January 24, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A medical scientist at The Ohio State University College of Medicine has recently received a five-year award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support patient-centered research, with a focus on pharmacogenomics and personalized health care.
Joseph Kitzmiller, MD, PhD, CPI, research assistant professor in the departments of pharmacology and biomedical engineering at Ohio State, is the recipient of a Translational Scholar Career Award in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine. Along with Wolfgang Sadee, PhD, director of the Program in Pharmacogenomics, and Rebecca Jackson, MD, director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, both at The Ohio State University Medical Center, Kitzmiller will combine resources from the Pharmacogeomics Research Network and the Clinical and Translational Science Consortium, both supported by the NIH, to develop a comprehensive and adaptable multi-gene model for predicting how individual patients respond to statin therapy.
Statins are one of the most commonly prescribed medication classes in the United States to help lower cholesterol levels in the blood, and are also known for their ability to help prevent heart attacks and stroke. However, not all patients benefit from taking statins and some experience undesirable side effects, including headaches, difficulty sleeping, and even potentially life-threatening muscle and liver problems.
“Our primary goal is to develop pharmacogenomic patient-selection strategies for improving statin efficacy and cost-effectiveness, and for reducing the incidence of associated adverse effects,” Kitzmiller says.