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Bas Goulooze wins prestigious prize for research withdrawal symptoms in children

Pharmacometrist Bas Goulooze has won the prestigious Lewis Sheiner Student Session award. He received the prize of 300 euros at the annual conference of the Population Approach Group Europe (PAGE) in Stockholm, where he presented his research for 800 people.

Goulooze works in pharmacometry, a field that uses mathematical models to predict how to use medicines in the best way. PAGE is an annual conference that brings together around 800 pharmacometrists. ‘And that almost feels like a reunion,’ says Goulooze. ‘Almost everyone in our field from Europe comes to this conference.’

The Lewis Sheiner Student Session is named after Lewis B. Sheiner, the founder of the methodology behind pharmacometry. The prize is intended to honour the memory of Lewis Sheiner and to emphasize his lifelong passion for student education. Master students and PhD students can submit an abstract for the prize, from which the three-headed jury chooses three or four winning entries. The winners will present their work at the PAGE conference.

Bas Goulooze

Presenting for 800 men

‘It was very cool to be able to speak there for 800 people,’ says Goulooze about his presentation. ‘In addition, I'm in the final year of my PhD, so it was also a great opportunity to present myself.’ When Goulooze first came to the PAGE conference a few years ago, he thought to himself: ‘It must be very cool to be able to be on stage there as a Lewis Sheiner winner.’ Goulooze: ‘That made it even more special that I was standing there myself!’

New technique and useful application

At the conference, Goulooze presented his research into withdrawal symptoms in children who use medication – such as heavy painkillers – for a long time. ‘Investigating withdrawal symptoms in children is difficult: of course, you can't make children addicted and then examine them. That is why we are developing models at the LACDR, to map out withdrawal symptoms in children. We do this with the help of data from previous studies at the Sophia Children's Hospital in Rotterdam.’ Goulooze thinks that his research was chosen for two reasons: ‘I have developed a new technique for these models. And in addition, my research has a useful application, I think that attracts as well.’

Testing medicines on virtual children

‘With our models, you can test different strategies for drug use and reduction on virtual children,’ Goulooze explains the usefulness of his models. ‘This allows us to better predict which strategy works best and reduces the need for clinical research with children. Goulooze is keen to disseminate these methods in the future. ‘I intend to become a pharmacometric consultant. Pharmaceutical companies then hire you to get advice on the development of new medicines. That advice is based on the use of pharmacometric models. I think such a job would suit me.’

Bas Goulooze tells about his research

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