Two times KNMP Student Award for Leiden students
This year, two Leiden master students will be awarded a KNMP Student Award. Both Wisse van Os and Jip Linthorst will receive 1,000 euros from the Royal Dutch Pharmacists Association (KNMP) as a reward for their excellent study results, motivation and commitment.
Jip Linthorst – Questionnaire for asthma patients
Jip Linthorst is an active and committed student, with a keen mind and great organisational talent. This is how Mieke Mulder and Henk Jan Guchelaar from the Master's programme in Pharmacy describe their student. As part of her master's research, Linthorst interviewed asthma patients who use inhalation coricosteroids. This medicine suppresses inflammation in the lungs. Patients administer the medicine through inhalation. Based on the interviews, she drew up a special questionnaire to find out which barriers patients experience during their treatment.
‘The number of asthma patients is rising worldwide,’ says Linthorst. ‘A large proportion of them is using these medicines incorrectly or is unwilling to take them, making the treatment insufficiently effective.’ At the moment, according to Linthorst, healthcare providers mainly focus on practical help, such as inhalation techniques. ‘But emotional barriers, such as fear of side effects, are often overlooked by pharmacists and doctors. My questionnaire makes it possible to identify these barriers as well.’ Together with an expert panel, Linkhorst also formulated a list of recommendations for bridging these barriers. In this way, doctors can identify all barriers and ultimately reduce them.
Linthorst has recently found a job in the pharmaceutical industry at GlaxoSmithKline in Amersfoort. ‘I enjoy taking part in the dynamics of the company while contributing to the development and marketing of new medicines.’
Wisse van Os – The dosage of antibiotics
During his master's research, Wisse van Os used a new method to improve lab tests of the effects of antibiotics on infectious diseases. ‘It is very difficult to test the effects of antibiotics in patients themselves and to monitor them over time,’ he explains. ‘That's why this often happens in the lab. However, many lab techniques are a huge simplification of the complex situation in the case of a real infection.’ Therefore, Van Os used a new method that allows the concentration of antibiotics in the lab test to fluctuate over time, just as it does in the patient's body. ‘In this way, we try to bring experiments a little closer to reality. This provides valuable information about the effectiveness of an antibiotic and the development of resistance.’
This is certainly important regarding the antibiotic colistin, on which Van Os focused his research on. ‘Doctors prescribe it as a last resort in the event of infections with the Klebsiella pneumoniae bacterium, a bacterium of which some strains are resistant to various medicines.
Supervisor Coen van Hasselt was impressed by his student's scientific attitude, as well as his exceptional dedication and motivation. Wisse picked up new techniques very quickly, was very independent and a critical thinker,' he adds. Van Os enjoyed the fact that he for once had not had to follow a predetermined protocol, such as during his practicals. This time, he was responsible for his own research.
After an internship at the university in Uppsala in Sweden, Van Os graduated summa cum laude. In November, he started his PhD research at the University Hospital of Vienna. Here he is pursuing his research into the effects of antibiotic concentrations in the body.
In October, the Royal Dutch Pharmacists Association (KNMP) announced the four winners of the KNMP Student Awards 2020. Professors and lecturers nominated the students for this award, based on excellent study results, motivation and commitment. The KNMP Student Award includes a monetary amount of € 1000. KNMP Director Sijtze Blaauw: 'We are convinced that a promising future lies ahead for the prize winners, in drug research or patient care.'