July 23, 2021
Klarissa Jackson, Ph.D., is the recipient of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award for Early-Stage Investigators (R35).
The five-year award totals $1,908,009 and will support her project titled, “Interindividual Variability in Drug Metabolism in Ethnically Diverse Populations.”
Jackson said the goal of her project is to better understand how genetic and non-genetic factors affect drug metabolism and drug response in patients from understudied ethnic backgrounds.
“We believe this research is important to individualize drug treatment for patients to be able to maximize beneficial drug effects and minimize serious adverse effects,” she said.
Jackson, along with School collaborators Philip Smith, Merrie Mosedale, Matthew Loop, and Daniel Gonzalez, will investigate population-specific cytochrome P450 genetic variants and novel phenotypic biomarkers to accurately quantify individual drug metabolism capacity and predict pharmacokinetic variability in understudied ethnic populations. The long-term goal is that this work will lay the foundation needed to implement precision medicine for ethnically diverse patient populations to achieve the “right drug at the right dose for the right patient at the right time,” Jackson said.
Jackson joined the faculty at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics in 2019. Her research interests focus on drug metabolism and toxicology to better understand the mechanisms of and risk factors for adverse drug reactions and improve drug safety.