Individual variability in drug response (IndiViDrug)

Project: Research Evaluation 2011

Project Details

Description (abstract)

In the international evaluation of the University of Helsinki, the performance of the IndiViDrug research community was graded at an outstanding level in all five evaluation questions, ie the community received maximum points (25/25) in the evaluation.
Drug therapy plays a central role in the treatment of most diseases. However, the response to drugs varies widely between individuals, and only 25% to 80% of patients respond beneficially to a given drug therapy. On the other hand, some individuals cannot tolerate all drugs. In fact, adverse drug reactions have been found to cause about 7% of hospitalizations, and fatal adverse drug reactions have been estimated to be the fourth to sixth leading cause of death. Both anticipated positive health effects and unwanted toxicities of drugs are determined by a complex interplay of patient characteristics (e.g., age, body size, genes, sex, pregnancy and lactation, health, liver and kidney function) and environmental factors (e.g., diet, drug interactions). The research groups of the IndiViDrug RC carry out top quality clinical drug research in the following focus areas of interindividual variability in drug response: drug-drug interactions, pharmacogenetics, and drug responses during pregnancy and lactation, in infants and children of different ages and in the treatment of pain. In all the focus areas, the core of research is based on the profound understanding and know-how of the community in clinical drug research in special patient groups and in drug interactions and pharmacogenetic variability related to drug metabolism and transport.
The research of the RC is strongly coupled with doctoral training via the national Clinical Drug Research Graduate School (CDRGS), and a majority of the RC’s original publications are included in doctoral theses. The main aim of the RC’s doctoral training is to educate Good Clinical Practice (GCP) level professional scientists for the planning, management and critical evaluation of clinical drug research in various fields of the society. The doctoral students take lessons on theoretical and professional skills, and perform relevant research to achieve a PhD degree within four years. Currently, there is a significant deficit of professional clinical drug researchers, which has, for example, caused significant delays in pharmaceutical drug development. Thus, there is a great societal demand for the doctoral training provided by the RC.

Responsible person: Janne Backman, Medical Faculty, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Pharmacology

Participation category: 1
Effective start/end date24/02/201124/02/2011