University of Malaya extends its congratulations to Prof. Datin Dr. Zahurin Bt Mohamed, Head of the Pharmacogenomics Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya for giving birth to “twin” papers in the current issue of the prestigious journal Pharmacogenomics. This is indeed a rare feat and a credit to the leadership of Prof. Zahurin and the hard work of the team.
Prof. Zahurin explains, “Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. This relatively new field combines pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) in attempts to develop effective, safe medications and doses that will be tailored to a person’s genetic makeup”.
According to Prof. Zahurin, many drugs that are currently available are “one size fits all,” but they do not work the same way for everyone. It can be difficult to predict who will benefit from a medication, who will not respond at all, and who will experience negative side effects (called adverse drug reactions). “As a matter of fact,” said Prof. Zahurin, “adverse drug reactions are a significant cause of hospitalizations and deaths”.
Malaysia, being made up of a multi-ethnic population, makes a perfect laboratory for pharmacogenomics research to look into how inherited differences in genes can affect the patient’s responses to medications. These genetic differences can be used to predict whether a medication will be effective for a particular person and to help prevent adverse drug reactions.
ABOUT THE PHARMACOGENOMICS LABORATORY
The Pharmacogenomics Laboratory is supported by researchers from the pre-clinical and clinical departments, with over 20 postgraduate students, and has received funding of over RM3.5million over a period of 5 years from UM HIR MoE. It has successfully published over 17 papers in Tier 1 journals since 2011. The Tier 1 journals of high impact factor (IF) include three in Molecular Neurobiology (IF of 5.47), two in Human Genetics (IF of 4.63), four in PloS One (IF of 3.73) and now six in Pharmacogenomics (IF 3.86).
For more information, please contact:
Prof. Datin Dr. Zahurin Bt Mohamed
Department of Pharmacology,
Faculty of Medicine,
University of Malaya,
50603 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel : +603-7967 4702/4703
Fax : +603-7967 4791
Email: [email protected]