NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Researchers at Indiana University’s School of Medicine will join in a new National Institutes of Health initiative that aims to advance pharmacogenomics research, particularly in cancer, IU said today.
The NIH earlier this week announced that it had created the Global Alliance for Pharmacogenomics with Japan’s Center for Genomic Medicine that will forge a global effort to identify genetic factors behind individual responses to disease treatments.
The IU end of the research will be led by David Flockhart, a scientist at IU’s Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center and chief of the division of pharmacology at the IU School of Medicine. Flockhart will focus on the role of genetic factors in the effectiveness of certain breast cancer drugs that can help block the growth of tumors by lowering estrogen levels.
The university said Flockhart is already researching individual genetic reactions to breast cancer drugs through a five-year project, which has received $12 million in NIH backing.
Flockhart’s lab previously performed work showing that some women do not respond well to the breast cancer drug tamoxifen because of a genetic variation that affects how they metabolize the drug, IU said.