John A. Ndon, Ph.D., MT (ASCP)

Associate Professor

[Image] John Ndon

Northwest Quadrant Building B, Room 6511
Phone: (414) 229-4605
Fax: (414) 229-2619


Biomedical Sciences


  • Ph.D., Microbiology, Meharry Medical College, 1983

Speaker Topics

  • AIDS in Africa
  • Health in Underdeveloped Countries

Interests & Expertise

Immunity to malaria develops slowly. The BioMedical Sciences laboratory is looking at the mechanisms of actions of the several factors responsible for the slow acquisition of immunity to malaria. Hypoglycemia is an important manifestation of faciparum malaria. Little is known of the consequences of reported elevated plasma concentration of somatostatin in cerebral malaria. This hormone inhibits a broad range of endocrine functions including glucose metabolism. The laboratory is involved in the study of hypothalamic regulation of impaired somatostatin secretion in cerebral malaria. Sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (Fansidar) is widely used in Africa for treating chloroquine-resistant falciparum malaria. The efficacy of Fansidar in the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Africa is increasingly compromised by development of resistance. Working with researchers at the University of Uyo and University of Calabar, we are correlating individual’s genetic makeup to antimalarial drugs. In other words, in the future, by knowing your genetic constitution, your doctor will be able to tell you which medicines will be good and which will be innocous, and which will have undesirable side effects for you. The prevailing tenets of these investigations lie in the fact that we now know that genetic variations in the response to drugs can cause measurable differences in clinical endpoints such as rates of cure, morbidity, side effects, and death.

Another focus is that genetic variation in drug targets can cause measurable differences in the response of an organism to a drug. Data in this category will document that the biological or physiological response to a drug varies, and that this variation can be associated with the variation of one or more genes. It is also known that genetic variation in processes involved in the absorption, distribution, metabolism, or elimination of a drug can result in changes in drug availability. Investigations in this category are primarily concerned with demonstrating that genetic polymorphisms lead to variations in the levels or concentrations of drugs or their metabolites at the site of action. Finally it is documented that genetic variation can alter results of molecular and cellular functional assays, and this may correlate with variations in the organism’s drug response. Data in this category demonstrate associations between genetic variation and laboratory assays of function at the molecular or cellular level.

As the Director of NIH-Funded Bridges to the Future Program, we are developing partnerships with MATC to work towards eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health. To solve the crisis of health disparities, we need to work collectively and think outside the box. We have many activities underway and more planned to help students at MATC enter research careers in the Biomedical Sciences.

Recent Publications

Crockett, J., Ndon, J.A., Sabin, E., Jannetto, P., Gock, S., Jentzen, J.M., & Wong, S.H.Y. Pharmacogenomics supplement with LC-MS drug assays as an adjunct in death certification of Amiltriptyline and Flouxetine fatalities. Society for Forensic Toxicologists.

Wong, S.H, Jannetto, P.J., Sahin, E., Schur, C., Crokeet, J., Ndon, J.A., Mucic, R., & Catania, M. (2002). DNA Electronic Microarray Detection for Pharmacogenomics - Genotyping CYP - 450 Mutations as Molecular Autopsy for Certifying Drug Related Toxicity. Society for Forensic Toxicologists, 33(40).

Wong, S.H, Sahin, E., Jannetto, P.J., Wagner, M.A., Schur, C., Crokeet, J., Ndon, J.A., Risinger, R., Gock, S., & Jenzen, J. (2002). Pharmacogenomics as a Molecular Autopsy- Genotyping CYP450 2D ?3/? 4/?5 for Certifying Antidepressants and Selected Opiods related Toxicity. Society for Forensic Toxicologists, 33, 37-38.