Eliza McColl is the Drug Metabolism and Disposition Highlighted Trainee Author for the January 2023 issue. Ms. McColl is a senior PhD candidate in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Micheline Piquette-Miller. The DMD article that earned her selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is a symposium report from the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Annual Symposium titled “COVID-19 Vaccines and the Virus: Impact on Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics” and is available at https://doi.org/10.1124/dmd.122.000934.
Ms. McColl’s research focuses on characterizing the impact of maternal health and environmental factors on the expression of drug and nutrient transporters in the placenta. Her primary focus is understanding how inflammation due to viral infection during pregnancy impacts amino acid transporter expression in the placenta and fetal brain and how this may impact offspring development. She has also examined how prenatal tobacco use affects the expression of drug and amino acid transporters in the human placenta.
Currently, Ms. McColl is examining the impact of a new rat model of viral infection during pregnancy on placental and fetal brain amino acid transport. This new model has relevance to COVID-19 and may provide insights into whether SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy alters placental and fetal amino acid transport. Since amino acids have essential roles in fetal growth and neurodevelopment, changes to their transport during pregnancy could impact fetal development. The anticipated impact of this research could be to provide a mechanism linking prenatal viral infection and neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia, which are more likely to occur in offspring prenatally exposed to viral infections.
Aside from her research, Eliza enjoys reading, birding, and nature photography.