Samuel is a PhD Candidate in the Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology department. During his time in the program Samuel has pursued various avenues of research related to precision medicine in neuropharmacology with a focus on anti-seizure drugs. Projects include the effect of patient demographics on likelihood of experiencing side effects from topiramate, the pharmacogenomic underpinnings of lamotrigine clearance changes during pregnancy, and clinical applications of pharmacogenomics to epilepsy treatment. Samuel is currently investigating the role that neural activity plays in experiencing impaired cognition while taking topiramate.
Seenae Eum, PharmD
Medications with high anticholinergic activity have adverse effects on neuropsychological performance. We are quantifying neuropsychological performance relationships with anticholinergic burden and genetic factors in patients with psychotic disorders, first degree relatives, and controls. We ultimately aim to identify key genetic variants associated with anticholinergic effects on cognitive phenotypes.
I am a senior undergraduate student in the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota. My research project involves studying Multiple Myeloma and the long-term effects of an epigenetic modifying drug called EPZ-6438 on human myeloma cell lines. This drug is an EZH2 inhibitor; EZH2 is a protein complex in the cell attributed with oncogenic activity in Multiple Myeloma. Thus far we have concluded EPZ-6438 to be a potential novel therapy in treating Multiple Myeloma.
The current lifetime prevalence of psychotic disorders is approximately 4.1% with non-response to standard treatments being in the range of 40-50%. This reveals a need for improvements in current treatment practices and the use of pharmacogenomics can help to improve the precision of individual patient treatments; therefore, we are aiming to analyze various dopamine receptor and transporter single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in relation to participant’s antipsychotic dosing.
Fludarabine and cyclophosphamide are chemotherapeutics used in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) preparative regimens for their anticancer and immunosuppressive properties. We are investigating the relationship between fludarabine and cyclophosphamide pharmacokinetics, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and non-relapse mortality, neutrophil engraftment, overall survival and acute graft-versus-host disease in patients undergoing allogeneic nonmyeloablative HCT. Understanding the relationships between target SNPs, pharmacokinetics, and clinical outcomes will facilitate the development of a personalized approach to HCT preparative regimens that improves safety and overall survival while minimizing the risk of acute graft-versus-host disease.
MicroRNAs regulate gene expression, participate in normal neuro developmental and physiological processes, and have recently been implicated in the pathogenesis of several psychiatric disorders. My project aims to examine the relationship between microRNA genetic variants and antipsychotic treatment response outcomes in patients with psychosis. We hope that this project will enhance our understanding of miRNAs as therapeutic biomarkers in psychiatric disorders.
Methylphenidate is the most commonly prescribed medication to treat ADHD and it is metabolized to its inactive form by the CES1 protein. We are looking for variants within the CES1 gene that may explain differences in clinical response, side effect profile and dosing requirements in pediatric patients with ADHD.
Zach Rivers, PharmD
As our understanding of the clinical impact of pharmacogenomics continues to expand, the uptake of this technology into clinic has not matched the growth of our knowledge. My research focuses on identifying and translating clinically valid pharmacogenomic data into patient care, with an emphasis on overcoming financial and reimbursement barriers. Additionally, I am examining how provider training impacts their willingness to integrate pharmacogenomics into their clinical practice, especially providers working in hematology and oncology.