Dr. Robert Hanzlik Discusses Pharmaceutical Testing Models at Event Hosted by National University

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Southern California Drug Metabolism Discussion Group Presents April 28 Talk by University of Kansas Professor

Dr. Robert Hanzlik is a Professor at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy

Dr. Robert Hanzlik, whose groundbreaking research into identifying mechanisms of drug and chemical toxicity carries implications for advancing the creation of safer pharmaceuticals, will be a featured speaker April 28 at National University, the second-largest private, nonprofit university in California.

The reception and presentation by Dr. Hanzlik, a professor at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy who specializes in drug metabolism and drug design, starts at 5 p.m. and takes place at National University’s Torrey Pines campus, 11355 N. Torrey Pines Road, in La Jolla. Presented by the Southern California Drug Metabolism Discussion Group, "Reactive Metabolites, Cellular Targets and Beyond" is expected to bring together some of the area’s leading pharmaceutical researchers and scientists.

“Dr. Hanzlik is a leading researcher in his field, and we are fortunate to have him join us for this special event and for sharing his knowledge and expertise in this field of study for the public good,” said Dr. John R. Cashman, President of the Human BioMolecular Research Institute and Chairman of the Southern California Drug Metabolism Discussion Group.

The work Dr. Hanzlik has done has significant implications for pharmaceutical development and research. One of the challenges in drug development is in the transformation of drugs into metabolites leading to toxicity. Limitations in testing can preclude accurate predictions on how a drug will react in the body. Dr. Hanzlik has developed analytical techniques to accurately identify early in the testing and development process, how some drugs and chemical can modify normal cellular proteins. This information offers insight to mechanisms of toxicity that can be of benefit to pharmaceutical companies and researchers, allowing them to save time, money and possibly even lives.

The focus on drug metabolism as a key indicator in the discovery and development of pharmaceuticals is an area pioneered by Dr. Bernard Brodie, considered by many to be the father of modern biochemical toxicology. Dr. Hanzlik, an active member of the scientific community who has served on National Institutes of Health study sections and Editorial Advisory Boards for several journals, will detail significant advances since Brodie’s work.

“The talk will present a retrospective over some of the important technical and conceptual advances in the chemistry and biology of reactive metabolites that have occurred since Dr. Bernard Brodie's seminal work, and some of the questions that remain,” said Dr. Hanzlik. Dr. Hanzlik earned his B.A. in chemistry and biology from Southern Illinois University, and completed his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Stanford University. He joined the University of Kansas faculty in 1971 after postdoctoral studies at Cambridge University in England.

Drug metabolism is a multi-faceted discipline, which connects chemistry, pharmacokinetics – or what the body does to a drug, toxicology, cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology. For this reason, industrial drug metabolism scientists have to be able to interface with experts from a variety of research areas, a focus of the Southern California Drug Metabolism Discussion Group that is presenting the event.

National University is a natural venue for the speaking event, as the Department of Health Sciences at National University prepares master’s and bachelor’s students for professional careers in the health sciences. Students study evidence-based research and clinical skill development, and a curriculum that emphasizes prevention and integrative approaches to health care. National University’s main administrative headquarters on Torrey Pines Road also sits at the center of San Diego’s “Biotech Beach,” one of the leading areas for life sciences research and drug development in the nation. For further information about the April 28 symposium, visit http://www.scdmdg.org/meetings.html.

About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California. With 30,000 students and more than 140,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Five schools and one college – the College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Education; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California. To learn more, visit http://www.nu.edu.

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