July 26, 2012
Federico Innocenti, MD, PhD, is the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Leon I. Goldberg Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
The Goldberg award honors young scientists for accomplishments in the field of clinical pharmacology achieved early in their careers. Innocenti is associate director for oncology research in the UNC Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy and an associate professor in DPET. Angela Kashuba, PharmD, a professor in the same division, is a previous winner of the award.
Through his NIH-funded research program, Innocenti aims to discover effective strategies for individualizing therapy for cancer patients. His team is focusing on discovering the genetic factors that influence the effectiveness and toxicity of cancer chemotherapy by integrating clinical genomic investigation with functional evaluation of gene variation. One of Innocenti’s most notable achievements was clarifying the genetic basis of the severe neutropenia (a deficiency of a certain type of white blood cell) experienced by some cancer patients treated with the drug irinotecan. Because of his work, the FDA revised the label of irinotecan in 2005. Innocenti is a co-inventor of the FDA-approved UGT1A1 genetic test for patients treated with irinotecan.
Innocenti is the principal investigator of numerous pharmacogenetic studies within the Alliance of Clinical Trials in Oncology where he serves as the chair of the Gastrointestinal Solid Tumor Correlative Science Group. He is also the vice chair (and the incoming chair for 2012) of the Oncology Section at the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
After receiving his MD from the University of Pisa, Innocenti completed residencies in clinical pharmacology and oncology. He has a PhD in pharmacology, toxicology, and chemotherapy. He joined UNC in January 2011 after twelve years of research in cancer pharmacogenetics at the University of Chicago, where he directed the pharmacology course for the Pritzker School of Medicine for seven years. He is the author of more than eighty-five journal articles and book chapters and sits on the editorial board of Journal of Clinical Oncology, Pharmacogenetics and Genomics, Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, Current Drug Metabolism, and others. He is the only associate editor for Pharmacogenomics and one of the associate editors for Frontiers in Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics.