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News and activities

The entire opposition consisted of women
When:31 May 2018

Corona Women

Poelarends and coworkers publish in Nature Catalysis
When:15 March 2018

Poelarends and coworkers publish in Nature Catalysis on the fungal natural product aspergillomarasmine A that has been identified as a potent and selective inhibitor of metallo-β-lactamases and a promising codrug candidate to fight antibiotic resistant bacteria

Making modern drugs even more effective and safe
When:17 October 2017

ITN research project funded by the EU with four million euros to develop better ways to clean so-called therapeutic proteins in the coming years, while at the same time developing the experts urgently needed for this work.

Doctor and pharmacist reduce drug use among nursing home residents
When:11 October 2017

Unnecessary drug use - a known phenomenon in nursing homes - is difficult to reverse. In order to assist the specialists in nursing homes, researchers from the University of Groningen and the University Medical Center Groningen have developed a promising method. The research was published on October 10th in the leading magazine Annals of Internal Medicine.

Dropwater en cannabisolie
When:09 October 2017

Dropwater en cannabisolie

Inflammatory protein also present in lungs of ex-smokers
When:03 October 2017

Inflammatory protein also present in lungs of ex-smokers

Introducing our new scientific staff member Floriaan Schmidt
When:24 August 2017

Floriaan Schmdit started as new tenure track assistant professor in Precision Drug Therapy in the research group PharmacoTherapy, -Epidemiology & -Economics

Poelarends promoted to full professor
When:23 August 2017

The Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP) proudly announces the promotion of Prof dr. G.J. (Gerrit) Poelarends to full professor by the Executive Board of our University. We congratulate him with his appointment.

Van Leersum grant for international comparative study of medicine use in children with ADHD
When:24 July 2017

The Van Leersum grants are awarded to promising young researchers in the fields of neurology, radiology and pharmacology. The grant – of up to €6,300 – will enable Van der Schans to conduct research abroad or pay a working visit to a foreign institute.

Lung Foundation supports research on lung tissue repair
When:20 July 2017

The Lung Foundation is supporting the new COPD research by pharmacologistReinoud Gosens. He will be heading research on the stimulation of certain cells in the lungs to repair tissue. The research has been made possible due to the support of donors. Gosens is Professor of Pharmacology at the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (Faculty of Science and Engineering).

Human liver slices on a chip to study liver diseases
When:23 June 2017

Olinga explains his reseach in video

Kidney Foundation Grant the prevention of diabetic kidney damage
When:14 June 2017

A Kidney foundation Innovation Call 2017 grant of 100kEUR was awarded to RUG (Groves), UMCG (van Goor) and UMCU (Joles) researchers to develop small molecules that would enhance the function of a protein (thiosulfase sulfurtransferase or TST) that plays a key role in protecting against diabetes.

“Meer kennis met minder dieren” (ZonMw) grant for Olinga
When:05 April 2017

A team of researchers from the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (Prof Dr E.M.J. Verpoorte and Prof Dr Peter Olinga), University of Mainz (Prof Dr Dr D. Schuppan), and Boehringer Ingelheim has recently been awarded a grant for 625 k€ within the program ‘Meer Kennis met Minder Dieren’. This research is financial supported by both ZonMW and Proefdiervrij and led by Dr. P. Olinga (Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy group of GRIP).

Royal Decoration for Geny Groothuis
When:13 March 2017

Royal Decoration for Geny Groothuis

Medical Pharmaceutcial Sciences awarded 'top degree programme' quality label
When:28 February 2017

Our master programme in Medical Pharmaceutical Sceinces has been awarded the ‘Top Degree Programme’ quality label

EUR1.5 million for greener medicines
When:17 February 2017

Prof. Gerrit Poelarends has been awarded a VICI grant of € 1.5 million to make the production processes of a number of frequently prescribed drugs greener. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) announced the award today. Poelarends is professor in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP). He is one of four University of Groningen researchers to be awarded a VICI grant.

Dutch Cancer Foundation (KWF) grant for Dömling
When:15 February 2017

KWF grant: on-invasive whole-body imaging of immune checkpoints using radiolabeled small molecules as predictive biomarker for response to therapy.

STW OTP grant for Rainer Bischoff
When:30 November 2016

STW OTP grant for Bischoff: Nanopatterned Electrode Surfaces for Proteomics, Drug Screening and Synthesis,

Herman Woerdenbag wins Faculty Teaching Award
When:24 November 2016

During an award ceremony last Tuesday, Dr. Herman Woerdenbag (nominated by the MSc Pharmacy) has been proclaimed as the winner of this year’s Faculty Teaching Award.

‘Farmacie Groningen nr 1.’
When:15 November 2016

‘Farmacie Groningen nr 1.’

CarbaZymes; Sustainable industrial processes based on a C-C bond-forming enzyme platform
When:14 November 2016

CarbaZymes; Sustainable industrial processes based on a C-C bond-forming enzyme platform

FET OPEN on Integrated Tissue Slice Culture and NMR Metabolomics for Verpoorte
When:19 October 2016

Groningen researcher Sabeth Verpoorte (Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy), Marcel Utz (University of Southampton), and Jan Korvink (Karlsruher Institute für Technologie) have been awarded the FET Open project ‘Integrated Tissue Slice Culture and NMR Metabolomics – A Novel Approach Towards Systemic Understanding of Liver Function And Disease’.

Research grant from the World Anti-Doping Agency for professor Hidde Haisma
When:18 October 2016

WADA grant for Hidde Haisma

The Way Forward for Economics in Healthcare: Public meets Private
When:26 September 2016

The Way Forward for Economics in Healthcare: Public meets Private

The Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy has a new Director
When:01 September 2016

Since September 1, Prof. dr. H.W. (Erik) Frijlink succeeded Prof. dr. W.J. (Wim) Quax as Scientific Director of the GRIP Institute

Erik Frijlink nominated for Huibregtsen Prize 2016
When:30 June 2016

Erik Frijlink nominated for Huibregtsen Prize 2016

Fellowship for Innovation of Teaching for Melgert
When:15 June 2016

the Fellowships for Innovation of Teachin g were awarded to 9 teachers of the University, who are involved in teaching excellence. Prof. Barbro Melgert from Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology and Targeting, was one of the winners

Pharmacy team ’Drugsrunners’ ran Lauwersloop
When:30 May 2016

Pharmacy team ’Drugsrunners’ ran Lauwersloop

Higher antibiotics prescription prevalence in Germany
When:18 May 2016

higher prescription prevalence for antibiotics in children in Germany than in the netherlands

Longpatiënten ziek gemaakt voor het goede doel
When:11 May 2016

Barbro Melgert zal de proefpersonen in haar nieuwe studie binnenkort een virus toedienen waarvan ze verkouden worden.

Royal Decoration for Jan Visser
When:11 May 2016

Royal Decoration for Jan Visser

Loes Kistemaker receives NRS Swierenga Thesis Award
When:20 April 2016

Loes Kistemaker receives NRS Swierenga Thesis Award 2016

Poor guideline adherence in the initiation of antidepressant treatment in children and adolescents in the Netherlands
When:21 March 2016

Doctors adhere poorly to the Dutch guideline for prescribing antidepressants to children and teenagers with depression.

Re-engineering a tiny enzyme
When:08 March 2016

Poelarends Using mutability landscapes of a promiscuous tautomerase to guide the engineering of enantioselective Michaelases

LIFT-project for innovative antibiotics and herbicides
When:29 February 2016

LIFT-project for innovative antibiotics and herbicides

Longfonds en BN'ers dagen uit om onderzoek longreparatie te versnellen
When:16 February 2016

Met de actie 'Hoe lang houd jij je adem in?' wil het Longfonds mensen met gezonde longen laten ervaren hoe het voelt om naar adem te snakken en geld ophalen om baanbrekend onderzoek naar longreparatie door dr. Reinoud Gosens van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen te versnellen.

Charity run yields more than € 56,000 for research of Dömling
When:08 February 2016

Charity run yields more than € 56,000 for research of Dömling

Parkinson’s patients can breathe a sigh of relief
When:04 February 2016

New research at the University of Groningen offers hope to patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Dry powder inhalation of antibiotics
When:02 February 2016

antibiotics, inhalation, infectious diesease

KIEM grant for Prof.dr. G.J. Poelarends
When:19 January 2016

Remmende aminozuren voor geneesmiddel tegen psychotische stoornissen

ERC Proof-of-Concept (ERC-PoC) grant for Prof.dr. G.J. Poelarends
When:19 January 2016

Prof.dr. G.J. Poelarends (Pharmaceutical Biology, GRIP) was awarded a Proof of Concept grant from the EU. The Proof of Concept funding helps ERC grant holders bridge the gap between their research and the earliest stage of a marketable innovation.

Drug transport and transport-metabolism interplay in the human and rat intestine: ex vivo studies with precision-cut intestinal slices
When:14 January 2016

In his thesis Ming Li shows that thin slices (precision-cut intestinal slices, PCIS) prepared from intestinal tissue of rats and humans can function as a model to test drugs on their potency to interact with transport proteins and metabolizing enzymes.

ECHO grant for Prof.dr. G.J. Poelarends
When:13 January 2016

Prof. dr. Gerrit J. Poelarends (Pharmaceutical Biology) recently received an ECHO award from NWO for his proposal titled "Exploiting enzyme promiscuity for biocatalysis: Engineering novel ‘Michaelases’ for carbon-carbon bond formation"

Improving protein stabilization by spray drying
When:11 January 2016

PhD defense Niels Grasmijer

Young talent Longfonds grant for Loes Kistemaker
When:05 January 2016

long fund for Kistemaker

Pharmacoeconomics of cardiovascular disease prevention
When:16 December 2015

In the thesis of Jana Stevanovic, some of the methodological challenges in simulating and synthesizing pharmacoeconomic evidence in cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention were assessed and potential solutions to those challenges were proposed. This includes a set of recommendations for enhancing the robustness of pharmacoeconomic analyses that apply CVD risk prediction models. The application of these recommendations was also explored in a simplified model of primary CVD prevention with antihypertensives. Another challenging issue relates to the robustness of evidence on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) values used in pharmacoeconomic analyses. Here, evidence-synthesis was suggested as a relevant approach to, where appropriate, synthesize HRQoL values in specific CVD disorders as well as to indicate the level of heterogeneity across those values and possibly its sources. As an example, evidence-synthesis of instrument-specific HRQoL values in coronary heart disease and its underlying disease-forms was explored. In this study large heterogeneity within and between the instrument-specific values and inherent uncertainty if applied within pharmacoeconomic analysis, were found.

This thesis also derives pharmacoeconomic evidence on the use of oral anticoagulants (i.e. vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) and novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) e.g. apixaban, dabigatran) for secondary CVD prevention that may have direct societal relevance and implications in the Dutch setting. Firstly, optimizing the standard anticoagulant care with VKAs was explored. Secondly, the health and economic consequences associated with the use of apixaban for the prevention of stroke in non-valvular atrial fibrillation, and dabigatran for treatment and prevention of venous thromboembolism indicated that both apixaban and dabigatran were favourable alternatives to treatment with VKAs.

In conclusion, several studies in this thesis emphasize that standardizing methodological requirements and recommendations for conducting and reporting pharmacoeconomic studies in CVD prevention including the ones proposed in this thesis may enhance the quality and validity of pharmacoeconomic evidence and reduce possible bias. Furthermore, this thesis provides pharmacoeconomic evidence that NOACs may present a valuable alternative to VKAs for thromboprophylaxis in the Dutch setting.


Dr. L. Kistemaker awarded at meeting of the Royal Physics Society
When:16 December 2015

During the 1786e meeting of the Royal Physics Society the Van Swinderen Prize has been awarded yesterday. This price is awarded every year to the best summary of a PhD thesis published at the Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences or the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of Groningen in that academic year. Four graduates were nominated including Dr. Loes Kistemaker, postdoc in the research unit Molecular Pharmacology. We congratulate Dr. Kistemaker with winning the second price for which she received € 1000.

Dr. Kistermaker defended her thesis titled Acetylcholine beyond bronchoconstriction; A regulator of inflammation and remodeling on March 06 this year and was rewarded the classification "cum laude". The studies Dr. Kistemaker described in her thesis have revealed that acetylcholine contributes to airway inflammation and remodeling in asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) specifically via M3 muscarinic receptors. In addition, she provided the first evidence that inflammation in COPD is in part mediated by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This suggests that patients with asthma or COPD might benefit from M3-selective antagonists to a much larger extent than previously appreciated.

Hat trick for Hanan Al-Kutubi, PhD in Pharmaceutical Analysis
When:14 December 2015

Hanan Al-Kutubi recently was awarded twice for her master’s research

Bedumer Winterloop 2016 fund raising for drug development
When:10 December 2015

Prof Dömling UMCG Kanker research fonds.

Self-controlled designs to control confounding
When:01 December 2015

The best available evidence for decision-making on interventions will often come from observational studies. Given the vulnerability of observational studies to confounding, complete and transparent reporting on confounding is necessary to enable readers to assess the validity of study findings. In his thesis Koen Pouwels assessed whether the reporting of confounding improved after the publication of the STROBE guideline. The reporting of confounding was similar before and after the publication of this reporting guideline and was not better in journals that more actively endorsed the guideline. Hence, research into the development and evaluation of strategies to improve the quality of reporting and adherence to reporting guidelines is needed rather than adding another guideline to the steadily increasing pile.

One of the more novel developments with regard to the control of confounding in observational studies is the application of a self-controlled design. Pouwels applied and empirically compared various available self-controlled designs. Although self-controlled methods seemed to be able to control confounding better in situations where strong unmeasured time-invariant confounding was present, such designs are often applied when it is likely that assumptions underlying these designs are violated. Discrepancies between parallel group designs and self-controlled designs could be predicted by failure to meet assumptions of the self-controlled designs. Therefore, Pouwels recommends to apply self-controlled designs when there are concerns about unmeasured confounders, but also to verify whether assumptions are likely met and in case of uncertainty to apply sensitivity analyses.


Dr. B.N. Melgert appointed as Adjunct Professor in Pharmaceutical Immunology
When:26 November 2015
Dr. B.N. Melgert appointed as Adjunct Professor in Pharmaceutical Immunology

Role of EPAC in axon determination
When:24 November 2015

The acquisition and maintenance of spatial differences in structure of the neuron, a phenomenon referred to as neuronal polarity, is a crucial event that may be key in understanding neuronal wiring fundamental to our brain function. The aim of this thesis was to investigate how EPAC, a protein activated by the second messenger cyclic AMP (cAMP), controls neuronal polarity, using freshly isolated hippocampal neurons from mouse brain. We observed that pharmacological inhibition of EPAC and genetic activation can induce opposite changes in terms of neuronal morphology. Inhibition creates neurons with multiple axons, whereas activation reduces the length of the axon and the number of neurons that are polarized, a phenomenon shared by several other regulators of polarity. Mechanistically, we determined that an important target of EPAC in the regulation of neuronal polarity is Rap1B, a small GTPase that historically has also been observed to drive polarization processes. The solidity of this signalling event becomes evident by the fact that also in neuroblastoma cells EPAC activation can lead to the development of axon-like structures, a phenomenon that was previously only attributed to PKA, which is also activated by cAMP. The work presented here provides a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying neuronal polarity and the development of the axon, expanding on the functions of cyclic AMP in this system and highlighting EPAC as a crucial and novel mediator of cAMP-driven polarity.

Development and application of proteomics as aid for unraveling smoke-induced COPD
When:23 November 2015

Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), yet only a subset of smokers develops COPD, therefore in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the first processes responsible of the disease, Lorenza Franciosi set up the acute smoking model in young susceptible and non-susceptible individuals, COPD patients and controls. Her data show that already at young age, subjects with a positive family history of COPD respond differently to cigarette smoke than those with a negative family history. Particularly SerpinB3 and Uteroglobin were found to be proteins that may play a role in the onset of COPD.

The scope of the thesis of Franciosi was to identify potential biomarkers for COPD via a proteomic approach.

In order to identify the first processes involved in the onset of COPD, she aimed to compare not only confirmed (older) COPD patients with healthy controls, but also younger subjects susceptible or non-susceptible to develop the disease, based on their family history.

After assessing the feasibility of our proteomic approach in the investigation in Epithelial Lining Fluid (ELF), Francioso firstly compared the differential proteomic profiles in COPD patients and healthy controls. The proteins that resulted as statistically significantly different between these groups were subsequently investigated via other approaches, namely immunohistochemistry and ELISA.

A comparative study of ELF from COPD patients and healthy controls using chemical stable isotope labeling (iTRAQ®-8Plex) showed that the levels of four proteins differed significantly between ELF from COPD patients and healthy controls. These proteins are directly involved in two of the key processes responsible for the onset and development COPD, namely inflammation and oxidative stress.

ERA-NET subsidy for translational research on human ovarian tumour
When:10 November 2015

Peter Horvatovich, Analytical Biochemistry (Groningen Research institute of Pharmacy), received as consortium partner in TRANSCAN-2, ERA-NET research program 300.000 euro subsidy for translational research on human ovarian tumour heterogeneity to overcome recurrence and resistance to therapy.

Enhancing the possibilities of LC-MS/MS for the absolute quantification of proteins in biological samples
When:27 October 2015

The research of Klaas Bronsema demonstrates that the performance of LC-MS/MS can be in accordance with international guidelines, and that these method is a serious alternative for ligand binding essays for the quantification of proteins in complex biological samples down to the low pg/mL level.

Peter Olinga appointed as Adjunct Professor in Translational Biopharmaceutics
When:29 September 2015

The Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy announces the appointment of Dr. Peter Olinga as Adjunct Professor in Translational Biopharmaceutics. Olinga works on the forefront of drug development and has an excellent reputation in the field of experimental disease models. He has developed and implemented in vitro and ex vivo models in the drug development process and improved the ex vivo technique of tissue slices. Olinga’s group is currently using human precision-cut tissue slices (PCTS) to study the pathophysiology of human organ fibrosis as well as potential therapeutics. The processes leading to fibrosis encompasses many cell types and involves numerous cellular interactions that are currently not well understood. As a result, only a limited number of potential drug targets for fibrosis have been discovered. Moreover, it has proven difficult to translate promising research findings to the clinic, mainly because of species differences, the slow development of fibrosis and the lack of clinically relevant noninvasive biomarkers to monitor fibrosis progression in humans. Furthermore, the human in vitro models currently utilized in fibrosis research cannot predict or mimic the complex cellular interactions that occur in vivo during fibrosis. Peter Olinga works on improving technologies and models to tackle these specific problems. His group studies many different human organs that can be affected by fibrosis, which is unique in the world. The PCTS model represents an ex vivo/in vitro tissue culture technique that replicates most of the multicellular characteristics of whole organs in vivo. In particular, the possibility to use (diseased) human tissue to study the pathophysiological mechanism of fibrosis is a great asset of the PCTS technique. Moreover, it holds the promise to overcome the problems related to the bench to bedside translation in drug development.

Taking blood samples at home after an organ transplant
When:28 September 2015

Frequent hospital check-ups will soon be a thing of the past for patients who have undergone an organ transplant, as they will be able to take samples of their own blood at home and send them off for analysis. This is the conclusion of Remco Koster, researcher-analyst in the UMCG, in a thesis for which he will be awarded a PhD by the University of Groningen on 25 September 2015. ‘My research revealed the limitations of various methods of analysis,’ he explains. ‘But the Dried Blood Spot (DBS) method appears to be highly suitable for home monitoring by patients.’

Patients who have undergone an organ transplant have to take drugs to suppress the body’s immune system for the rest of their lives. The drugs are intended to prevent the body from rejecting the new organ. ‘The dosage is very specific’, continues Koster. ‘Too much or too little can be dangerous, so patients have to go to hospital regularly to monitor the level of the drug in their blood.’

Enhancing adherence in patients with COPD
When:22 September 2015

In his research project Job van Boven found that COPD patients who used their medication sub-optimally (non-adherent patients), were more often hospitalized, had lower quality of life and also decreased life expectation. In addition, total healthcare costs were higher and these patients showed higher work productivity losses. Individuals with a chronic lung disease, such as COPD, are dependent on the use of inhaled medication. These medications can substantially reduce dyspnea and prevent exacerbations. However, they are only optimally effective when used on a daily basis and with a correct inhalation technique (this is called “adherence”). The majority of patients have major difficulties in being or remaining adherent. Van Boven also discovered that side-effects are common after the start of new inhaled lung medication, especially in the first three months, but even after a year of use, they still occur. This is often related to incorrect inhalation technique. Obviously, we should not blame the COPD patients themselves for this. However, it highlights that physicians and pharmacists should spent more time on educating their patients on how to use their inhaled medication in a correct manner. Therefore, Van Boven subsequently investigated the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of enhancing adherence, in The Netherlands as well as in Belgium. In both countries it appeared that patients that received extra education and instruction had fewer hospitalizations at lower total healthcare costs as compared to COPD patients receiving standard care. Van Boven concluded that optimizing medication adherence should therefore always be considered before starting new, often more expensive, therapies.


Discovery of a potent allosteric kinase modulator by combining computational and synthetic methods
When:09 September 2015

PhD student Edwin Kroon from the group Drug Design has discovered an allosteric and potent PDK1 modifier using a combined computational and synthetic approach.

Metabolomics and bioanalysis of terpenoid derived secondary metabolites
When:04 September 2015

Analysis of Cannabis sativa L. metabolite production and prenylases for cannabinoid production

PhD ceremony:

drs. R. Muntendam


September 11, 2015




prof. dr. W.J. (Wim) Quax


Academy building RUG


Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Cannabinoid research has gained a renenewed interest by both the public and scientist. Focus is mainly directed to the medicinal activities, as reported for various cannabinoid structures. The thesis of Remco Muntendam focusses on prenyl-derived secondary metabolites with main focus on cannabinoids.

Firstly the production patterns and production location were investigated for standardiozed cultivated medicinal Cannabis sativa variants. Metabolic profiling discriminated variants during the complete cultivation. Moreover, the densities and plant distribution of three classes of trichoma were reported and analyzed for their cannabinoid profile.

Next an alternative enzyme for, the major cannabinoid precursor, cannabigerolic acid production was investigated. By providing a new hypothesis for the prenylation mechanism, evidence is provided for activity improvement on important substrates for cannabinoid production.

Last the potential of Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous to produce terpene derived compounds after recombinant engineering was proven. The reported results linked production levels to enzyme levels and indicated the potential of this yeast to elevated production levels.

Observation made within these thesis support further analytical research performed on cannabinoids. Furthermore it provides the basis for recombinant cannabinoid production by providing screening techniques for cannabinoid profiling and insights into the mechanism of cannabinoid precursor production.


PRISMA-publicatieprijs voor artikel over MeMO bij osteoporose
When:28 August 2015

Een artikel over het gebruik van de MeMO-methode (Medicatie Monitoring & Optimalisatie) bij osteoporose is bekroond met de publicatieprijs van stichting PRISMA. Het artikel verscheen in februari 2014 in Osteoporosis International. Ada Stuurman en co-auteurs Eric Hiddink (Health Base), Job van Boven en Stefan Vegter (FarmacoEpidemiologie en FarmacoEconomie (GRIP)) ontvingen de prijs tijdens het PRISMA-symposium op 19 mei in Amersfoort.

Verbeterde therapietrouw én patiënttevredenheid
Het winnende artikel Proactive pharmaceutical care interventions decrease patients' nonadherence to osteoporosis medication komt voort uit onderzoek tussen HealthBase en FarmacoEpidemiologie en FarmacoEconomie. De auteurs beschrijven hoe zowel therapietrouw als patiënttevredenheid verbeteren door geprotocolleerde medicatiereviews, adviesgesprekken op maat en het voortdurend monitoren van medicijngebruik.

De PRISMA prijs wordt jaarlijks uitgereikt aan Nederlandse apotheker-onderzoekers die het beste internationale artikel hebben gepubliceerd over farmaceutische patientenzorg.

Het artikel: Stuurman-Bieze AG, Hiddink EG, van Boven JF, Vegter S. Proactive pharmaceutical care interventions decrease patients' nonadherence to osteoporosis medication. Osteoporosis International 2014; 25:1807-12.

Lung Fund supporting two Groningen research projects
When:20 July 2015

Two consortia led by Groningen researchers, are to receive grants from the Dutch National Lung Fund(Longfonds) for research into the causes and prevention of lung attacks. Barbro Melgert of the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy is therefore investigating the mechanism of lung attacks in patients with asthma and COPD . The second study is an international project on the recovery of lung tissue in COPD. Stem cells can repair lungs and also suppress inflammatory processes.

Integrated pharmaceutical care
When:23 June 2015

A clinical medication review is an assessment of a patient’s pharmacotherapy by a pharmacist, the general practitioner (GP) and the patient, based on a periodic structured critical evaluation of medical, pharmaceutical and drug use information. To perform a medication review at the highest level, cooperation between healthcare providers and the patient is required. This research focuses on the cooperation between pharmacists and GPs in primary care. Its main objectives are to determine: how the chronic medication adherence of patients can be improved by involving them more in their treatment and how the number of drug-related problems and pharmaceutical care issues can be decreased by developing a method to integrate pharmaceutical care by healthcare providers.

Japanese grant for Groves and Verpoorte
When:19 June 2015

The Groves and Verpoorte groups of the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP) have recently been awarded a major international grant from Daiichi Sankyo (TANEDS) to study the formative events in protein crystallisation.

Frijlink wins Utrecht University Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research 2015
When:16 June 2015

On Juny 12, Prof dr. Erik Frijlink, professor of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy of GRIP recieved the Utrecht University Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research 2015 for his outstanding contributions to pharmaceutical science as well as translation of his research to pharmaceutical products. This award is given every two years by the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Exploiting catalytic promiscuity for biocatalysis
When:01 June 2015

Carbon-carbon bond formation by a proline-based tautomerase

A powerful theme that is highly relevant to the design of new biocatalysts is that of catalytic promiscuity, where an enzyme catalyzes alternative reactions in addition to its biologically relevant one. Enzyme promiscuity has great promise as a source of synthetically useful catalytic transformations. Because most enzyme active sites provide a constellation of potential catalytic groups that can act as acids, bases, and nucleophiles, the promiscuity of enzymes is likely to be widespread and tightly linked to the “chemical potential” of their active sites. Here lie formidable challenges and possibilities: the use of mechanistic reasoning to discover new promiscuous activities in existing enzymes, which could be exploited as starting points to generate novel biocatalysts.

Yufeng Miao investigated whether the enzyme 4-oxalocrotonate tautomerase (4-OT) exhibits catalytic promiscuity for carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions. 4-OT naturally catalyzes enol-keto tautomerization reactions, and is characterized by a unique catalytic N-terminal proline. Based on the presence of a nucleophilic proline in 4-OT’s active site, it was predicted and discovered that 4-OT can catalyze the Michael-type addition of aliphatic aldehydes to a wide variety of nitroolefins. The resulting γ-nitroaldehydes are important precursors for γ-aminobutyric acids, such as the marketed pharmaceuticals phenibut (tranquilizer), baclofen (anti-alcoholic), and pregabalin (anticonvulsant). 4-OT was also found to catalyze challenging inter- and intramolecular aldol reactions.

The outcomes of his work may support an exciting area in protein engineering research as the newly discovered promiscuous activities of 4-OT can serve as crucial starting points for the laboratory evolution of novel biocatalysts for carbon-carbon bond formation.

PhD ceremony:


June 05, 2015




prof. dr. G.J. (Gerrit) Poelarends , prof. dr. W.J. (Wim) Quax


Academy building RUG


Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Pharmacokinetics and optimal exposure of antifungal drugs in critically ill patients
When:01 June 2015

In her thesis Kim van der Elst has evaluated the behavior and the exposure of antifungal drugs and established the relation with the treatment outcome in critically ill adults and children. Furthermore, she has developed noninvasive sampling methods to facilitate monitoring of drug concentrations in blood/body fluids. She has shown that the antifungal drug exposure in critically ill adults and children is often inadequate with the standard dose.

With the growing number of immunocompromised and critically ill patients, as the result of aggressive cancer treatment and immunosuppressive treatment after organ transplantation, the incidence of invasive fungal disease has increased in recent years. However, the behavior of a drug in the body and the blood concentration of the drug can be altered in critically ill patients compared to healthy people.

Adequate exposure is essential for an effective treatment, and ultimately, for improved outcome. The findings of Van der Elst call for the development of a more personalized therapy for patients with invasive fungal disease. This treatment should be based on the characteristics of the fungus and on the characteristics of the patient (underlying disease and treatment of the disease, leading to altered drug behavior). With this strategy, adequate antifungal treatment can be achieved with the current arsenal of antifungal drugs.

PhD defence:


June 05, 2015




prof. dr. J.G.W. (Jos) Kosterink , prof. dr. T.S. (Tjip) van der Werf , prof. dr. D.R.A. (Donald) Uges


Academy building RUG


Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Novel economic perspectives on prevention and treatment
When:26 May 2015

PhD defence Kotsopoulus

Herman Meurs receives 2015 Joseph R. Rodarte Award for Scientific Distinction
When:19 May 2015

Herman Meurs, professor of Immunopharmacology, Molecular Pharmacology group of GRIP, received the 2015 Joseph R. Rodarte Award for Scientific Distinction. The award was presented on May 18 at the annual RSF Assembly Membership Meeting at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference in Denver. The award is the highest level of distinction awarded by the Respiratory Structure and Function Assembly of the ATS.

Alex Dömling partner in AEGIS EU Initial Training Network
When:18 May 2015

The EU Marie Curie Actions has awarded almost EUR 4 million to AEGIS, an Initial Training Network, to be coordinated by the Helmholtz Zentrum, München. Prof dr Alex Domling, Drug Design-group of GRIP, is one of the consortium partners in this project.

Developing health economic models of chronic diseases for reimbursement purposes
When:23 April 2015

The thesis of Bart Heeg deals with health-economic modelling of chronic diseases for reimbursement purposes. With an ageing population the number of chronic diseases, often requiring chronic treatment, is increasing. New health care technologies, such as drugs, diagnostics and medical devices, often provide an improvement to current standard of care. This improvement obviously comes at a certain cost. In health economics, this added benefit is weighted against the higher costs to determine whether a technology is cost-effective and in the end should be reimbursed. For that purpose, health economic models are used. In the first part, various modelling approaches are discussed and applications of those approaches presented for three chronic diseases (schizophrenia, cardiovascular disease and multiple myeloma). The second part is on model parameter estimations in terms of (i) incorporating compliance and (ii) various methods of incorporating categorical inputs in health economic models. Finally, the issue of identifying variables (including health economic outcomes), that are predictive for reimbursement decisions in Scotland, is addressed.

Best oral presentation award for Ingy I. Abdallah
When:20 April 2015

During the International Conference on Metabolic Engineering in Bacteria 2015 Ingy I. Abdallah PhD student in the research group of Prof dr W.J. Quax (Pharmaceutical Biology) was awarded the best oral presentation price.

The jury awarded Ingy Abdallah for her presentation titled Engineering Bacillus subtilis as a cell factory for terpenoids production.

The International Conference on Metabolic Engineering in Bacteria covered all aspects of engineering of bacterial cell factories, comprising experimental and in silico approaches and was held from 16 to 17 April 2015, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The conference was organized by the European Federation of Biotechnology, the Functional Genomics Section, in collaboration with the BACELL Steering Commitee.

STW grant for Dömling and Meurs
When:15 April 2015

Design, Synthesis and Validation of Potent and Isozyme Selective Arginase Inhibitors for Therapeutic Use in Asthma

Major EU grant for development of sustainable industrial processes
When:18 March 2015

The department of Pharmaceutical Biology (Prof.dr. Gerrit J. Poelarends)  has received a 726 k€ grant from the European Union as part of an international consortium.

IMI grant for research into pulmonary administration of new Beta-lactam antibiotics
When:12 March 2015

The department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy (Prof. Erik Frijlink) of the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP) has received a 422K€ grant from EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). The “Inhaled Antibiotics in Bronchiectasis and Cystic Fibrosis” (iABC) project aims at the development of new antibiotics to be used in pulmonary diseases. The consortium consists of 19 partners from 7 countries. These groups combine experience and proven expertise and success in microbiology, antibiotic development, clinical trials, endpoints and patient registries. The activities in Groningen will focus on the development of formulations and devices for pulmonary administration of new Beta-lactam antibiotics.

IMI is Europe's largest public-private initiative aiming to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients. IMI is a joint undertaking between the European Union and the pharmaceutical industry association EFPIA.

Inaugural lecture Prof E.P. van Puijenbroek: 'safe medicines'
When:10 March 2015

Inaugural lecture Prof E.P. van Puijenbroek: 'safe medicines'

Two students selected from the Drug Design department fort his years 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
When:05 March 2015

Two students from Drug Design, group to attend the 65th Limdai Nobel Laureate Meeting.

TA Coast subsidie Verpoorte
When:05 March 2015

Recentelijk is bekend gemaakt dat NWO Chemische Wetenschappen een TA-COAST project heeft toegekend aan Prof. dr. Sabeth Verpoorte, Farmaceutische Analyse, Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP). Het publiek-private samenwerkingsprogramma TA-COAST richt zich op revolutionaire verbeteringen van analytische technologieën.

Gevoelige detectie van chemische stoffen, medicijnen en mogelijk toxische stoffen in een humane darm-op-een-chip

In het project van Prof Verpoorte zal een mond-maag-darm digestie- en opnamemodel op een chip ontwikkeld worden, gekoppeld aan gevoelige detectietechnieken. Hiermee kan heel nauwkeurig bepaald worden of bepaalde chemische stoffen en nieuwe medicijnkandidaten opgenomen kunnen worden door de mens. Ook kunnen eventueel schadelijke effecten op de darm vroegtijdig opgespoord worden. Het geïntegreerde darm-op-een-chip en detectiesysteem zal een forse bijdrage kunnen leveren aan het verminderen van het gebruik van dierproeven.

NWO levert een bijdrage aan dit project van bijna €600.000. Daarnaast wordt, naast ‘in kind’ inspanningen, bijna €100.000 cash bijgedragen door de deelnemende bedrijven (Friesland Campina, Galapagos, RIKILT, Europroxima en Micronit).

Voor meer informatie (

Acetylcholine beyond bronchoconstriction; A regulator of inflammation and remodeling
When:03 March 2015

The studies Loes Kistemaker described in her thesis have revealed that acetylcholine contributes to airway inflammation and remodeling in asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)  

ERC Starting Grant for better drug targeting
When:25 February 2015

Anna Salvati, assistant professor at the Division of Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology and Targeting ( Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science) has received an ERC Starting Grant of EUR 1.5 million. She will study how nanoparticles, that can carry drugs, are taken up and processed by cells.

WNT signaling in airway remodeling in asthma
When:11 February 2015

WNT signaling in airway remodeling in asthma

phd defence Kumawat

Repairing lungs
When:09 January 2015

Everyone with a lung disease dreams of the day when someone will find a way to fix their lungs. Chances are that this will indeed be possible in the future.

Researchers are currently working hard to find a way to fix defective lungs. Dr Reinoud Gosens from the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP), for example, is looking into growth factors. He thinks that the medicine of the future that will cure the lung disease COPD may already be hidden in the human body.

The research conducted by Dr Gosen's consortium was awarded a EUR 600,000 grant by the Longfonds (Dutch national Lung Fund) several months ago.

Gosens talks about his research in this film.

Interview with Dr Reinoud Gosens (Longfonds)

Groeifactoren: de weg naar longreparatie

Gold-based complexes: synthesis and evaluation as anticancer agents
When:08 January 2015

Among the twenty gold-based compounds Benoit Bertrand synthesized, two of them presented interesting selective toxicity for cancer cells compared to healthy cells and tissues and deserve further investigations as potential anticancer drugs.

Currently, platinum-based compounds are present in the majority of the chemotherapeutic cocktails. However, despite their clinical success, platinum-based drugs present several limitations including numerous and severe side effects. A strategy envisaged to overcome these limitations is the replacement of platinum by other transition metals. Among the different metals tested over the years, gold compounds have been shown to be promising as they can overcome resistance to cisplatin due to their different modes of action.

In his thesis, Bertrand presents the synthesis of different types of gold-based complexes including gold(I)-N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHC), (C^N) cyclometalated gold(III) complexes as well as heterobimetallic complexes bearing a gold(I)-NHC  moiety. These compounds show higher stability in a physiological environment compared to classical platinum complexes The different compounds have been tested in panels of human cancer cell lines and a model of human healthy kidney cells. Moreover, “bifunctional” lansoprazole-based gold(I) complexes were also evaluated for their biological properties in vitro. On selected compounds we also performed mechanistic studies to try to elucidate their possible mechanisms of action. Specifically, we investigated two possible enzyme targets: thioredoxin reductase and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1, as well as DNA G-quadruplexes. The cellular uptake of some fluorescent compounds was also studied using confocal microscopy techniques. In a few cases, we also assessed their toxicity ex vivo in rat healthy tissues using the precision-cut tissue slices technique.

PhD ceremony:

Mr B.C. (Benoit) Bertrand


January 16, 2015




prof. dr. G.M.M. (Geny) Groothuis, P. Le Gendre

Melgert in Medicines
When:06 January 2015

Dr. Barbro Melgert, afdeling Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology and Targeting van het Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy heeft recentelijk met haar farmaceutisch immunologisch onderzoek gestaan in Medicines (Nieuwsorgaan van FIGON) d.d. 5 december 2014:

Het Groningen Research lnstitute for Pharmacy (GRIP) heeft in 2010 een stimulans gegeven aan het farmaceutisch-immunologische onderzoek en onderwijs door binnen de basiseenheid farmacokinetiek, toxicologie en targeting, de onderzoeksgroep farmaceutische immunologie te faciliteren. Barbro Melgert leidt deze groep, die zich richt op het gebruik van het immuunsysteem als geneesmiddelbron en het vinden van nieuwe targets voor geneesmiddelen binnen het aangeboren immuunsysteem. Zij richt zich met name op het functioneren van macrofagen in verschillende longziektes en probeert dysfunctionele reacties van macrofagen in deze longziektes te verklaren. Op basis van deze kennis ontwikkelt Melgerts team nieuwe therapieën die specifiek de functies van macrofagen moduleren.


Macrofagen zijn met name bekend om hun uitstekende verdediging tegen microorganismen. Hun grote aanwezigheid in de longen wordt daarom gezien als bescherming tegen ingeademde micro-organismen. Recent immunologisch onderzoek toonde aan dat macrofagen niet alleen efficiënte opruimers van micro-organismen zijn, maar ook een belangrijke bijdrage leveren aan het remmen van ontstekingen en het herstellen van weefsels. Daarmee lijken macrofagen de belangrijkste beschermers van de longfunctie: ze maken indringers zo snel mogelijk onschadelijk en zorgen er eveneens voor dat dit met zo min mogelijk weefselschade gebeurt, waardoor het uitwisselen van gassen zo kort mogelijk verstoord wordt. De coördiatie van deze totaal verschillende functies door één celtype is een subtiel samenspel tussen verschillende subtypen van macrofagen en signalen die het weefsel afgeeft bij infectie of schade. Bij verschillende longziektes blijkt dat dit subtiele samenspel ontregeld is en dat macrofagen bijdragen aan het ontstaan en de progressie van de aandoeningen. Onderzoek van Melgerts groep laat bijvoorbeeld zien dat astma wordt gekarakteriseerd door een overmaat aan macrofagen met een weefselherstel-fenotype en dat die macrofagen met name bij vrouwen bijdragen aan de ernst van de ziekte. Bij chronisch obstructief longlijden (COPD) zijn er juist te veel macrofagen die bijdragen aan afbraak van bindweefsel en daarmee longweefsel, waardoor oppervlak voor gasuitwisseling verloren gaat. Bij fibrose dragen macrofagen bij aan overmatige afzetting van taai bindweefsel in de longen, waardoor de gasuitwisseling gehinderd wordt.


Macrofagen beïnvloeden met componenten van het immuunsysteem zelf (biologicals) of kleine chemische moleculen is een onontgonnen gebied en past in de trend het immuunsysteem te gebruiken als geneesmiddelbron. Immunologische mediatoren, zoals antilichamen, cytokines en groeifactoren, worden in toenemende mate gebruikt als geneesmiddelen. In de periode 2003-2013 was 30 tot 50 procent van de nieuwe geneesmiddelen een biological en tezamen zijn ze verantwoordelijk voor 20 procent van de totale omzet aan geneesmiddelen wereldwijd. Kennis van immunologie is daarom onmisbaar geworden voor de farmacie en belangrijk om apothekers op te leiden die met deze nieuwe klasse van geneesmiddelen moeten kunnen omgaan.

Exploring chemical versatility within the tautomerase superfamily
When:19 December 2014

Bert-Jan Baas has investigated how evolution works at the molecular level of enzymes, being one of the key components of living cells. The theory of evolution is usually described at the level of organisms and populations as a whole. Evolution, however, takes place at a far more fundamental level in the cells that make up an organism.

Baas has investigated how a family of cis-3-chloroacrylate dehalogenases, enzymes that degrade a man-made compound, may have evolved within the context of the tautomerase superfamily. Surprisingly, he found that several tautomerases in this superfamily exhibit low-level promiscuous dehalogenase activity, whereas the cis-3-chloroacrylate dehalogenases possess low-level tautomerase activity. These shared promiscuous activities suggest that these dehalogenases divergently evolved from tautomerases and that catalytic promiscuity played a crucial role in this process. Hence, low-level promiscuous activities of existing enzymes may function as starting points to evolve new enzymes, where the promiscuous activity has been enhanced to a useful level.

In addition, the diverse chemistry catalyzed by members of the tautomerase superfamily was investigated. This has led to the discovery of a rare cofactor-independent enzyme that catalyzes a direct reaction between molecular oxygen and an organic substrate, an activity that was unknown to occur in this superfamily. This highlights the extraordinary chemical versatility of enzymes belonging to the tautomerase superfamily, and questions us what other catalytic abilities are still out there, waiting to be discovered.

TRAIL receptor-targeted therapy
When:18 December 2014

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, the number of new cases and deaths continues to increase. The induction of apoptosis, also called programmed cell death, in cancer cells is an important goal of anti-cancer agents. Standard treatment with radio- and chemotherapy, however, cause unwanted side effects and often lead to resistance due to insufficient efficacy. Therefore, biological therapeutics are developed as alternative treatment strategies. Tumour Necrosis Factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is an example of a promising biological agent as it selectively induces apoptosis in cancer cells but not in healthy cells. In addition, TRAIL is well tolerated by patients. Unfortunately, TRAIL-induced apoptosis is hampered in approximately 50% of tumour cells due to obstructions at different levels in the apoptotic pathway.

In this thesis, the mechanisms behind TRAIL-resistance of different cancer types were examined. This information was used to design rational combination strategies of TRAIL with other agents. The effectiveness of TRAIL-induced apoptosis is improved due to clustering of the membrane-bound receptors to which TRAIL binds, and because of changes in the ratio of apoptotic proteins. Additionally, it was demonstrated that the kinases JNK and p38 regulate apoptosis-activation by TRAIL, and that this effect was mediated by the protein Mcl-1.

In summary, the results show that TRAIL-induced apoptosis in tumour cells can be improved by simultaneously modulating different molecular mechanisms. Further research should determine whether these possible combination strategies have added value for application in the clinic.

Innovative platform technologies for stabilization and controlled release of proteins from polymer depots
When:03 December 2014

In the past decades there is growing interest in the application of therapeutic proteins for the treatment of various diseases. Polymer based injectable depot preparations that release proteins over a prolonged period of time may form an attractive alternative to the conventional injections of these drugs that usually require frequent administrations. Hot melt extrusion (HME) is a generally applied technology for the preparation of polymer based implants for the controlled release of drugs. However, HME has not been extensively explored for the controlled release of proteins yet. The technique may be harmful to the proteins due to their sensitive nature. The aim of the present study was to investigate the stabilization of proteins prior to, during and after encapsulation into polymer matrices by HME as well as during the release of the proteins from the matrices.

Sugar glass technology was applied to stabilize proteins and the mechanism of stabilization was studied. Various sugar glass stabilized proteins were encapsulated into novel biodegradable multiblock copolymers using HME, which could be accomplished at relatively low temperatures (thus favourable in view of protein stability). As a result of pre-stabilization using sugar glasses and the low process temperature, the proteins remained fully stable during the HME process. It was shown that the protein release from polymer depots can be tailored by co-incorporation of sugars as pore forming excipients but also by varying protein size and polymer composition. Polymer degradation rate appeared to be an important factor in the design of depot formulations. However, too fast degradation did lead to unwanted polymer-protein interactions, hampering protein release.

In conclusion, in this thesis the interplay between different polymer and protein related factors relevant for the development of a platform technology for successful stabilization, encapsulation and controlled release of proteins is described.

Better ways to inhale drugs
When:02 December 2014

Inhalation is an important method for administering drugs to patients with conditions such as asthma or cystic fibrosis. Anne Lexmond studied ways of adapting the drug and the type of inhaler so that they would be better suited to each other and to the patient. Her findings dovetail with demand from clinical practice. She will be awarded a PhD by the University of Groningen on 5 December 2014.

Powder to the people
When:02 December 2014

The storage stability, handling, and administration advantages of powder formulations for pulmonary vaccination

Various aspects of vaccination via the lungs were studies in the PhD research of Mr. Wouter Tonnis. Over the last decades, vaccines have prevented many infectious diseases and deaths worldwide. Disadvantages of current vaccine products are their relatively short shelf life and their administration by needle. The short shelf life makes transport to rural areas in developing countries difficult or even impossible. Furthermore, administration by injection creates the risk of transmission of diseases like HIV and hepatitis B, due to the re-use of needles or accidental needle-stick injuries, requires the help of trained healthcare workers, and persons with needle-phobia might refuse vaccination. All these disadvantages could be overcome by processing the vaccine into a dry and stable powder that can be administered by inhalation.

Wouter Tonnis studied Pharmacy at the University of Groningen and continued his PhD at the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP), Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy. He now works as a formulation scientist at Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson.

PhD ceremony:           Mr. W.F. Tonnis

When:                     December 05, 2014

Promotor:                 prof. dr. H.W. (Erik) Frijlink

Read more (make link to )

Groningse onderzoekers spil in de ontwikkeling van een nieuw griepvaccin
When:27 November 2014

Een team onderzoekers van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen gaat leiding geven aan een groot Europees project voor de ontwikkeling van nieuwe griepvaccins. Het project richt zich op de ontwikkeling van vaccins die een brede bescherming zullen bieden tegen het griepvirus. Het Groningse onderzoeksteam staat onder leiding van prof. dr. H.W. Frijlink (onderzoeksleider), prof. dr. A.L.W. Huckriede en prof. dr. E. Hak. Het project draagt de naam Universal Influenza Vaccine Secured en wordt uitgevoerd door een consortium van twaalf partners uit zeven Europese landen: vier bedrijven, vijf nationale gezondheidsinstituten en drie universiteiten.

Festive installation of new Rosalind Franklin Fellows
When:11 November 2014

On Monday 10 November 2014, seventeen new Rosalind Franklin Fellows were installed at the University of Groningen. Rector Magnificus Elmer Sterken and Prof Ingrid Molema, Chair of the RFF Committee, stressed the importance of the Rosalind Franklin Fellowship programme, which has been designed to create room for talented woman scientists as well as to increase the number of woman scientists with a permanent appointment at the university.

After the new Rosalind Franklin Fellows were introduced via short videos, Dr Catarina Dutilh Novaes gave a passionate lecture titled ‘In praise of affirmative action’. ‘Long live the RFF programme!’, said Novaes, Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the Faculty of Philosophy since 2012. ‘There are many reasons to ensure that it continues to be the successful affirmative action programme it has been for more than ten years. You are role models, you are paving the way.’

Medication safety in Vietnamese hospitals
When:05 November 2014

A focus on medication errors and safety culture

November 3 Ms Huong Nguyen will defend her thesis. The dissertation of Huong Nguyen addresses medication safety in South-East Asia, focusing on Vietnam in particular. The results of this thesis provided additional evidence that clinical pharmacists are important in ensuring medication safety, also in resource-restricted countries such as Vietnam. They should take the lead of a multidisciplinary team to develop tailor-made interventions endorsed by hospital managers.

Huong Nguyen did her PhD at the University of Groningen at the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP). The research was funded by NUFFIC. She will continue her career at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

New avenues for Epac in inflammation and tissue remodeling in COPD
When:31 October 2014

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lung mainly caused by cigarette smoke. The main characteristic of COPD is a progressive loss of lung function due to inflammation and tissue remodeling, including airway fibrosis and emphysema. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms that cause the development and progression of COPD. The thesis of Anouk Oldenburger aims to acquire more knowledge about these processes, to be able to make steps forward to improve current therapy for COPD.

Anouk Oldenburger did her PhD at the University of Groningen at the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP). The research was funded by the Long Fund. She will continue her scientific career as a postdoc at the University of Groningen.

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PhD ceremony: A. Oldenburger, MSc

When: October 31 2014

prof. dr. M. (Martina) Schmidt
prof. dr. W. (Wim) Timens
prof. dr. H. (Herman) Meurs
Prof.dr. H. Maarsingh

Four GRIP thesis defences
When:27 October 2014

October 24, 2014 four PhD students from the Groningen research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP) will defend their thesis. Graduation of so many students at the same day is an exceptional event and we are proud of graduates an staff who worked hard for realisation.

Precision-cut intestinal slices as an ex vivo model to study NSAID-induced intestinal toxicity

PhD ceremony:                               X. Niu, MSc

Promotor:                         prof. dr. G.M.M. (Geny) Groothuis

The research of Xiaoyu Niu proved that precision cut intestinal slices (PCIS) are an unique intestinal ex vivo model, which contains all the intestinal cell types in their natural matrix, and maintains high activities of metabolic enzymes and transporters.

For more information link to

Adhesive mixtures for inhalation

PhD ceremony:                             F. Grasmeijer, MSc

Promotor:                       prof. dr. H.W. (Erik) Frijlink

The research of Floris Grasmeijer enables the development of adhesive mixtures that are better dispersible, so that asthma and COPD can be treated more effectively and safely by dry powder inhalation.

For more information link to

β3-Adrenoceptor detection and signal transduction

PhD ceremony:                             Ms H. Cernecka

Promotors:                     prof. dr. M. (Martina) Schmidt, M. Michel, H. Maarsingh

Černecká and her co-authors provided evidence about the molecular mechanisms involved in the relaxation induced by activation of β3-adrenoceptors in the urinary bladder of rats and humans. Importantly, β3-adrenoceptor activation was found to have stronger effects against stimuli occurring in diseased than in healthy bladder. Moreover, specific antibodies raised against β3-adrenoceptors were identified and validated for detection in human and rodent tissues.

For more information link to

Rational use of Jatropha curcas L. in food and medicine

PhD ceremony:                             Mr M. Insanu

Promotors:                     prof. dr. W.J. (Wim) Quax, prof. dr. O. (Oliver) Kayser

Jatropha curcas L. is a natural source of biodiesel. It has high potential economic values. Different parts of J. curcas have their own potencies, unfortunately these were not known by the farmers. The aim of the thesis of Muhamed Insanu is to give an overview of the additional values of Jatropha curcas L. by characterization of its natural products that can be used as a safe pharmaceutical product.

For more information link to

Honorary memberships for GRIP staff
When:02 September 2014

Prof.Dr. Herman Meurs (link naar ), research group Molecular Pharmacology, has received a Fellowship of the European Respiratory Society (FERS) award. This honorable designation recognizes his sustained contribution to research in the respiratory field. Prof.Dr. H. Meurs’ research focus is the immunological regulation of airway function, in particular with regard to the pathophysiology of chronic inflammatory obstructive airways diseases like asthma and COPD, and the development of new pharmacological approaches for drug treatment.
The European Respiratory Society is the leading professional organization in its field in Europe. It is broad-based, with some 10,000 members and counting in over 100 countries. Its scope covers both basic science and clinical medicine with a focus on respiratory diseases.

Ing. Jan Visser (link naar ), technician in the research group Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology and Targeting has been awarded an honorary Membership of the Chromatographic Society, part of the Royal Chemical Society in London (UK). The Society is an international organization devoted to the promotion and dissemination of knowledge on all aspects of chromatography and related separation techniques. Jan Visser is designated for his active contribution to the Chromatographic Society over more than 20 years.

EuroDURG: symposium on Drug Utilisation Research
When:21 August 2014

August 27-29 (2014) a scientific symposium on Drug Utilisation Research is organized in Groningen. The meeting is for researchers and policy makers from academia, healthcare and other organizations supporting rational use of drugs.

Key note lectures will be on methods to assess and improve medicine use, on prescribing quality indicators and on treatment decision making from the perspective of patients, health professionals and health policy personnel. Other topics include adherence to medicines, drug utilisation research informing health policy, drug use and pharmacovigilance, cross-national and within population comparisons of drug utilisation, validity of data sources and data linkage, and patient perspectives on rational drug use.

The symposium is organized by researchers from the research groups Pharmacotherapy and Pharmaceutical Care (GRIP) and Clinical pharmacy & pharmacology (UMCG).

For more information on the programme and participation see .

Symposium Joining forces in pharmaceutical analysis and medicinal chemistry
When:21 August 2014

August 25-26, 2014; Groningen, the Netherlands

The research programme Medicinal Chemistry and Bioanalysis (MCB) of the Groningen University Institute for Drug Exploration (GUIDE) and the research group Analytical Biochemistry (GRIP) organize a scientific symposium to celebrate the inauguration of our new facilities at the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing (ERIBA) as well as the renewed GUIDE programme MCB.

Keynote lecturers: Chrys Chatgilialoglu (Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Athens, Greece), Gianni Sava (Callerio Foundation, Trieste, Italy), Lieven Meerpoel (Janssen R&D, Beerse, Belgium), Lennart Martens (Ghent University and VIB, Ghent, Belgium), Ullrich Jahn (Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry ASCR, Prague, Czech Republic), Wilhelm Huck (Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands).

Late registration is possible. For more information on the programme and registration see

Lung Fund subsidizes research into COPD and lung repair
When:01 July 2014

Research being carried out by a consortium headed by Dr Reinoud Gosens of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, is to receive a grant of € 600,000 from the Lung Fund (formerly known as the Asthma Fund).

Gosens and his team are focusing on the ‘WNT signalling pathway’, a process that is responsible for foetal lung development and for lung recovery after pneumonia. It is a process that does not work properly in people with COPD, leaving their lungs permanently damaged. Gosens and his team are looking for ways to reactivate the process, and thereby enable the damaged lungs to repair themselves. The researchers’ prime objective is to stimulate tissue repair processes in COPD patients by means of stem cell therapy and pharmaceutics designed to reactivate the ‘WNT signalling pathway’ via specific intracellular signalling mechanisms.
Researchers from Groningen are working on the project alongside researchers from Leiden University Medical Center and Helmholtz Zentrum München (German research centre for environmental health).

Lung Fund

In addition to Gosens’ research, the Lung Fund has also allocated funding to two other UMCG research projects. This year, the Lung Fund donated € 2.8 million to four major Dutch studies looking into lung disease. The Lung Fund hopes that allocating funding to universities that work together will encourage them to pool their knowledge.

The Lung Fund works hard to help people with lung disease and to keep healthy lungs healthy. Healthy lungs are literally a matter of life or death. More than a million people in the Netherlands suffer from a lung disease, such as asthma, COPD or another rare form of lung disease.

ZonMw Parel voor toxicoloog Geny Groothuis
When:23 June 2014

Toxicoloog prof. dr. Geny Groothuis van de faculteit Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen, ontvangt vandaag een ZonMw Parel. Haar onderzoek naar vernieuwende technieken en de implementatie biedt alternatieven voor dierproeven in toxicologisch onderzoek. Ze ontvangt de parel uit handen van ZonMw directeur Henk Smid tijdens het 35e jaarcongres van de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Toxicologie in De Koningshof te Veldhoven.

Alternatieven voor dierproeven

Dierproeven zijn nog altijd een belangrijke methode om de werkzaamheid en veiligheid van geneesmiddelen te onderzoeken. Nu we langzamerhand steeds meer begrijpen van het menselijk lichaam op celniveau, komen alternatieven in zicht. Prof. dr. Geny Groothuis is een van de pioniers op dat terrein. Voor haar jarenlange onderzoek op het gebied van geneesmiddelen met behulp van speciale technieken en haar inspanningen om deze wereldwijd erkend en geïmplementeerd te krijgen, ontvangt zij nu een ZonMw Parel.


Om geneesmiddelenmetabolisme, -transport en -toxiciteit te onderzoeken, maakt Groothuis met haar onderzoeksteam gebruik van zogeheten precies-gesneden weefselplakjes (PCTS: precision-cut tissue slices) van de lever. Ze onderzoekt de werking van stoffen op plakjes van (onder meer) levers van proefdieren en de effecten op menselijke preparaten die met dezelfde techniek zijn gemaakt. De plakjes vormen als het ware een minimodel van de lever en dat maakt het mogelijk heel precies de relevante processen te analyseren. De plakjes worden gesneden met een speciaal ontwikkeld apparaat, waardoor de weefselstructuur intact blijft en de cellen gedurende meerdere dagen in leven blijven. Er zijn zo minder levers nodig en dus ook minder proefdieren. Met eén lever kunnen meer dan honderd minimodellen van de lever worden gemaakt. De techniek bespaart zo een evenredig aantal proefdieren. Ook werkt Groothuis aan technieken om de plakjes weefsel langer te kunnen bewaren. Zeker gezien de schaarste van menselijk orgaanweefsel is dit van grote betekenis voor het onderzoek naar geneesmiddelen.

Toepassing in het lab

Het belang van Groothuis’ werk is niet alleen gelegen in haar onderzoeksmethoden en de daarmee behaalde resultaten. Minstens zo belangrijk is haar pionierswerk om de vernieuwende technieken te verspreiden. In haar lab heeft ze inmiddels veel studenten, promovendi én collega’s geschoold, hetgeen de wereldwijde acceptatie en implementatie van de technieken duidelijk heeft gestimuleerd. Door de mogelijkheden voor het opzetten van een biobank met menselijk weefsel te onderzoeken, draagt ze verder bij aan de verspreiding van innovatieve technieken op het gebied van geneesmiddelenonderzoek.

PRISMA presentation prize for Job van Boven
When:18 June 2014

During the PRISMA symposium, PhD student Job van Boven of the Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomics research group ( Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy) received a prize for the best presentation. Van Boven studied the cost-effectiveness of encouraging COPD treatment adherence using protocols. While the involvement of pharmacists and more faithful use of medication raises the costs, these extra costs are compensated for by the resulting health benefits and lower number of hospital admissions. The reductions in costs could involve millions of euros. The study was published last week in Respiratory Research (2014; 15:66, 14 June 2014)

Pharmacy team fourth at Lauwersloop
When:03 June 2014
After 14 years, the Lauwersloop, a relay race between Leeuwarden en Groningen, has been reborn on May 30. The race was organized in context of the 400th anniversary of RUG. A pharmacy team participated and finished 4th out of 48 teams!
The race was over roughly 110 kilometres split over 17 stages varying between 4 to 12 kilometres. More photos
“More Knowledge with Fewer Animals” (ZonMw) grant for Dr. P. Olinga
When:14 May 2014

A team of researchers from the University of Groningen, the UMCG, University of Mainz, and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. will launch a new study focusing on reducing the number of animals used in research on anti-fibrotic drugs. Within the program ZonMW ‘Meer Kennis met Minder Dieren’ a grant of nearly € 500,000 is awarded to a public-private partnership led by Dr. P. Olinga (Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy). Furthermore, Boehringer Ingelheim will support this project (Use of human and animal tissue slices for the development of anti-fibrotic compounds) with nearly € 500,000.

Fibrosis is characterized by excessive deposition of extracellular matrix proteins and is considered a serious complication associated with aging and/or chronic injury. Fibrotic diseases, especially of liver, the cardiovascular system, kidneys and lungs still account for about 45% of deaths in Western societies. The mechanisms of fibrosis are commonly studied in in vitro and in vivo animal models. The in vitro models currently utilized in fibrosis research however cannot predict the complex cellular interactions that occur in vivo. Moreover, in vivo animal studies in fibrosis are accompanied by considerable discomfort and have limited implications for human disease.
The research will focus on clinical translation, i.e., validation of precision-cut tissue slices (PCTS) against currently used in vivo animal models. Due to the guidelines in drug development, optimized animal models are still necessary in the preclinical phase, but comparability of observed antifibrotic effects in vivo with effects found in animal and especially human PCTS will be the best and increasingly demanded step immediately prior to initiation of clinical studies. The current public-private partnership, with partners from academia and the pharmaceutical industry, will ensure that the developed and optimized ex vivo model of fibrosis will finally be used as an immediate preclinical validation tool for clinical anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic drug development, thereby resulting in limiting the number of animals used.

Onderzoek naar een geïndividualiseerd behandelplan voor polyfarmacie patiënten en de rol van de openbaar apotheker
When:12 May 2014

Geneesmiddelen spelen bij 80% van alle medische behandelingen een rol en beïnvloeden het leven van een patiënt in vele opzichten en helaas niet alleen positief. De meest voorkomende geneesmiddelgebonden problemen zijn onder behandeling of het gebrek aan preventieve medicatie en ontoereikend gebruik waardoor gewenste therapeutische doelen niet worden bereikt.

Eerder onderzoek wijst uit dat er positieve resultaten zijn te verwachten van een systematische medicatiebeoordeling (de beoordeling van het geneesmiddelgebruik van een individuele patiënt op basis van een periodieke, gestructureerde, kritische evaluatie van de medische-, farmaceutische- en gebruiksinformatie) uitgevoerd door de apotheker bij patiënten die medicatie langdurig gebruiken voor een chronische aandoening zoals diabetes, hart/vaatziekten, astma en COPD, depressie, of chronische pijn. Bij deze groep van patiënten is maatwerk een vereiste, aangezien de aandoeninggerichte richtlijnen voor geneesmiddelgebruik bij diverse aandoeningen gelijktijdig meestal ontoereikend zijn.

Prof.dr. J.J. de Gier (onderzoeksgroep Farmacotherapie en Farmaceutische Patiëntenzorg) heeft recentelijk financiering ontvangen van de KNMP (Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Farmacie) voor onderzoek naar de wijze van begeleiding van patiënten met polyfarmacie door de openbaar apotheker na een medicatiebeoordeling. Het doel van dit onderzoek is het ontwikkelen van een geïndividualiseerd farmacotherapeutisch behandelplan dat kan worden gebruikt door patiënten met (complexe) polyfarmacie (en hun mantelzorger) waarbij sterk rekening zal worden gehouden met de individuele behoeften van de patiënt. In samenwerking met het AMC, de UvA en het NIVEL (Nederlands instituut voor onderzoek van de gezondheidszorg) zal worden onderzocht hoe dit farmacotherapeutisch behandelplan zelfmanagement van de patiënt bij het gebruik van complexe medicatie kan versterken. Verwacht wordt dat hiermee het aantal geneesmiddel gerelateerde problemen kan dalen.

CHIESI Young Investigator Award for Carian Boorsma
When:08 May 2014

During the Longdagen 2014 Carian Boorsma, PhD student in the research group of Dr. B.N. (Barbro) Melgert and Prof. dr. K. Poelstra (Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology and Targeting), was awarded the CHIESI Young Investigator Award. Carian Boorsma received this prestigious award together with €5000,-.

The jury awarded Carian Boorsma for her research on cell-communication processes that regulate production and degradation of lung tissue. Disrupted cell-communication can lead to severe lung diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis that is characterized by excess production and reduced degradation of lung tissue. Carian Boorsma and her colleagues discovered new signaling proteins that possibly regulate the production and degradation of lung tissue. Further research will be done to use these proteins as a target for the development of a new therapy against pulmonary fibrosis.

Oral communication at the Longdagen 2014 conference on respiratory disorders:
RANK/RANKL/OPG-axis in pulmonary fibrosis: which cell types are involved?

CE Boorsma, C Draijer, RH Cool, CA Brandsma, G Nossent, D Brass, W Timens, BN Melgert.

New project on the integration of clinical and toxicological data to develop non-animal based risk assessment
When:21 March 2014

New project on the integration of clinical and toxicological data to develop non-animal based risk assessment

Currently, safety testing of chemicals and drugs is primarily achieved via animal testing. For ethical, scientific and economic reasons, the development of reliable, non-animal based testing approaches is needed. To contribute to this goal, TNO coordinates a new project in which systems biology, kinetic modeling and data mining are applied to integrate clinical data with non-animal based toxicological data.

The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMW) granted the project 'Systems toxicology supported data infrastructure for human risk assessment', to continue the development of the current 'ASAT Knowledge Base'. The Knowledge Base is based upon the 'Assuring Safety without Animal Testing' (ASAT) principle, in which human disease data is integrated with data from non-animal models (1). Aim of the new 1.6 M€ project is to understand how chemicals or drugs cause diseases, via the integration of mechanistic data from cultured cells with information from human disease mechanisms. Further, the Knowledge Base will be combined with new experimental data and kinetic models to estimate if effects observed at concentrations of chemicals applied to cell cultures can be translated to effects at expected exposure levels in humans. In this way, non-animal based toxicological risk assessment in relation to realistic exposure may ultimately become feasible.

Toxicological endpoints

The ASAT Knowledge Base will be primarily populated with data models to predict major health effects often encountered during the safety evaluation of drugs and chemicals. These are cholestasis (the obstruction of bile flow from the liver to the duodenum), allergic contact dermatitis (the development of allergic skin reactions), and liver cancer. An evaluation how the newly developed models can be implemented in the risk assessment process will be performed, via interactions with OECD, ECHA and ECVAM.

Interdisciplinary approach

This is an interdisciplinary project, requiring expertise in bioinformatics, IT, mechanistic toxicology, in vitro toxicology, kinetic modeling, as well as genomics technologies to generate non-animal based data. To accommodate this, the project builds upon a strong consortium of the following partners: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen; Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre; Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu; Maastricht University; Janssen Pharmaceutica NV; Simcyp Limited, and TNO.

Drug induced liver injury

The research group Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology and Targeting (sub-group Drug Metabolism & Toxicology of Prof. dr. G.M.M. Groothuis and subgroup Pharmacokinetics of Dr. J.H. Proost) is focused on the development of in vitro systems with human tissue for drug metabolism and toxicology studies and pharmacokinetic and toxicokinetic modelling. In this project this group will be involved in the part of the project that focusses on drug-induced liver injury, in particular cholestasis, by generating in vitro data on enzymes and transporters involved in bilirubin and bile salt disposition, and in vitro toxicogenomics data, and the development of a biokinetic and PBPK model describing drug-induced cholestasis in the liver

Expected impact

It is expected that the outcome of the project will deliver a knowledge base ultimately applicable to support non-animal based hazard and risk assessment for chemicals and drugs, concerning cholestasis, allergic contact dermatitis and liver cancer as endpoints. In addition, the ASAT Knowledge Base will be used to liaise with similar international efforts for improving risk assessment.

Eugène van Puijenbroek benoemd tot bijzonder hoogleraar Geneesmiddelbewaking en Geneesmiddelveiligheid
When:19 March 2014

Eugène van Puijenbroek wordt per 1 april 2014 benoemd tot bijzonder hoogleraar Geneesmiddelbewaking en Geneesmiddelveiligheid aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

De leerstoel is ingesteld door het Nederlands Bijwerkingen Fonds en heeft tot doel het onderzoek naar bijwerkingen te stimuleren en verdere invulling te geven aan de ontwikkeling van geneesmiddelenbewaking (farmacovigilantie) als wetenschappelijke discipline.

Van Puijenbroeks onderzoek zal zich richten op bijwerkingen van geneesmiddelen en het ontwikkelen van methoden om bijwerkingen in kaart te brengen. Speciale aandacht gaat uit naar geneesmiddelen en zwangerschap. Vanzelfsprekend neemt ook het onderwijs een belangrijke plaats in.

De leerstoel is ondergebracht bij de groep Farmacotherapie en Farmaceutische Patiëntenzorg van het Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP) en de opleiding Farmacie. Met deze leerstoel wordt de inbreng vanuit de klinische praktijk in het onderzoek en onderwijs van Farmacie verder versterkt.

Eugène van Puijenbroek (Tilburg, 1960) studeerde geneeskunde aan de Universiteit van Nijmegen en volgde zijn huisartsopleiding aan de universiteit van Maastricht.
In 2001 promoveerde hij aan de universiteit van Utrecht op het proefschrift “Quantitative signal detection in Pharmacovigilance”. Sinds 1993 is hij werkzaam bij het Nederlands Bijwerkingen Centrum Lareb, waar hij ook nu werkzaam blijft.


GRIP researchers successful in call for research grants with Brazil
When:12 March 2014

Prof. Martina Schmidt (Molecular Pharmacology) and Dr. Matthew Groves (Drug Design), both members of the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP) have been successful in a recent call for applications to foster research collaboration with Brazilian partners. Their projects are part of an agreement between the Brazilian and the Dutch Ministries of Education (responsible agencies CAPES and Nuffic). CAPES funds the Brazilian part of the collaboration and the University of Groningen covers the investments on the Dutch side. Goal of this particular call was the realization of joint research projects and the promotion of scientific exchange and the formation of high-level human resources in both countries. Only five Dutch applications were successful of which two were for GRIP researchers of the University of Groningen.

Prof. M. Schmidt will strengthen cooperation with Prof. Samuel dos Santos Valença of the Health Science Centre, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). This scientific and educational network focuses on effective treatment for COPD and pulmonary fibrosis.

Dr. M. Groves will reinforce his collaboration with Prof. Carsten Wrenger of the Department of Parasitology, University of São Paulo (USP). The emphasis of this cooperation is on a novel drug target against the Human Malaria Parasite.

In both projects Brazilian and Dutch staff and graduate students will be networked into the collaborations that will increase academic tie between GRIP and the Brazilian institutions and lead to opportunities for further collaborations.

Improving medication assessment for senior citizens
When:12 March 2014

Prof. K. Taxis has recently been awarded a € 95,000 grant by the Royal Dutch Society for the Advancement of Pharmacy (KNMP; Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie) for research into how medication assessment for senior citizens can be improved.

Older people often use medicines that may increase their risk of falling, of bone fractures caused by falling, and of decreased cognitive function, leading to impaired self-reliance. Although the current medication assessments, conducted by pharmacists in collaboration with GPs, may reduce side effects, it is unclear which patients should be prioritized when it comes to medication assessments.

The study funded by KNMP aims to improve the assessment of medication by including the Drug Burden Index (DBI) as a screener for patients at risk and by making the clinical interpretation of the DBI transparent. The data-gathering component of the study will be conducted in close collaboration with public pharmacies that work closely together with GPs and where medication assessments are regularly held. If proven successful, the DBI may be included in the pharmacy information system as an easy-to-establish screening factor to select patients who qualify for medication assessment.

Promising young GRIP researcher selected for Lindau Rendezvous with Nobel Laureate
When:10 March 2014

Viktoriia Starokozhko, PhD in the research group Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology and Targeting, has been selected by KNAW and the Lindau selection committee, to attend the 64th Lindau Rendezvous with Nobel laureates in physiology and medicine this summer. At the Lindau Meeting 30-40 Nobel Laureates are expected to meet with around 600 young promising researchers to share their knowledge, establish new contacts and discuss relevant topics such as global health, the challenges to medical care in developing countries or future research approaches to medicine.

For more information.

Best Master’s programmes 2014: Medical Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation and Pharmacy
When:27 February 2014

Best Master’s programmes 2014: Medical Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation and Pharmacy
The new Keuzegids Masters 2014 (Higher Education Guide 2014 – Master’s programmes) has awarded the predicate ‘top programme’ to the research master programme Medical Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation. A total of 82 Master’s programmes in the Netherlands may call themselves ‘top programmes’. The Master’s degree in Pharmacy was marked best Master’s programme in its field.
The Keuzegids Masters annually assesses about 730 Dutch Master’s programmes on quality, based on the National Student Questionnaire (NSE), the NVAO accreditation data, reports from the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), the WO Monitor for higher education and the national 'choice of degree programme database' (Studiekeuze database).
Read more

PNAS-publication: Targeted enzymes disrupt infection pathway
When:20 February 2014

Infection by Burkholderia cenocepacia in immunocompromised individuals and people with cystic fibrosis has been correlated with poor patient prognosis. The increasing occurrence of B. cenocepacia in such individuals suggests that the effectiveness of antibiotics used to combat this human pathogen is on the decline. Gudrun Koch and colleagues from the university of Groningen, Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, investigated the action of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa enzyme, PvdQ, as a possible alternative to antibiotics because of the enzyme’s ability to disrupt quorum sensing – a bacterial culture’s mechanism for coordinating infection.

The authors introduced two point mutations into PvdQ that altered the structure of the enzyme’s active site, changing its target substrate to C8-HSL, the primary quorum sensing inducer in Burkholderia species. The altered PvdQ enzyme reduced the concentration of C8-HSL in B. cenocepacia cultures 48.5-fold when added exogenously and also rescued a population of Galleria mellonella when the larvae were infected with B. cenocepacia that produced the mutant PvdQ. The authors demonstrate that an enzyme produced by bacteria that disrupts quorum sensing can be altered to target the quorum-sensing substrate of a different bacterial species, suggesting that the technique can be used as a potential antimicrobial approach that might lower the likelihood of antibiotic resistance. The engineered enzymes can also target specific bacterial species, according to the authors, thereby potentially reducing disruption of normal host microbiota.

For the full publication:

Reducing virulence of the human pathogen Burkholderia by altering the substrate specificity of the quorum-quenching acylase PvdQ.

By Gudrun Koch, Pol Nadal-Jimenez, Carlos R. Reis, Remco Muntendam, Marcel Bokhove, Elena Melillo, Bauke W. Dijkstra, Robbert H. Cool, and Wim J. Quax

PNAS, January 28, 2014
Saving energy by turning off the lighting
When:27 January 2014

Dear colleagues,

It has come to our notice that lighting in the vacated rooms of Antonius Deusinglaan 1 and 2 are regularly left on. There is a lot to gain in this present time where environment, sustainability , cutbacks and corporate social responsibility are hot items.

Therefore, the department of facility management would like to ask each person who is the last one to vacate a room to turn off the lights when possible. In this way there can be saved on energy costs and there will be no need for security officers to check the rooms.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Kind regards,

Department of General and Technical Services Affairs -  sector F

Vote at the election Best RUG Lecturer 2013.
When:23 January 2014

Vote at the election Best RUG Lecturer 2013

On 29 January at 2.45 p.m., nine lecturers of the university will compete in the Aula of the Academy building for the title of Best Lecturer 2013. Candidate of the Faculty of Science and Engineering Sciences is Dr. Niesko Pras, teacher at Pharmacy and winner of the FSE Teaching Award 2012-2013. You are most welcome to support him by attending his candidate's lecture.

Certainly vote for him for the Audience Award or Web Award at 5.00 p.m.!

The election of the Best RUG Lecturer takes place during the Education Day of the University.
News - Maintenance on the water supply system on January 25th.
When:17 January 2014

Dear colleagues,

There will be no water available in the entire complex Antonius Deusinglaan 1 (with the exception of the buildings in Antonius Deusinglaan 2 and De Brug) on Saturday, January 25th, due to necessary maintenance work. This work will take place between 8 am and 11 am.

We advise you not to enter the complex during this time.

Kind regards,

Department of General and Technical Services Affairs -  sector F