Special Populations (SPO) Community

The Special Populations Community focuses on research with groups of patients that differ with regard to human development (pediatrics, geriatrics, pregnancy), gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, body condition (obesity/malnutrition), or lifestyle (drug dependence, smoking).

Community Mission

The mission of the Special Populations Community is to engage members in clinical pharmacology and translational medicine research across academia, regulatory agencies, and industry to understand factors that contribute to variable therapeutic outcomes in special populations.

Community Goals

  • Provide a Community environment that fosters the development of much needed scientific expertise in special populations, including an appreciation for the diversity of the research in special populations.
  • Encourage the development of innovative pharmacological tools to engage special populations in research.
  • Stimulate scientific collaborations among clinical pharmacologists with interests in special populations and encourage the sharing of knowledge about common challenges in conducting research in special populations.
  • Provide a platform to collaborate with regulatory agencies to disseminate knowledge and expertise for the enhancement of guidelines on special populations.
  • Support members to propose and sponsor programming for ASCPT Annual Meetings as well as webinars and other educational resources throughout the year that are of interest to the SPO Community.
  • Encourage feedback from the SPO Community members and be responsive to ideas, initiatives, and involvement.

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Upcoming Webinar
ASCPT Members-Only Webinar presented by the Special Populations Community
Title:Oral Drug Absorption in Pediatrics: What Do We Know and Where Are We Going?
Date and Time: Friday, November 15, 2019, 11:00 am ET
Speakers: Hannah Batchelor, PhD, and Trevor Johnson, PhD
Moderator: Farzaneh Salem, PharmD, PhD
Description: Oral administration is the most common and perhaps the most acceptable route of administration, especially in pediatrics. The therapeutic agent is required to pass the gastrointestinal barrier to exert systemic effects. Age-related physiological and anatomical differences between pediatrics and adults that could potentially impact oral absorption are well-known. However, it is less understood how and to what extent these differences and their variability will affect the systemic exposure and bioavailability of drugs and how this knowledge can be translated into modelling and simulation to enhance our understanding of oral drug absorption. A sound understanding of the interplay between underlying mechanisms of dissolution, permeation and metabolism are required for optimizing absorption and pharmacotherapy in this population. This presentation will include:
  • Comparison of physiological, biochemical and other differences relevant to pharmacokinetics (PK) and formulations in pediatrics
  • Potential role of modeling and simulations (including PBPK modeling) in improving our understanding of absorption and dose optimization in this population.
Registration Link: 

ASCPT Members-Only Webinar presented by the Special Populations Community
Title:  Recent Advances in Neonatal Clinical Pharmacology
Date and Time: Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 11:00 am ET
Speakers and Panelists: David Taft, PhD, and Khaled Abduljalil, PhD
Moderator: Farzaneh Salem, PharmD, PhD
Description: Neonates are one of the most challenging groups of patients when optimizing pharmacotherapy. This is partially due to the rapid physiological and maturational changes that occur in this population, as well as our limited knowledge of the impact of these changes on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs in neonates. Prematurity adds another layer of complexity. Clinical trials are seldom performed to establish appropriate dosing in this population. Modeling and simulation techniques and, more recently, physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling have opened new prospects in the clinical management and dose selection for neonates. The major advances and challenges in modeling and simulations that enable prediction of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics in neonates will be presented in this webinar. This presentation will include an overview of physiological changes in preterm neonates required to develop a PBPK model for preterm population as well as application of preterm PBPK models to predict pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Discussion will include the potential role of modeling and simulations in improving our understanding and dose optimization in this population. Lastly, a case study will be presented with the antibiotic medication gentamicin that illustrates how PBPK modeling can provide practitioners with a scientific rationale for dosage regimen selection in preterms, thereby promoting safe and effective therapeutic interventions in this patient population.
Registration Link: 

Past Webinars

Bianca van Groen, PharmD

Community Chair


Violette Gijsen, MsC, PhD, MD

Community Vice Chair


Pooja Manchandani, PhD

Community Vice Chair


Paulien Ravenstijn, PhD

Community Past Chair


SPO Steering Committee
Akshanth Polepally, PhD
Erica Woodahl, PhD
Malaz AbuTarif, PhD
Elimika Fletcher, PharmD, PhD
Kit Wun Kathy Cheung, PharmD
Manoranjenni Chetty, PhD
David Hahn, PhD
Stephani Stancil, PhD
Anh Duong, PharmD
Benjamin Weber, PharmD, PhD
Farzaneh Salem, PharmD, PhD
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