pHUBpk pharmacokinetics on the pharmaHUB

By Stephen D. Stamatis; Michael McLennan1; Lee E. Kirsch

1. Purdue University



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An active learning paradigm engages students and allows them to experience the material rather than simply reading and memorizing trends. Pharmacokinetics, defined as the processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of a drug, presents a field of study where understanding the relationship between chemical and physical properties of a drug along with physiological properties of a patient is required. Recent developments in the area of whole body physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling allow users to simulate the time course of drug in the body along with common summary parameters to a level of accuracy where general trends can be discovered. A tool on the pharmaHUB, pHUBpk provides a customizable interface to a whole body model for students to explore the relationships between input parameters and model output.

The open source tool was developed with a backend model written in R and a front end GUI written in Tcl/Tk with the Rappture toolkit. The front end employs a customized environment configuration file to generate the GUI on the fly and could be repurposed for other types of models. pHUBpk is staged with a library of common drugs and patient classes so users need only select a few parameters to compute a base case. Users can then adjust some of the library parameters to see the effect on the output. Graphical and tabular summaries are computed and displayed and can be exported for further processing or inclusion in a report. Via the GUI, an instructor can customize the visible fields and outputs and potentially hide key parameters so that students can deduce their values from the remaining output.

The active learning environment provided by pHUBpk could enhance any course in pharmacokinetics or provide a tool for self learning. A library of laboratory assignments is also planned.


Stephen D. Stamatis received his B.S.E in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan in 2004. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from Purdue University in 2008 and 2011 respectively while studying heterogeneous catalysis and Bayesian statistics. He is presently a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the University of Iowa applying his modeling skills to problems in pharmacokinetics and pharmaceutical stability. He has also taught courses in pharmacokinetics and modeling to graduate and professional students.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Stephen D. Stamatis; Michael McLennan; Lee E. Kirsch (2013), "pHUBpk pharmacokinetics on the pharmaHUB,"

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Nikki Huang

Purdue University


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