Rachel L. Chevalier, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine; Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Kansas School of MedicineFull Biography
Rachel Chevalier, MD, Gastroenterology, was recently awarded a 2-year, $150,000 George Ferry Young Investigator Development Award from the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) Foundation.
The funding goes toward her project “Mucosal CYP3A4 and P-gp mediated drug metabolism of budesonide in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).”
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic disease of the esophagus, causing a variety of symptoms including poor weight gain, vomiting, or difficult or painful swallowing. Over time, patients can develop scar tissue causing strictures and food impaction. EoE is currently managed with extensive elimination diets or corticosteroids, which include oral budesonide. Unfortunately, elimination diets are challenging to implement and more than a quarter of patients with EoE fail to achieve disease remission with budesonide therapy. No methods are currently available to predict which patients will fail and which will respond to budesonide treatment.
Dr. Chevalier’s study investigates the factors that lead to patients not responding to budesonide therapy.
“The long-term goal is to develop precision therapeutics for EoE by focusing on targeted, individualized drug delivery of oral, locally acting medications. We will evaluate drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters in the esophagus and how they affect treatment with budesonide in pediatric patients with EoE,” said Dr. Chevalier.
Prediction of therapeutic response to budesonide, like Dr. Chevalier’s study aims to do, will help patients, families, and physicians optimize EoE therapy and decrease time to remission, number of endoscopy procedures, exposure to anesthesia, and morbidity from disease.
The George Ferry Young Investigator Development grant is awarded to support a meritorious clinical, quality improvement, translational or basic science research project related to diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas or nutritional disorders of children.
“This is a highly competitive grant with a large number of applications from most major pediatric gastroenterology programs and a truly outstanding accomplishment!” wrote Craig Friesen, MD, then Division Director of Gastroenterology.