The Perera laboratory focuses on pharmacogenomics (using a patient's genome to predict drug response) in minority populations. Our goal is to make precision medicine available to all.
Dr. Perera is an Associate Professor within the Department of Pharmacology and Center for Pharmacogenomics at the Feinberg School of Medicine with expertise in pharmacokinetics, clinical pharmacology and human genetics.
What We Do
African American Genomic Medicine
Prescribing the right drug at the right dose for the right patient
Anticoagulants remain some of the most dangerous drugs taken in the US. We investigate if a patient's genome can predict the therapeutic dose, or adverse effects (e.g. bleeding) associated with these drugs. This information could be used to help doctors select the safest and most effective medication for each patient.
Genomics of Drug Metabolism
Genetic biomarkers that regulate drug metabolism
The liver metabolizes over 70% of drugs currently prescribed in the US. However, we still do not understand the genes and genetic mutations that regulate these important hepatic enzymes. We are investigating the role of genetic variation and DNA methylation in the regulation of gene expression of drug metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) and other gene within the liver in African Americans (funded NIMDH). Click here for details on this project.
Pharmacogenomics of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Genetic biomarkers to predict primary non-response.
Biologic therapies have been a revolution in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. However there remains a subset of patients that do not respond to these drugs and hence receive no clinical benefit. Moreover, this subset will be exposed to potential side-effects from biologic therapy. Genetic biomarkers that can predict if a patient will respond to biologic therapy would enable physicians to make better decision for patients and limit unwanted drug exposure to those with little chance of benefit.
Using the electronic health record to personalize healthcare.
The Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network is a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-organized and funded consortium of U.S. medical research institutions. The Network brings together researchers with a wide range of expertise in genomics, statistics, ethics, informatics, and clinical medicine from leading medical research institutions across the country to conduct research in genomics, including discovery, clinical implementation and public resources. we are involved in the analysis on the newest eMERGE sequencing data. We hope to identify novel variants in genes important to drug response.
African American Cardiovascular Pharmacogenomics Consortium
ACCOuNT is a NIMHD funded Collaborative Consortium aimed at accerateing the pace of pharmacogenomic discovery and translation in African Americans. We have brought together investigators at 2 major US cities (Chicago and DC), as well as clinical, pharmacogenomic and informatics experts to build a sustainable research consortium. Click here for more details. We have also been featured in PGRN HUB.
Follow the consortium on Twitter @ACCOuNT_NU.
Northwestern's Breakthrough Podcast on our newest paper!
Meet the Lab
Senior Research Associate
Dr. Friedman has worked extensively in cancer genomics and pharmacogenomics prior to joining the lab. She is currently managing the projects associated with ACCOuNT.
American Heart Assocication Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. De is a Postdoctoral fellow working on genetic regulation of hepatic drug metabolism and bleeding risk biomarker identification. She recently became a AHA fellow, researching response to clopedigrel (anti-platelet agent) in African Americans
Juan came from the world of finance to explore the world of research. He assists with all things lab related, from running sequencing, to cell culture to processing patient samples. He is a jack of all "lab trades".
Mohammed (Shaaz) Shaazuddin
ACCOuNT Clinical Research Coordinator
Shaaz has joined our team to take our ACCOuNT recruiting to the next level of success.
With each discovery, biological and functional follow-up is essential to understand the role of genetic variation in diseases. Honghong will use her bioinformatic and functional biology skills to unravel the mysteries behind some of our most intriguing findings. She is currently working on the role of folate homeostasis in coagulation and the heritability of drug phenotypes between populations.
Past Lab members
Off to bigger and better things!
Wenndy Hernandez PhD - Instructor in the Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology, University of Chicago
Keston Aquino-Michaels - Data Scientist at SparkBeyond.
Erin Smithberger - Graduate student at University of North Carolina
- Medical Student at University of Chicago, Former Fulbright Winner.
Sara Kwan -
Minnie Horvath - High School Biology Teacher - UChicago Woodlawn
Stephanie Poindexter - Postdoctoral Associate, Sensory Morphology and Genetic Anthropology at Boston University.
Megan Flynn - 4th year Orthopaedic Resident - Cleveland Clinic
Lucia Cortejoso - PharmD in Hospital General Univeritario, Spain
Mary Young - Medical Resident
High School students
Maggie Colten - Currently an undergraduate at the University of Chicago.
Johanna Kahn -
Research directions in the clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics - An Overview of US programs and projects. Volpi S, Bult C, Chisholm RL, Deverka P, Ginsburg G, Jacob HJ, Kasapi M, McLeod HL, Roden D, Williams MS, Green ED, Rodriguez LL, Aronson S, Cavallari LH, Denny JC, Dressler L, Johnson JA, Klein TE, Leeder S, Piquette-Miller M, Perera MA, Rasmussen-Torvik L, Rehm HL, Ritchie M, Skaar T, Wagle N, Weinshilboum R, Weitzel KW, Wildin R, Wilson J, Manolio TA, Relling MV. In press, Clin. Pharm. & Therap. 2018.
Clinical pharmacogenetics implementation consortium (cpic) guideline for pharmacogenetics-guided warfarin dosing: 2017 update. Johnson JA, Caudle KE, Gong L, Whirl-Carrillo M, Stein CM, Scott SA, Lee MT, Gage BF, Kimmel SE, Perera MA, Anderson JL, Pirmohamed M, Klein TE, Limdi NA, Cavallari LH, Wadelius M. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Sep; 102(3):397 – 404, 2017.
Integrated analysis of genetic variation and gene expression reveals novel variant for increased warfarin dose requirement in African Americans. Hernandez W, Gamazon ER, Aquino-Michaels K, Smithberger E, Patel S, O’Brien TJ, Harralson AF, Kittles RA, Barbour A, Tuck M, McIntosh SD, Douglas JN, Konkashbaev A, Cavallari LH, Perera MA. J Thromb. Haemost. Apr; 15(4):735 – 743, 2017
Population Differences in the Pharmacokinetics of S-warfarin Among African Americans, Asians and Caucasians: Implications for Pharmacogenetic Dosing Algorithms. Kubo K, Ohara M, Tachikawa M, Cavallari LH, Lee MTM, Scordo MG, Nutescu E, Perera MA, Miyajima A, Kaneko N, Pengo V, Padrini R, Chen YT, Yakahashi H. Pharmacogenomics J. 2016 June; 4(5):513-520
Factors influencing pharmacokinetics of warfarin in African-Americans: implications for pharmacogenetic dosing algorithms. Nagai R, Ohara M, Cavallari LH, Drozda K, Patel SR, Nutescu EA, Perera MA, Hernandez W, Kaneko N, Hibiya M, Takahashi H. Pharmacogenomics. 2015 Mar; 2016(3):217-25.
Population specific genomics identifies predictor of Venous Thromboembolism in African Americans. Hernandez W, Gamazon ER, Smithberger E, O’Brien T, Harrelson A, Tuck M, Barbour A, Kittles RA, Cavallari LH, Perera MA. Blood 2016 Apr. 14; 127(15): 1923-1929. Press Release by American Society of Hematology, Commentary in Blood 127 (15).
We could all use a little help from our friends.
University of Illinois, Chicago
Director, Pharmacogenomics Laboratory, Pharmacy Practice
Pharmacogenomics Research Network
The PGRN catalyzed pharmacogenomics discoveries both nationally and internationally through the conduct of collaborative research focused on the discovery and translation of the genetic determinants of drug response, in order to enable safer and more effective drug therapies.
A collaboration to further Precision medicine
Leaders at the National Institutes of Health(NIH) Pharmagenomics Research Network (PGRN) and the RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine(CGM) in Japan have signed a letter of intent creating a Global Alliance for Pharmacogenomics. Using genomewide approaches, identify genetic variants that contribute to individual responses to medicines, including rare and serious side effects.
Official Lab Photo
Lab Photo Winter 2019
missing in acton: Paula Friedman
You'll Be Back: The Academic Version