Temple Times Online Edition
    JANUARY 27, 2005
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Pharmacokinetics expert Gallo to direct new research facility

James Gallo

The School of Pharmacy has appointed James Gallo, an expert in pharmacokinetics, director of the new Center for Bioanalysis and Pharmacokinetics and professor of pharmaceutical sciences. Gallo joins Temple from Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Pharmacokinetics, the study of how the body absorbs, distributes, metabolizes and eliminates drugs, helps researchers determine the ideal dose of a drug: how much, how often and when.

“Each drug follows a unique path to perform its action. Pharmacokinetics, a major part of the drug development process, reveals the course that a drug takes over time by measuring its presence in human fluids,” Gallo explained. “We need to understand this path to be able to design the safest, most effective drug.”

The center, staffed and equipped to perform both pharmacokinetic (what the body does to drugs) and pharmacodynamic (what drugs do to the body) analyses, is the first such facility at Temple. Scientists and researchers at Temple and beyond need this type of analytic support for drug research. The centerpiece of the new facility is a tandem mass spectrometer, a very sophisticated, precise tool used to measure extremely small quantities of drugs.

Gallo’s own research is primarily focused on experimental brain tumor treatments. He is specifically looking at how to enhance drug accumulation in tumors through an understanding of drug interactions and drug transport. It’s not enough that a drug can attack brain tumor cells in the lab dish; the drug needs to be able to overcome the impervious blood-brain barrier that surrounds the brain and to reach the tumors in sufficient amounts.

To this end, Gallo and his team utilize various experimental systems, such as genetic knock-out models, to characterize the role various cellular barriers might play in drug distribution to tumors.

Another aspect of Gallo’s research is collaborating with clinicians on studies of new anti-cancer agents in phase I and phase II clinical trials.

“In these types of studies, we will characterize the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of new drugs and combinations to learn the optimal ways to use them,” Gallo said. “All of these measurements can be turned into mathematical models that help us select improved drug dosage schedules.”

Gallo received a B.S. in pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, a Pharm.D. from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.

- By Eryn Jelesiewicz

Introducing New Faculty ...
James Gallo
Director of the Center for Bioanalysis and Pharmacokinetics; professor of pharmaceutical sciences, School of Pharmacy

Last stop: Fox Chase Cancer Center, pharmacology department

Degrees: Received B.S. in pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Pharm.D. from University of Florida College of Pharmacy, and Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.

Fall classes: Future classes will be in the area of pharmacokinetics.

Recent research/publications: Recent publications by the Gallo lab have appeared in various scientific journals including Cancer Research, Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and Clinical Cancer Research.

Something no one would guess about me: “A stranger or casual acquaintance would never guess I’m a scientist.”

Why I chose Temple: “A combination of good people, a return to my roots, and perceptible energy made the decision easy.”

Area of expertise: Preclinical and clinical pharmacological research geared toward improving anticancer drug therapy through the use of pharmacokinetics, and the development of novel drug delivery strategies. A critical component of the research is the characterization of pharmacokinetic (how drugs are transported and eliminated by the body) and pharmacodynamic (the effect of the drug) properties of both single agent and combination drug regimens.

Book I most recently read and liked: Disgrace by J. Coetzee.

Unique teaching tools or classroom techniques: “Does chalk and a blackboard count?”