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.
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