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photo of Sarkar and El-Zailik
Pharmaceutics Ph.D. candidates Mahua Sarkar, left, and Asma El-Zailik received Student Research Awards to present their latest findings at the American College of Clinical Pharmacology 2016 Annual Meeting.

ACCP Student Research Awards

Pharmaceutics Ph.D. Candidates Honored for Projects on Statin Use in Gastric Bypass Patients, Combination Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury Clinical Trial Drug

Pharmaceutics doctoral candidates Mahua Sarkar and Asma El-Zailik received Student Research Awards from the American College of Clinical Pharmacology to present their research at the ACCP 2016 Annual Meeting Sept. 25-27 in Bethesda, Md. The awards to Sarkar and El-Zailik mark the sixth consecutive year in which current students or recent graduates working under Professor Diana S-L. Chow, Ph.D., have received recognition from ACCP.

Entitled "Impacts of Gastric Bypass Surgery on the Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, and Rosuvastatin," El-Zailik’s project was based on an assessment of the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of statins following gastric bypass surgery to achieve effective weight loss in obese patients. As this patient population typically suffers from, and receives treatment for, hyperlipidemia, the researchers sought to determine how post-surgery absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) of the drugs might be affected by anatomical changes from the procedure.

The study indicated changes in concentrations of the drugs following surgery, noting initial decrease followed by an increase in drug concentrations but with large inter-individual variations. The authors suggested dose modifications and concentration monitoring to mitigate and manage post-surgery adverse effects. In addition to Chow, coauthors on El-Zailik’s project were Vadium Sherman, M.D., FACS, FRCSC, bariatric surgeon at Houston Methodist Hospital, and Lily K. Cheung, Pharm.D., associate professor at Texas Southern University.

Entitled "Impact of Co-administered Minocycline on Plasma Pharmacokinetics and CNS Distribution of Riluzole," Sarkar’s project was based on Chow’s ongoing collaboration with Houston Methodist Hospital Professor of Neurosurgery Robert Grossman, M.D., on the drug riluzole as a potential therapeutic for acute spinal cord injury (SCI). Currently in a phase II trial for SCI, the researchers investigated the potential co-administration of an inhibitory drug to increase the availability of riluzole in the brain and spinal cord.

The team found co-administration of the drugs in an animal model did not alter plasma pharmacokinetics of riluzole but brain- and spinal cord-to-plasma ratios did increase. The results suggested the possibility of additive or synergistic effect on treatment efficacy with the coadministered drug, but indicated the need for further study. Contributing to the study was Raymond Grill, Ph.D., associate professor at The University of Mississippi Medical Center.