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2015 EACPT
Lifetime Award winner
Michel Eichelbaum
discusses pharmacogenetics
at the Madrid Congress





Michel Eichelbaum is one of the most cited pharmacologists in in the world. He has published nearly 500 articles, reviews and book chapters and numerous abstracts, and his work has been cited over 25,000 times by other authors. His primary research interest has been the pharmacogenetics of drug metabolizing enzymes and transporter proteins. He was also one of the pioneers of studying various aspects of the stereochemistry of drugs, the use of stable isotopes in clinical pharmacology and intestinal metabolism and transport of drugs.
 
In 1975, he discovered a genetic polymorphism in the oxidation of the antiarrhythmic and oxytocic drug, sparteine, which later became known as CYP2D6 polymorphism. This is considered his single most important scientific discovery. Later, he became involved in research on factors involved in the regulation of drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters with special emphasis on nuclear receptors. This basic research is supplemented by clinical studies in oncology with special emphasis on breast cancer treatment, HIV, psychiatry and organ transplantation in which the consequences of genetic polymorphisms of these proteins for drug effects and toxicity are explored.

He was born in Leipzig on 19 May 1941. He studied medicine at the University of Heidelberg between 1960 and 1966, and he defended his doctoral thesis at this University in 1968. During 1966 to 1968, he was an intern in Internal Medicine, Surgery and Gynaecology and Obstetrics. Between 1968 and1976, he was a resident in Internal Medicine at University Hospitals of Giessen and Bonn. From 1976-1985, he was attending physician and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology at the Department of Medicine, University of Bonn.

He is a specialist in both Clinical Pharmacology and in Internal Medicine. From 1985 and 21 years onwards, he was the Director of the Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Stuttgart, Germany. Simultaneously, he was Professor and Chairman of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Tübingen, and in 2001 he became Adjunct Professor at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

During his career, Michel Eichelbaum has obtained several Research Fellowships. During 1970-1971, he worked in the Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology, National Heart and Lung Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA, together with Drs. B.B. Brodie and J.R. Gillette. From 1973-1974, he was working at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, together with Professor Folke Sjöqvist, and from 1995-1996 he was a Visiting Professor at the Department of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, University of Adelaide, Australia. Michel Eichelbaum has received numerous awards and honours. This year, he was honoured with the Oscar B. Hunter Memorial Award in Therapeutics from the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He is the third European to receive this prize.

The EACPT was founded 22 years ago and now includes as members all national organisations for clinical pharmacology in Europe, as well as organisations from further afield internationally. The EACPT aims to provide educational and scientific support for the more than 4000 individual professionals interested in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics throughout the European region, with its congresses attended by a global audience. The EACPT also advises policy makers on how the specialty can contribute to human health and wealth.

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