(23 June 2023) Come and meet Victoria, Clinical Pharmacist and PhD student at Bradford University, whose PhD explores pharmacogenomic testing for older people.

Learn more about Victoria’s research and work in pharmacogenomics below.

Head and shoulders photograph of clinical pharmacist Victoria DavidTell us about you!

My name is Victoria David and I am a PhD student at the University of Bradford, and a hospital Pharmacist in Elderly Medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT). After beginning my academic journey with a Biomedical Sciences degree at Queen Mary University, I was drawn to pharmacy, leading to a Masters at the University of Hertfordshire and subsequent qualification as a pharmacist in 2019.

I am currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Bradford, funded by the LTHT. My research centres on implementing pharmacogenomics-guided care for older people in acute hospital settings as a medicines optimisation tool.


How did you get involved in genomics?

My introduction to genomics came during my Biomedical Sciences degree, leading to a profound fascination with pharmacogenomics. This interest deepened through a Genomics Education programme e-learning course on genomics in healthcare during my pharmacist pre-registration year.  Keen to see genomics applied in pharmacy, I seized a funded research opportunity at the University of Bradford offered by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, furthering my exploration of pharmacogenomics.


Tell us about your research and how it is important to medicines optimisation:

Pharmacogenomics allows for personalised medicine choices and dosing based on each individual’s genetic information.  My research orbits around pharmacogenomics as a medicines optimisation tool for older people. As these individuals often face age-related physiological changes, multiple health conditions and polypharmacy, they are especially vulnerable to adverse drug reactions.  In my research I spotlight this group as a priority for pharmacogenomic-guided care and make recommendations for its adoption in acute hospital settings.

Your experience and learning as part of the research:

My research journey has underscored the pivotal role the pharmacy team can play in incorporating pharmacogenomics into clinical practice, leveraging our expertise in pharmacology and medicines management.

I have observed an exciting momentum building in this field, with the promise of personalised medicine coming into sharper focus. I’m hopeful that my work will contribute to the growth of pharmacogenomics, informing future research and shaping policies in this field.

Any barriers or challenges and how you overcame them:

A significant hurdle I encountered was the recruitment of healthcare professionals for my studies. Their demanding schedules, amplified by ongoing operational pressures, often made participation difficult.

Despite these obstacles, their curiosity and interest in pharmacogenomics was evident. With persistence I was able to overcome this challenge and learn about the views of healthcare professionals on the idea of implementing pharmacogenomics in their clinical practice.

What educational resources or key papers would you recommend for someone new to pharmacogenomics?

For newcomers to the world of genomics and pharmacogenomics, there are several essential resources and papers I would recommend.

Firstly, to understand the current status and future perspectives of pharmacogenomics in clinical practice, the paper by Pirmohamed, M. “Pharmacogenomics: current status and future perspectives,” published in Nature Reviews Genetics is an excellent starting point.

Reference: Pirmohamed, M. Pharmacogenomics: current status and future perspectives. Nat Rev Genet24, 350–362 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41576-022-00572-8.

For a more specific insight into the application of pharmacogenomics, the Royal College of Physicians and the British Pharmacological Society’s report on ‘Personalised prescribing: using pharmacogenomics to improve patient outcomes’ is a must-read.

Reference: Royal College of Physicians and British Pharmacological Society. Personalised prescribing: using pharmacogenomics to improve patient outcomes. Report of a working party. London: RCP and BPS, 2022.