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Prestigious award for pharmacologist Meindert Danhof

Meindert Danhof is the 2019 recipient of the Høst Madsen Medal for his pioneering work in systems pharmacology. He received the award on 22 September at the FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Abu Dhabi.

The Høst Madsen Medal is the highest pharmaceutical scientific award from FIP, the International Pharmaceutical Federation, which represents more than 4 million pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical scientists worldwide. The medal is awarded every two years and is named after Danish pharmaceutical scientist and former FIP president Erik Høst Madsen.

Fourty years of science

Meindert Danhof graduated from Groningen University and obtained his PhD at Leiden University with professor Douwe Breimer. He then did research in the United States for several years, after which he returned to Leiden and specialised in the study of the relationship between pharmacokinetics and the effects of drugs. In 1996 he became a professor at the Faculty of Science, and in 2007 he was also appointed as professor at the LUMC. From 2005 to 2012, he was scientific director of the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research (LACDR).

Most important founder

Meindert Danhof is the most important founder of systems pharmacology, said Tatsuro Irimura, chairman of the Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences of FIP, at the presentation of the award. Danhof is widely known for his outstanding contributions to understanding the effects of drugs, by combining pharmacokinetics, the fate of drugs in our body, pharmacodynamics, the mode of action of drugs in our body, and knowledge about disorders in our body. This combined method is nowadays known as systems pharmacology.

New medicines

Danhof is the author of nearly 500 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and contributed many book chapters. His scientific outcomes have contributed to effectively develop new medicines, so he is also well known and appreciated by pharmaceutical industries. 

For the FIP, Danhof's contributions have also been significant. He has presented at many meetings and served as a committee member.  Most recently, he chaired the program committee of Pharmaceutical Science World Congress 2017 held in Stockholm. 'His dedication to organise this Stockholm Congress was really essential in the phenomenal success of the event, and I would like to express my sincere gratitude for that', Irimura said.

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