Samantha Korver

Samantha Korver

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


Dr Samantha Korver is a dynamic early career researcher with a simple goal to improve patient clinical outcomes and quality of life by identifying and developing new diagnostic methods to detect drug-induced injury.

Following completion of her PhD in Pharmacology in early 2020, Sam joined the Medical Research Council Centre for Drug Safety Science (MRC CDSS) based at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. In the MRC CDSS, Sam works as a postdoctoral researcher on the TransBioLine Project, a consortium of academic and industry partners from across the US, UK and Europe with the goal of identifying new biomarkers for cognitive, liver, pancreatic and kidney drug-induced injury.

Sam's TransBioLine research is funded by pharmaceutical giant Merck and is focused on identifying novel protein biomarkers for drug-induced liver injury (DILI). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sam is currently based at the University of Adelaide and has partnered with Professor Joanne Bowen of the Cancer Treatment Toxicities Group to further expand her TransBioLine research.

Overview

Sam completed her PhD in the Cancer Treatment Toxicities group at the University of Adelaide under the supervision of Dr Janet Coller, Professor Joanne Bowen and Professor Rachel Gibson. Throughout her PhD, Sam conducted clinical research in a large cohort of patients who had received chemotherapy agent 5-fluorouracil for cancers of the breast, upper gastrointestinal tract and colon. Using patient demographics, medical history, treatment data, genetics, cytokine secretory responses and toxicity data, Sam and her PhD supervisors are currently creating a predictive risk model to use as a potential diagnostic mechanism to identify patients at increased risk of developing adverse effects, such as gastrointestinal toxicity, neuropathy and neutropenia, throughout 5-fluorouracil therapy. The knowledge and expertise gained during her PhD has led Sam to a new research area of drug-induced liver injury (DILI). 

Drug-induced liver injury (DILI)

DILI is a frequent and serious safety issue faced by clinicians, pharmaceutical companies and regulatory bodies throughout drug therapy. DILI describes an array of drug-induced hepatocellular injuries ranging from acute or chronic hepatitis to acute liver failure. Many of the diagnostic principles for DILI remain unchanged from the 1960’s, with traditional diagnostic markers alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and total bilirubin (TBIL) still routinely utilised to diagnose DILI. However, serum ALT, AST, ALP and TBIL have significant limitations that impedes their sensitivity, specificity and accuracy for diagnosing DILI in both clinical settings and preclinical drug development. Consequently, it is imperative new biomarkers for DILI, particularly diagnostic of early stage DILI, with increased sensitivity, specificity and accuracy are identified.

Current research

Sam's current research is conducted in both preclinical and clinical models of DILI. The main goals of her research, as part of the TransBioLine Project, are to identify novel protein biomarkers for DILI that:

  • Indicate the risk of progression from hepatocellular injury to severe Drug-Induced Liver Injury (DILI)
  • Support the assessment of DILI mechanism, such as mitochondrial toxicity, reactive metabolite generation/oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress, inhibition of transporters such as the bile salt export pump (BSEP).
  • Facilitate causality assessment in cases of suspected DILI
  • Are more sensitive, specific and accurate than current diagnostic markers ALT, AST, ALP and TBIL

In clinic, these novel protein biomarkers would allow early and accurate diagnosis of DILI, improving overall prognosis for patients and decreasing associated health care costs. Pre-clinically, new protein biomarkers for DILI would be implemented in preclinical drug development, improving the screening of compounds and drug candidates to not only prevent the premature cessation of drug candidates but, also prevent drug candidates entering the market and demonstrating unwanted hepatotoxicity. 

 

 

 

 

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2020 Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Liverpool
    2020 Associate Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Adelaide
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2020 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    2015 University of Adelaide Australia Honours Degree in Health Science
    2014 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science)
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2020 Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) Program University of Adelaide Australia
  • Research Interests

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2019 Korver, S. K., Gibson, R. J., Bowen, J. M., & Coller, J. K. (2019). Toll-like receptor/interleukin-1 domain innate immune signalling pathway genetic variants are candidate predictors for severe gastrointestinal toxicity risk following 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy.. Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, 83(2), 217-236.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS1 Europe PMC1
  • Conference Papers

    Year Citation
    2018 Korver, S. K., Bowen, J. M., Ball, I. A., Gibson, R. J., Tuke, J., Logan, R., . . . Coller, J. K. (2018). Personalised supportive care for patients receiving 5-fluorouracil (5-FU): analysis of multivariate SNP risk prediction for GI toxicity. In ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY Vol. 14 (pp. 58-59). WILEY.
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2019 Coller, J. K., Korver, S. K., Ball, I. A., Gibson, R. J., Tuke, J., Logan, R. M., . . . Bowen, J. M. (2019). Predictors of severe gastrointestinal toxicity risk in patients treated with 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy: A validation study. Poster session presented at the meeting of ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. WILEY.
    2017 Korver, S. K., Ball, I. A., Gibson, R. J., Logan, R. M., Karapetis, C. S., Keefe, D. M., . . . Coller, J. K. (2017). The Effect of Immune Genetic Variants on Chemotherapy-Induced Gastrointestinal Toxicity (CIGT) Risk in Patients Receiving 5-Fluorouracil. Poster session presented at the meeting of ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. WILEY.
    2017 Korver, S. K., Ball, I. A., Gibson, R. J., Tuke, J., Logan, R. M., Richards, A., . . . Coller, J. K. (2017). Interleukin-1 Beta (IL1B) Genetic Variability is Predictive of Chemotherapy-Induced Gastrointestinal Toxicity (CIGT) Risk in Patients Receiving 5-Fluorouracil. Poster session presented at the meeting of ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. WILEY.

Funding

Research Training Project Scholarship (RTPS)

$92,000 (2016-2019)

Florey Medical Research Foundation Doctor Chun Chung Wong and Madam So Sau Lam Memorial Postgraduate Cancer Research Scholarship

 $7,000 (2017-2018)

Grants

Cancer Council South Australia Beat Cancer Project Grant

$2,000 (2018)

Adelaide Medical School Research Travel Grant

$3,000 (2018)

Awards

Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Best Oral Presentation Award

$1,000 (2018)

Walter and Dorothy Duncan Trust Award

 $500 (2018)

Undergraduate Teaching  - Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Adelaide

Pharmacology for Nursing I (2019)

  • Tutor
  • Lecturer - Gastrointestinal physiology module

Physiology IIA and IIB, IIIA and IIIB (2016 -2019)

  • Practical demonstrator
  • Project supervisor

Investigative Cell Biology (2016-2018)

  • Project supervisor
  • Tutor

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External Profiles