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Pharmacologist Rob van Wijk is highlighted author of the month

Pharmacologist Rob van Wijk is the Highlighted Trainee Author in the October 2019 issue of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. In his research, Van Wijk aims for a new paradigm by combining experimental work and computational data analysis.

Hitting the homepage

It’s the first thing that hits the eye when visiting the website of Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, also known as JPET: ‘Rob C. van Wijk is highlighted author of October’. A JPET news release says the following about Van Wijk’s research: ‘… a new paradigm in pharmacological research and drug development that combines experimental work with zebrafish and zebrafish larvae and computational data-analysis approaches; this involves managing collaborations on various projects with over half a dozen different research groups.

The use of zebrafish in this area is increasing, but to reliably translate findings from zebrafish to higher vertebrates, including humans, an internal exposure-response relationship is essential. Both experimental innovations and advanced computational methods were required to reach this objective. His current research entails developing similar methods for two additional compounds (an antibiotic and an anticancer drug) to subsequently link this internal exposure to the observed response in bacterial burden or tumour size.’

Van Wijk is on the verge of finishing his PhD thesis in the Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology group.   

Previous achievements

Earlier this year, Van Wijk published in the journal Scientific Reports, an issue of Nature Research. The paper describes ways of reducing, replacing and refining animal testing. Last year, he was the winner of the LACDR Spring symposium. Later that year, he also won the oral presentations of the National PhD Competition. In the academic year 2013-2014, Van Wijk was the student assessor of the Faculty of Science.

Rob van Wijk during the National PhD Competition at FIGON

Publication and outreach

Rob C. Van Wijk et al. (2019) – Mechanistic and Quantitative Understanding of Pharmacokinetics in Zebrafish Larvae through Nanoscale Blood Sampling and Metabolite Modelling of Paracetamol 

The publication by Van Wijk et al is discussed in the monthly podcast on the 3Rs, a collaboration between NC3Rs (www.nc3rs.org.uk), the North American 3Rs Collaborative (www.na3rsc.org), and Lab Animal (www.nature.com/laban). Listen here: 3 Minute 3Rs September 2019 by LabAnimal

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