Carley Heck is the Molecular Pharmacology Highlighted Trainee Author for the February 2019 issue. Carley is a pre-doctoral trainee with the Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences program, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her mentor is Namandje N. Bumpus. The Molecular Pharmacology article that earned her selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is titled "Efavirenz and Efavirenz-like Compounds Activate Human, Murine, and Macaque Hepatic IRE1-XBP1" and is available at https://doi.org/ 10.1124/mol.118.113647.
Carley’s area of research is cytochrome P450 metabolism and hepatotoxicity of drugs used to treat HIV. She is currently working on two non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, Efavirenz and Nevirapine, both of which are used to treat HIV despite causing idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity. Specifically, she is working to characterize the cytochrome P450 metabolism of these drugs, probe the role of cytochrome P450 metabolites in promoting hepatotoxicity, and identify cellular signaling pathways that drive toxicity with Efavirenz and Nevirapine. She employs a diverse array of techniques, ranging from primary hepatocyte isolation and culture to LC-MS/MS analysis.
The anticipated impact of her current research is its contribution to an increased understanding of cellular mechanisms that contribute to drug toxicity, while emphasizing the importance of careful characterization of drug metabolism and the effects of drug metabolites.
When not in the lab, Carley enjoys singing with the New Wave Singers of Baltimore, performing with community theater groups, and exploring new food.