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DDX: 2-week mini courses

Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics

Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DMPK) is a scientific discipline once primarily associated with safety evaluation in drug development that has, in the last two decades, become a core discipline within drug discovery, development, and even post-marketing. Valerie Kramlinger, Ph.D. is currently a Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DMPK) scientist at Amgen. In this course, Dr. Kramlinger leads students through DMPK concepts. Additionally, F. Peter Guengerich, the Tadashi Inagami Professor of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Associate Editor for The Journal of Biological Chemistry since 2006, will introduce concepts of enzyme Kinetics, a central component to understanding pharmacology and drug discovery. The overall course objectives include topics like the mechanism of drug actions, inhibitors, key parameters for measuring the efficiency of action, how enzyme metabolism can make drugs more toxic, and the application of these concepts in drug distribution, absorption, bioavailability, and multiple dosing. Overall this course will provide an introduction to DMPK and drug discovery.

Enzyme Kinetics

Drug development is a long and expensive process that starts with the identification of a hit compound endowed that hinders the development of a given disease and proceeds through subsequent rounds of structural changes and optimization until the desired pharmacological properties are reached (lead compound. The precise mechanism of action studies, as well as quantitative measurement of the performance of the compound against its target, requires Enzyme Kinetic and therefore essential component of the drug development process. F. Peter Guengerich, the Tadashi Inagami Professor of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Associate Editor for The Journal of Biological Chemistry since 2006, will introduce concepts of Enzyme Kinetics, a central component to understanding pharmacology and drug discovery. The overall course objectives include topics like the mechanism of drug actions, inhibitors, key parameters for measuring the efficiency of action, how enzyme metabolism can make drugs more toxic, and the application of these concepts in drug distribution, absorption, bioavailability, and multiple dosing. Overall this course will provide an introduction to enzyme kinetics as a key component of drug discovery.

Experimental Design and Hypothesis Testing in Drug Discovery

At each of the stages of research, scientific rigor and reproducibility are critical, particularly as the financial and ethical stakes rise throughout the drug development and development. Intentional actions are needed to educate the next generation of scientists about principles that contribute to scientific rigor and reproducibility, particularly in the area of drug discovery and development. Bruce Damon is the instructor for this course and is the Associate Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and Biomedical Engineering. He is the Director of the Chemical and Physical Biology Program. This course will cover the many challenges that face the future of science, including retaining public trust in the scientific process. Through a case-study approach, this course can help educate the next generation of science and build a renewed confidence in scientific inquiry.

Organs-on-Chips in Drug Discovery

An organ-on-a-chip (OOC) is a multi-channel 3-D microfluidic cell culture chip that simulates the activities, mechanics and physiological response of entire organs and organ systems, a type of artificial organ with multiple applications in drug discovery and development. Professor John Wikswo is the A. B. Learned Professor of Living Physics, a Gordon A. Cain University Professor, in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and the Director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education (VIIBRE). For the past 40 years, John Wikswo has worked on measurements and modeling in bioengineering and electrophysiology, initially at the scale of humans and dogs, then with rodents, and more recently at the level of nanoliter bioreactors and individual cells. John Wikswo's research effort focuses on systems biology, primarily from the perspective of organs-on-a-chip and the optimization of automated systems for combined experimental control and inference of quantitative metabolic and signaling models to help us better span the breadth of spatiotemporal scales of systems biology, toxicology, and pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. The goal of this course is to explore the importance of organs-on-chips and a systems biology perspective in drug discovery and development. The learning objectives for this course are utilizing the online platform to get the most out of the course, understanding the concept of multidimensional phase space, defining organs-on-chips in the context of systems biology, describing the history and complexity of biology and how this relates to drug discovery and development, and finally predicting how organs-on-chips will impact drug discovery in the future.