Lawrence Ku, MD

Lawrence Ku, MD, is a graduate student in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics. Ku graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, where he obtained a BS in biological sciences, a BS in computer science, and later his MD from the School of Medicine. He then went on to complete his residency training in general pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. He is currently a fellow in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Duke University and is also a fellow at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He joined the Thakker lab in 2013.

His research interests include pharmacokinetics, safety and efficacy of drugs used off-label in preterm and term neonates. He is also interested in how drug metabolism differs among infants of different gestational and postnatal ages and how this compares to metabolism of drugs in older children and adults.

Neonates remain an understudied population with regards to pharmacotherapy; a review article by E. Kimland and V. Odlind published in April 2012 in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics reports that almost all patients in the neonatal unit are exposed to at least one off-label, unapproved or extemporaneously prepared drug while hospitalized. Unique physiology in neonates contribute to altered pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in this population. Because dosing regimens in neonates are often scaled from doses used in adults or older children, concerns with drug safety and efficacy often arise.

Year Admitted: 2013
Adviser: Dhiren Thakker