Systems Pharmacology

The master’s specialisation in Systems Pharmacology offers research-orientated education into understanding and predicting drug-induced modulation of disease networks at the systems level.

Systems Pharmacology offers a unique combination of cutting-edge experimental training in the field of metabolomics and translational systems biology, and quantitative pharmacology education in the area of computational modelling of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) relationships.

This specialisation of Pharmacology is especially interesting for people with a background in exact sciences, such as applied mathematics, engineering or informatics.For example Bio-informatics & Biology)

The two Divisions of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research involved in the Master’s specialisation Systems Pharmacology are:

1.Division of Pharmacology

The Division of Pharmacology develops novel concepts, theoretical frameworks that by extrapolation and prediction can be used for drug development, and individualized therapies, on the basis of advanced understanding of factors that govern the fate of the drug in the body (pharmacokinetics) in relation to drug effects (pharmacodynamics). This also includes sources of intra- and interindividual variability thereof, for example by disease condition/progression. The research focusses on 1) Translational pharmacology (i.e. prediction of efficacy- safety from preclinical tests), 2) Developmental pharmacology (i.e. prediction of variability in drug response in special populations, such as children, obese people, people suffering from diabetes, and elderly), and 3) Disease systems analysis (i.e. prediction of drug effects on disease progression). Improvements of the quality of the theoretical frameworks are achieved by inclusion of multiple quantitative and objective measures as a composite biomarker for disease condition and treatment effects.

2.Division of Analytical BioSciences

The Division of Analytical BioSciences focuses the development of innovative analytical tools for metabolomics-driven systems biology in personalized health strategies. Hereto state-of-the art tools are developed to detect, quantify and identify as many as possible metabolites in mammalian biofluids, tissues and cells. The research aims at improving multi-dimensional separation methods, improving the interfacing to mass spectrometry, miniaturizing sampling devices and separation systems using micro/nano-technology and developing methods for the identification of metabolites. In collaboration with clinicians, biomedical researchers, biostatisticians and other –omics researchers he works on better (early) diagnosis and interventions for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurological diseases.

On the one hand, mechanisms of drug toxicity identified in this manner are used to develop better in vitro tools for human drug safety predictions. On the other hand, signaling networks underlying drug resistance or motility of cancer cells that we identify are further explored in advanced 3D culture systems and in vivo models. The ultimate goal here is to develop targets for more effective cancer therapy that can be translated to clinical development.

Reasons to Choose Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences in Leiden

  • The Master’s programme in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences is primarily focused on research within the entire area of drug research.
  • The programme is offered by the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research, a leading institute dedicated to world-class research and education in drug discovery and development. Students participate actively in research projects of excellent quality.
  • In Leiden education in drug research at Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences can be combined with training in education, science communication, or science-based business. The examination programme is designed on an individual basis and offers a high degree of freedom of choice.
  • Students enrolled in the Master’s programme Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences work within a multinational environment and are able to operate on the international market.
  • Admission to the Master’s programme in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences is possible throughout the year. However, international students who require the application for visa or housing are strongly advised to start the programme in February or September.

Master details

  • This is a specialisation of: Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Degree Master of Science in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Duration 2 years
  • Start date Flexible, for international students preferably September or February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60207

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