James Halpert, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean for Scientific Affairs at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, has been awarded the prestigious Bernard B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism for 2010.
The B.B. Brodie Award is presented biennially to recognize outstanding original research contributions in drug metabolism and disposition, particularly those having a major impact on future research in the field. Named after the scientist known as "the father of modern drug metabolism," the award is sponsored by the Division for Drug Metabolism of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), the 5,000-member society founded in 1909.
For the past 30 years, Dr. Halpert's research has involved the structure and function of mammalian cytochromes P450. Heterogeneity in the expression levels and/or activities of these important drug-metabolizing enzymes is a major determinant of individual response to medications and environmental toxicants. Because many of the failures in investigational drug development result from suboptimal pharmacokinetics, drug interactions, and/or toxicity, methods for predicting cytochrome P450-mediated metabolism of new compounds are currently in great demand. Progress in this area is dependent on sophisticated understanding of the structural determinants and mechanisms of cytochrome P450 function, which Dr. Halpert has helped to elucidate.