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Francesca Aweeka, PharmD

Dr. Aweeka's research interests are in the areas of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, primarily for antiviral and antimalarial drugs. She has carried out various projects evaluating the disposition of antiviral drugs near the site of pharmacological activity (i.e., active drug within peripheral blood mononuclear cells). In addition, her expertise lies in investigating the disposition of drugs in distinct populations including pregnant women and patients with concomitant illnesses such as renal disease. More recently her work has expanded to study the pharmacology of artemisinin-based antimalarial therapy in children in Uganda and in the context of antiviral drugs required for patients co-infected with malaria and HIV. Malaria and HIV co-infection is a growing problem in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Aweeka directs the Drug Research Unit (DRU) at San Francisco General Hospital, based within the Department of Clinical Pharmacy; and is prinicipal investigator of the UCSF Pharmacology Laboratory for the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Group (IMPAACT), and the Pharmacology Core of the UCSF-GIVI Center for AIDS Research. The DRU specializes in state-of-the-art analytical methodologies for antiretroviral drugs within plasma and target tissues. In addition, the DRU has developed assays for the most commonly prescribed antimalarial drugs.

Key Publications:

1. Aweeka FT, Kang M, Yu JY, Lizak P, Alston B, Chung RT; AIDS Clinical Trials Group 5092s Study Team. Pharmacokinetic evaluation of the effects of ribavirin on zidovudine triphosphate formation: ACTG 5092s Study Team. HIV Med. 2007 Jul;8(5):288–94.

2. German P, Greenhouse B, Coates C, Dorsey G, Rosenthal PJ, Charlebois E, Lindegardh N, Havlir D, Aweeka FT. Hepatotoxicity due to a drug interaction between amodiaquine plus artesunate and efavirenz. Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Mar 15;44(6):889–91.

3. Aweeka FT, Rosenkranz SL, Segal Y, Coombs RW, Bardeguez A, Thevanayagam L, Lizak P, Aberg J, Watts DH; NIAID AIDS Clinical Trials Group. The impact of sex and contraceptive therapy on the plasma and intracellular pharmacokinetics of zidovudine. AIDS. 2006 Sep 11;20(14):1833–41.



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