Dr. Wasan served as Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition from August 2014 to June 2019.
He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and 240 abstracts in the area of lipid-based drug delivery and lipoprotein-drug interactions. Dr. Wasan completed his undergraduate degree in Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin and his Ph.D. at the University of Texas Medical Center in Houston Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Cell Biology at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Wasan joined the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC until 2014.
Dr. Wasan was one of the recipients of the 1993 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Graduate Student Awards for Excellence in Graduate Research in Drug Delivery, the 2001 AAPS New Investigator Award/Grant in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutics Technologies, the 2002 Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada New Investigator Research Award and was named an AAPS fellow in 2006. In addition, Dr. Wasan was awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research University-Industry Research Chair in Pharmaceutical Development (2003-2008), was named a University Distinguished Scholar in April 2004, received the 2007 AAPS Award for Outstanding Research in Lipid-Based Drug Delivery, and the 2008 AFPC-Pfizer Research Career Award. In 2009, Dr. Wasan was named CIHR/iCo Therapeutics Research Chair in Drug Delivery for Neglected Global Diseases and in 2010, Dr. Wasan was named a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2011, Dr. Wasan was award the Canadian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences Leadership award for outstanding contributions to Pharmaceutical Sciences in Canada. Dr. Wasan has received support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and from several charitable foundations and pharmaceutical companies.
Area of Interest
The Role of Lipids and Lipoproteins in Modifying the Biological Activity of Water-Insoluble Drugs
The plasma lipoprotein distribution of potential drug candidates is not commonly studied. For some hydrophobic drug candidates, attainment of similar plasma free drug levels has not been associated with uniform production of pharmacological activity in different animal species. It is well known that plasma lipoprotein lipid profiles vary considerably between different animal species. In addition, human disease states can significantly influence plasma lipoprotein profiles resulting in altered drug therapeutic outcomes. A plausible explanation for these findings may be a result of lipoprotein drug transport within the systemic circulation. Elucidation of the mechanisms that dictate the lipoprotein binding of drugs may yield valuable insight into the factors governing the pharmacological activity and potential toxicity of these compounds. Furthermore, utilizing these factors to target compounds specifically to one lipoprotein subclass over another could, potentially, improve the drug’s efficacy and safety.
Over the past 14 years, Dr. Wasan and his research team have published a number of studies and established the experimental methodologies necessary to justify the importance of investigating the role of lipids and lipoproteins in modifying the biological activity of waterinsoluble drugs. With these research tools in place, Dr. Wasan and his team have demonstrated and provided the potential mechanisms by which water-insoluble drugs interact with lipids and lipoproteins and how these interactions impact on the absorption, distribution, efficacy, toxicity and metabolism of such compounds.
In the larger perspective, these studies have increased the understanding of the mechanisms involved in serum distribution of hydrophobic drugs. In contrast to albumin protein binding, lipoprotein binding of drugs is often overlooked and so the role of lipoproteins as possible intravascular carriers for hydrophobic compounds and their involvement in modifying the biological effects of drugs is a novel and pharmaceutically important discovery. In 2002, the FDA suggested that lipoprotein-drug distribution studies should be considered as part of any new IND application that contains a hydrophobic compound. In addition many pharmaceutical companies now screen hydrophobic compounds for plasma lipoprotein distribution.
Dr. Wasan has been actively engaged in the UBC-Neglected Global Diseases Initiative and publishing work in this area. The Neglected Global Diseases Initiative (NGDI) brings together the technical expertise and perspectives of a variety of disciplines – including bench science, pharmaceutical and health research, business, social policy, and law – to investigate effective ways of breaking down the present barriers to success in producing affordable, life-sustaining medicines for the treatment of the world’s most neglected diseases.
- Canadian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences Fellow Award. 2013
- Canadian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences Leadership Award. 2011
- Elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. 2010
- CIHR iCo Therapeutics Research Chair in Drug Delivery for Neglected Global Diseases ($643,000). 2009-2014
- Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada-Pfizer Research Career Award. 2008
- American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientist Outstanding Lipid-Based Drug Delivery Award. 2007
- Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. 2006
- Honorary Diploma from the Academie des Alpilles of France. 2006
- Gattefosse Canada/Canadian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Award. 2005
- Named 1 of 25 Up-and-Coming Innovators in BC by BC Business Magazine. 2004
- UBC Distinguished University Scholar, Junior Category ($10,000/year increase); 2004-2009
- CIHR University-Industry Research Chair. 2003-2008.
Wasan KM, Sivak O, Bartlett K, Wasan EK, Gershkovich P. (2014). Novel oral amphotericin B formulation (iCo-010) remains highly effective against murine systemic candidiasis following exposure to tropical temperature. Drug Dev Ind Pharm. Aug 29:1-6.
Osei-Twum JA, Wasan KM. (2014). Does P-glycoprotein contribute to amphotericin B epithelial transport in Caco-2 cells? Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2014 Jun 25:1-7.
Sachs-Barrable K, Conway J, Gershkovich P, Ibrahim F, Wasan KM. (2014). The use of the United States FDA programs as a strategy to advance the development of drug products for neglected tropical diseases.Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2014 Feb 11.
Kim, J. H., Cox, M. E., & Wasan, K. M. (2014). Effect of simvastatin on castration-resistant prostate cancer cells. Lipids in Health and Disease, 13(1).
Gershkovich, P., Ibrahim, F., Sivak, O., Darlington, J. W., & Wasan, K. M. (2014). A simple and sensitive method for determination of vitamins D3 and K1 in rat plasma: Application for an in vivo pharmacokinetic study. Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, 40(3), 338-344.
Gregory-Evans, C. Y., Wang, X., Wasan, K. M., Zhao, J., Metcalfe, A. L., & Gregory-Evans, K. (2014). Postnatal manipulation of Pax6 dosage reverses congenital tissue malformation defects. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 124(1), 111-116.
Kagan, L., Gershkovich, P., Wasan, K. M., & Mager, D. E. (2014). Dual physiologically based pharmacokinetic model of liposomal and nonliposomal amphotericin B disposition. Pharmaceutical Research, 31(1), 35-45.
Ibrahim, F., Sivak, O., Wasan, E. K., Bartlett, K., & Wasan, K. M. (2013). Efficacy of an oral and tropically stable lipid-based formulation of Amphotericin B (iCo-010) in an experimental mouse model of systemic candidiasis. Lipids in Health and Disease, 12(1).
Ibrahim, F., Gershkovich, P., Sivak, O., Wasan, E. K., & Wasan, K. M. (2013). Pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of amphotericin B following oral administration of three lipid-based formulations to rats. Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, 39(9), 1277-1283.
Lee, S. D., Thornton, S. J., Sachs-Barrable, K., Kim, J. H., & Wasan, K. M. (2013). Evaluation of the contribution of the ATP binding cassette transporter, P-glycoprotein, to in vivo cholesterol homeostasis. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 10(8), 3203-3212.
Lee, S. D., Osei-Twum, J. A., & Wasan, K. M. (2013). Dose-dependent targeted suppression of P-glycoprotein expression and function in Caco-2 cells. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 10(6), 2323-2330.
Ibrahim, F., Sivak, O., Wong, C., Hopkins, P., Midha, A., Gordon, J., . . . Wasan, K. M. (2013). Impact of co-administration of protonated nanostructured aluminum silicate (cholesterol absorption inhibitor) on the absorption of lipid soluble vitamins D3 and K1: An assessment of pharmacokinetic and in vitro intraluminal processing. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 49(2), 125-132.
Mawani, Y., Cawthray, J. F., Chang, S., Sachs-Barrable, K., Weekes, D. M., Wasan, K. M., & Orvig, C. (2013). In vitro studies of lanthanide complexes for the treatment of osteoporosis. Dalton Transactions, 42(17), 5999-6011.
Conway, J., Bero, L., Ondari, C., & Wasan, K. M. (2013). Review of the quality of pediatric medications in developing countries. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 102(5), 1419-1433.