Pharmacokinetic Modeling and Simulation (PKMS) Laboratory

@ The University of British Columbia

Optimizing the safe and effective use of medicines in underserved populations through modeling and simulation

Anil Maharaj

Anil Maharaj

Assistant Professor

University of British Columbia

Principal Investigator

Anil Maharaj is a Canadian pharmacist and researcher focused on clinical pharmacology and pharmacometrics. He obtained his Bachelor of Science at the University of Manitoba’s College of Pharmacy in 2008. After graduation and licensure, he practiced as a clinical pharmacist with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, providing pharmaceutical care as part of an integrated clinical care team. To pursue his ongoing research interest in the field of pharmacokinetics, he enrolled in the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy graduate program.

Following his doctorate in 2017, Dr. Maharaj pursued two postdoctoral fellowships at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Recent career milestones include receiving the Thrasher Research Fund’s Early Career Award and serving as a member of the editorial board for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring. Dr. Maharaj’s overarching career goal is to promote the safe and effective use of medications in children and underserved populations through advanced modeling and simulation techniques.

Download my resumé.

Interests

  • PopPK/PD modeling
  • PBPK modeling
  • Pediatric and obstetric pharmacology

Education

  • PhD in Pharmacy, 2017

    University of Waterloo

  • BSc in Pharmacy, 2008

    Unversity of Manitoba

Research

Appropriate drug dosing information for children and pregnant women is lacking. Often, health care providers are compelled to treat such patients using therapies and dosages that have yet to be adequately evaluated for safety and effectiveness. To address this knowledge gap, my laboratory focusses on the application of pharmacometrics to define appropriate dosing strategies in underserved patient populations.

Pharmacometrics is the field of study that resides at the intersection between drug pharmacology, organism physiology, and mathematics. My lab specializes in a particular branch of pharmacometrics called pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modeling. Pharmacokinetics is the study of the relationship between an administered dose and drug concentrations in the body; whereas, pharmacodynamics is the study of the relationship between drug concentrations in the body and drug effect. PK/PD modeling provides a platform to help researchers understand the relationship between dose administration and drug response. At its core, its goal is to define the right drug, at the right dose, for the right patient.

Data used to develop pharmacometric models can range from basic human physiological information to time-dependent drug concentrations in the body following dose administration. There remains significant information gaps that impede model development, particularly in children and pregnant women. To increase confidence in model predictions, my laboratory aims to incorporate benchtop research to identify biological differences between patient groups that drive changes in drug effect. Findings from benchtop studies can be integrated into pharmacometric models to provide a direct link between laboratory and clinic. The strength of this link shapes the laboratory’s mandate to prioritize research that can readily be translated towards improving patient clinical care.

Collaborate

Pharmacometrics can be integrated into most drug-based research programs. Models can be used to answer a variety of questions and integrate information across multiple study types (in-vitro, preclinical, and clinical).

Applications of pharmacometric modeling:

  • Establishing in-vitro in-vivo correlations for drug response
  • Optimizing preclinical and clinical study design
  • Defining first-in-human or pediatric dosing
  • Estimating the clinical impact of drug-drug interactions

Considering the diverse application of pharmacometric modeling, I am open to establishing collaborations across a range of research areas with partners in both industry and academia. Please get in contact if you would like to discuss potential collaborations.

Recent Publications

A complete list of publications can be found here.

Contact

  • anil.maharaj@ubc.ca
  • The University of British Columbia, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2405 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3