2008 - Marseille - France

PAGE 2008: Methodology- Other topics
Charlotte Kloft

Launch of the Graduate Research Training (GRT) Program 'Pharmacometrics & Computational Disease Modelling' in Germany

C. Kloft (1), W. Huisinga (2), H.G. Schaefer (3), P. Noertersheuser (3)

(1) Martin-Luther-Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg, Dept Clinical Pharmacy, Halle, Germany; (2) Hamilton Institute/NUIM, Ireland & MATHEON/Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany; (3) Elected representatives from Industry Partners in Extended Steering Board of the GRT Program

Background: To a PhD student, the field of pharmacometrics & computational disease modelling (PM&CDM) is difficult to master due to its highly interdisciplinary character. It requires the understanding of the underlying biological/pharmacological mechanisms and the formal mathematical/statistical methods. As academic disciplines, PM&CDM do not fit into the traditional frame of university departmental/institutional structures. At the same time, there is a high demand for thoroughly trained young scientists with sophisticated knowledge and expertise in these fields [1, 2], ready to boost the disciplines in academia and in pharmaceutical industry. Accordingly, a novel initiative in Germany has been launched.

Initiative: The Graduate Research Training (GRT) Program Pharmacometrics & Computational Disease Modelling is a novel joint initiative in Germany between the Martin-Luther-Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg, the Freie Universitaet Berlin and the six pharmaceutical companies (Industry Partners): Boehringer Ingelheim, Abbott, Merck, Bayer Schering Pharma, Bayer Technology Services and Sanofi-Aventis. The aims of the Program are to

  • comprehensively train junior scientists in PM&CDM,
  • convey method and software expertise via training modules and research projects,
  • formally implement PM&CDM in the academic environment and
  • promote PM&CDM within and outside academia, and bridging the gap between academia and industry.

The 3-year Program focuses on the diverse methods at the interface of PK, PD, disease modelling, systems biology, scientific computing and mathematical modelling. In the teaching curriculum, students shall be familiarised with these methods in a series of advanced academic and industrial modules. In addition, they shall learn to identify appropriate formal methods to tackle problems in drug development and pharmacotherapy.

The Program started in spring 2008 with the first generation of graduate students being admitted. The GRT Program will continuously be monitored to ensure a successful realisation; exchange with other initiatives/colleagues and their experience is sought and highly welcomed.

In summary, the new public-private-partnership initiative offers graduate students a unique and exciting opportunity to experience research in the area of drug development and optimising drug therapy jointly within academia and industry.


[1] Holford, Karlsson, Clin Pharmacol Ther, 82:103, 2007
[2] Powell, Gobburu, Clin Pharmacol Ther, 82:97, 2007

Reference: PAGE 17 (2008) Abstr 1389 [www.page-meeting.org/?abstract=1389]
Poster: Methodology- Other topics
Click to open PDF poster/presentation (click to open)