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Dr. Saal van Zwanenberg Honorary Prize for Erik Frijlink and Research Prize for student

15 November 2023

On 14 November, both a professor and a student from Groningen's Beta Faculty received a Dr. Saal van Zwanenberg prize: Prof. Erik Frijlink was awarded the Dr. Saal van Zwanenberg Honorary Prize and student Tram Nguyen received the Dr. Saal van Zwanenberg Research Prize (2nd prize). The award ceremony took place at the Royal Holland Society of Sciences (KHMW) in Haarlem.

These national awards are given to encourage scientific research into new drugs. Frijlink received the EUR 25,000 prize along with two other researchers for their scientific achievements in the field of drug delivery. Nugyen received the EUR 2,000 prize for excellent Master's research in the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Erik Frijlink - improved drug delivery

Frijlink received the award together with Prof. Joke Bouwstra (Leiden University) and Prof. Wim Hennink (Utrecht University) because of their "hero status" in this specific field.

Erik Frijlink has been Professor of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy at the Faculty of Science and Engineering in Groningen since 1998. With his research group, he focuses on the development of advanced technologies for improved drug delivery. For example, he developed an innovative powder inhaler against asthma and COPD, the Novolizer. This inhaler, followed by the Twincer, offered many advantages over existing inhalers. More than 300,000 people worldwide have already been treated with techniques developed by Frijlink. Frijlink and his team are now also looking at new applications, including delivery of vaccines via inhalation.

Tram Nguyen - treatment of type 2 diabetes 

Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences student Tram Nguyen looked at the cost-effectiveness of adding SGLT2 inhibitors (sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors) in diabetic kidney disease in The Netherlands. Using a health economic model, she calculated the long-term health gain and long-term cost implications. She estimated the addition of this drug as cost-effective. The title of her master project is 'Cost-effectiveness assessment of additional treatment with sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors on diabetic kidney disease in The Netherlands'.

The jury indicated that the results of Tram's research are highly relevant to current guidelines around the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The jury also praised her for her independent attitude throughout the study.

Stimulating scientific research

The KHMW and the Dr Saal van Zwanenberg Foundation award the Honorary Prize once every two years. Three research prizes are awarded annually to master students in medical and pharmaceutical sciences who have written a master's thesis on a medicine. By awarding prizes and grants to scientists and students, the Foundation stimulates scientific research into new medicines.

Last modified:16 November 2023 4.45 p.m.
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