Pai Lab Team

Abbie Leino is a Ph.D. student in the Clinical Pharmacy Translational Science program. Prior to her Ph.D., she received her PharmD from the University of Michigan, followed by residency and fellowship training in solid organ transplantation. Her practice as a clinical pharmacist has spanned the continuum of transplant care from pre-transplant evaluation through the initial hospitalization and into the outpatient setting. Grounded in this experience, her research interests include identifying strategies to optimize immunosuppression regimens through the application of innovative therapeutic drug monitoring, clinical PK/PD modeling, and interventions to incorporate patient preferences and behaviors to design more effective dosing regimens with fewer adverse events. She has a growing interest in expanding therapeutic drug monitoring to new patient populations, which have historically utilized “one-size-fits-all” regimens but may benefit from a precision dosing approach.


Her dissertation proposes to implement home therapeutic drug monitoring in transplant recipients using dried blood sampling. She hopes to increase the accuracy and frequency of monitoring to better understand and apply PK/PD relationships. Outside of work, she enjoys all forms of outdoor adventure and developing her crazy cat lady skills.



Abbie wins the ACCP Immunology and Transplant PRN New Investigator Award


Shuhan Liu received her bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China. While there she learned virtual screening and molecular modeling to conduct her first research project in the computer-aided drug design lab. After graduation, she came to the School of Pharmacy at University of Pittsburgh, where she continued molecular modeling studies and found a growing interest in pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modeling. She obtained her master’s degree in Phamarcometrics & Systems Pharmacology from Pitt. Now she is a PhD student in the Clinical Pharmacy Translational Science program at UM under the supervision of Dr. Pai. While collecting other computational “jigsaw puzzles” in pharmacogenomics and pharmacy informatics, her primary research interest is in PK/PD modeling guided dosing regimen design and optimization of extended-release oral drug formulations. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, sketching, and calligraphy.


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Levi Hooper, PharmD, is a 3rd-year CPTS graduate student whose proposal focuses on developing clinically translatable methods that accurately quantify kidney function across a broad range of kidney impairments. As a PharmD, Levi's professional journey has sparked a keen interest in intricate clinical scenarios involving precision pharmacology and the management of unstable renal function, particularly in cases of acute kidney injury and augmented renal clearance. Through this research, Levi’s goals are to improve drug dosing, decrease drug toxicity, and improve health outcomes for patients with kidney disease. Levi’s long-term research goals include empowering precision dosing of current and new therapeutic interventions and improving clinical trial design and translatability.




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Radin Alikhani received his PharmD from the Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Iran. While doing his PharmD, he participated in a few Medicinal Chemistry-related projects and from that point, he developed a primary interest in molecular modeling and computer-aided drug design (CADD). As a pharmacist, he was also interested in clinical studies and was passionate to integrate computational modeling with clinical studies. From that standpoint, he became familiar with the clinical pharmacology and pharmacometrics and followed his interest in pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modeling. Currently, he is a PhD student at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy. His dissertation is on modeling biological age-dependent changes in kidney drug elimination. He hopes to improve the precision of dosing with aging in older adults for drugs eliminated by kidneys. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities, listening to podcasts, and travelling.


Mohamed Abdelnabi I received my Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery (MB BCh) from College of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Egypt. Throughout Medical School, I participated in multiple research competitions, International Genetic Engineering Machinery (IGEM) competition in Boston was one of them, and my team was awarded a Bronze medal for the project “Azurin role in Blocking Breast Cancer proliferation”. During my internship year, I participated in 6-month clinical rotations in Department of Internal Medicine at several hospitals in the U.S.


After graduation, I completed a one-year post graduate accredited certificate program in Cancer Biology and Therapeutics at Harvard Medical School. In early 2020, I joined the University of Louisville – Division of Infectious Diseases as a Clinical Research Scholar. Some of the projects I worked on were incidence of hospitalized C. Diff infection in Louisville, Kentucky, serotype distribution of Streptococcus Pneumonia in hospitalized adults, and the role of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors against COVID-19 pathogenesis. Now, I am a Clinical Studies Coordinator for Dr. Sun’s and Dr. Pai’s new FDA G.I intubation grant. My primary research interest is in therapeutics development aiming to improve patient care. In my free time, I enjoy plenty of outdoor activities, traveling and playing video games.


Ken DeBacker received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Chicago. While there he worked as an organic chemist and conducted research centered on total synthesis and reaction methodology. Some of the projects he worked on include the total synthesis of the conidiogenone family of molecules as well as the investigation of thiiranium promoted cyclization reactions.


After exiting undergrad Ken decided to try working outside the lab, and now does a variety of coding tasks for the Pai lab, including, but not limited to, data analysis, UI development, and website upkeep. In his free time he enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and fishing.



Aleksas Matvekas earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences from Central Michigan University, where he found an interest in molecular and cancer biology. After graduating, he joined the Dr. Duxin Sun lab here at the University of Michigan, as a technician. In the Sun lab, he assisted in exploring epigenetic complexes and their involvement in triple-negative breast cancer, in addition to other lab functions.


Overtime, Alek started to play a role in the Pharmacokinetic Core, where he gained expertise in Pre-Clinical in vivo studies. He is now a part of the Pai lab, where he aids in clinical sample collection for the Preoperative Prophylactic Antibiotics study. His interests outside of work include sports, camping, and music.



Listing Row

Monday, February 19, 2018
Monday, February 19, 2018