Photo credit: Robert Boston
In October, officials at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies named NIDA-supported researcher Dr. Evan D. Kharasch among 70 individuals newly elected to the prestigious organization. Dr. Kharasch is vice chancellor for research and the Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Professor of Anesthesiology of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Kharasch is known for a broad range of research into how drugs are metabolized in the body and, in particular, for his work on the influence of genetics, age and gender, and diet on individuals’ responses to opioid drugs. In the 1990s, he helped define the risk of certain inhaled anesthetics, shifting practice away from the use of anesthesia drugs that produce kidney-damaging metabolites. Related to his work with drug metabolites, Dr. Kharasch recently identified two protein biomarkers in urine that may lead to an eventual screening test for kidney cancer.
Working with NIDA support, Dr. Kharasch has examined the interactions among methadone, buprenorphine, and highly active antiretroviral therapies for HIV infection; studied the use of COX-2 inhibitors for pain management; and explored alternative drug administration routes for patients who have chronic pain or breakthrough pain from conditions, such as cancer, that limit their ability to swallow oral medications or absorb medicine through other traditional routes.
Each year, current IOM members elect new members to recognize outstanding achievement and commitment to service in fields that include medical science, health care, and public health. IOM members volunteer for committees, boards, and activities that provide independent, evidence-based analyses and recommendations on a variety of issues for the consideration of Congress and the public.
Read more about Dr. Kharasch’s work.