Research

Advancing the science of human pharmacology and therapeutics through translational research

Faculty in the Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology conduct clinical and translational research. This cross-disciplinary paradigm translates basic scientific discoveries into safe and effective therapeutic uses by providers and patients, through laboratory experiments and clinical studies. Clinical data can also prompt new questions and investigations, leading back to the bench and beginning a new cycle of translational research.

Research conducted by department faculty can focus on a range of topics, diseases/conditions, and investigational methods. Some current and recent projects are highlighted here:

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease

 

HDL Mimetic Peptide-Mediated Enhancement of Neurovascular Function to Mitigate Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy and Alzheimer's Disease 

PI: Ling Li
Funding: NIH National Institute on Aging 
 

Dysregulation of Protein Prenylation in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease 

PI: Ling Li 
Funding: NIH National Institute on Aging
 

Testing a Unique HDL Mimetic Peptide to Reverse ApoE4 Lipidation Deficiency and Alzheimer's Neuropathology 

PI: Ling Li
Funding: NIH National Institute on Aging
 

Modeling and Reversing Alzheimer’s Pathology via Human Brain Organoids 

PI: Ling Li
Funding: Faculty Research Development Grant Program, OACA, UMN
 

Integrating Alzheimer's disease GWAS with proteomic and metabolomic QTL data

PI: Ling Li (PI)
Funding: NIH National Institute on Aging

Cancer

Cancer

Drug Repurposing in Breast Cancer

PI: R. Stephanie Huang
Funding: NIH National Cancer Institute

Genetic Mechanisms Underlying Sexual Dimorphism in Cancer and Response to Therapy

PI: R. Stephanie Huang
Funding: NIH National Cancer Institute

Novel Targeted Chemo/Immunotherapy Approach to Localized and Metastatic CaP

Co-I: Mark Kirstein
Funding: NIH National Cancer Institute

Combating Cellular Senescence to Prevent Anthracycline Cardiotoxicity

PI: Beshay Zordoky
Funding: St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research

Psychosocial Stress Exacerbates Doxorubicin-induced Cardiovascular Aging

PI: Beshay Zordoky
Funding: NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Community Health and Clinical Care

Community Health and Clinical Care

Creating a 21st-Century Precision Medicine Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Co-PI: Debra Skaar
Co-Is: Pamala Jacobson, Shellina Scheiner
Funding: UMN College of Pharmacy

Advancing Health Through Tailored Solutions: A Community Based Approach Towards Advancing Personalized Medicine in Underserved Populations (VIP-H Study)

PI: Robert Straka
Co-I: Jeffrey Bishop
Funding: UMN Grand Challenge Exploratory Research Award, Provost's Office

Differences in Predicted Warfarin Dose for Hmong vs. East Asians Using Genotype-based Dosing Algorithm

PI: Robert Straka
Funding: UMN Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)

Drug Dependence

Drug Dependence

Vaccines for Prescription Opioid and Heroin Abuse

PI:  Angela K. Birnbaum (Co-PI)
Funding: NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse

Phase 1a/1b Clinical Trials of Multivalent Opioid Vaccine Components

Co-I: Angela Birnbaum
Funding: NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse

A Randomized Trial of Medical Cannabis in Patients with Advanced Cancers to Assess Impact on Opioid Use and Cancer-Related Symptoms: A Pilot Study

Co-I: Angela K. Birnbaum
Funding: Randy Shaver Foundation

Feasibility of Using Wearable Technology for Just-in-Time Prediction of Smoking Lapses

Co-PI: Michael Kotlyar
Funding: NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse

Cigarette Smoking as a Risk Factor for Greater Psychiatric Symptom Severity across Serious Mental Illnesses: A Secondary Analysis of Three Nationally-Representative NIH Data Sets

Co-PI: Michael Kotlyar
Funding: NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse

Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

Outcomes of Immunocompromised Patients Treated with Ceftolozane/Tazobactam

PI: Elizabeth Hirsch
Funding: Merck Center for Observational and Real-World Evidence

A Retrospective, Multi-Center Study to Assess Patient Outcomes Following Treatment with Ceftolozane/Tazobactam (C/T)

PI: Elizabeth Hirsch
Funding: Merck & Co.

Pharmacology of Antiretrovirals in Anatomical Brain Tissue among Persons with Chronic HIV Infection

Co-PI: Melanie Nicol
Funding: NIH, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Evaluating Antiretroviral Pharmacology in the Female Genital Tract to Optimize HIV Prevention

PI: Melanie Nicol
Funding: NIH,  National Institute of for Allergies and Infectious Diseases

Improving Diagnostics and Neurocognitive Outcomes in HIV/AIDS-related Meningitis

Co-I: Melanie Nicol
Funding: NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Pharmacogenomics

Pharmacogenomics

An Informatics Framework for Discovery and Ascertainment of Drug-Supplement Interactions

Co-I: Jeffrey Bishop
Funding: NIH National Center for Completmentary and Integrative Health

Pediactric CPIC Rx Study

PI: Jeffrey Bishop
Funding: Vanderbilt University

Gut Microbiata and Effect on Immune Suppressants in Transplantation

PI: Pamala Jacobson
Funding: NIH National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Disease

A Pilot Trial to Examine the Effect of Aspirin on the Gut Microbiome

Co-I: Robert Straka
Funding: UMN CTSI Exploratory Grants

Pharmacometrics/ Pharmacokinetic modeling

Pharmacometrics/ Pharmacokinetic modeling

Intranasal Delivery of Cortisol Stress Dosing in Patients with Adrenal Insufficiency

PI: Mahmoud Al-Kofahi
Co-I: Lisa Coles
Funding: The Pediactric Device Innovation Consortium (PDIC), University of Minnesota

Ph2a SQ HC Infusion Pump in Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia IND125,640

PI: Richard Brundage
Funding: DHHS Food and Drug Administration

Population Pharmacokinetics: Methadone Antiretroviral Interactions

PI: Richard Brundage
Funding: Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute

Comparison of the Cognitive and Motor Effects of Treatment Between an Immediate and Extended-Release Tacrolimus (Envarsus XR)-Based Immunosuppression Regimen in Kidney Transplant Recipients

PI: Susan Marino
Co-I: Angela Birnbaum
Funding: Veloxis Pharmaceutics

Neuropharmacology

Neuropharmacology

Epigenetics of PTSD Treatment Response

PI: Jeffrey Bishop
Funding: NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Development and Application of MRI Methods to Quantify Brain Energy Impairment and Drug Responses in Neurodegenerative Disorders

PIs: Lisa Coles, James C. Cloyd
Funding: UMN AHC Faculty Development Grant

Rare Diseases

Rare Diseases

Role of Beta-Catenin in the Pathophysiology of Infantile Spasms

PI: James C. Cloyd
Co-I: Reena Kartha
Funding: Tufts University

Role of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Type 1 Gaucher Disease: Potential Use of Antioxidant/Anti-Inflammatory Medications

PIs: James C. Cloyd, Reena Kartha
Funding: Pfizer, Inc.

Synergistic Chaperone Activity of N-acetylcysteine and Its Metabolite L-cysteine in Gaucher Disease

PI: Reena Kartha
Funding: Center for Orphan Drug Research (CODR), University of Minnesota

Seizure Disorders

Seizure Disorders

Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs – Pharmacokinetics Laboratory Core

PI: Angela K. Birnbaum
Funding: NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Anti-Epileptic Drugs (Pharmacokinetics Core)

About the project:
Part of a 19-site national study exploring drug exposure in women with epilepsy and their children. The goal is to study several populations of women with and without epilepsy in order to compare the effect of antiepileptic drug exposure on the woman and child during pregnancy. Dr. Angela Birnbaum’s research team is performing the pharmacokinetic analyses for this project.

PIs: Kimford J. Meador, M.D.; Page B. Pennell, M.D.; Nancy Browning, PhD (EMMES)
PI of Pharmacokinetics Core: Angela Birnbaum, PhD
Co-investigators of Pharmacokinetics Core: Rory Remmel, PhD; Richard C. Brundage, PhD, PharmD
Funding: NIH / National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Identifying New Therapies for Infantile Spasms

About the project:
Infantile spasms are epileptic seizures in infants which often lead to emergence of other types of seizures, cognitive deficits, and neurodevelopmental disabilities. This project will evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of drug therapies in mouse models of infantile spasms, in order to identify treatments that achieve rapid and sustained suppression of spasms and determine whether these are effective and safe in infantile spasms of various pathologies. The goal of this project is to identify new treatments for infantile spasms that have rapid onset and stop spasms early with anti-epileptic and disease-modifying effects that persist through adulthood.

PIs: Aristea Galanopoulou, M.D., PhD; Rodney Scott, M.D.; Gregory Holmes, M.D.; James Cloyd, PharmD
Co-investigators: Lisa Coles, PhD; Krista Johnson, ECP graduate student
Funding: Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy; Department of Defense

Facilities

The Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology (ECP) is located within one of the largest academic health centers in the United States, with nationally recognized programs in public health, medicine, nursing, dentistry, and veterinary medicine. Major campus research facilities include a Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Biomedical Genomics Center, and the Masonic Cancer Center. In addition, numerous affiliated health care systems with exceptional research and educational programs partner with the COP. The Twin Cities also has a large number of cutting-edge biomedical companies eager to collaborate with the academic community.

Our regular faculty and staff are located in four buildings within the University of Minnesota's Academic Health Center on the Twin Cities campus:

  • Weaver-Densford Hall
  • McGuire Translational Research Facility
  • 717 Delaware
  • Phillips-Wangensteen Building

Several ECP faculty also work at clinical sites around the Twin Cities, directing experiential clinical residencies of fourth-year students in the College's PharmD program. These include North Memorial Medical Center and University of Minnesota Medical Center.