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OSU Wins NIH Funds for Statin-focused PGx Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Scientists at The Ohio State University Medical Center will use a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to uncover various genetic factors involved in patients' responses to statin medications, the widely-used drugs that are used to lower cholesterol and prevent heart attack and stroke.

Statins are the most commonly prescribed medication class in the US for lowering cholesterol, but they do not benefit some patients, while others experience adverse reactions, such as headaches, sleep problems, and 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," investigator Joseph Kitzmiller, a research assistant professor of pharmacology and biomedical engineering at OSU, said in a statement.

Kitzmiller plans to use the funding to become an independent investigator focusing on using pharmacogenomics in personalized medicine applications. Specifically, he wants to develop multi-gene models for use in patient-selection strategies for improving the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of statins and to reduce the incidence of adverse effects.

Kitzmiller will partner with fellow OSUMC researchers Wolfgang Sadee, director of the Program in Pharmacogenomics, and Rebecca Jackson, director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences, and he will combine resources with the Pharmacogenomics Research Network and the Clinical and Translational Science Consortium.

The five-year grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences was awarded under the Translational Scholar Career Award in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine program.

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