RTP DMDG History

“Most discoveries even today are a combination of serendipity and of searching.”

Siddhartha Mukherjee, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer”

Creation of the RTP DMDG

The Research Triangle Park (RTP) sits amid the three major university hubs (UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University and NC State University) in central North Carolina and is home to an array of universities, research organizations and scientific talent of global connection and significance.  The RTP DMDG was conceived as a simple way to foster local collegial interaction and awareness among Drug Metabolism professionals and students.

Both serendipity and searching qualifies the approach of many scientists. The July 1999 Gordon Conference on Drug Metabolism in New Hampshire was the venue for a chance conversation among two RTP scientists with the chair of the Delaware Valley Drug Metabolism Discussion Group, which had been formed in the 1970s. Such localized discussion groups provide an accessible and timely opportunity for interactions valuable to the discipline and profession of Drug Metabolism. The spark of an idea was born: could an RTP-based Drug Metabolism Discussion Group provide the same opportunity for scientists from academia, industry and government in RTP? With newfound excitement and a clear purpose, three scientists, Chris Kemper, Fred Pritchard and Cosette Serabjit-Singh took on the challenge of creating the RTP DMDG before the end of the year. 

An ad hoc organizing Steering Committee met in the RTP on September 10, 1999 at Glaxo Wellcome. The Executive Committee was formed to found a professional scientific non-profit organization to foster the discipline and profession of Drug Metabolism in the RTP. The Founding Executive Committee (link) represented academia, private non-profit and Federal research institutes, and pharmaceutical and contract research companies in the RTP. 

Our First Year (1999)

Oct 14th at the Radisson Hotel ,RTP, Paul Watkins MD, newly arrived to UNC, was the inaugural speaker on the topic:  “Citrus Juices and Intestinal Barrier Function in Man: Not Pulp Fiction”.  This inaugural meeting was a huge success with participation by 96 scientists, including 31 students.

The 1999-2000 program year included renowned speakers P. Fred Guengerich PhD of Vanderbilt University and Penny Manasco MD, of Glaxo Wellcome, now GlaxoSmithKline. Their topics together reflected an era of transition of Drug Metabolism from a foundation of preclinical, mechanistic basic research to a field with growing clinical consequence and importance to individuals and patient populations. 

From initial spark to the organization as it is today, the RTP DMDG seeks to foster the field and profession of drug metabolism through engineered serendipity and by inspiring curiosity and searching by its members. Join us: what might your visit spark? 

RTP DMDG Founding Executive Committee

To access bios, click here.

Chair: Cosette Serabjit-Singh, Glaxo Wellcome

Secretary: Christopher Kemper, Phoenix Intl Life Sciences

Treasurer: Fred Pritchard, Glaxo Wellcome

Student Representative: Keith Hoffmaster, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Executive Committee Members:

Linda Birnbaum, US-EPA

John Allis, US-EPA

Tom Burka, NIEHS

Ernest Hodgson, North Carolina State University

Mohamed Abou-Donia, Duke University

Dhiren Thakker, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ed LeCluyse, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Paul Watkins, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jane Harrelson, Glaxo Wellcome

Paul Johnson, Sphinx Pharmaceuticals

James Mathews, RTI

Greg Kedderis, CIIT

Administrative Support, DeLois Peace, Glaxo Wellcome