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Drug Metabolism and Disposition Highlighted Trainee Author, October 2021

October 04, 2021

Jessica Beers

Jessica Beers, PharmD is the Drug Metabolism and Disposition Highlighted Trainee Author for the October 2021 issue.  Dr. Beers is a postdoctoral trainee at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Her mentor is Klarissa Jackson, PhD.  The Drug Metabolism and Disposition article that earned her selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is titled “Cytochrome P450-Catalyzed Metabolism of Cannabidiol to the Active Metabolite 7-Hydroxy-Cannabidiol” and is available at
https://doi.org/10.1124/dmd.120.000350.

Dr. Beers’ areas of research are drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenetics, and drug-induced liver injury.  Her current work is focused on examining the metabolism and mechanism(s) of hepatotoxicity of cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis constituent and FDA-approved treatment for epilepsy that has gained widespread popularity in the consumer market. While CBD has demonstrated benefits in reducing seizures and has some evidence of benefit for many other indications, little is known about how this drug can cause dose-limiting hepatotoxicity in patients and healthy volunteers. She seeks to understand how the metabolism of cannabidiol may influence the risk of CBD-mediated hepatotoxicity, and to identify the patient-specific factors associated with this adverse reaction.

The anticipated impact of Dr. Beers’ research is to improve our current understanding of cannabidiol-associated toxicity in pediatric patients treated for epilepsy and in consumers using a wide variety of cannabidiol-containing products. These data can inform guidelines for safer dosing and avoiding drug interactions, preventing future instances of cannabidiol-induced liver injury. 

When not in the lab, Jessica enjoys backpacking in and around the Appalachian Mountains.  She also enjoys reading science fiction, growing and eating her own vegetables, and painting.

 

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