Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy

Reina Bendayan, Pharm.D.
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Career Scientist, Ontario HIV Treatment Network, MHO

Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Toronto
144 College Street
Toronto, ON M5S 3M2

Tel: 416-978-6979
FAX: 416-978-8511
E-mail: r.bendayan@utoronto

Reina Bendayan

Reina Bendayan Biographical Sketch

Dr. Reina Bendayan is a Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto.  After obtaining a Bachelors of Sciences in Pharmacy and a Hospital Pharmacy Residency Program at the University of Montreal, Dr. Bendayan completed a Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of Florida and a three year Medical Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program in Clinical Pharmacology and Membrane Cell Biology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bendayan’s research program at the University of Toronto is primarily focused on Membrane Transport and Therapeutics with an emphasis in the field of HIV/AIDS Antiviral Drug Transport and Regulation in the central nervous system.  She obtained a five-year young career investigator award from the Ministry of Health of Ontario and her research program is primarily funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research and the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, Ministry of Health of Ontario.  She is the author of over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has supervised many graduate students and post-doctoral research fellows.  She is a member of several scientific associations, in particular, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS), International Blood-Brain Barrier Society (IBBS), International AIDS Society and Canadian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences (CSPS).   Dr. Bendayan has recently been elected FELLOW of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (November 2010) and is the recipient of a five-year Career Scientist Award from the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, Ministry of Health of Ontario. Dr. Bendayan served as Graduate Coordinator (1998-2003), Chair and Associate Dean Graduate Education of the Graduate Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (July 2005-July 2011) and as Acting Dean of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy (January 2007-July 2007).


Drug transport processes across cell membranes are of pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and therapeutic or toxic significance. It is through these transport mechanisms that: i) drugs have access to the receptor site (target organ) and exert their pharmacological effect; ii) drugs undergo absorption, elimination and/or reabsorption from organs and cellular compartments i.e., gastrointestinal mucosa membrane, hepatocytes, central nervous system (blood-brain barrier and choroid plexus) and renal tubules; and iii) drugs can interact and compete for similar membrane transporters which can ultimately result in toxicity.

Our research program can be divided into two major areas: i) basic studies (in vitro, in situ and in vivo) examining regulation of drug transport in renal, intestinal, testicular and brain tissues and ii) clinical studies investigating drug disposition, drug-drug interactions and drug utilization. In the past few years, the interests of our research have primarily focused in the field of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection of the brain and its pharmacological treatment. Recently, we have expanded the work and included other organs and blood-tissue barriers (gastro-intestinal mucosa, testicular tissues). The objectives of the basic studies are to investigate the molecular expression, cellular/subcellular location and functional activity of putative membrane transporters known to play an important role in the disposition of various antiretroviral compounds (i.e., nucleoside analog compounds, protease inhibitors) in normal physiological conditions as well as in the context of HIV-1 associated inflammatory response. Various in vitro tissue cell culture models (i.e., primary and continuous renal epithelial cells, intestinal cells, testicular Sertoli cells and brain microvessel endothelial cells as well as brain parenchyma cells) isolated from both rodent and human tissues are used in our laboratory for the undertaking of these studies. In addition, in situ immunocytochemistry/immunohistochemistry studies and in vivo drug pharmacokinetic studies are performed. Clinical studies are complementary to the basic studies and explore the significance of drug-drug interactions and patterns of drug use in specific patient populations (i.e., HIV, pediatric and women).

Selected Publications:

Selective peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma modulator, INT131 exhibits anti-inflammatory effects in an EcoHIV mouse model. Omeragic A, Saikali MF, Currier S, Volsky DJ, Cummins CL, Bendayan R.
FASEB J. 2019 Dec 28. doi: 10.1096/fj.201901874R. [Epub ahead of print]

Protected rituximab aims at brain metastases. Bendayan R. Nat Biomed Eng. 2019 Sep;3(9):678-679.

Upregulation of reduced folate carrier by vitamin D enhances brain folate uptake in mice lacking folate receptor alpha. Alam C, Aufreiter S, Georgiou CJ, Hoque MT, Finnell RH, O'Connor DL, Goldman ID, Bendayan R. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Aug 12. pii: 201907077. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1907077116. [Epub ahead of print]

Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-gamma agonists exhibit anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects in an EcoHIV mouse model. Omeragic A, Kara-Yacoubian N, Kelschenbach J, Sahin C, Cummins CL, Volsky DJ, Bendayan R. Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 1;9(1):9428. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45878-6.

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma: potential molecular therapeutic target for HIV-1-associated brain inflammation. Omeragic A, Hoque MT, Choi UY, Bendayan R. J Neuroinflammation. 2017 Sep 8;14(1):183. doi: 10.1186/s12974-017-0957-8.

Regulation of Reduced Folate Carrier (RFC) by Vitamin D Receptor at the Blood-Brain Barrier. Alam C, Hoque MT, Finnell RH, Goldman ID, Bendayan R. Mol Pharm. 2017 Nov 6;14(11):3848-3858. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.7b00572. Epub 2017 Sep 26.

Role and modulation of drug transporters in HIV-1 therapy. Alam C, Whyte-Allman SK, Omeragic A, Bendayan R. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2016 Aug 1;103:121-43. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2016.05.001. Epub 2016 May 13. Review.

Antiretroviral drug transporters and metabolic enzymes in human testicular tissue: potential contribution to HIV-1 sanctuary site. Huang Y, Hoque MT, Jenabian MA, Vyboh K, Whyte SK, Sheehan NL, Brassard P, Bélanger M, Chomont N, Fletcher CV, Routy JP, Bendayan R. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2016 Jul;71(7):1954-65. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkw046. Epub 2016 Apr 13.

HIV-1 Alters Intestinal Expression of Drug Transporters and Metabolic Enzymes: Implications for Antiretroviral Drug Disposition. Kis O, Sankaran-Walters S, Hoque MT, Walmsley SL, Dandekar S, Bendayan R.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016 Apr 22;60(5):2771-81. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02278-15. Print 2016 May.

In vivo and ex vivo regulation of breast cancer resistant protein (Bcrp) by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (Pparα) at the blood-brain barrier. Hoque MT, Shah A, More V, Miller DS, Bendayan R. J Neurochem. 2015 Dec;135(6):1113-22. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13389. Epub 2015 Nov 13.

Role of anti-inflammatory compounds in human immunodeficiency virus-1 glycoprotein120- mediated brain inflammation. Ashraf T, Jiang W, Hoque MT, Henderson J, Wu C, Bendayan R. J. Neuroinflammation.  2014 May 16; 11(1):91:1-14.

Functional expression of drug transporters in glial cells: potential role on drug delivery to the CNS. Ashraf T, Kao A, Bendayan R. Adv. Pharmacol.  2014 Aug 22; 71:45-111.

Role of P-glycoprotein in the distribution of  the  HIV-protease inhibitor, atazanavir, In the brain and male genital tract. Robillard  KR,  Chan  GN,  Zhang  G,  la  Porte  C,  Cameron  W,  Bendayan  R. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014; 58(3):1713-22.

For a complete list of Dr. Bendayan’s publications, please visit the PubMed web site.

Dr. Bendayan is an active member of the CanCURE (Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise) research consortium. http://www.cancurehiv.org/