21:34 PM

Dr. Shakhnovich Receives $50,000 Award for Obesity Research

Valentina Shakhnovich, MD, Clinical Pharmacology & Gastroenterology, received a one-year, $50,000 Pilot Award from Frontiers: University of Kansas Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Dr. Shakhnovich’s study, “Effect of Liver Adiposity on Hepatic Drug Metabolism in Children,” aims to help bridge the gap in knowledge to guide appropriate drug dose selection for pediatric patients with obesity, many of whom have increased fat in the liver. By investigating the consequences of obesity on drug metabolism in the liver, Dr. Shakhnovich and her NIH-funded team are generating novel in-vivo data for hepatic drug-metabolizing pathways (CYPs) most relevant to human health. This study will measure the effect of liver fat on CYP3A4 activity in children undergoing weight reduction. It will also identify plasma biomarkers of clinically significant changes in hepatic fat using an untargeted metabolomics approach.

“The long-term mission of my research program is to develop physiologically-informed drug dose selection tools for patients with obesity and help clinicians choose the right dose of medications for this understudied patient population,” Dr. Shakhnovich wrote.

Earlier this year Dr. Shakhnovich received a K23 award from the National Institutes of Health. Together, these two awards will move forward the field of precision therapeutics for children with obesity.

About Us

Children’s Mercy Kansas City is an independent, non-profit, 390-bed pediatric health system, providing over half a million patient encounters each year for children from across the country. Children’s Mercy is ranked by U.S. News & World Report in all ten specialties. We have received Magnet® recognition five times for excellence in nursing services. In affiliation with the University of Missouri-Kansas City, our faculty of nearly 800 pediatric specialists and researchers is actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research and educating the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists. The Children’s Mercy Research Institute (CMRI) integrates research and clinical care with nationally recognized expertise in genomic medicine, precision therapeutics, population health, health care innovation and emerging infections. In 2021 the CMRI moved into a nine-story, 375,000-square-foot space emphasizing a translational approach to research in which clinicians and researchers work together to accelerate the pace of discovery that enhances care.