Robert Betterton is the Drug Metabolism and Disposition Highlighted Trainee Author for the July 2022 issue. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Department of Medical Pharmacology. His mentor is Dr. Patrick Thomas Ronaldson. The DMD article that earned his selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is titled “Regulation of Blood-Brain Barrier Transporters by Transforming Growth Factor-β/Activin Receptor-Like Kinase 1 (TGF-β /ALK1) Signaling: Relevance to the Brain Disposition of 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl Coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) Reductase Inhibitors (i.e., Statins)” and is available at https://doi.org/10.1124/dmd.121.000781.
Mr. Betterton’s research focuses on the delivery of therapeutics to the central nervous system (CNS) with a specific focus on targeting endogenous transport mechanisms at the blood-brain barrier to improve the uptake of neuroprotective agents. This strategy is highly translational with a clear potential to improve current treatments for neurological diseases such as ischemic stroke. His recent findings show the ability to harness TGF-beta/ALK1 signaling pathways to control CNS uptake of statins, drugs that have proven efficacy in stroke patients. He is currently looking at how these mechanisms could play a larger role in optimizing CNS drug delivery for improved post-stroke neurological recovery and prevention of infarction progression.
The anticipated impact of his work will improve therapeutic treatments for ischemic stroke patients to limit morbidity and mortality.
When not in the lab, Robert enjoys watching and playing soccer. He also likes hiking and spending time with his two dogs.