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 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); Distinguished Teaching Award, University of California Academic Senate, San Diego Division.
Editorial Board Member, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes; Director, NIH Training Program in Pediatric and Maternal/Fetal Pharmacology. Panel Member, Treatment of HIV-Infected Pregnant Women and Prevention of Perinatal Transmission Guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- 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).
- Tran et al. (2016) Pharmacokinetics of rilpivirine in HIV-infected pregnant women. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 72(3):289-96.
- Mulligan et al. (2016) Etravirine pharmacokinetics in HIV-infected pregnant women. Front. Pharmacol. 7:239.
- Melvin et al. (2017) Safety and efficacy of atorvastatin in HIV-infected children and youth with hyperlipidemia. Pediatr Infect Dis J 37(1):53-60.
- Brandl et al. (2017) Effect of a dedicated pharmacy student summer research program on publication rate. Am J Pharm Educ 81(3):1-7.
- 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.