Alexander Smith

Project Description

My research interests are currently focused around drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. Our work is primarily focused on the phase II (conjugation) enzymes (particularly UDP-glucuronosyltransferase) with a strong focus on pregnancy and pediatrics. We use a number of lab-based biochemical techniques as well as in silico models to improve our understanding of developmental pharmacology, improve drug/chemical safety, and investigate environmental toxicology and endoctrinology. 
I am also interested in the use of in silico modeling techniques to develop protein-level strucutural homology models of the UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A6 enzyme to allow us to better understand the residues and features of the protein important in co-substrate and substrate binding, in the absence of a crystal structure. This is an outgrowth of work I did in my previous postdoc position with Dr. Tara Klassen (formerly at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC), that used these techniques to model the sodium channel SCN1A, a neuronal channel, that when mutated is known to cause severe epilepsy.

Research Interests

Drug Metabolism
Pharmacokinetics
UDP-glucuronosyltransferase
Pediatrics
Drugs in children
Drugs in pregnancy
Homology modeling
Ion channels

Research Methodology

BIOVIA Discovery Studio - in silico modeling
Molecular Devices Flex Station 3 - multi-mode microplate reader