Contact Global Health Pharmacology and Therapeutics (GH-Pharma) – Eleni Aklillu's research group

We conduct large multi-national clinical pharmacology research projects with focus on Global and major public health problems. Our research is focused on tropical pharmacology - investigating genetic and environmental factors influencing between individuals and population variations in treatment response, including efficacy and susceptibility to adverse events such as drug induced liver and CNS toxicity.

Our research

Our research initiatives span a diverse range of diseases, ranging from communicable to non-communicable, with a commitment to optimizing treatment strategies and preventive measures. This includes major infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, as well as Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) like schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), onchocerciasis (river blindness), and soil-transmitted helminths. We also extend our investigations to non-communicable diseases, including breast cancer chemotherapy, hospital-acquired infections, and antimicrobial resistance.

Our research dedication extends to advancing the field of clinical pharmacology, with a specific emphasis on understanding the complex interplay of genetic and non-genetic factors influencing treatment responses across diverse populations. We explore the impact of host-genetic factors, drug interactions, coinfections, comorbidities, and nutritional influences on both the safety and efficacy of therapeutic interventions. Our aim is to fill critical knowledge gaps and enhance the safety and efficacy of drug therapy.

Undertaking extensive population-based prospective patient cohort studies across various African countries, we carefully monitor these cohorts over extended treatment periods. This approach provides us with comprehensive insights into drug interactions and treatment outcomes, enhancing our understanding of factors influencing drug absorption, metabolism, and how drug response varies across diverse populations. Our goal is to contribute valuable information to optimize treatment strategies for various infectious diseases in the African context, ultimately leading to more effective and tailored healthcare interventions.

As the coordinator of several impactful projects, we are actively leading efforts to strengthen pharmacovigilance and post-marketing surveillance regulatory capacity in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda through the PROFORMA project. This initiative specifically targets mass drug administration and vaccinations to ensure the safety and effectiveness of public health interventions.

In the PREGART project, a randomized non-inferiority clinical trial in Uganda and Ethiopia, we are rigorously examining the safety and efficacy of dolutegravir and low dose efavirenz for pregnant and breastfeeding women, providing valuable insights to optimize HIV treatment strategies during pregnancy.

Under the coordination of the BREEDIME project, we actively work to strengthen regulatory frameworks and practices related to medicines, medical devices, diagnostics, research ethics, and clinical trials in Tanzania and Rwanda. This comprehensive effort spans routine and emergency health situations, addressing critical aspects of healthcare delivery.

Additionally, through the RER-CTO project, we aim to strengthen the ethical and regulatory ecosystem for the Transformation of Clinical Trials Oversight in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and beyond. 

Our overarching mission is to generate evidence-based recommendations that empower policymakers to enhance and revise treatment guidelines and global health policies. contributing to a more effective and targeted approach in healthcare practices.

Research areas

  1. Treatment optimization of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria - 'The big three”
  2. Maternal and child health
  3. Neglected tropical diseases (diverse group of infectious diseases that are endemic in tropical and subtropical regions, such as schistosomiasis, leishmaniosis, onchocerciasis)
  4. Discovery and validation of novel genetic, metabolic and proteomic biomarker for drug induced liver toxicity
  5. Non-communicable diseases (breast cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases)
  6. Antimicrobial resistance, community and hospital acquired infections.
  7. Pharmacovigilance and post-marketing surveillance in public health program involving mass-drug-administration and immunization.
     

External funding

European Union, H2020 - European and developing countries clinical trial partnership (EDCTP), Swedish research council, Swedish development cooperation agency (Sida), MSB-Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, Astra-Zeneca

Current Ongoing Research projects

  1. Pharmacovigilance infrastructure and post-marketing surveillance system capacity building for regional medicine regulatory harmonization in East Africa- (Acronym - PROFORMA) (http://proforma.ki.se/).
     
  2. Safety and efficacy of Dolutegravir and EFV400 for pregnant and breastfeeding women: a randomized non-inferiority clinical trial (Acronym - PREGART) (https://www.pregart.eu/).
     
  3. Effectiveness dihydroartemisinin -piperaquine versus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine for prevention of falciparum malaria infection during pregnancy in Tanzania.
     
  4. Randomized clinical trial to determine the efficacy and safety of Praziquantel combined with Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine versus Praziquantel alone for the treatment of schistosomiasis in Tanzania.
     
  5. Safety and efficacy surveillance of praziquantel and albendazole mass drug administration for prevention and treatment of schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths in Rwanda and Ethiopia.
     
  6. Active Safety and Efficacy Surveillance of Ivermectin and Albendazole for prevention and treatment of lymphatic filariasis in Tanzania.
     
  7. Active Surveillance of Ivermectin/Albendazole/ Diethylcarbamazine in Lymphatic Filariasis Control Program in the Coastal Region of Kenya.
     
  8. Factors affecting malaria treatment outcome among pregnant women treated with artemether-lumefantrine in Tanzania.
     
  9. Optimization of pediatric antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa.
     
  10. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacogenetics of Cyclophosphamide and tamoxifen for the treatment of Breast Cancer patients in Ethiopia.

Research techniques

  • Clinical research – Observational, Prospective Cohort studies, Cross sectional studies, randomized clinical trials, Case control studies, Drug interaction studies, etc
  • Biomarker discovery and validation
  • Pharmacogenetics - Genotyping, DNA sequencing, bioinformatics
  • Phenotyping - LC/MS/MS, GC/MS, HPLC
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Quantitative PCR
  • Population PK-PD-PG modelling
  • Epigenetic studies

Teaching assignments

  • Research methodology,
  • Pharmacology Pharmacogenetics
  • Infectious diseases pharmacology
  • Antiretroviral pharmacology
  • Antimalarial drugs Pharmacology

News from the research group

Upcomning events

Members and contact

Group leader

All members of the group

Projects

Doctoral theses

2023

2022

2021

2020

Birkneh Tilahun Tadesse. Thesis: Optimization of pediatrics antiretroviral treatment outcomes among HIV infected children in Ethiopia.

2016

Erik Sparve. Thesis: Clinical studies of CYP3A4 and P-glycoprotein.

2015

2013

2012

2011

2010

Annika Allqvist. Thesis: The role of CYP3A4/5 in alprazolam metabolism.

2008

Roza Ghotbi. Thesis: Genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors of importance for CYP1A2 catalyzed drug metabolism.