Collaboration with Asian Institutes and SEAPharm

Core for Genomic Medicine

One of the aims of the Laboratory of International Alliance on Genomic Research is to promote research collaborations around the globe. We have established connections with the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at Academia Sinica in Taiwan where we will explore several diseases and pharmacogenetic studies (PGx) together. In addition, we will also work closely with the Taiwan Biobank to study complex diseases and PGx across the two populations. It has been noticed that rare adverse skin reactions called SJS/TENS occur at a much higher frequency in East Asian and Southeast Asian populations and that these drug induced adverse reactions have strong genetic associations. To tackle this problem, we established the South East Asian Pharmacogenomics Research Network (SEAPharm) together with five Asian countries (Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand). The aim of the collaborative effort is to identify significant PGx events important to the region, so that we can identify genetic markers associated with these adverse drug reactions, which could then lead to a reduction in these events. Our first project will be to study the genetic associations of phenytoin-induced SJS/TEN. In addition, we also aim to understand how the identified genetic markers lead to the adverse events. It is hoped that through the discoveries from our collaborative efforts, we will identify useful biomarkers that can be used to predict drug-induced adverse events, guide drug use and be useful in disease prediction/diagnosis.

Figure: South East Asian Pharmacogenomics Research Network (SEAPharm)

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