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Researchers receive $17.1 million grant to study impact of drugs and medicines in pregnant women and children

INDIANAPOLIS—Researchers with Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Pediatrics and Division of Clinical Pharmacology in the Department of Medicine are studying how certain drugs and medications affect pregnant and lactating women and their children thanks to a new, five-year, $17.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Sara Quinney, PharmD, PhD“The goal is to bring together data sciences and clinical pharmacology research for maternal and pediatric populations to improve understanding of drug metabolism, distribution and effects,” said Sara Quinney, PharmD, PhD, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at IU School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Quinney is the principal investigator of the study along with Lang Li, PhD from Ohio State University.

The Maternal and Pediatric Precision in Therapeutics (MPRINT) Hub will serve as a national resource for multidisciplinary expertise and knowledge in maternal and pediatric therapeutics. The Indiana University-Ohio State University Maternal and Pediatric Precision in Therapeutics Data, Model, Knowledge and Research Coordination Center, or MPRINT-DMKRCC, is made up of six core components. The logistics core, outreach, dissemination and training core, pharmacometrics and clinical trial design core and real-world evidence core are led by IU, while the knowledgebase portal core is based at Ohio State University. The MPRINT Hub also consists of two Centers of Excellence in Therapeutics at Vanderbilt University and the University of California San Diego.

“At IU, we’re focused on coordinating MPRINT Hub activities, promoting educational opportunities, and pharmacometric modeling,” Quinney said. “We’re incorporating data from various sources, including literature and electronic health data, and developing models to promote our understanding of drug therapy for pregnant and lactating women and their children.” 

These models will integrate this data into models that describe the dynamic changes in physiology and drug metabolism across gestation, postpartum, lactation and childhood, incorporating sources of inter- and intra-individual variability such as race/ethnicity, pharmacogenomics, obesity, concomitant disease and disability to provide a platform to inform maternal and child therapies.

“The long-term goal of the project is to develop a national resource for research, drug development, and regulatory communities relating to maternal and pediatric therapeutics,” Quinney said. “The MPRINT Hub will serve as a catalyst for innovative and multidisciplinary research to accelerate maternal and pediatric precision therapeutics.”


IU School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the U.S. and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability.