The NIH-funded pediatric pharmacology research center, one of 13 in the United States, will provide the infrastructure and support that researchers need to study drug therapies in infants and children. The investigators will evaluate the safety, tolerability, dosing schedules and effectiveness of new and existing drugs in pediatric patients.
Dr. George McCracken, professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern, and Dr. Hasan Jafri, assistant professor of pediatrics, will co-direct the center that opened in January.
"Drug safety and effectiveness in children is a national priority right now. This will be a great resource for anyone conducting drug studies in pediatric patients," said Dr. Jafri.
Pediatric pharmacology research is especially important because drugs approved for use in adults don't always have the same effects in children, said Dr. Jafri, a staff physician at Children's.
"Children are simply not tiny adults. They process drugs in a different fashion, and the dosage regimens are very different compared with adults," he said.
The new center should help researchers more easily collaborate with their colleagues at the other 12 centers in the network, said Dr. McCracken.
"Advances in pharmacology have had a tremendous impact on improving quality of life for mankind," he said. "But historically, pharmacologic studies in infants and children have been more challenging to conduct than those in adults."
Dr. McCracken, chief of infectious diseases at Children's, said reasons for the challenges include parental concerns, wide differences in drug kinetics between infants and children of different ages, children's smaller blood volu
Contact: Staishy Bostick Siem
UT Southwestern Medical Center