Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Pediatrics
Associate Dean for Pharmacy Education
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine-Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego
Dr. Best specializes in pharmacokinetics – the processes by which a drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized and eliminated by the body – and pediatric clinical pharmacology research. Her research efforts have focused on studying anti-HIV drugs in infants, children, adolescents, non-pregnant adults, and pregnant women. She also studies drugs used to treat Kawasaki disease, the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children. She has specific interests and expertise in maternal-fetal and pediatric clinical pharmacology, therapeutic drug monitoring of antiretrovirals, antiretroviral pharmacogenomics, and penetration of antiretrovirals into the central nervous system.
Dr. Best's research program encompasses projects with key state-wide, national and international HIV/AIDS and pediatric pharmacology collaborative research networks, including the:
International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials network (IMPAACT)
NICHD Research in Pediatric Developmental Pharmacology Network
California Collaborative Treatment Group (CCTG)
HIV Neurobehavioral Research Program (HNRP)
B.S. in Chemistry/Chemical Education (1994) UC San Diego; Pharm.D. (1999) UC San Francisco; Pharmacy Practice Residency (2000) UC San Diego Medical Center; NIH/NRSA Fellowship in Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology Research (2004) UC San Diego; Masters of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research (2007) UC San Diego.
Awards and Honors:
Valedictorian, National Center for Leadership in Academic Medicine; 7th Annual "40 Under 40" Honoree, San Diego Metropolitan Uptown Examiner & Daily Business Report; Professor of the Year Award, Associated Students (2010, 2013, 2020); Distinguished Teaching Award, University of California Academic Senate, San Diego Division.
Editorial Board Member, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes; Frontiers in Obstetric and Pediatric Pharmacology; Director, NIH Training Program in Pediatric and Maternal/Fetal Pharmacology. Panel Member: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Treatment of HIV-Infected Pregnant Women and Prevention of Perinatal Transmission Guidelines, World Health Organization Pediatric Antiretroviral Working Group (PAWG); Working Group Member: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women (PRGLAC).
- Described pharmacokinetics and correct doses of antiretrovirals to use in pregnant women (results have been incorporated into US DHHS Treatment Guidelines)
- Discovered the lack of penetration of commonly-used antiretrovirals into cerebrospinal fluid, highlighting the importance of effectively treating this sanctuary site.
- Determined the pharmacokinetics, appropriate dose and safety of infliximab in pediatric Kawasaki disease patients (the first new treatment in this disease in 30 years).
- Eke AC, et al. Darunavir pharmacokinetics with an increased dose during pregnancy. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2020 Apr 1;83(4):373-380. PubMed PMID: 31923087.
- Joao E, et al. An open-label, randomized trial of raltegravir vs. efavirenz in antiretroviral-naïve pregnant women living with HIV (NICHD P1081). Lancet HIV. 2020 May;7(5):e322-e331.
- Liu XI, et al. Prediction of maternal and fetal pharmacokinetics of dolutegravir and raltegravir using physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2020 May 25. doi: 10.1007/s40262-020-00897-9. Online ahead of print.
- Eke AC, et al. Innovative approaches for pharmacology studies in pregnant and lactating women. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2020. In Press.
- Over 15 years of experience in designing, conducting and analyzing Phase I-II pediatric and obstetric pharmacokinetic clinical trials.
- Expertise in intensive and sparse population pharmacokinetic modeling and simulation techniques.