MARK A MUNGER portrait
  • Professor, Pharmacotherapy

Research Statement

The Munger Research Group is focusing on repurposing drugs to address major public health concerns, unique value propositions and differentiation, with the potential for commercial product value. Currently we have two drugs in research development. A second focus is conducting research on the expanding use of medical cannabis in the State of Utah. A third focus is on improving medication safety across the United States using an artificial intelligence system to identify pharmacokinetic, dynamic, and genomic interactions allowing actionable changes to patient drug profiles.


  1. NSAID-induced cardiovascular and renal adverse effects are associated with the mortality of approximately 8 million lives yearly. Our research has focused on reducing these effects by biologically affecting the underlying drug-induced physiology. Through combining a prostaglandin E2 analog with the NSAID diclofenac, we have been able to beneficially reset cardiovascular and renal hemodynamics; and to show that cardiovascular and renal induced events are statistically and clinically improved. This agent is currently in the pre-IND stage of FDA approval.
  2. We have also repurposed a drug for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and most recently for HFrEF called riluzole. In collaboration with The Ohio State University, colleagues in Italy, and at the University of Illinois at Chicago we have developed an agent that physiologically affects Na+ channels which co-localize with ryanodine receptors Ca2+ release channels and the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger. These findings have translated into a clinical setting of a community-incidence of arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation. A clinical trial called the SOLUTION Trial is ongoing at the University of Utah Medical Center. We have recently shown that riluzole mitigates the rate of HFrEF onset in a cohort observational study. We are beginning to plan a Phase I proof-of-concept study.
  3. The University of Utah Departments of Medicine (Anesthesiology and Internal Medicine), Pharmacology and Toxicology (Center for Human Toxicology), and Pharmacotherapy in collaboration with Zion Alchemy, LLC and UU ARUP Laboratories have developed a study of using micro doses of THC while maintaining CBD physiological dosing that more closely mimic the natural biologic effects on the endocannabinoid receptor in the human body. This may allow realization of therapeutic benefit without adverse effects that can lead to disease, dependency, environmental and legal issues.
  4. A third focus is on improving medication safety across the United States using an artificial intelligence system to identify pharmacokinetic, dynamic, and genomic interactions allowing actionable changes to patient drug profiles. A nationwide implementation study has been planned.


  • “Which Medications Can Be Stopped for Improvement and How?” . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 09/2012.
  • “Estimating Clinical Pharmacy Work Load” . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/2012.
  • “Heart Failure: Current Medical Therapy". Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/2012.
  • “Acute Decompensated Heart Failure Pharmacy Practice Workshop” . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/2012.
  • “Double-Trouble: Co-Morbidities and Cases in Heart Failure—Drug Dosing” Presented to the 2011 Heart Failure Society of America 15th Annual Scientific Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, September, 2011. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 09/2011.
  • “Evaluation of Complementary and Alternative Medications in Cardiovascular Disease”. Presented to the 8th Annual Ponte Vedra Cardiovascular Symposium, Jacksonville, Florida, April, 2011. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/2011.
  • “Burden of Atrial Fibrillation on HealthCare. On-Line Presentation through ScientiaCME. Other, Presented, 10/2010.
  • “How to Evaluate Supplements and Non-Cardiac Drug Interactions in Heart Failure Patients” Presented to the 2010 Heart Failure Society of American 14th Annual Scientific Meeting, San Diego, California, September, 2010. Presentation, Presented, 09/2010.
  • Hyponatremia. Presented to the Pharmacy Learning Network, Dallas, Texas, May, 2010; New York, NY, May, 2010; Washington D.C., September, 2010, and Philadelphia, PA., November, 2010. Presentation, Presented, 01/2010.


  • English, fluent.


  • Munger MA, Gordon E, Hartman J, Vincent K, Feehan M. Retail pharmacist satisfaction and stress study 2012. J Am Pharm Assoc 2013;53(3):30-44. Published, 05/01/2013.
  • Smock K, Schmidt R, Hadlock G, Stoddard G, Grainger DW, Munger MA. Assessment of orally dosed commercial silver nanoparticles on human ex vivo platelet aggregation. Nanotoxicology 2013;Mar 22 [epub ahead of print]. Published, 03/22/2013.
  • Munger MA Are All ARBs the Same? Pharm and Therapeutics 2011;3(1):22-31. Published, 01/2011.
  • Munger MA, Shane-McWhorter L, McAdam-Marx C. Prediabetes: Implications for Managed Care. Am J Pharmacy Benefits 2010;2(7):429-41. Published, 12/2010.
  • Munger MA. Polypharmacy and the management of hypertension in elderly patients with comorbid diabetes. Drugs and Aging 2010;Nov1:27(11):871-83. Published, 11/01/2010.
  • ACCP Publications Committee (Edward Bednarczyk, Michael Burton (Chair), Lisa Davis, George Davis, Mary Beth Elliott, Julie Maurey, Mark Munger (Vice-Chair), Terry Seaton, Daniel Touchette, and Jennifer Zimmer-Young) The Clinical Pharmacist as Principal Investigator: A Commentary from ACCP (2009) Pharmacother 2010;30(12)485e-89e. Published, 10/01/2010.
  • Lamb JG, Hathaway LB, Munger MA, Franklin MR. Nano-silver Particle Effects On Drug Metabolism. Drug Metabolism and Disposition. 2010:epub ahead of print September 22nd , 2010. Published, 09/22/2010.
  • Bakris GL, Sarafidis PA, Weir MR, DahlÅ‘f B, Pitt B, Jamerson K, Velazquez EJ, Staikos-Byrne L, Kelly RY, Shi V, Chiang YT, Weber MA: Accomplish Trial Investigators (Munger M). Renal outcomes with fixed-dose combination therapies in patients with hypertension at high-risk for cardiovascular events (ACCOMPLISH); A prespecified secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial. Lancet 2010;375 (9721):1173-81. Published, 02/18/2010.
  • Duprez D, Munger M, Botha J, Charney AN. Aliskiren for Geriatric Lowering of Systolic Hypertension: Results of the AGELESS Trial. J Hum Hyper 2009;Dec 24:1-9 Epub ahead of print. Published, 12/01/2009.
  • Zebrack JA, Munger M, McGregor J, Stoddard GP, Gilbert EM. Beta-receptor selectivity of carvedilol and metoprolol succinate in patients with heart failure: A randomized dose ranging trial. Pharmacother 2009;29(8):883-90. Published, 08/01/2009.
  • Jackevicius C, Page R, Chow S, Dunn S, Lee C, Ng, T, Rodgers J, Verdany O, Wiggins B, Munger M. High-Impact Articles Related to the Management of Heart Failure: Update 2008 Pharmacother 2009;29(1):82-112. Published, 2009.
  • MacGregor JF, S Blake Wachter, Munger M, Stoddard G, Bristow MR, Gilbert EM. Carvedilol produces sustained benefits over 12 years of follow-up. Congestive Failure 2009;15(1):5-8. Published, 2009.
  • Van Tassell B, Radwanski P, Munger MA. Beta-blockers and phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDEs) in chronic heart failure: Potential for combination therapy. Pharmacother 2008;28(12):1523-30. Published, 2008.
  • Van Tassell BW, Rondina M, Huggins F, Gilbert EM, Munger MA. Carvedilol increases blood pressure response to phenylephrine infusion in Class C heart failure subjects: Evidence of improved vascular α1-adrenoreceptor signal transduction. Am Heart J 2008;156(2):315-21. Published, 2008.
  • Jamerson K, Weber MA, Bakris GL, et al for the ACCOMPLISH Trial Investigators (Munger M). Benazapril plus amlodpine or hydrochorothiazide for hypertension in high-risk patients. N Engl J Med 2008;359:2417-28. Published, 2008.
  • Munger MA, Stoddard GP, Wenner AR, Bachman, J Jurige JH, Poe L, Baker D. Safety of e-medicine versus traditional medicine prescribing. Mayo Clinic Proceed 2008;83(8):890-6. Published, 2008.
  • Munger MA, Gardner SF, Ateshkadi A, Rabetoy GM, Barri YM, Stoddard GJ, Cheung AK, for the MEDIC Study Group. Misoprostol Effects on Diclofenac-Induced Cardiorenal Changes. Pharmacother 2008;28(7):834-42. Published, 2008.