July 22, 2019

Nina Isoherranen named Chair of Pharmaceutics Department

On July 1, 2019, UW School of Pharmacy Professor and Dean Sean D. Sullivan appointed Professor Nina Isoherranen to the Milo Gibaldi Endowed Chair of Pharmaceutics. Her appointment makes her the first woman to chair the department.

“From her first days here as a post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Isoherranen demonstrated the standard of excellence and innovative research that are the hallmarks of our faculty. I am looking forward to working with her as we continue to grow the outstanding international reputation of the UW Department of Pharmaceutics.”—Sean D. Sullivan, Professor and Dean, UW School of Pharmacy

Dr. Isoherranen assumes the role of chair from Professor Kenneth Thummel, who led the growth of the department to over 100 personnel and annual research funding of $13.6M. This growth is one of the key reasons why the UWSOP is ranked #3 nationally among Schools of Pharmacy in NIH grant awards. Ken will return to the faculty to continue his research program and teach in the graduate and professional degree programs.

Dr. Isoherranen earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and her master’s degree in Analytical Chemistry in 1998 from the University of Helsinki, Finland. She obtained a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2003.

She began her career in the UW Pharmaceutics department in 2003 as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Thummel then became Acting Assistant Professor in November 2004 and Assistant Professor in 2006. In 2012 Dr. Isoherranen was promoted to Associate Professor and in 2017, she was named Professor of Pharmaceutics.

The Department of Pharmaceutics has long been recognized for its expertise in drug metabolism and transport kinetics. Its faculty are innovators in targeted drug delivery, physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling and microphysiologic human organ systems.

Dr. Isoherranen and her team are actively involved in collaborations with scientists at the University of Washington and with investigators in other US institutions. Her lab’s research projects are highly translational and extend out basic research findings to clinical importance.

The three main research areas in the lab entail characterization of vitamin A metabolism and the processes that regulate cell and tissue concentrations of retinoic acid the active metabolite of vitamin A, evaluation of drug disposition during pregnancy and fetal exposure and effects of xenobiotics, and methods of in vitro to in vivoprediction, simulation and rationalization of drug-drug and drug-disease interactions.

Dr. Isoherranen has mentored many accomplished alumni and students, including these recent projects we reported on:

  • John Amory MD, MS, and graduate student Faith Stevison find breakthrough treatment for male infertility Story
  • Sara Shum and collaborators unveil new maternal and fetal health risks associated with shellfish toxin Story

In 2013, Dr. Isoherranen was presented the Richard Okita Early Career Award in Drug Metabolism and Disposition from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and in 2014, she was awarded the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX) Young Investigator Award.

The Department of Pharmaceutics has long been recognized for its expertise in drug metabolism and transport kinetics. Its faculty are innovators in targeted drug delivery, physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling and microphysiologic human organ systems. To ensure the continued outstanding research and training in the Department of Pharmaceutics, we invite you to support the Pharmaceutics Fund for Excellence.

 

To study with researchers like Pharmaceutics’ Professors Nina Isoherranen and Kenneth Thummel, click on the links for more information about our Graduate Programs in Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy, and Biomedical Regulatory Affairs.

Link to Pharmaceutics archived news