Erica Woodahl



Personal Summary

Erica Woodahl received a B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame in 1998 and a Ph.D. from the Department of Pharmaceutics at the University of Washington in 2004. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical pharmacokinetics at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. She joined the faculty at the University of Montana in 2007 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012, and promoted to Professor in 2020.


B.S. Biochemistry; University of Notre Dame (1998)

Ph.D. Pharmaceutics; University of Washington (2004)

Postdoctoral Fellow; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Research Interests

Please visit the Precision Medicine Project to learn more!

The research focus of the Woodahl laboratory is on precision medicine and pharmacogenomics to identify sources of interindividual variability in disease treatment and prevention (e.g. genes, environment, and lifestyle). We are interested in genetic and environmental factors that alter the pharmacokinetics, or ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination), and pharmacodynamics of many therapeutic compounds. Translation of pharmacogenomics into clinical practice requires genetic research with diverse patient populations to accurately predict drug response and toxicity for all people. Towards this end, we focus on precision medicine and pharmacogenomics with rural and underserved populations.

American Indian and Alaska Native populations in the United States have largely been left out of precision medicine and pharmacogenomics research. Our research is part of the Northwest-Alaska Pharmacogenomics Research Network (NWA-PGRN), whose goals are to engage indigenous populations in precision medicine research (1U01GM092676 and P01GM116691). In Montana, we have established a community-academic partnership with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes living on the Flathead Reservation. This work includes the characterization of genetic variation and environmental factors that predict drug response and toxicity. Precision medicine research has broad utility across many therapeutic areas, with our primary focus on medications for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. 

Our community-academic partnership is grounded in community-based participatory research to aid in the translation of precision medicine research into the clinic. We use community-engaged research to address complex and important challenges to conducting precision medicine research with American Indian and Alaska Native communities (R01HG009500) including alignment of research with tribal health priorities, developing community-responsive approaches to the return of research results to tribal participants and their communities, and addressing issues of data stewardship that support the full participation of tribal communities in research.

The Woodahl laboratory is also focused on understanding the mechanisms by which pharmacogenomics alter the function of drug-metabolizing enzymes (e.g. cytochrome P450 drug-metabolizing enzymes), drug transporters (e.g. ATP-binding cassette transporters), and regulatory proteins (e.g. vitamin D homeostasis) that contribute to drug disposition. We are using a combination of computational, membrane-based, cell-based, and in vivo models to study the functional consequence of genetic variation in drug-metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters.

Field of Study

Precision Medicine, Pharmacogenomics/Pharmacogenetics, Health Humanities, Health Equity, Rural and Tribal Populations


Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography.

Fohner AE, Dalton R, Skagen K, Jackson K, Claw KG, Hopkins SE, Robinson R, Khan BA, Prasad B, Schuetz EG, Nickerson DA, Thornton TA, Dillard DA, Boyer BB, Thummel KE, Woodahl EL. Characterization of CYP3A pharmacogenetic variation in American Indian and Alaska Native communities, targeting CYP3A4*1G allele function. Clin Transl Sci, in press.

McInnes G, Dalton R, Sangkuhl K, Whirl-Carrillo M, Lee S, Tsao PS, Gaedigk A, Altman RB, Woodahl EL. Transfer learning enables prediction of CYP2D6 haplotype function. PLoS Comput Biol, in press.

Staples JW, Stine JM, Mäki-Lohiluoma E, Steed E, George KM, Thompson CM, Woodahl ELFood Dyes as P-glycoprotein ModulatorsFood Chem Toxicol, in press.

Botton MR, Whirl-Carrillo M, Del Tredici AL, Sangkuhl K, Cavallari LH, Agúndez JAG, Duconge J, Lee MTM, Woodahl EL, Claudio-Campos K, Daly AK, Klein TE, Pratt VM, Scott SA, Gaedigk A. PharmVar GeneFocus: CYP2C19. Clin Pharmacol Ther, in press.

Dalton R, Lee S, Claw KG, Prasad B, Phillips BR, Shen DD, Wong LH, Fade M, McDonald MG, Dunham MJ, Fowler DM, Rettie AE, Schuetz E, Thornton TA, Nickerson DA, Gaedigk A, Thummel KE, Woodahl EL. Interrogation of CYP2D6 structural variant alleles improves the correlation between CYP2D6 genotype and CYP2D6-mediated metabolic activity. Clin Transl Sci, 13:147-156, 2020.

Fohner AE, Volk KG, Woodahl EL. Democratizing Precision Medicine Through Community Engagement. Clin Pharmacol Ther 106:488-490, 2019.

Lee SB, Wheeler MM, Patterson K, McGee S, Dalton R, Woodahl EL, Gaedigk A, Thummel KE, Nickerson DA. Stargazer: a software tool for calling star alleles from next-generation sequencing data using CYP2D6 as a model. Genet Med 21:361-372, 2019.

Khan BA, Robinson R, Fohner AE, Muzquiz LI, Schilling BD, Beans JA, Olnes MJ, Trawicki L, Frydenlund H, Laukes C, Beatty P, Phillips B, Nickerson D, Howlett K, Dillard DA, Thornton TA, Thummel KE, Woodahl ELCytochrome P450 Genetic Variation Associated with Tamoxifen Biotransformation in American Indian and Alaska Native PeopleClin Transl Sci 11:312-321, 2018.

Henderson LM, Claw KG, Woodahl EL, Robinson RF, Boyer BB, Burke W, Thummel KE. P450 Pharmacogenetics in Indigenous North American PopulationsJ Pers Med 8, 9: 1-33, 2018.

Morales CT, Muzquiz LI, Howlett K, Azure B, Bodnar B, Finley V, Incashola T, Mathias C, Laukes C, Beatty P, Burke W, Pershouse MA, Putnam EA, Trinidad SB, James R, Woodahl ELPartnership with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes: Establishing an Advisory Committee for Pharmacogenetic ResearchProg Community Health Partnersh 10:173-83, 2016.

Blunston MA, Yonovitz A, Woodahl EL, Smolensky MH. Gentamicin-Induced Ototoxicity and Nephrotoxicity Vary with Circadian Time of Treatment and Entail Separate MechanismsChronobiol Int 32:1223-32, 2015.

Lacher SE, Skagen K, Veit J, Dalton R, Woodahl ELP-glycoprotein Transport of Neurotoxic PesticidesJ Pharmacol Exp Ther 355:99-107, 2015.

Trahey M Li MJ, Kwon H, Woodahl EL, McClary WD, Atkins WM. Applications of Lipid Nanodiscs for the Study of Membrane Proteins by Surface Plasmon ResonanceCurr Protoc Protein Sci 81:29.13.1-29.13.16, 2015.

Dorfman EH, Trinidad SB, Morales CT, Howlett K, Burke W, Woodahl ELPharmacogenomics in Diverse Practice Settings: Implementation Beyond Major Metropolitan AreasPharmacogenomics 16:227-37, 2015.

Woodahl EL, Lesko LJ, Hopkins S, Robinson RF, Thummel KE, Burke W. Pharmacogenetic Research in Partnership with American Indian and Alaska Native CommunitiesPharmacogenomics 15:1235-41, 2014.

James R, Tsosie R, Sahota P, Parker M, Dillard D, Sylvester I, Lewis J, Klejka J, Muzquiz L, Olsen P, Whitener R, Burke W; Kiana Group*. Exploring pathways to trust: a tribal perspective on data sharingGenet Med 16:820-6, 2014. *Woodahl EL (member of Kiana Group)

Lacher SE, Gremaud JN, Skagen K, Steed E, Dalton R, Sugden KD, Cardozo-Pelaez F, Sherwin CMT, Woodahl ELAbsence of P-glycoprotein Transport in the Pharmacokinetics and Toxicity of the Herbicide ParaquatJ Pharmacol Exp Ther 348:336-45, 2014.

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

McCune JS, Woodahl EL, Furlong T, Storer B, Wang J, Heimfeld S, Deeg HJ, O'Donnell PV. A Pilot Pharmacologic Biomarker Study of Busulfan and Fludarabine in Hematopoietic Cell Transplant RecipientsCancer Chemother Pharmacol 69:263-72, 2012.

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

Woodahl EL, Crouthamel MH, Bui T, Shen DD, Ho RJY. MDR1 (ABCB1) G1199A (SER400ASN) Polymorphism Alters Transepithelial Permeability and Sensitivity to Anticancer AgentsCancer Chemother Pharmacol 64:183-188, 2009.

Woodahl EL, Wang J, Heimfeld S, Sandmaier BM, McCune JS. Intracellular Disposition of Fludarabine Triphosphate in Human Natural Killer CellsCancer Chemother Pharmacol 63:959-964, 2009.

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

Woodahl EL, Wang J, Heimfeld S, Ren AG, McCune JS. Imatinib Inhibition of Fludarabine Uptake in T-LymphocytesCancer Chemother Pharmacol 62:735-739, 2008.

Woodahl EL, Hingorani SR, Wang J, Guthrie KA, McDonald GB, Batchelder A, Li M, Schoch HG, McCune JS. Pharmacogenomic 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, Yang Z, Bui T, Shen DD, Ho RJY. MDR1 G1199A Polymorphism Alters Permeability of HIV Protease Inhibitors Across P-glycoprotein-Expressing Epithelial CellsAIDS 14:1617-1625, 2005.

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

Woodahl EL and Ho RJY. Augmentation 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, Ho RJY. Multidrug Resistance Gene G1199A Polymorphism Alters Efflux Transport Activity of P-glycoproteinJ Pharmacol Exp Ther 310:1199-1207, 2004.

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


Graduate Programs

  • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Design
  • Public Health
  • Toxicology

Research Centers

  • Skaggs Institute for Health Innovation
  • Northwest-Alaska Pharmacogenomics Research Network
  • Center for Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
  • Center for Translational Medicine


  • Affiliate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Washington
  • Associate Editor, Clinical & Translational Sciences
  • Editorial Board, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
  • Past Chair, Translational & Precision Medicine Network, American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • CYP2C Expert Panel, Pharmacogene Variation (PharmVar) Consortium
  • Steering Committee, Special Populations Community, American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Steering Committee, Rocky Mountain Discussion Group, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists