The overall objective and goal of my research work is to identify comprehensive panels of potentially functional and clinically relevant genetic polymorphisms in pharmacokinetic (ADME) and pharmacodynamic pathways important for the treatment in childhood leukemia. My long term goal is to move pharmacogenetic testing into the clinical setting to improve safety and efficacy of drug therapy. To accomplish this, we have developed a focused, productive, and independent program in pharmacogenomics research.
My research spans preclinical basic research comprising the discovery phase to translational/clinical phase in patient populations. The former focuses on use of cell lines from different ethnic groups that are part of international HAPMAP project as a model for pharmacogenomic discovery. My lab has established 180 HAPMAP cell lines in my lab that are also available to other investigators for collaborative projects. The translational phase involves patient oriented research to determine the clinical impact of basic research/pharmacogenomic findings.
We have successful collaborations with clinical investigators in hematology-oncology at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Masonic Cancer Center at UMN, Fred-Hutchinson Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic as well as with multiple cooperative groups such as Children's Oncology Group (COG) and Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia & Lymphoma (TACL).