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Name: Erica Woodahl

Title: Associate Professor


Phone: 406-243-4129

Office: SB 480



After completing a B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame in 1998, Erica Woodahl received a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of Washington in 2004. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Pharmacokinetics at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. She moved to the University of Montana as an Assistant Professor in 2007 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012.


Research Statement

The research in the lab is in the field of pharmacogenomics — the study of the relationship between genetic variation and response to drug therapy. Genetic variation in genes important in drug disposition alters the pharmacokinetics and ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination) of many therapeutic compounds. Our research focuses on pharmacogenomics in drug-metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters to understand interindividual variability in drug response and toxicity.

The first major focus of the lab is to study pharmacogenomics in American Indian populations in partnership with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Northwestern Montana. This work includes the identification and characterization of genetic variation in genes that predict drug response and toxicity (particularly cytochrome P450 drug-metabolizing enzymes), as well as community-based participatory research to aid in the translation of pharmacogenomic research into the clinic. Our initial emphasis is on genes that influence response to cancer chemotherapy. This research is funded by the Northwest-Alaska Pharmacogenomics Research Network (NWA-PGRN) to address pharmacogenomics research in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations.

The second major focus of the lab is to evaluate pharmacogenomics in genes that encode drug transporters. The main drug transporter of interest is P-glycoprotein (ABCB1/MDR1) that is a member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily of transporters. Genetic variability in P-glycoprotein may alter the distribution of drugs into target cells and tissues, the development of multidrug resistance in cancer, and the susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. We are using a combination of computational, lipid-based (nanodisk), cell-based, and in vivo models to study the functional consequence of genetic variation in P-glycoprotein.


Woodahl Lab Group

Meg Trahey -- Postdoctoral Fellow

Rachel Dalton -- Research Technician

Sarah Lacher -- Graduate Student

Chelsea Morales -- Graduate Student

Kasse Skagen -- Graduate Student

Harmen Steele -- Graduate Student



Lacher SE, Gremaud JN, Skagen K, Steed E, Dalton R, Sugden KD, Cardozo-Pelaez F, Sherwin CM, and Woodahl EL. Absence of P-glycoprotein Transport in the Pharmacokinetics and Toxicity of the Herbicide Paraquat. J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 2013 Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print]

Fohner A, Muzquiz LI, Austin MA, Gaedigk A, Gordon A, Thornton T, Rieder MJ, Pershouse MA, Putnam EA, Howlett K, Beatty P, Thummel KE, and Woodahl EL. Pharmacogenetics in American Indian populations: analysis of CYP2D6, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, and CYP2C9 in the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Pharmacogenet Genomics, 23:403-14, 2013.

McCune JS, Woodahl EL, Furlong T, Storer B, Wang J, Heimfeld S, Deeg HJ, and O'Donnell PV. A pilot pharmacologic biomarker study of busulfan and fludarabine in hematopoietic cell transplant recipients. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol, 69:263-72, 2012.

Boyer BB, Dillard D, Woodahl EL, Whitener R, Thummel KE, and Burke W. Ethical Issues in Developing Pharmacogenetic Research Partnerships with Indigenous Communities. Clin Pharmacol Ther, 89:343-5, 2011.

Woodahl EL, Crouthamel MH, Bui T, Shen DD, and Ho RJYMDR1 (ABCB1G1199A (SER400ASN) Polymorphism Alters Transepithelial Permeability and Sensitivity to Anticancer Agents. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 64:183-188, 2009.

Woodahl EL, Wang J, Heimfeld S, Sandmaier BM, and McCune JSIntracellular Disposition of Fludarabine Triphosphate in Human Natural Killer Cells. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 63:959-964, 2009.

Woodahl EL, Wang J, Heimfeld S, Sandmaier BM, O'Donnell PV, Phillips B, Risler L, Blough DK, and McCune JSA Novel Phenotypic Method To Determine Fludarabine Triphosphate Accumulation in T-Lymphocytes from Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Patients. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 63:391-401, 2009.

Woodahl EL, Wang J, Heimfeld S, Ren AG, and McCune JSImatinib Inhibition of Fludarabine Uptake in T-Lymphocytes. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 62:735-739, 2008.

Woodahl EL, Hingorani SR, Wang J, Guthrie KA, McDonald GB, Batchelder A, Li M, Schoch HG, and McCune JSPharmacogenomic Associations in ABCB1 and CYP3A5 with Acute Kidney Injury and Chronic Kidney Disease after Myeloablative Hematopoietic Cell TransplantationPharmacogenomics J 8:248-255, 2008.

Woodahl EL. Pharmacology of Personalized Chemotherapy Management (PCM)Saladax Biomedical. 2006.

Woodahl EL, Yang Z, Bui T, Shen DD, and Ho RJYMDR1 G1199A Polymorphism Alters Permeability of HIV Protease Inhibitors Across P-glycoprotein-Expressing Epithelial Cells. AIDS 14:1617-1625, 2005.

Woodahl EL and Ho RJYThe Role of MDR1 Genetic Polymorphisms in Interindividual Variability in P-glycoprotein Expression and FunctionCurr Drug Metab 5:11-19, 2004.

Woodahl EL and Ho RJYAugmentation of Cell-Mediated Immunity to Virus. In: Cellular Drug Delivery: Principle and Practice. Ed: D. Robert Lu and Svein Øie, Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ, 2004.

Woodahl EL, Yang Z, Bui T, Shen DD, and Ho RJYMultidrug Resistance Gene G1199A Polymorphism Alters Efflux Transport Activity of P-glycoprotein. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 310:1199-1207, 2004.

Yang Z, Woodahl EL, Wang XYBui T, Shen DD, and Ho RJYSemi-Quantitative RT-PCR Method to Estimate Full-Length mRNA Levels of the Multidrug Resistance GeneBiotechniques 33:196-203, 2002.

The University of Montana-Missoula
The Department of Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences
32 Campus Drive, Skaggs 395
Missoula, MT 59812-1552
Phone 406.243.4767 Fax: 406.243.5228

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