Skip to content

Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN) in North America


The Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN) is a nationwide collaboration of scientists studying the effect of genes on people’s responses to a wide variety of medicines.

To find out more about the science behind pharmacogenomics, please follow this link to FAQs.

Northwest-Alaska PGRN


In 2009, the University of Washington founded the Northwest-Alaska Pharmacogenomics Research Network (NWA-PGRN), addressing pharmacogenomic research in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) and rural Pacific Northwest populations.

The UW is one of 14 Centers funded by the National Institutes of Health.

(NIGMS 5U01GM092676 – 03)

At the University of Washington, it is affiliated with:

Department of Pharmaceutics
Department of Bioethics and Humanities
Department of Biostatistics
Department of Family Medicine
The Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality
Institute for Public Health Genetics
The Deep Sequencing EXOME Project
Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health
School of Pharmacy

The NWA-PGRN comprises a diverse team, including investigators from:

University of Washington (Seattle)
University of Alaska-Fairbanks (Fairbanks)
Southcentral Foundation (Anchorage)
The University of Montana (Missoula)
Oregon Health & Science University (Portland)

Our partners are the Center for Alaska Native Health Research (Fairbanks, AK), the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (Montana), and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. (Bethel, AK)

UW professors Ken Thummel, Department of Pharmaceutics, and Wylie Burke, Department of Bioethics and Humanities, are co-Principal Investigators of the NWA-PGRN, and have received $10 million from the NIH to create this new center to study Pharmacogenomics in Rural and Underserved Populations. The U01 grant is one of 14 that the NIH recently awarded as part of its effort to expand the PGRN. It will be the first PGRN program that addresses the needs of populations of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

The NWA PGRN is a multi-disciplinary program that is structured to conduct basic and translational pharmacogenomic research. It will encompass five areas of emphasis:

  1. Consultation and qualitative research to support community-university research partnerships and identify potential barriers and facilitators for use of pharmacogenomics in health care
  2. Discovery and characterization of novel variation among AI/AN people for genes that contribute to the disposition and pharmacological response of the drugs warfarin, tamoxifen and tacrolimus
  3. Demonstration that genetic testing predicts individual differences in warfarin, tamoxifen and tacrolimus disposition and response in AI/ANs, and assessment of whether unique dietary factors modify genotype-phenotype associations related to warfarin
  4. Assessment of whether pharmacogenomic testing provides unique advantages in rural populations, including AI/AN communities, due to differences in therapeutic monitoring
  5. Identification of methods for identifying adverse drug reactions occurring in rural populations, as a basis for potential future pharmacogenomic research