Ryan Funk

  • Associate Chair - Pharmacy Practice
  • Associate Professor
  • School of Pharmacy - Pharmacy Practice
Room 4073 KLSIC
University of Kansas Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Blvd, MS 4047
Kansas City, KS 66160


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO
  • Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, Lawrence, KS
  • Pharm.D., University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, Lawrence, KS
  • M.S., Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Honors), University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, Lawrence, KS


Dr. Funk's research interests include molecular mechanisms of variability in clinical response to immunologically active agents used in the treatment of pediatric autoimmune disease. He encourages the involvement and training of pharmacy students in clinical- and laboratory-based research. Dr. Funk welcomes pharmacy students into his laboratory and teaches in the pharmacotherapy curriculum, and offers elective coursework in both Drug Development and Precision Medicine.

Research Overview

The work in my laboratory focuses on understanding the basis for inter-individual variation in drug disposition and response in the pediatric patient population. In particular, my work has focused on factors affecting the response to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), which are commonly used in the treatment of various pediatric autoimmune diseases. Previous and ongoing studies have focused on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic measures of methotrexate activity as therapeutic biomarkers to guide the clinical use of methotrexate. This research has focused on understanding the basic biochemical pharmacology of methotrexate in the treatment of autoimmune disease, and has focused on the role of folates and inflammatory cytokines as biochemical markers of drug efficacy and toxicity. With the increased development and utilization of biologic DMARDs in the treatment of our patients, my group has become increasingly interested in understanding the mechanisms of disposition of these agents in the pediatric population and the utility of therapeutic approaches directed at enhancing exposure and response to this class of drugs. The use of clinical and pre-clinical approaches in my laboratory to address clinically relevant problems provides an ideal environment for students and scientists interested in the translational sciences.

Research Interests

  • Pediatrics
  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • Rheumatology


Selected Publications

Funk, R. S., Chan, M. A., & Becker, M. L. (in press). Cytokine Biomarkers of Disease Activity and Therapeutic Response in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
. Pharmacotherapy.

Funk, R. S., Singh, R. Pramann, L. Gigliotti, N. Islam, S. Heruth, D. P., Ye, S. Q., Chan, M. A., Leeder, J. S., & Becker, M. L. (2016). Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase Attenuates Methotrexate Response in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and In Vitro
. Clinical and Translational Science, 9(3), 149-57. DOI:10.1111/cts.12399

Pramann, L. S., Davidow, L. W., van Haandel, L. & Funk, R. S. (2016). Development of Extemporaneously Compounded Aripiprazole Oral Suspensions for Use in Children. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding, 20(3), 257-61.

Funk, R. S., & Becker, M. L. (2015). Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: Striving for Individualized Therapy. Expert Review of Precision Medicine and Drug Development. DOI:10.1080/23808993.2016.1133234

Funk, R. S., van Haandel, L. Leeder, J. S., & Becker, M. L. (2014). Folate Depletion and Increased Glutamation in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Patients Treated With Methotrexate: Folate Depletion in JIA Patients Treated With MTX
. Arthritis and Rheumatism [00043591], 66(12), 3476-85. DOI:10.1002/art.38865

Funk, R. S., van Haandel, L. Becker, M. L., & Leeder, J. S. (2013). Low-dose Methotrexate Results in the Selective Accumulation of Aminoimidazole Carboxamide Ribotide in an Erythroblastoid Cell Line. J Pharm Exp Ther, 347, 154-63.

Kazmi, F. Hensley, T. Pope, C. Funk, R. S., Loewen, G. J., Buckley, D. B., & Parkinson, A. (2013). Lysosomal sequestration (trapping) of lipophilic amine (cationic amphiphilic) drugs in immortalized human hepatocytes (Fa2N-4 cells). Drug Metab Dispos, 41, 897-905.

Logan, R. Funk, R. S., Axcell, E. & Krise, J. P. (2012). Drug-drug interactions involving lysosomes: mechanisms and potential clinical implications. Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism & Toxicology, 8, 943-58.

Funk, R. S., Brown, J. T., & Abdel-Rahman, S. M. (2012). Pediatric Pharmacokinetics: Human Development and Drug Disposition. Pediatr Clin North Am, 59, 1001-16.

Funk, R. S., & Krise, J. P. (2012). Cationic amphiphilic drugs cause a marked expansion of apparent lysosomal volume: implications for an intracellular distribution-based drug interaction. Molecular pharmaceutics, 9(5), 1384-95. DOI:10.1021/mp200641e

Goldman, S. G., Funk, R. S., Rajewsky, R. A., & Krise, J. P. (2009). Mechanisms of Amine Accumulation in and Egress from, Lysosomes. Bioanalysis, 1, 1445-59.

Funk, R. S., & Krise, J. P. (2007). Exposure of Cells to Hydrogen Peroxide Can Increase the Intracellular Accumulation of Drugs. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 4, 154-9.

Duvvuri, M. Konkar, S. Funk, R. S., Krise, J. M., & Krise, J. P. (2005). A Chemical Strategy to Manipulate the Intracellular Localization of Drugs in Resistant Cancer Cells. Biochemistry, 44, 15743-49.

Coronavirus Update

You Can Still Reach Us

Academic Support Services

Academic support services typically accessed via the Dean’s office are still available by appointment via phone/Skype/Zoom. Please contact KU School of Pharmacy Student Services at rxstudentservices@ku.edu.

Prospective Students
(future freshmen or transfers)

KU is offering limited on-campus visits. Learn more at Visiting KU. The School of Pharmacy offers phone appointments for pre-pharmacy guidance. Please contact Admissions Representative Chris Claussen at rxadmissions@ku.edu.

Pre-Pharmacy Students

Pre-pharmacy students seeking guidance may still schedule phone appointments. Please contact Admissions Representative Chris Claussen at rxadmissions@ku.edu.

2nd among all schools of pharmacy in National Institutes of Health funding
Brings more than $20 million in external funding into the state each year
7 of 19 cancer drugs formulated through the National Cancer Institute were developed at the KU School of Pharmacy
3,000 free flu shots given to Kansans in need during the past 5 years
4,000 living alumni, 63 percent of them living and working in Kansas
KU pharmacists practice in 95 of Kansas’ 105 counties
20th among public schools of pharmacy.
—U.S. News & World Report
$20.2 million NIH research grant earned by Distinguished Professor Jeff Aubé was 2nd largest in Kansas history
100 percent placement after graduation for KU Pharm.D. students
Established in 1885 as the 1st professional program at KU