In the Philippines, an attempt to personalize drug dosage according to a patient’s most basic genetic structure was chosen as the best university scientific research this year. The research of molecular biology student Jann Adriel Sy from the University of the Philippines-Diliman seeks to help end cases of adverse drug reactions among patients that could result in death. Sy’s novel study on genetics-based drug dosage is entitled, “Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the 3′ untranslated region of the pregnane X receptor gene and inter-individual variability in drug responses.” The 21-year-old student is a fourth year student of BS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and is studying mutations on the 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR).
Sy said that a standard drug dosage cannot guarantee normal metabolic responses in every individual due to differences in genetic structure. A person with slow metabolism who takes 500-mg of the drug Acetaminophen could suffer from toxic side effects and ultimately, death, for example. Sy credited his thesis adviser for giving him the idea for his research to help reduce risks of side effects or of cases where drugs do not produce the claimed, intended benefit.
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