Drug Safety Sciences
Integrate clinical medicine with cutting-edge systems biology and in silico modeling platforms to make drugs safer and advance drug development.
Severe but rare adverse drug reactions are sometimes not predicted by preclinical models and are discovered in late clinical trials or in the marketplace. A common misperception is that this deficiency in preclinical safety testing can be overcome by "humanizing" preclinical models (e.g. cultured human hepatocytes or transgenic mice), but this strategy ignores that fact that only a small fraction of the human population is susceptible to these rare toxicities. An underlying principle of The Hamner-UNC Institute for Drug Safety Sciences is that improved preclinical models will only result from understanding mechanisms, and that the best place to begin the discovery process is the study of patients who experience these adverse events. Initial research efforts focus on Drug Induced Liver Injury (DILI) and will create a template to follow for the study of other major organ toxicities.