Home College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Pharmacy Professor Receives Grant for Pharmacogenomics Lab

Pharmacy Professor Receives Grant for Pharmacogenomics Lab

News Photo


News Photo

Pramod Mahajan

CONTACT: Lisa Lacher, 515-271-3119, lisa.lacher@drake.edu

The Iowa Board of Regents has awarded a $60,000 grant from the Grow
Iowa Values Fund to Pramod Mahajan, associate professor of
pharmaceutical sciences at Drake University, for a new laboratory for
training and research in pharmacogenomics.

Pharmacogenomics(PGx) is a relatively new discipline of heath science focusing on how
genes affect the way individuals respond to drugs. PGx research has
begun to offer tools for using individual genetic variations and drug
responses to customize treatment or therapy in diseases such as breast
cancer and leukemia.

Along with matching funds from private donors, this grant will be
used to establish a Pharmacogenomics Training and Research Laboratory
in Drake’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The goal is to open
the lab by August 2010.

“This new lab will serve as a central facility for Drake faculty
involved in research requiring access to molecular, genomic and
bioinformatics technologies,” Mahajan said. “The facility also will be
used to train current and future Drake students, Iowa physicians,
pharmacists and nurses involved in the use of this technology.”

Professor Mahajan,
who has more than 25 years of research and teaching experience in
academia and private industry, joined the Drake faculty in January
2008. This semester, he is teaching the first full course on PGx at
Drake. A profile of Mahajan appears in the April 8 issue of the Des Moines Register.

He also serves as a member of the DeltaRx Institute, an organization
devoted to instilling entrepreneurial leadership in its members and
partners. In addition, he is a member of the Advisory Board of Drake’s
chapter of Students in Free Enterprise.

His broad technical expertise ranges from enzyme engineering to
agricultural biotechnology to molecular pharmacology to human genomics.
He is the author of 26 peer-reviewed publications in international
journals. In addition, he is the lead inventor or author of 30 issued
U.S. patents.

Mahajan earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of
Poona in India, then completed post-doctoral training at the University
of Kansas Medical School in Kansas City, Kan., and the University of
South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.

He went on to become assistant professor of biochemistry and human
genetics at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.
He served as the founding managing director of the Molecular Biology
Center there before moving to Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., where
he worked primarily in the area of genome modification technology