PhD candidate / guest
Maarten Doornbos is a Ph.D student at the Division of Medicinal Chemistry and works on enhancing the predictive value of in vitro experiments.
I studied Bio- Pharmaceutical Sciences at Leiden University, starting in 2007. I obtained my master degree in September 2013 with a specialisation in medicinal chemistry, both my master internships were within this research area. I did a 9-month internship in the medicinal chemistry division in 2011-2012, focusing on organic synthesis of compounds for the hERG K + channel and the Adenosine A 1 receptor. After attending courses into science-based business and writing a literature review on ‘delivery of monoclonal antibodies for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease across the blood brain barrier’, I went to Beerse, Belgium for a 6-month internship within the neuroscience drug discovery biology division of Janssen Pharmaceutica. There I worked in a molecular pharmacology group and I tried to elucidate the allosteric binding pocket of the mGlu2 receptor, a class C G protein-coupled receptor.
During my stay at Janssen, a collaboration between the medicinal chemistry group and Janssen was established. I decided to take part in it as a PhD candidate and started working in the group in October 2013. By incorporating binding kinetics and label-free screening techniques within an established library of positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) for the metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 (mGluR2) we will try to enhance the predictive value of in vitro experiments. Results might be valuable in a broader sense, not only for development of potential mGluR2 medicines, but also for other G protein-coupled receptors.