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Miranda van Eck, Full Professor, Chair LACDR Pharmacy

The Cardiovascular and Metabolic Therapeutics group of Prof. dr. Miranda van Eck at LACDR focusses on the mechanisms underlying cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.  Although significant knowledge has been obtained on the development of atherosclerotic lesions and the disturbances in lipid metabolism that underly cardiovascular disease pathology, current treatments are only able to slow down the progression of the disease, reducing mortality by only 25-30%. Better understanding of effectivity of current medications as well as novel therapeutic strategies for intervention are thus highly needed.  My group has a strong background in the identification of novel targets for therapeutic strategies to reduce atherosclerosis and improving lipid metabolism in preclinical models. In the area of pharmacy-related research at LACDR I aim to make the translation to more patient-oriented research. We currently, amongst others focus on the effects of hyperlipidemia on drug metabolism and the initiation of a novel research line focused on pharmacoepidemiological (PE) strategies for better prediction and understanding of the mechanisms of (adverse) drug reactions. As chair of LACDR Pharmacy I have an important bridge function between LACDR and LUMC and aim to facilitate cooperation, amongst others via constructive discussions with the master Pharmacy Programme Director Mieke Mulder. Together we also organise meetings between researchers and lecturers of both institutes. Within the master Pharmacy programme, I am coordinator of the learning trajectory Research and Research Skills and I am involved in teaching activities focused on novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of atherosclerosis.

Faisal Aiobi, Coordinator and Lecturer BPS & Pharmacy (LACDR)

The specialization Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences & Pharmacy prepares students to become the pharmacists of tomorrow. The specialization has been developed in combination with the Leiden University Medical Center. The course will form the basis for the Master Pharmacy thought at Leiden. The aim is to teach students about the role of a pharmacist in society, the patient and his/her medication. Students are also trained to develop patient-centered communication skills. Students learn about the pharmacology of different medication and the treatment protocols involved in patient centered care.  

Another important component of the specialization is about the production of medication and their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics aspects. The practical component is developed to teach students about the formulation and preparation of tablets and other forms of administration. Students learn to set up and assess preparation protocols. Students will also be introduced to quality standards such as GPP, GMP, GLP, GCP.

Laura Heitman, Full Professor (LACDR)

Within Leiden Pharmacy, I have two quite different roles, namely as a teacher and as the chair of Exam Committee (ECF). In the first, I aim to get the MSc Pharmacy students acquainted with drug discovery and development, where I focus on my research area (see below). In the second role, as I aim to ensure that the quality of the program and resulting degree remains high. For example, on an individual level we assess whether certain (external) courses or projects can be followed to obtain credits for the elective space. On a more general level, we have made sure that the course plans and assessments of practical work using Rubrics are optimized.

Fouzia Lghoul-Oulad Said, Lecturer (LACDR)

I am working as a teacher and researcher at the LACDR. In the upcoming academic year I will be the coordinator of the course Chronic Diseases (Chronische Aandoeningen) of the Pharmacy master programmein Leiden. Previously I have coordinated the Pharmacy specialization programme in the third year of the bachelor Bio-Farmaceutische Wetenschappen at Leiden University. For my work I have received ‘Teacher of the year 2019’ award of the faculty of Science. The bachelor specialization prepares students for the Pharmacy master programme. Hence, I am in an excellent position to improve the alignment of the Bachelor specialization and Master programmes. Therefore, I am also be involved in the first course of the Master Pharmacy programme, Patient and Pharmacist (Patiënt en Apotheker). This, to create more unity in form and layout so that students are prepared for the way of teaching and experience-based learning in the Master programme. 

I have also worked as a pharmacist in the clinical pharmacy of the Erasmus MC. I was especially involved in logistics and research. We have conducted a study on behalf of the Ministry of Health about drug safety where we calculated the prevalence of Hospital Admissions Related to Medication (HARMs) in the Netherlands between 2008 and 2013. This research evolved in a PhD thesis which I hope to complete soon. Drug safety remains an issue for healthcare providers and despite efforts does not seem to decrease. This is why I plan to do more research on drug safety within the framework of Leiden Pharmacy at the LACDR.

Catherijne Knibbe, Full Professor (LACDR)

The Quantitative Clinical Pharmacology group of Prof. Dr. Catherijne Knibbe at LACDR aims to define how to adjust a drug dose in special patient populations such as (prematurely born) neonates or children, obese individuals, or critically ill patients. Through combining the statistical power of the population approach with physiologically-based approaches, computer models are developed that can predict the efficacy and safety of drugs in each of these special patient populations. In addition, I am co-responsible for and involved in the pharmacy-related research and research training of students of the master Pharmacy programme in the area of predictive models to improve clinical drug safety, in particular studies on improving drug treatment in neonates using PK-PD modelling and simulation approaches 

Martijn Manson, Assistant Professor (LACDR)

Pharmacogenetics is increasingly incorporated in the clinic to better predict pharmacokinetics and optimize dosing regimens of drug treatments. While this approach has improved our prediction of drug metabolism, a mismatch between the genotype-based prediction of drug metabolism and the true capacity of an individual to metabolize drugs (phenotype) is unfortunately commonly observed in patients. This mismatch better known as phenoconversion is a consequence of non-genetic factors and remains an issue for the clinic. To improve our understanding of the impact of phenoconversion we are currently investigating how inflammation & immuno-modulatory drugs affect drug metabolism. Secondly, we examine how the outcome of drug-drug-interactions are affected by pharmacogenetics (drug-drug-gene interactions). For this research we are using human liver biopsies and human hepatocyte models (2D/3D) in which human drug metabolism can be adequately studied and (endogenous) genetic variation is conserved or introduced. This project takes place in close contact with collaborators of the hospital pharmacy of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) to facilitate translation of these findings to- and from the clinic.

Swantje Völler, Assistant Professor (LACDR)

My research focus is the pharmacology of drugs in term and preterm neonates. To date, two thirds of all drugs are used off-label in this extremely vulnerable population, mostly due to the challenges in conducting clinical trials in neonates. In our research group, we use the sparse available data from clinical practice to build population PK/PD and physiology-based models. These models enable us to understand what the most important drivers of drug concentration (PK), effect (PD) and organ maturation are. With this knowledge we can develop rational dosing schemes that help to ensure therapy success and prevent side effects. In the Pharmacy master's programme  I coordinate the course research proposal and I am involved in different teaching activities related to drug PK, metabolism and children.

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