The Division of Clinical Pharmacology, located on the 7th floor of Wishard Hospital, is located within a rich and diverse research environment and one of the largest clinical environments in the country within the Indiana University Department of Medicine. Our division has a clinical and research focus on individualized response to drug therapy. Our mission is to carry out research and clinical activities that improve rational therapy for the treatment of disease, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. We are particularly interested in differences in response to drug treatment that exist on the basis of age or gender or ethnic origin. To this end, our research covers a broad range of specific areas of expertise including the effects of drug and herbal interactions and pharmacogenetics on therapy in the elderly, women and children. With funding from the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, we have a well-funded research and training program.
Our division has a long and distinguished history. Clinical Pharmacology was originally established at the Lilly Laboratory for Clinical Research in 1970. In 1986, the Division of Clinical Pharmacology was established within the Department of Medicine under the leadership of D. Craig Brater, MD. At this juncture, the program became a joint effort that broadened the options for training pathways and research collaboration. Dr. Brater led the Division for 15 years until 2001, when David A. Flockhart, M.D., Ph.D. was appointed as his successor, and brought a pharmacogenetics group with him, thus further broadening and deepening the opportunities for both research and training. The Division now represents one of the strongest training programs in Clinical Pharmacology in the United States including fellows and graduate students, strong research programs in pharmacogenetics, drug metabolism, and drug interactions and clinical research collaborations focused in the areas of cancer, psychiatry, pediatrics and women's health.
The editorial leadership of CPT:PSP is pleased to announce that Lang Li, PhD, has joined the journal's editorial team. Dr. Li is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics in the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM). He is also the Interim Director of the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics in the IUSM, and the Associate Director of the Indiana Institute of Personalized Medicine (IIPM). His expertise in using informatics, genomics, and statistics to investigate drug efficacy and safety problems is an outstanding addition to the editorial leadership of the journal, and we look forward to working with him.
David Haas, M.D, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, has been promoted to the position of Editor at the Cochrane Collaboration's Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, the oldest and the busiest of the Cochrane Review Groups.
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Research by Drs. Rolf Kreutz and David Flockhart is changing the way medications are prescribed.
Take a look in your medicine cabinet. How much do you know about the medications inside? In fact, how much does anyone really know about how the pills we ingest wend their way through our bodies and work their wonders? Not enough, it turns out. But a team of physicians and scientists at the Indiana University School of Medicine is taking a leading role in discovering more about how some commonly used drugs work and how an individual's genes affect the response. Full Article
Jamie Renbarger, M.D., has made two new discoveries with a drug that was approved in 1963, opening the door to new knowledge that may further help children with cancer. Renbarger knew that vincristine -- which is widely used to treat cancers in children – led to side effects that varied considerably between patients. But why? In the lab, she discovered that two enzymes, CYP3A5 and CYP3A4, metabolize vincristine differently. CYP3A5, which is found in approximately 70 percent of African-Americans and 10 percent to 20 percent of Caucasians, metabolizes vincristine much more efficiently than CYP3A4. Knowing which enzymes to target, Renbarger next compared toxicity in Caucasians with African Americans who had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She showed that Caucasians developed side effects – such as jaw pain, loss of reflexes, and constipation -- with vincristine more often than African-Americans possibly due to the fact that the CYP3A5 enzyme is found in fewer Caucasians. Currently, Renbarger is enrolling 140 children with preB acute lymphoblastic leukemia to determine the optimal dosing of vincristine for pediatric patients, which may improve survival for young cancer patients. Renbarger’s studies tie into the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA), which established a process for studying drugs used in children with the goal of improving pediatric therapeutics. Vincristine has been identified as a priority drug to study. Because of the ongoing studies at the IU Simon Cancer Center, Renbarger and her team are generating data unlike any other research currently underway.