Genomics of adverse response to antiepileptic drugs
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Although highly efficacious, antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are associated with a range of side effects. This project will focus on two types of side effects: skin reactions and psychosis, which are severe and largely unpredictable by clinical risk factors but likely to have a strong genetic basis. Identifying the genetic markers will help patient selection and inform future drug development.
Severe cutaneous adverse drug reactions (cADRs), such as Stevens Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), are among the most feared adverse effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) not only because of their high mortality and morbidity, but also because of their unpredictability. Dissecting the genetic basis for these ADRs will have major impact on “personalised” drug selection, and the insights gained on the chemico-biological pathways will help future design of safer medications.
This project represents an exceptional opportunity to effectively and efficiently discover these variants in a unique subject cohort (drug-exposed cases and controls) using the latest genotyping and sequencing platforms. More than one student will be needed for various aspects, including patient recruitment and phenotyping. In addition, there will be opportunity for the student to be part of the data analysis team, thus basic knowledge in bioinformatics and genetic statistics is essential.
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