What we do
Translational Pharmacology and Drug Discovery
Research groups focus on organotypic and microphysiological culture methods as well as tumor models, in which human cells can retain physiologically and functionally relevant phenotypes for extended periods of time. Cell culture systems of primary human cells, microfluidics and comprehensive molecular profiling technologies are used in our discovery strategies of novel mechanisms that may underlie inflammatory conditions and complex metabolic diseases and that could help to improve treatment concepts. To this end it is critical to appreciate that the interaction between tumor cells and tumor microenvironment (TME) plays an important role in tumor development and drug resistance. Pharmacological processes, such as absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) are crucial for drug development. Thus, in-depth understanding of membrane transporter function and transcriptional regulation by nuclear receptors (e.g., PXR, CAR) and key transcriptional regulators is indispensable to better predict the inter-individual variability of drug response.
PharmacoOmics and Drug Therapy
This area addresses important aspects to improve therapeutic outcome for selected disease entities and to identify novel drug targets. While the research concepts rely on our longstanding PGx expertise at the IKP, they will be substantially complemented by innovative multiOmics and integrated bioinformatic and biostatistical analyses. To this end it is important to appreciate that drug efficacy and resistance mechanisms in cancer depend not only on the patients constitution, but also on features of the tumor, for example its heterogeneity and TME. Accordingly, our novel discovery strategies require the consideration of both, the tumor and patient genome. In particular, the application of comprehensive -omics approaches covering genetic, epigenetic and metabolic patterns, should enable the better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of drug response. Notably, all our approaches are strengthened by the thorough integration of bioinformaticians, as members of the research groups, and their computational tools, thereby dwelling on our past achievements.
Clinical Pharmacology Services and Training
Notably, IKP delivers qualified expert training in the educational program of Clinical Pharmacologists towards board certification. Candidates, in addition to their participation in research projects will be trained in Clinical Pharmacology Service activities that are well-established at the IKP. As a unique selling point of the IKP, this pertains to cutting edge expertise in the initiation and conduct of principle investigator-initiated (IIT) trials (phase I/IIa trials) including all regulatory issues. Another priority task of IKP is the continuous engagement in a strong curriculum-based education and training program for PhD/MD students as well as post-doctoral fellows, and all other personnel at respective levels of experience.