Vice-President and Chief Science Officer

Mesa Specializes in Drug Delivery Development and Clinical Operations

Dr. Kenneth Dretchen, Ph.D., serves as a Vice-President and Chief Science Officer for Mesa Science Associates.  Several areas of expertise include: pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pre-clinical studies involving safety, efficacy and toxicity.  In addition, he concurrently serves as Professor Emeritus and was the former Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Georgetown University Medical Center where he teaches pharmacology and physiology to medical students and residents in the Departments of Psychiatry and Anesthesiology.  Previous positions at the university included his role as the Dean of Research for the Medical Center and the Senior Associate Vice President for Regulatory Affairs.

During the first three years of its existence, Dr. Dretchen served as a subject matter expert and was a 24/7 on-call advisor to the Department of Homeland Security for biologic and chemical threat agents. From 2007 – 2010, he served as a member of the National Biodefense Science Board, reporting directly to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This board provided advice to the secretary on issues such as emerging and infectious diseases, chemical and biological threat agents, and H1N1 influenza.

Dr. Dretchen’s work also includes successful collaborations with industry, including one of the largest defense contractors in the development of a rapid stand-alone detection system for biological threat agents based upon DNA analysis. This project resulted in the important development of specific nucleic acid probes for anthrax, plague, and dengue fever.

Dr. Dretchen served as a consulting pharmacologist for King Pharmaceuticals on a study involving clinical trials to assess the pharmacokinetics and side effects of midazolam given intramuscularly via an auto-injector. The results showed that there was rapid absorption of the drug with minimal side effects suggesting that this route of administration would be beneficial in the treatment of seizures.

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