St. Jude researchers awarded grant to lead pharmacogenetics implementation efforts

The grant will fund the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium, devoted to facilitating use of pharmacogenetic tests into patient care.

Memphis, Tennessee, October 4, 2018

Mary Relling, Pharm.D.

Mary Relling, Pharm.D., who was instrumental in establishing CPIC and also chairs the St. Jude Pharmaceutical Sciences Department at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Investigators at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Stanford University will receive $5 million over the next five years from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium.

The consortium provides guidelines to translate pharmacogenomic knowledge from bench to bedside. These guidelines help clinicians understand how genetic test results should be used to optimize drug therapy.

“This funding is essential to further advance pharmacogenetic testing into the clinic,” said the CPIC co-chair Mary Relling, Pharm.D., who also chairs the St. Jude Pharmaceutical Sciences Department. “With this funding, we can continue to improve medication safety guidelines for patients by aiding clinicians in drug prescribing guidelines.”

The consortium’s aims are to continually create and update pharmacogenetic guidelines, adding additional drug-gene pairings, with accompanying electronic tables that can be used to allow incorporation into electronic health care records. CPIC investigators work with users and other public genomic resources to coordinate efforts, disseminate CPIC content and respond to the needs of the global genomics community.

“All of CPIC’s content is freely available on the CPIC website, and this funding will allow us to continue to update and expand this content,” said Teri Klein, Ph.D., co-chair of CPIC from Stanford University.

CPIC was established in 2009, and is the only NIH-supported group to focus on translation of pharmacogenomic variation into prescribing actions. Funding is provided through a Genomic Community Resources (U24) grant. 

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit stjude.org or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.