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Ph.D. Candidate Draws 3rd ACCP Award for Research

Study: Differing Concentrations of Statins, Metabolites Post-Gastric Bypass Surgery Due to Changes in Patient Anatomy, Physiology Warrant Close Monitoring

UHCOP Pharmaceutics Ph.D. student Asma El-Zailik has received her third consecutive American College of Clinical Pharmacology (ACCP) award in recognition of her high-quality research submitted for presentation at ACCP annual meetings. 

Her latest project, "Impacts of Gastric Bypass Surgery on the Pharmacokinetics of Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Rosuvastatin, and Their Active Metabolites," is recognized as being among the top 16 student submissions for presentation at the 2018 ACCP Annual Meeting Sept. 23-25 in Bethesda, Md.

Statins are commonly prescribed in obese patients to manage high cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease, with disagreement among drug manufacturers and researchers on the benefits and potential risks associated with their use pre- and post-surgery in bariatric surgery.

According to El-Zailik and her coauthors, the project is the first to analyze pre-surgery and 3-, 6- and 12-month post-surgery statins and metabolite concentrations in blood samples from gastric bypass surgery (GBS) patients with comorbidities.   

The study found that GBS surgery uniquely affects the pharmacokinetics – the body's absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination – of statins with distinctly different patterns between simvastatin, which showed increased in its concentrations metabolite, and atorvastatin/rosuvastatin, which both conversely decreased in their concentrations and metabolites, on the same dose/body weight basis.

The study authors recommended that "dosing regimens of statins after gastric bypass surgery should be monitored closely and adjusted rationally and individually to ensure efficacy and safety."

Coauthors of the project are Lily K. Cheung, Pharm.D., of Texas Southern University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; Yang Wang, Ph.D. , UHCOP Pharmaceutics alumna; Vadim Sherman, M.D., FACS, FRCSC, of Houston Methodist Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College; and Diana S-L Chow, Ph.D., FNAI, of UHCOP.

The abstract will be published online in an upcoming issue of ACCP’s Clinical Pharmacology in Drug Development.

In addition to this year's Student Abstract Travel Award from ACCP, El-Zailik previously received a Student Abstract Travel Award in 2017 and one of only eight Graduate & Trainee Awards – which included a certificate, $1,000 honorarium and complementary meeting registration – in 2016.