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 ranked as one of “America's Best Children's Hospitals” in nine specialties rated by U.S. News & World Report and has received MagnetTM recognition for excellence in nursing services five consecutive times. With 386 licensed beds and a medical staff of more than 750 pediatric subspecialists, we care for children from all 50 states and from around the world. In addition, our leadership in pediatric genomic medicine and individualized pediatric therapeutics is driving research and innovation in neonatology, nephrology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, neurology, heart, cancer and other subspecialties to transform outcomes for children. Children’s Mercy also is nationally recognized for innovation in psychosocial care and creating a family-centered environment focused on the unique needs of hospitalized children and their families. Our love for children powers everything we do, inspiring our research, innovations and our everyday care. Because love has no limits. And with it, neither do we.