Serene Joseph is the Drug Metabolism and Disposition Highlighted Trainee Author for the June 2021 issue. She is a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Metabolic Disease Research at Temple University under the mentorship of Dr. Sheng Wu. At the time the work was performed, Dr. Joseph was a predoctoral trainee at the College of Pharmacy, University of Florida. Her mentor was Dr. Maureen Keller Wood. The DMD article that earned her selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is titled “Pharmacokinetic and Biochemical Profiling of Sodium Dichloroacetate in Pregnant Ewes and Fetuses” and is available at https://doi.org/10.1124/dmd.120.000330.
Dr. Joseph currently studies the molecular mechanism by which excess androgens mediate the development of metabolic and reproductive dysfunction in females with the aim to discover a potential therapeutic target that will ameliorate the effect of excess androgens in females. Her pre- and postdoctoral training is broadly focused on endocrinology. During her predoctoral training research, Dr. Joseph studied the adverse impact of maternal stress on the developing fetus using a large animal model. A large part of her research involved studying the impact of sodium dichloroacetate (DCA) on fetal lactate, a biomarker of fetal distress during labor and delivery. These studies were the first of its kind to show that DCA can cross the placenta and enter the fetus to attain therapeutic concentrations in a large animal model. It served as the basis of further studies where DCA was tested as a potential therapeutic intervention in laboring ewes.
The work of Dr. Joseph’s research in studying the adverse impact of maternal stress on developing fetuses is anticipated to aid further research to develop DCA as a potential therapeutic agent clinically for fetal distress.
When not in the laboratory, Serene enjoys gardening and spending time outdoors with her family.