Skip to main content

Steven Leeder, PhD

Steven Leeder, PhD

Director, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutic Innovation
Children's Research Institute

J. Steven Leeder, PharmD, PhD, is currently the Marion Merrell Dow/Missouri Endowed Chair in Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology, Director of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutic Innovation and Associate Chair-Research, Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Mercy.

He holds appointments as Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Courtesy Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan., and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan.

Under Dr. Leeder’s direction, this program has built multidisciplinary teams of researchers with expertise in analytical chemistry, drug biotransformation, gene regulation, pharmacogenomics, and pharmacokinetics. Together, they are investigating variability in medication response in children. Their goal is to implement precision therapeutics in pediatric populations.

The Children’s Mercy Clinical Pharmacology program is the largest in North America and one of four Specialized Centers for Research in Pediatric and Developmental Pharmacology (RPDP) investigating the use of medications in children. The program will serve as a model of integrated research that will extend throughout the Children’s Research Institute.

Dr. Leeder is certified in Applied Pharmacology by the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology and has been active in several academic societies related to drug metabolism and clinical pharmacology. He has served as Chair of the Drug Metabolism Section of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), currently is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Publication Trustees for ASPET, and has served as Chair of the Pediatric, Perinatal and Maternal Pharmacology section of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT).

Dr. Leeder’s research focuses on characterization of the relative contributions of ontogeny, genetic variation, and disease to observed variability in drug disposition and response in children. Over the years, these research activities have coalesced into the GOLDILOKs initiative: Genomic- and Ontogeny-Linked Dose Individualization and cLinical Optimization for Kids with current funding as one of four Specialized Centers for Research in Pediatric Developmental Pharmacology supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development.

He has published over 200 papers and 250 abstracts in the areas of pediatric clinical pharmacology, pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics, and drug metabolism. He serves as Associate Editor for Drug Metabolism and Disposition, Consulting Editor for Pharmacology Research & Perspectives and is on the Editorial Board of the journals Pharmacogenomics and Annals of Pharmacology.

Dr. Leeder earned his bachelors of science in pharmacy from the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario; his doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.; and his doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Toronto.