Kerry B. Goralski
BSc (Biochemistry and Microbiology), University of Manitoba
PhD (Pharmacology and Therapuetics), University of Manitoba
Dr. Goralski obtained a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Microbiology and subsequently, a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from the University of Manitoba. He then moved to Nova Scotia and completed his post-doctoral training in the Departments of Pharmacology and Pediatrics at Dalhousie University. In January 2006, Dr. Goralski joined the College of Pharmacy at Dalhousie University as an Assistant Professor and is currently teaching pharmacokinetics at the College.
Obesity and metabolism: Globally, the incidence of obesity has increased markedly in recent years. This represents a major threat to human health as obesity is a well-established risk factor for the development of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension and is a leading cause of economic loss, individual disability and premature mortality. White adipose (fat) tissue, in addition to serving an important metabolic role, is an active endocrine organ that secretes a number of proteins with diverse biological activities. These compounds, collectively termed adipokines regulate feeding and energy balance, insulin sensitivity, lipid metabolism, blood pressure and inflammation. It is now evident that altered secretion and/or serum levels of these compounds are a central feature in obesity and type II diabetes. Following this, the pharmacological manipulation of adipokines and (or) their receptors may provide novel and innovative therapeutic strategies for prevention or management of obesity and type II diabetes. The major research program in our laboratory focuses on investigating the role of adipokines as pathogenic links between obesity and metabolic disorders. In this regard we are particularly interested in how adipokines act in the central nervous system to regulate feeding behavior and energy metabolism.
Drug metabolism and disposition: Clinical responses to therapeutic agents are highly variable from person to person. Much of this variability can be attributed to individual differences in drug metabolizing enzymes (e.g. cytochrome P450) and drug transporter proteins (e.g. P-glycoprotein) that play a key role in drug absorption into the circulation, drug distribution into tissues and drug elimination from the body. Genetic, biochemical, dietary factors and underlying diseases are known to influence the processes of drug metabolism and transport; thus, affecting whether a person responds favourably, adversely or not at all to a given drug therapy. Our major research focus is to understand how inflammatory diseases alter cytochrome P450 and drug transporter function in the liver and kidney and brain and how this impacts drug detoxification by the body. We are particularly interested in determining how inflammation mediated changes in blood brain barrier P-glycoprotein function leads to alterations in pharmacological or toxicological effects of therapeutic agents in the central nervous system.
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