Universiteit Leiden

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Population Pharmacokinetic Modeling

Tuesday 2 November 2021 - Friday 5 November 2021
Gorlaeus Building
Einsteinweg 55
2333 CC Leiden
To be decided

Population Pharmacokinetic Modeling

With population pharmacokinetic (PK) modeling we describe the concentration-time profile of a drug in the body. An important aspect of population PK modeling is identifying sources of variability between individuals of a population and quantifying this inter-individual variability. In a subsequent covariate analysis, potential patient and treatment characteristics that can explain (part of) the inter-individual variability are investigated. Once we have a population PK model that can describe and predict both general trends in the PK of drugs and individual deviations from those trends, we can use model-based simulations to optimize drug dosing. With the simulations, we can identify characteristics that can put patients at risk for overdosing, leading to undesired side-effects, or underdosing, leading to therapy failure. The model-based simulations can then be used to individualize drug dosing recommendations for these patients, based on their characteristics.

Learning goals

After this part of the course, you will be able to:                

  • explain how PK processes are parameterized and how models are used to describe and predict concentration-time profiles
  • develop structural population PK models to describe the relationships between drug dosing and drug concentration.
  • identify and quantify inter-individual variability and covariate relationships in population PK models.
  • explain how covariates can be used to (partially) explain inter-individual variability in population PK models.
  • explain how model-based simulations can be used to optimize and individualize drug dosing regimen.
  • perform model-based simulations to optimize and individualize drug dosing regimen.

Prior knowledge and requirements

This course is intended as an introduction for those who wish to apply population modelling with NONMEM. No prior programming experience is required, prior knowledge of basis pharmacokinetic principles is useful. 

The course is open for PhD candidates, post-doctoral researchers and other post-academic professionals.  

Participants are requested to bring their own laptop. 

Course program

During this course the following subjects will be treated:

  • basic principles of population pharmacokinetic modelling
  • covariate modelling and development of individualize drug dosing regimen
  • hands-on experience with the following software: NONMEM and pirana (the latter also implementing Pearl-speaks-NONMEM (PsN) and R).


The course ‘Population Pharmacokinetic Modelling’ will be given on 2, 3, 4, 5 November 2021. 

Certificates and credits

Certificates of attendance will be provided at the end of the course PhD students from the LACDR that want to receive 1 EC course credits will have to hand in the hands-on assignment, which will be assessed based on a pass / no-pass basis.  


Attendance is free for employees of the LACDR, but registration is required. External participants are welcome, costs are provided in the table below. 

Sector Fee
Academic € 550
Industry € 1150

Cancellation received before October 8 , 2021 is subject to full refund, cancellation received after this date is subject to 50% refund.”. 

Registration and contact

The registration is open until 8 October 2021:   
There will be a maximum of 18 participants. Participants of the LACDR will be prioritized, external participants will be placed based on a first-come-first-serve principle. We expect to be able to place ~9 external participants. 
For any questions, please contact:  
regarding the content of the course: Elke Krekels (e.krekels@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl) 
regarding organizational matters: Tom Pitzalis (t.pitzalis@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl)  


The course is planned to take place on location (Gorlaeus laboratories, Leiden). Precautions will be taken to ascertain that governmental guidelines regarding social-distancing can be followed during this course. In case the situation in November does not allow for an on-site course, alternatives will be sought. Depending on the circumstances this may include postponing the course. In case the course organizers cancel the course, full refunds of registration fees will be possible. 

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