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Obstetric and Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics Branch (OPPTB)

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Programs & Program Areas

Pharmacology is the study of drugs and their effects. Pharmacokinetics (PK) is the study of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination, while pharmacodynamics (PD) is the study of how drugs produce their effects on the body. Multiple gaps in knowledge regarding the use of therapeutics in children and pregnant women have resulted in inadequate labeling and in frequent off-label use of prescription drugs in those two populations. The NICHD and, in particular, OPPTB, supports research on various medications in children and pregnant women, primarily to help ensure their safety and usefulness for preventing, treating, and managing various diseases and disorders.

Specific areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Developmental pharmacology and toxicology
  • Development of formulations appropriate for pediatric use
  • Safety and PK studies in children and pregnant women
  • PD studies in children and pregnant women
  • Pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine in children and pregnant women
  • Identification of molecular targets and development of targeted medications in diseases that affect children and pregnant women
  • Identification of biomarkers appropriate for pediatric use
  • Study designs for small populations
  • Pre-clinical and non-clinical models of drug disposition and effect
  • Mechanisms of drug effects (efficacy and safety)
  • Mechanisms of changes in PK and PD over time, and throughout gestation
Last Reviewed: 09/22/2014

Contact Information

Name: Dr Anne Zajicek
Branch Chief
Obstetric and Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics Branch
Phone: 301-435-6865
Fax: 301-480-2897

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