UA College of Pharmacy Appoints Faculty with Expertise in Pharmacogenomics, Drug Discovery

Image representing drug discovery and pharmacogenomicsThe University of Arizona College of Pharmacy has appointed new faculty members to its two departments.

Holsclaw Endowed Professor in Pharmacogenomics

Qin M. Chen, PhD, joined the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science as a professor of pharmacology and holder of UA Health Sciences’ Holsclaw Professorship in Genetic Diseases.

Qin M. Chen, PhDIn this role, Dr. Chen will lead a collaborative research program focused on pharmacogenomics, where she is responsible for fostering new research and clinical initiatives to address knowledge gaps. She will assemble a team of junior scientists University-wide to enhance research efforts in clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics, biomarker discovery, electronic medical records research, systems pharmacology and computational biology.

“Pharmacogenomics is the part of precision or personalized medicine that deals with how genes affect an individual’s response to medications,” said Brian Erstad, PharmD, head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science. “Dr. Chen is our first big hire in this area, and we look forward to the progress we can make as a college and university to expand our research in this exciting field.”

Dr. Chen—who is married to former UA Department of Medicine chair, current UA Sarver Heart Center member and editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Medicine, Joseph Alpert, MD—received her doctorate in cell biology from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., and completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked in various positions in the Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine at the University of Arizona since 1997.

Co-Director of Arizona Center for Drug Discovery

Jutta Wanner, PhD, joined the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology as the co-director for the Arizona Center for Drug Discovery and an associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology.

Jutta Wanner, PhDDr. Wanner will co-direct and advance the Arizona Center for Drug Discovery, a collaborative center based in the College of Pharmacy that creates the infrastructure to bring UA researchers from diverse fields together to accelerate drug discovery efforts. Working with fellow co-director, Wei Wang, PhD, she will provide strategic leadership for a wide research portfolio across biological targets, therapeutic areas and modalities in drug discovery from early state research to phase 2 clinical trials. Dr. Wanner also will be responsible for identifying novel opportunities for new grant applications, start-up companies, intellectual property and partnerships.

“Her comprehensive experience and past success in drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry will provide unique opportunities for our students to learn about pharmaceutical research and development in the real world as well as facilitate the translation of basic science findings of our current faculty members," said Xinxin Ding, PhD, head of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Dr. Wanner brings expertise across multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, inflammation and virology. She received her doctorate from the University of Kansas and completed her postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute, which is part of the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla, Calif., with a sister research unit in Jupiter, Fla.

Release Date: 
08/12/2019 - 9:15am
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