Presenter: African American Genomic Medicine
Dr. Minoli Perera
Dr. Perera is an Associate Professor within the Department of Pharmacology and Center for Pharmacogenomics at the Feinberg School of Medicine with expertise in pharmacokinetics, clinical pharmacology and human genetics. Through her research, Dr. Perera works to bring pharmacogenomics to African-American populations. Pharmacogenomics, part of the precision medicine movement, involves using a patient’s genetic information to predict drug response, such as whether the medication will be effective or if it might lead to adverse effects.
Her lab specifically focuses on anticoagulants, the genomics of drug metabolism and the pharmacogenomics of inflammatory bowel disease.
Dr. Perera is the principal investigator on a $7.5-million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to study genetic variation and drug response within African-American patients. Her lab focuses on the discovery and translation of pharmacogenomics findings in African-Americans. The field of pharmacogenomics, which is relatively young, looks to predict drug response in patients by using their genome (i.e. genomics biomarkers). Discovery and translation in this field has accelerated with President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. However, African-Americans remain under-represented in these studies. Dr. Perera’s lab also focuses on medications used in thrombotic conditions because 1) these drugs are dangerous and must beused within a tight therapeutic window and 2) African-Americans suffer from thrombotic diseases at a higher rate than other populations.