This research program is focused on pharmacogenomics, the study of the role of inheritance in variation in drug response phenotypes. These phenotypes can vary from exhibiting life-threatening adverse drug reactions to showing a lack of the desired therapeutic effect of a drug. In recent years, pharmacogenomics has moved beyond genomics to incorporate other "omics" disciplines and become "pharmaco-omics."
This research uses techniques such as genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and genes associated with variation in drug response phenotypes, and then pursues underlying mechanisms responsible for these associations. In addition, it has incorporated machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop predictive algorithms to allow clinicians to anticipate which patients will or will not respond to treatment with a specific drug.
This research ranges from the bedside to basic molecular mechanisms — always with the goal of truly individualizing therapy with the powerful, but potentially dangerous, drugs that are used to treat diseases ranging from breast cancer to major depressive disorder (depression) to alcohol use disorder (alcoholism).
About Dr. Weinshilboum
Richard Weinshilboum, M.D., is the Mary Lou and John H. Dasburg Professor of Cancer Genomics Research and a professor of medicine and pharmacology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He chairs the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and is also co-director of the Pharmacogenomics Program in Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine.
His studies of drug metabolism, toxicity and efficacy have improved therapies for various cancers, including leukemia, as well as diseases such as depression. His studies in the area of pharmacogenomics have contributed to understanding the role of genomics in individual variation in drug response. This vital component of precision medicine offers personalized treatments tailored to the individual patient.