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Postdoc Pharmacometrics for anti-infective pharmacology and pandemic preparedness

Vacancy number
Job type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
9 July 2024
Closing date
16 July 2024 Apply today

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The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research are recruiting a:

Postdoc position Pharmacometrics for anti-infective pharmacology and pandemic preparedness (2 positions available)
Vacancy number: 15017

The Division of Systems Pharmacology and Pharmacy (SPP) of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) aims to develop quantitative precision medicine approaches to predict variation in treatment response and enhance translational drug development strategies. Our ambition is to impact development of personalized treatment strategies and innovative translational drug development through integration with clinical data, including patient data. We develop new methodological advances at the interface of quantitative systems- and clinical pharmacology/pharmacometrics and other disciplines such as innovative experimental disease models, emerging biomarker technologies, state-of-the art biophysical tools, and advanced statistical/ ML/ AI-approaches.

Project description
We have two postdoc positions available within the ZonMW-funded project “PPP-COMPUTE: A Pandemic Pharmacology Platform for model-based optimization of anti-infectives”.

In PPP-COMPUTE we aim to establish a versatile computational platform to facilitate early clinical development of novel anti-infective treatments, with a focus on viral and bacterial pathogens, to support efficient pandemic drug development activities. During a pandemic there exists a need for rapid evaluation of potential therapeutic modalities. Tools to rapidly predict treatment strategies and optimize the design of clinical trials for novel anti-infectives agents against emerging pathogens are therefore essential. The ability to generate such clinical predictions relies on effective integration of data concerning the relationship between (expected) concentrations of the therapeutic agent (pharmacokinetics, PK) in patients and the associated effects on pathogen clearance (pharmacodynamics, PD).

The PPP-COMPUTE platform will consist of several integrated computational pharmacological mechanism-based PK/PD models to rapidly evaluate and predict optimal (combination) treatment strategies (e.g., dosing schedules) and clinical trial designs for potential therapeutic agents, building on established models, and experimental and clinical data already available in the public domain. The framework will be implemented as a public web-application. PPP-COMPUTE will involve clinical stakeholders through collaborating with the recently established INFECT-NL consortium, which aims to establish key infrastructure for early clinical trials of anti-infectives. Finally, the developed modeling framework may be integrated with epidemiological mathematical models which study the effect of novel therapeutic interventions on pathogen transmission dynamics on a population level.

For the available two postdoc positions, we are ideally seeking one individual with a strong track record in pharmacometric and ideally mechanism-based modeling, while for the second position we seek a candidate with a rack record in development of web-applications (R/Shiny) and handling large scale data, in addition to knowledge of pharmacometric/PKPD modeling.

Key responsibilities

  • Conduct original research in the area of translational pharmacology of anti-infectives in the context of pandemic preparedness;
  • Develop and implement mechanism-based and population PK/PD based mathematical models for anti-infectives to support translation between preclinical and clinical data of anti-infective agents;
  • Develop a user-friendly web-applications (R/Shiny) which implement the developed models;
  • Engage in collaborative research within the project;
  • Publish scientific articles at international peer-review journals;
  • Presentation of results internally and at (inter-) national conferences;
  • Possible support of education activities in the bachelor and master programs of biopharmaceutical sciences.

Selection Criteria

  • PhD degree in the area of quantitative pharmacology, pharmacometrics or systems pharmacology, or a related (quantitative) discipline;
  • Strong experience with modelling approaches in pharmacometrics and/or systems pharmacology applied to clinical and/or preclinical data;
  • Experience in R programming and modelling software tools such as NONMEM, Monolix, or nlmixr;
  • Experience with viral dynamic modelling is desirable;
  • Knowledge of anti-infectives and infectious diseases;
  • Strong communication and writing skills;
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team;
  • Excellent organisational and planning skills;
  • Full proficiency in English;
  • Enthusiastic, highly motivated, and independent thinker.

Our organization
Working at the Faculty of Science means being part of an exciting, dynamic scientific environment which sets high standards for its students and staff. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is diverse, ranging from computer science, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences.
The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and over 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. For more information, see www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time position for the duration of 15 months, with the intent for an extension based on performance. You will be appointed in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The salary ranges from € 3.226 - € 5.090 gross per month, depending on experience (pay scale 10, see table on website).
Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. LACDR is a highly diverse institute, in culture, background, and gender. We stand for excellence in a caring Institute. We wish to reflect society in all aspects, as we believe that this improves the dynamics in our organization. Therefore, we support and understand the need for a work/life/family balance and consequent varying working hours and places. We believe that doing good science is fun, and goes hand in hand with a friendly culture.

Enquiries can be made to Dr. Coen van Hasselt (coen.vanhasselt@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl). Information about the faculty of science can be found at www.science.leidenuniv.nl/index.php/english/ and about Leiden University at www.vacancies.leiden.edu/.

To apply for this vacancy, please submit your application online via the blue button below. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents (in pdf format) quoting the vacancy number:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation letter (maximum one page), explaining how your experience and interests match with this postdoc position
  • Contact information of at least two potential references

Only applications received by July 16 will be considered.

Apply now

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