Investigator Spotlights

Dartmouth researchers were awarded $17.5 million during December 2010 and January 2011. View the complete list of awards, as reported by the Office of Sponsored Projects. Here, Dartmouth Now spotlights two investigators and their work.

Lisa Adams, assistant professor of medicine

Sienna Craig, assistant professor of anthropology

World Health Organization

Current Administration Practices and Preferred Formulations of Children's Medicines

Small doses: Many medicines included in the World Health Organization (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines for Children do not exist in appropriate dosage forms for children. Even when pediatric formulations are available, they are not always available in actual clinical settings.

Future pharmaceuticals: Adams and Craig survey parents and caretakers, children between the ages of six and 12, and health care workers. The team collects information about current administration practices and formulation preferences, and provides information to guide future pediatric medicine development. Adams and Craig have worked in Tanzania and Ghana and will carry out a third iteration of the study in an additional country to be named later this year.

 

Critical step: “I find this project to be vitally important to our understanding about why medicines may fail in certain settings,” Adams says. “When we think about all the money and energy that is invested in drug development and distribution, it will be for nothing if things fall apart at the last critical step—when a parent or caregiver is at home administering the medicine to their child.”

Social value: “Much of my work as a medical anthropologist has explored the ways that medicines are used and regarded—what their values are, not only in pharmacological terms, but also socially,” Craig says. “This project represents an opportunity to bring an anthropological perspective to bear on a crucially important topic in global health research and health care delivery.”

Teamwork: Adams and Craig collaborate with former Dartmouth Medical School Dean Stephen Spielberg, now of the Institute for Pediatric Innovation; Dr. Elia John Mmbaga at the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania; and Dr. David Ofori-Adjei of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana. Dartmouth students Benjamin Campbell ’10 and Cameron Nutt ’11 have also worked with Adams and Craig on this project.