Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Pharmacogenomics

Pharmacogenomics is the study of human genetic variation in the context of inter-individual variation in drug response. The overall aim of this research is to personalise medicine by identifying genetic variants that are clinically significant in predicting how a patient responds to drug treatment.

The field has been accelerated recently by developments in sequencing technology. Today, the complete genetic sequence of an individual (over 3 billion base-pairs) can be generated for less than one thousand euro, bringing the cost in to the realm of a routine clinical test. This presents an obvious opportunity, but also a massive challenge in understanding which of the many million different genetic variants that exist in our DNA, are actually of relevance to personalising disease treatment.

Researchers in MCT are contributing to this global effort. Prof. Alice Stanton is working on the genetics of patient response to treatment for hypertension. Prof. Norman Delanty and Dr Gianpiero Cavalleri are working on the genetics of patient response to the treatment of epilepsy.