"I find it fascinating how drugs can have such a big effect on our bodies. Pain disappears, a tumor shrinks... I have investigated drugs that prevent tumor cells from dividing: cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, CDK-inhibitors. These work if the right drug concentration can be reached in the tumor: effective, but not toxic. I have developed new bioanalytical methods to determine the drug concentration in various tissues and blood plasma. Those methods are useful in the clinic as well as in scientific research. I have used them in my own research to find out what happens to these CDK-inhibitors inside of the body and to study how specific proteins called drug transporters and drug-metabolizing enzymes affect their fate. These drugs, for example, cannot reach the brain because two drug transporters block them at the blood-brain barrier. I discovered that this can be prevented by inhibiting the drug transporters."
Alejandra Martínez Chávez will defend his or her thesis on November 10.