I have completed my BScPharm, MSc in Clinical Pharmacy and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences in The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. My graduate research focused on the mechanisms of intestinal lymphatic transport of lipophilic drugs (under the supervision of Prof. Amnon Hoffman).
I had been a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Division of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada in the laboratory of Prof. Kishor M. Wasan for the period of May 2007 to August 2009. From September 2009 until April 2012 I was employed as Research Associate in the same Division.
I was appointed to a position of Assistant Professor of Pharmacokinetics in the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham, in April 2012.
Biopharmaceutics, Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, Bioanalytical Techniques, Oral Drug Delivery, Effects of Disease States on Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
My research interests include the following areas:
1. Improvement of the efficiency, selectivity and safety profile of pharmacological therapy based on knowledge of phathophysiology of disease states. The pathological conditions that are currently in the list of my research interest include cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and hyperlipidemia. Currently actively pursued projects in this category include: 1) Contribution of intestinal lymphatic transport to immunosuppressive activity of orally administered lipophilic cannabinoids in immunocompromised cancer and AIDS patients; 2) Targeting immunomodulatory agents to the lymphatic system for enhanced therapeutic benefits in the treatment of multiple sclerosis; 3) Assessment of the effect of postprandial or pathological hypertriglyceridemia on occurrence and severity of myotoxicity induced by HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.
2. Intestinal absorption of drugs, including the mechanisms of intestinal absorption and novel methods to overcome barriers to systemic bioavailability of orally administered drugs (intraluminal dissolution and degradation, enterocyte membrane permeability, efflux pumps, intra-enterocyte metabolism and hepatic first-pass metabolism).
3. Effect of disease states on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs. It is my belief that this area of research is extremely important and currently not significantly covered. Although there are some works on the effect of liver and kidney diseases on pharmacokinetics of drugs (mostly due to phenomenon of changes in binding to plasma proteins), the topic of effects of disease states on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics is a much broader one. For example, exciting topics are the differences of distribution of antibiotics into inflamed versus healthy tissues and penetration of blood-brain barrier by pharmacological agents at diseased versus normal state.
4. Effect of food and its composition on absorption, disposition, action and toxicity of drugs. Even though it is a known fact that food intake can change the extent and rate of absorption of different drugs, there is not much information on what components of the meal would have greater impact on the absorption. In addition, it is conceivable that absorbed food components might affect the pharmacokinetics of the active molecule not only on the absorption level, but also at disposition stage. As an example can serve the effect of postprandial hyperlipidemia on the disposition of lipophilic drugs. In addition to changes in absorption and disposition (or as a result of these changes), food intake can alter the action and toxicity of drugs.
5. Research in my lab has direct clinical significance, i.e.,translational research. It is accomplished by an active collaboration with medical clinicians, including at hospital interface. Simultaneous understanding of clinical problems and knowledge of how to solve these problems in laboratory settings and to bring the results back to clinic are absolutely necessary for establishment of a truly translational research.
LEE JB, ZGAIR A, MALEC J, KIM TH, KIM MG, ALI J, QIN C, FENG W, CHIANG M, GAO X, VORONIN G, GARCES AE, LAU CL, CHAN TH, HUME A, MCINTOSH TM, SOUKARIEH F, AL-HAYALI M, CIPOLLA E, COLLINS HM, HEERY DM, SHIN BS, YOO SD, KAGAN L, STOCKS MJ, BRADSHAW TD, FISCHER PM and GERSHKOVICH P, 2018. Lipophilic activated ester prodrug approach for drug delivery to the intestinal lymphatic system. Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society. 286, 10-19
ZGAIR A, LEE JB, WONG JCM, TAHA DA, ARAM J, DI VIRGILIO D, MCARTHUR JW, CHENG YK, HENNIG IM, BARRETT DA, FISCHER PM, CONSTANTINESCU CS and GERSHKOVICH P, 2017. Oral administration of cannabis with lipids leads to high levels of cannabinoids in the intestinal lymphatic system and prominent immunomodulation. Scientific reports. 7(1), 14542
TAHA DA, DE MOOR CH, BARRETT DA, LEE JB, GANDHI RD, HOO CW, GERSHKOVICH P., 2016. The role of acid-base imbalance in statin-induced myotoxicity Translational Research.
Current PhD students:
Dr Carlos Sanders-Velez, MD
Alumni PhD students:
Dr Jong Bong Lee, PhD (2018)
Dr Sally Gittings, PhD (2016)
Dr Paloma Benito Gallo, PhD (2016)
Dr Dhiaa Taha, PhD (2017)
Dr Jonathan Wong, PhD (2017)
Dr Atheer Zgair, PhD (2017)