February 25, 2019
Paavo Honkakoski, Ph.D., a global expert on nuclear receptors, will return to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as a recipient of the Nannerl O. Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship in 2019-20. Honkakoski is a professor of Biopharmacy at the School of Pharmacy and Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Eastern Finland.
The Keohane Professorship is designed to promote collaboration and the enhancement of intellectual life between UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University, with an emphasis on contributions to the teaching missions of both universities. Past recipients have catalyzed cross-campus undergraduate and graduate programs, conducted joint projects with Carolina and Duke research centers, taught joint Carolina and Duke courses, and delivered major public addresses.
The professorship recognizes the contributions of Dr. Nannerl Keohane during her term as president of Duke University and the unprecedented level of collaboration she and former UNC Chancellor James Moeser created between the two institutions.
Honkakoski will work with the research groups of Kim Brouwer, Pharm.D., Ph.D., William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and Anna Mae Diehl, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Duke University.
“The Keohane Professorship offers a wonderful opportunity to expand existing collaborations in our world-class clinical pharmacology training program, stimulate new collaborations across research programs, enrich the education of our students, and enhance relationships among faculty colleagues at UNC and Duke,” said Brouwer.
“In addition to his successful inter-institutional work in Finland, Dr. Honkakoski has initiated a robust collaboration with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. This collaboration has resulted in a number of publications and short courses, and has attracted outstanding trainees funded by competitive Finnish and EU grants to the School.”
Honkakoski received his Ph.D. in 1992 on the characterization and regulation of phenobarbital-inducible cytochrome P450 enzymes from the University of Kuopio, Finland. He was a postdoctoral fellow from 1992 to 1997 in the Laboratory of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology at NIEHS/NIH in Research Triangle Park, where his seminal work on the discovery of the nuclear receptor CAR provided the molecular foundation for induction of drug metabolism and disposition.
His current research is focused on the regulation of drug metabolizing enzymes and transport proteins, nuclear receptor biology, and assessment of the absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicological properties of medications.