A team consisting of four UW School of Pharmacy faculty recently received a 5-year, $4.5 million grant from the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) to launch a Transporter Elucidation Center at the University of Washington (UWTEC). The mission of the UWTEC is to identify, quantify, and functionally characterize solute carrier (SLC) and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in the human placenta and developing gut to better understand nutrient uptake and drug exposure to the fetus, neonates, and infants.
The UWSOP research team includes Drs. Jash Unadkat (PI), Joanne Wang (Co-PI), Sam Arnold, and Ed Kelly from the Department of Pharmaceutics, along with collaborators from the UW School of Medicine, and Dr. Nicholas Leronimakis from the Madigan Army Medical Center.
The research team has unique and diverse expertise, ranging from state-of-art proteomics, transporter biology and functional analysis, mass spectrometry and imaging, to human intestinal organoids and microphysiological systems, and ex vivo human placenta perfusion models.
The UWTEC is one of four newly created national centers focusing on a better understanding of mechanisms involved in the uptake and disposition of drugs, nutrients, and dietary substances during early human development. The researchers hope their work will lead to healthier prenatal and perinatal fetal development as well as improved safety for medication use in pregnant and pediatric patients.