The Bruce Mueller laboratory conducts clinical translational research about pharmacotherapy in patients with kidney disease. Because most drugs are eliminated by the kidneys, dose adjustment is often necessary for patients with kidney dysfunction. Further, patients with kidney failure receive renal replacement therapies like dialysis. These renal replacement therapies remove waste products from the patient, but they also remove drugs. It is a main goal of our lab to discover ways to ensure that patients receiving renal replacement therapies receive optimal pharmacotherapy.
We do this in many ways. We conduct clinical pharmacokinetic trials of drugs in patients receiving renal replacement therapies to learn how drugs move in the body when these therapies are used. Sometimes the study drug is not yet ready for trials in humans. In these cases we conduct in vitro trials in our many validated lab models of dialysis. When computer-based simulations can be used to predict how drugs will move in patients receiving renal replacement therapies, we will use those techniques. Other research revolves around inventing new, safer, and more efficient ways to provide renal replacement therapy to patients with kidney disease in the outpatient and inpatient settings. If you click on the publications tab on the left you can see that our group has added considerably to our understanding of drug therapy in patients with kidney disease over the years. Among the research questions we have tackled are developing safer ways to dialyze children, to investigating herbal medicines in patients with kidney disease, developing antibiotic and nutritional dosing guidelines for critically ill patients with acute kidney injury and patients receiving peritoneal and hemodialysis, developing more efficient dialysis by adding vibration to the dialysis process, investigating drug interactions between antibiotics and over the counter medications, and investigating the safety implications of re-using hemodialyzers.
Our research is multidisciplinary and our research team is made up of pharmacists, physicians, nurses, engineers, students, and laboratory personnel. Dr. Mueller leads a post-doctoral fellowship though the Clinical Pharmacy Department and it is these fellows who conduct the bulk of the clinical, laboratory, and mathematical studies from our lab. More information about the fellowship can be found here: https://pharmacy.umich.edu/cp/post-graduate-training