Systems Pharmacogenomics

Our interests involve using -omics to create new tools that health care providers can use to provide the right dose of the right drug to the right individual. Our research spans from discovery of novel molecular markers that underlie differences in drug response to testing novel interventions that tailor drug therapy in patients to demonstrate proof-of-principle.

Projects

Biomarker discovery of antiplatelet effects

This research program is focused on antiplatelet agents such as aspirin and Plavix. Doctors currently don’t have the tools needed to measure how well these types of drugs are working or have a full understanding of who needs these medications. 

For example, with aspirin, which has been used for over 100 years, doctors still don’t know the right dose to prescribe to prevent cardiovascular disease. This is surprising because almost every other medication used to prevent cardiovascular disease has a simple test that doctors can use to measure the response (e.g. blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol). Our goal is to identify novel, blood-based markers that doctors can use to monitor the effects of antiplatelet therapy to “dial in” the appropriate dose, and/or recommend alternative therapies when the current therapy isn’t working.  

Genetic testing for improved statin adherence 

Statins are commonly used medications to lower cholesterol. However, in some patients, statins can lead to muscle aches and pains that often lead patients to stop taking their statins. Although most patients can tolerate these medications without problems, almost 1 in 10 will have some type of side effect that is thought to be caused by statins. As a consequence patients have higher cholesterol values and higher risks for cardiovascular disease. We are interested in

  1. Understanding what causes some patients to develop side effects while others do not, using electronic medical health record data, genetic, and metabolic data; and
  2. Designing novel strategies that enable doctors to use genomic markers to reduce the risk of side effects by partnering with primary care clinics to test how genetic testing can help patients with side effects to statins get back on statin therapy.

Resources