Ambulatory Care Focused Pharmacy Residency, North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System Gainesville, Florida
  • Pre-Pharmacy Prerequisites, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

ORCID Profile

Journal Publications

  • Zakeri M, De La Cruz A, Wallace D, Sansgiry S. "General Anxiety, Academic Distress and Family Distress Among PharmD Students." American Journal of Pharmacy Education. 2021 Apr
  • Adil MQ, De La Cruz A, et al. "Incidence of Chronic Opioid Use in Previously Opioid-naïve Patients Receiving Opioids for Analgesia in the Intensive Care Unit." Federal Practitioner. 2020 Apr; (1): 170-176
  • Peckham AM, De La Cruz A, Dufresne RL. "Kappa opioid receptor antagonism: Are opioids the answer for treatment resistant depression?" Ment Health Clin [Internet] 2018;8(4):175-83. DOI: 10.9740/mhc.2018.07.175

Magazine Articles

Online Publishing

National Guidelines

  • Primary Care of Veterans with HIV, Hepatitis, and Related Conditions Program in the Office of Specialty Care Services. Veterans Health Administration. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. January 2019

Poster Abstracts

  • De La Cruz A, Marjan Zakeri, Dave Wallace, et al. "Evaluating and Improving the Mental Wellness of Pharmacy Students at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy." Presented at the 2021 Annual American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting
  • Zhong C, Wanat M, Sansgiry S, De La Cruz A. "Diversity/Life Experience Scores' Impact on the Demographic Makeup of Students in a Pharmacy School Program." Presented at the 2020 Annual American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  • De La Cruz A, Aurelio M, Prestenback A, Nair A. "Assessment of Mental Health Stigma in Pharmacy Students After Implementation of a Mental Health Focused Health Fair." Presented at the 2020 Annual College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists Meeting in Dallas, TX
  • Flajc G, Rascon K, Nguyen EA, Kabbani R, Dela Pena J, De La Cruz A. "The Impact of Pharmacy Student-Led Opioid Overdose Prevention and Response Education." Presented at the 2019 Annual American Association of College of Pharmacy Meeting
  • De La Cruz A. "Evaluation of Eligible Candidates for Clozapine Prescribing at the North Florida/South Georgia VHS." J Pharm Pract. 2016 Jun; 20(3):269. Presented at the 2016 Annual College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists Meeting in Colorado Springs, CO

Pharmacy Continuing Education Presentations

Pharmacy Conference Presentations

  • "An Update on the New Synthetic Drugs of Abuse," April 2019, Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists 2018 Annual Seminar, Frisco, TX
  • "Unique Specialties- Psychiatry," April 2019, Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists 2018 Annual Seminar, Frisco, TX
  • "Being a Successful New Practitioner," April 2019, College of Psychiatric & Neurological Pharmacists Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT
  • "What I Wish I Knew," April 2019, College of Psychiatric & Neurological Pharmacists Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT
  • "Antipsychotic Drug Usage in the Geriatric Population: A Debate," April 2017, Texas Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists 2017 Annual Seminar, Galveston, TX

Media Interviews

Awards & Honors

  • Rho Chi Teaching Excellence Award - University of Houston College of Pharmacy. October 2018
  • Faculty Preceptor of the Year Award - University of Houston College of Pharmacy. May 2018
  • Phi Lamda Sigma Upsilon Chapter Faculty Inductee - University of Houston College of Pharmacy. March 2018

Appointments & Memberships

  • American Pharmacists Association
    • Editor: Pharmacotherapy First- Alcohol Use Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder
  • American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Teaching and Learning Academy Graduate
    • Editor: Ambulatory Care Resource Guide
  • American College of Clinical Pharmacy
    • Editor: Behavioral Health Book- Pharmacotherapy Self-Assessment Program
  • College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  • Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  • Phi Delta Chi Fraternity
  • Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society