Harding pharmacy professor wins grant funding for cancer treatment research

Dr. Landry Kamdem Kamdem, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Harding University, was selected in June as one of two recipients of the 2011 American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Young Investigator Award.

The award, given for his proposal, “The Impact of UGT2B17 Genetic Polymorphisms on the Disposition and Action of Exemestane in Healthy Volunteers,” has a one-year grant from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012. The grant is intended to support a fellow and a junior faculty member in clinical pharmacology or a related field who is engaged in clinical/translational research. Multiple factors, including the applicant, mentor, institution and project, were used to select two promising young scientists from across the nation. The process is highly competitive in nature.

“The YIA means a lot to me and the Harding University College of Pharmacy,” says Kamdem Kamdem. “For the past 11 months, with the help of my advisers and collaborators, I have been involved in the design and set up of a translational pharmacogenomic research program. At present, this program has two main areas of focus aimed at improving the treatment regimens of patients with breast and colorectal cancer. And with two key pieces of equipment purchased this year, we were positioned to begin pharmacokinetic and pharmacogenomic profiling.”

With the addition of the YIA grant, the college can conduct a pilot clinical study that focuses on assessing the impact of a person’s genetic fingerprint on the disposition and action of Exemestane, a standard drug used to prevent distant metastasis in patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

“In the future, we hope that our findings will contribute to personalizing cancer therapy by maximizing efficacy and reducing adverse events in select patients with breast cancer,” says Kamdem Kamdem.