NIH grant aims to prevent life-threatening drug interactions

Drug Research.

By Kara Sweet

Published November 17, 2021

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are a class of drugs often used to treat a variety of different cancers, usually with significant success. 

“This study will aid the design of new therapeutics or dosing strategies that will prevent life threatening side effects. ”
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Jason Sprowl, PhD.

Unfortunately, when these drugs are used in combination with other medications, harmful side effects can be experienced by patients.

Jason Sprowl, PhD, is the recipient of a multi-year, $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to explore how TKIs inactivate specific drug transporting proteins in the liver that under normal circumstances regulate clearance of drugs. Without these proteins being active, the levels of co-administered medications in the blood will rise which can lead to potentially life-threatening side effects.

“To date our group has already discovered that tyrosine kinase inhibitors turn off proteins that keep these transporter proteins in an active state” Sprowl says. “This study will investigate how this inactivation occurs and will help in the design of new therapeutics or dosing strategies that will sustain the function of these important proteins, thus preventing life threatening side effects.”

The grant runs through August 2026.

For over 130 years, the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has continually been a leader in the education of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, renowned for innovation in clinical practice and research. The school is accredited by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education and is the No. 1 ranked school of pharmacy in New York State and No. 14 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

For more information about the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences visit