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The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Highlighted Trainee Author, January 2021

December 23, 2020

Rakshit Tanna

Rakshit S. Tanna is The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Highlighted Trainee Author for the January 2021 issue. He is a pre-doctoral trainee at the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Washington State University, Spokane.  His mentor is Dr. Mary F. Paine. The JPET article that earned him selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is titled “Refined Prediction of Pharmacokinetic Kratom-Drug Interactions: Time-Dependent Inhibition Considerations” and is available at https://doi.org/10.1124/jpet.120.000270

Mr. Tanna’s area of research is to understand the drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic aspects of potential therapeutic agents in drug discovery and development, as well as of the drug interaction liabilities of phytochemicals present in commonly used botanical and other natural products. His research projects focus primarily on assessing the pharmacokinetic drug interaction potential of various natural products, including kratom, goldenseal, and green tea via in vitro to in vivo extrapolation approaches that incorporate human in vitro, pharmacokinetic modeling, and clinical pharmacokinetic data.  He is currently investigating the risks associated with co-consumption of the psychoactive natural product kratom with drugs of abuse, including opioids and benzodiazepines. Results from this research show that kratom phytochemicals (alkaloids) inhibit cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, particularly CYP3A and CYP2D6 activities, which are predominantly responsible for the disposition of the aforementioned co-consumed drugs.

The anticipated impact of Mr. Tanna’s research is to provide direct mechanistic evidence underlying potential pharmacokinetic kratom-drug interactions. Critical information will be made available to support/counter the speculations made about the contribution of ”concomitant drug use” in kratom-related toxicities and fatalities. Results from this research, along with those generated by other groups, will enable federal regulators such as the FDA and DEA to make an informed decision regarding the safe use of kratom.

When not in the lab, Rakshit enjoys running and riding his bike. He also enjoys listening to music, especially Queen, and playing cricket and chess.

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Last Updated: December 15, 2020

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