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Klarissa Hardy Receives Major NIH Grant


Congratulations to former UW School of Pharmacy Department of Medicinal Chemistry post-doctoral fellow, Klarissa Hardy, who received a $660,000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to fight breast cancer! Hardy worked with Dean Sidney Nelson to study the affects of the anti-cancer drug lapatinib on the liver. “I learned a lot from Dr. Nelson, from his previous work and experience in this area.”

Dr. Hardy, now a researcher and assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Lipscomb University, made history in receiving the first NIH grant for Lipscomb, and the largest research grant in the university’s history.

Hardy was part of the late Dr. Sid Nelson’s lab at Med Chem, where she studied the targeted breast cancer drug, lapatinib, to examine the role of cytochrome P450-mediated metabolic activation in the liver toxicity associated with lapatinib. “We examined how the liver metabolizes lapatinib and how the products formed from this process might be linked to the toxic effects of the drug on the liver,” she said.

Her current research is aimed at discovering genetic factors, such as metabolism, that may contribute to a patient’s risk of developing a toxic reaction to the drug, thereby limiting its use in certain patient populations. The goal is to improve the safety of the drug and discover ways to minimize toxic reactions.

“The Medicinal Chemistry Department at the UW School of Pharmacy is where all this work started,” said Klarissa.  “I thank everyone in Med Chem for their support and helpful contributions along the way.  I am especially grateful to my mentors, Dr. Allan Rettie and Dr. Sid Nelson, for their guidance, and to Dr. Michelle Wahlin for all of her work on the project during her graduate studies.”

See the complete story of Klarissa’s award at

Our congratulations to Dr. Klarissa Hardy for this well-deserved award!


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