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    September 21, 2006
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School of Pharmacy to establish the

Jayne Haines Center for Pharmacogenomics and Drug Safety

Dr Krynetskiy
Evgeny Krynetskiy (left), associate professor of pharmaceutical science, works with pharmacy student Olubunmi Fiki at the Jayne Haines Center for Pharmacogenomics and Drug Safety.
(Photo by Ryan S. Brandenberg / University Photography)

With the support of a generous bequest from the estate of alumna Jayne Lebow Haines (’54), the School of Pharmacy (TUSP) will establish the Jayne Haines Center for Pharmacogenomics and Drug Safety, a collaborative initiative between basic scientists and clinicians that is designed to increase the sophistication of genetically based drug therapy.

             

Thanks to knowledge gained from the Human Genome Project, which identified all of the genes that make up our DNA, scientists have come to understand that genetics can impact the safety and efficacy of certain drugs.

This understanding has led to a new approach to drug treatment and discovery: pharmacogenomics.

             

Last year, TUSP appointed two faculty members with expertise in pharmacogenomics, Evgeny Krynetskiy and Swati Nagar, who will help to guide the work of the center.

Krynestkiy is one of the first scientists to show that genetics can affect how a drug works in a patient. He developed a life-saving genetic test whereby doctors can identify leukemia patients at risk for severe toxicity or death from a commonly prescribed chemotherapy drug.

Nagar’s area of interest is the genetic basis of drug metabolism.

             

Scientists at the center will use advanced genotyping and bioinformatics techniques to enhance drug efficacy and pre-empt adverse drug reactions related to genetics. Data mining of prior adverse event reports, coupled with observations from pharmacy clinicians, will be used to establish a database that catalogs genetic variations in drug responses and the genetic make-ups of affected patients. 

Their eventual goal is to create a model to predict and prevent genetically related adverse drug reactions, toxicities or therapeutic failures by calculating the level of risk in an individual patient prior to the start of treatment.

             

“Currently, drugs are developed to treat the average patient, yet all people are not genetically average. By gathering, tracking and analyzing medical, demographic and genetic data, we will be able to target certain medical treatments to individuals,” Krynetskiy said.

             

“The School of Pharmacy is deeply appreciative of this outstanding transformational gift and the opportunity it has provided to begin this exciting initiative,” said Peter Doukas, dean of the School of Pharmacy. “We aspire to make its future success a tribute to Jayne Haines’ legacy by helping to enhance drug safety and thereby improving the practice of pharmacotherapy.”

Eryn Jelesiewicz

 

 


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