Student Atuobi Nana Yiadom is the first pharmacy student to participate in Mayo Clinic’s summer graduate training program in pharmacokinetics. Yiadom’s interest in precision medicine and a recommendation from a friend led him to the program, which is typically reserved for medical students.
“When I took Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics at the college, I discovered that I really enjoyed precision medicine,” said Yiadom. “The ability to tailor a patient’s treatment with specific medications and to individualize treatment options is the future of patient care.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle for each person. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, precision medicine has the potential to predict which treatments for a particular disease will work best in which groups of people.
As part of his work at Mayo, Yiadom uses software to build physiologically-based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) models and simulations to predict pharmacokinetics behavior of drugs in humans using preclinical data.
“This modeling explores and simulates absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, or ADME, using different age groups, ethnicity, disease status and other human pharmacokinetic factors,” said Yiadom. “It also guides dose selection.”
During his time at Mayo in Rochester, Minn., he’s also had the opportunity to take graduate courses in pharmacokinetics and gained valuable experience giving presentations. It has also provided him with the opportunity to witness first-hand collaboration between Mayo physicians and pharmacists.
Yiadom hopes to combine his interests in a career that includes both research and providing patient care in a clinic setting.
“Pharmacists today are part of the health care team and are often more accessible to patients than other health care professionals,” said Yiadom. “There’s a big future for the profession of pharmacy in precision medicine.”