Title: Director of the Infectious Disease Pharmacokinetics Laboratory
College/Institute: EPI, Pharmacy and Medicine
Research interests: therapeutic drug monitoring; treatments for serious infections
Curriculum vitae: PDF
Charles Peloquin, Pharm D., holds joint appointments between EPI and the College of Pharmacy. He directs the Infectious Disease Pharmacokinetics Laboratory, which has been located for the past 20 years at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado. However, in joining EPI, Peloquin and his team of three chemists moved the IDPL to the University of Florida where it supports the clinical and research efforts of both the colleges and EPI, and is located within the College of Pharmacy.
Peloquin’s clinical focus is the treatment of patients with serious infections, including tuberculosis, HIV and fungal infections. His lab provides therapeutic drug monitoring using high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography. Therapeutic drug monitoring has been around for several decades, but his lab focuses on drugs used for tough infections that most other labs do not study. For two decades, Peloquin has developed individualized drug regimens by monitoring a patient’s blood plasma or serum for target drug concentrations and then interpreting these results and advising physicians how to adjust a drug’s dosage to achieve an optimal outcome. This process allows his team to assess each patient’s ability to absorb, metabolize and excrete drugs, which then enables him to recommend customized drug dosages based upon these pharmacokinetic factors as well as the severity of the patient’s infection. Tuberculosis is a major focus of the IDPL, but they also develop drug regimens for cancer patients who develop serious fungal infections, people who are HIV-positive and acquire secondary opportunistic infections, patients with non-TB mycobacterial infections, or people who do not absorb their medication well because of underlying conditions.
“When patients do not have your typical ‘garden variety’ clinical presentation — when they are an outlier for whatever reason, two standard deviations or more away from the norm — those are the patients for whom clinicians will choose to do therapeutic drug monitoring,” Peloquin says. “For some of these patients, if you don’t get things right quickly, they could die. Their liver may not be working correctly, and they could overdose easily; or they may have severe diarrhea causing them to clear the drugs too quickly, or maybe they have diabetes and their absorption is delayed.”
Peloquin’s lab is unique in the United States. No other lab offers the testing that he does combined with his finely detailed interpretations of the results as applied to adjusting the drug regimens of individual patients. The IDPL typically processes about 12,000 samples per year.
“There are very few clinicians that are experienced in interpreting these tests,” Peloquin says. “Other laboratories can do the tests, but they can’t tell you what the next steps for the patient should be, because they don’t have the clinical experience that we do.”
Peloquin’s research focus is the development of new drugs and new multi-drug regimens for the successful treatment of TB and other mycobacterial infections. Peloquin’s research was among the first to document that HIV-positive patients were not absorbing their TB drugs. Currently he has contracts with the CDC, and in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University, contracts with the NIH, Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, and the Gates Foundation.
Infectious Disease Pharmacokinetics Lab
College of Pharmacy, and Emerging Pathogens Institute
University of Florida
1600 SW Archer Rd., Rm P4-33
Gainesville, FL 32610-0486