September 14, 2009

Adverse reactions to drugs are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. However, there may be a way to predict which people are most likely to suffer a toxic side effect from a drug before they have even taken it. A study published in the online journal Genome Research (May 4, 2009) describes a more effective and less costly method for testing drugs for potential toxicity. The method also could result in more people benefiting from existing drugs, says senior author David Threadgill, PhD, professor of genetics in the UNC School of Medicine and head of the genetics department at North Carolina State University. Ivan Rusyn, MD, PhD, associate professor of environmental sciences and engineering in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is a study co-author. The National Institutes of Health funded the research.

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