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Mission statement

The first objective of the Dutch Pharmacological Society is to facilitate Dutch research as well as the education in the field of pharmacology. The research covers the broad area from molecules, via cells, organs and organisms to populations. The Society wants to stimulate and facilitate national and international networks and collaborations in these areas. For that reason it develops activities that aim at exchanging knowledge and methodologies. Furthermore, it has the objective to promote the visibility of the discipline, both nationally and internationally.

Board members

Amalia Dolga is an Associate Professor and a Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the University of Groningen, Department of Molecular Pharmacology. Dr. Dolga earned her Ph.D. (cum laude) at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in The Netherlands. She worked on TNF neuroprotective pathways in the central nervous system in the laboratory of Prof. Ulrich Eisel and Prof. Paul Luiten. Her postdoctoral training was performed in the laboratory of Prof. Carsten Culmsee at the University of Marburg, Germany, where she identified potassium channels in mitochondria; moreover, she demonstrated the functional relevance of these potassium channels in several models of oxidative stress and ischaemia. In 2013, she began the ‘Habilitation’ programme, which she completed in less than two years, receiving the right of ‘ius promovendi’. Also, she was awarded a DFG grant; and an innovation award to study optogenetics at the University of Marburg. In 2015 Dr Dolga received the prestigious Rosalind Franklin fellowship, allowing her to start her own research group in neuroscience at the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy in Groningen (GRIP), the Netherlands. Currently, together with her group, she investigates how modulation of potassium channels and mitochondrial function affect the pathological markers of Alzheimer and Parkinson disease. These projects are funded by Alzheimer Nederland and ParkinsonFonds.

The research program of her group is focused on the following themes:

  • Understanding the molecular mechanisms that link mitochondrial dysfunction with ageing and neurodegeneration.
  • Applying this knowledge in order to develop new and relevant human model systems (iPSC-derived neurons/microglia; brain-on-a-chip) for neurodegenerative diseases
  • Using these novel platforms for drug development and screening for potential therapies for diseases associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and aging.

Anton Roks is known for his pharmacological and experimental intervention studies in the field of vasomotor disturbances, hypertension, vascular hypertrophy and related phenotypes. He initially investigated the cardiovascular function of the peptide hormone angiotensin-(1-7). Since 2008 he started working on vascular aging, which has now become his main topic. His work has resulted in several patents for experimental interventions in age-related cardiovascular disease. Based on genetic modifications that induce a vascular-specific DNA damage response in mice, he has generated models to selectively study accelerated cardiovascular ageing. This offers opportunities to follow the vascular aging process without bias of confounding factors, such as atherosclerosis. The relation of non-atherosclerotic vascular aging to cardiac and renal ischemia (INOCA, HFpEF, acute kidney injury) is his main health problem-related interest. His pharmacological expertise mainly concerns the nitric oxide – cGMP signaling pathway and other vasodilator pathways, and he is building up a new research line exploring the effects of the DNA damage response and aging on function of perivascular adipose tissue and mitochondrial function. For translational studies he has access to human coronary artery of individuals of all possible ages up until 70 years, and he is developing a 3D in vitro model of human vascular aging. His expert techniques are organ bath and in vivo vasomotor function studies, stiffness measurement, blood pressure measurements (tail cuff and telemetry), hemodynamic measurement (echo and PV loop catheter), and renal function. He has collaborations with companies with whom he works on several experimental therapies against vascular aging. In addition, he is closely working together with the renowned Dept. of Epidemiology, thus having access to large databases with (epi)genetic, transcriptomic, metabol(om)ic, and cardiovascular trait information of human populations such as the Rotterdam Study population.

Dr. W. Matthijs Blankesteijn studied Biology and Chemistry at the KU Nijmegen (now Radboud University). He obtained his PhD from the same University on a dissertation entitled ‘Beta-adrenergic receptor function and regulation in hypertension’. He currently is associate professor of Pharmacology and principal investigator at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, the Netherlands. His main research focus is on signaling mechanisms controlling the remodeling of the heart in response to a pathological stimulus such as pressure overload or ischemia. In this context he discovered the role of WNT signaling in processes associated with cardiac remodeling such as fibrosis and angiogenesis. With his co-workers, he has developed a collection of peptide fragments of WNT to act as inhibitors of the signaling pathway. Studies from his group and others have shown that pharmacological inhibition of WNT signaling has a beneficial effect on infarct healing, resulting in smaller infarcts and a better preservation of cardiac function. The activation of cardiomyocyte regeneration in the border zone has recently been proposed as a potential underlying mechanism, which would be in line with the well-established role for WNT signaling in the control of stem cell differentiation. A better understanding of the mechanisms of cardiomyocyte regeneration and the development of interventions that can stimulate this process has the potential to change the therapy of cardiac diseases form the current treatment of symptoms (‘care’) towards actually addressing the underlying problem (‘cure’). Other projects that are currently running in his group are on the role of WNT signaling in vascular calcification and on WNT signaling in the crosstalk between oligodendrocytes and endothelial cells in a context of cerebral small vessel disease.

Ingrid Dijkgraaf studied Molecular Sciences with specialization in Organic Chemistry at Wageningen University. Subsequently, she was a junior investigator at both the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Utrecht University and the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the Radboud University Medical Centre. After obtaining her PhD degree, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. After a subsequent postdoctoral position at the Radboud University Medical Centre, she started at the Department of Biochemistry of Maastricht University where she is currently working as an associate professor. In 2014 she was a Fulbright Scholar at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA. Her research focusses on the design and synthesis of peptides and proteins that can be used for molecular imaging, drug development, and studying molecular mechanisms in the field of cardiovascular diseases and oncology. Therefore, structure-activity relationship studies of polypeptides are performed. For her research, she peeks at Nature, especially at hematophagous parasites, as they express a vast variety of anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, and vasodilating proteins that evade or counteract host defence mechanisms. Therefore, these organisms represent major sources of lead compounds for development of pharmacological tools and potentially useful therapeutic agents.

Dr. Manoe Janssen focusses on understanding pathways that can be pharmacologically triggered to enhance the repair and regeneration of the kidney. She focusses on genetic factors and gene mutations that affect proximal tubule function and the development of human in vitro cell models for drug screening.  She makes use of the unique, patented, human renal cell lines from the Masereeuw group who have a high predictive value for drug and waste product transport and metabolism. She compares cells from heathy controls and patients to understand which pathways in the cell are affected, to search for druggable targets and evaluate phenotypic improvements. As part of an international consortium on the genetic kidney disease cystinosis she is testing different drug compounds as well as CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene repair to find a new therapy for this disease.

Dr Ard Teisman works at the Global Safety Pharmacology, NCS, Janssen Research & Development, A Division of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV.

Dr Ard C.H. Teisman obtained a “Masters” degree in Biology (1992) at the University of Groningen (NL) with majors in CNS research (on effects of Social Stress on Epilepsy Kindling and Microdialysis Monitoring of the Food-Intake Activated Brain). After finishing his Biology degree he support a PhD project on Asthma research for one year, as an interim junior researcher (faculty of Pharmacy, RUG). Subsequently, he obtained a PhD position in Clinical Pharmacology (grad. 1998), exploring potential new therapies for the treatment of Heart Failure, followed by a brief Postdoc on cardio-renal pharmacology (Medical faculty, RUG). Then in 2001, Ard joined, Global Safety Pharmacology
Research at Janssen Pharmaceutica (in Beerse, Belgium), where his knowledge on the vital organs heart, brain and lungs could grow further. Within this team & discipline he fulfilled roles of increasing responsibility, supporting Drug Discovery & Development projects across Janssen R&D. Thereby, he helped guiding scientists in their decision process of selecting the safest compounds move forward (integrating and analyzing potential liabilities from in silico, in vitro and in vivo data). He helps generating safety related study designs, analysis and interpretation of study data, running basic research projects, performing due diligence assessments, preclinical to clinical translational
exercises etc. Currently, he is (co)author of more than forty international publications and numerous internal study reports. He was actively involved in a data analysis automation and helped developing a company memory / data-warehouse on the diverse Safety Pharmacology study data. Finally, he gives lectures on safety pharmacology and 3R-activities (both internally but also to scholars and students) and is a long lasting member of the Beerse, Ethics Committee for Animal Research (starting 2008, chair 2011).

Former members of the board

Chair (2019-2023): Elizabeth de Lange (Professor on Predictive Pharmacology, Research Division of Systems Biomedicine & Pharmacology of the LACDR.)

Elizabeth has a clearly visible and original personal line of research and is one of the few in the world that is able to perform and bridge advanced preclinical experiments, analytical techniques and mathematical modelling. This is a unique approach to build robust mathematical models for the prediction of (particularly CNS) drug effects in human, which is the ultimate aim of her research. Elizabeth underscores that there is still the need for using animals in drug research, but is very concerned about their inefficient and repeated use, and advocates the use of the Mastermind Research Approach (de Lange, 2013) by which knowledge obtained from animals can be stored in mathematical models, such that generic insight in pharmacology and disease is gained and the use of animals will be substantially reduced. A recent highlight is the CNS physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model that is able to predict the pharmacokinetics of a drug at multiple physiological compartments in the CNS, on the basis of drug properties and in vitro/in silico data only, without the need of animals (Yamamoto et al, 2018).

Board member (2019-2023): Rick Greupink, (Assistant Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Radboud university medical center, Nijmegen)

His research focuses on the mechanistic aspects of drug disposition and toxicity, in particular the pharmacological roles of drug-transporting membrane proteins, their impact on the clinical pharmacokinetics of drugs, involvement in drug-drug interactions, as well as roles in drug-induced toxicity. Current focus is on the placental disposition and effects of small and large molecule pharmaceuticals. Dr. Greupink obtained a MSc in pharmaceutical sciences and was trained as a pharmacist (PharmD) at the University of Groningen. He obtained a PhD in Pharmacokinetics and Drug Delivery from the same university and further specialized as a pharmacologist during postdoctoral fellowships in both clinical as well as pre-clinical settings in pharmaceutical industry and academia. He is a registered experimental pharmacologist with the Dutch Pharmacological Society. At Radboud university medical center, dr. Greupink is a member of the educational program committee of the Biomedical Sciences curriculum and he lectures in pharmacology and pharmacotherapy in the curricula for Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences.

Board member (2015-2021): Antoinette Maassen van den Brink (Professor of Pharmacology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam)

Her research focuses on the neurovascular aspects ofmigraine, with a special interest in the role of sex hormones.

FIGON Dutch medicine Days representatives

Prof. dr. Amalia Dolga
Prof. dr. Martina Schmidt

NVF Spring Meeting Organizing Committee

Dr. Astrid Hogenkamp
Dr. Ben Janssen
Dr. Anton Roks
Dr. Henry Vischer
Dr. Laura Heitman

Ariens Award Committee

Prof. dr Amalia Dolga
Prof. dr. Anton Roks
Prof. dr. Matthijs Blankensteijn
Prof. dr. Ingrid Dijkgraaf
Dr. Manoe Janssen
Dr. Ard Teisman

Van Zwieten PhD thesis Award Committee

Prof. dr Martina Schmidt (Chairman)
Prof. dr Martine Smit
Prof. dr. Ingrid Dijkgraaf

Committee for Pharmacological training supervision and assessment

(Commissie Toezicht en Beoordeling: CTB)
Prof. R. Adan
Prof. Rob Henning

Young Talent NVF Committee

Naďa Majerníková started her PhD at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) in October 2020, under the supervision of Prof. Amalia Dolga and Prof Wilfred den Dunnen. In her project she focuses on studying the role of ferroptosis in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by using a brain on a chip platform and AD-patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), as well as AD and control post mortem brain tissue. Before her PhD she graduated from a Bachelor in Cellular Biology and Physiology at The University of Lille, France and then obtained her Master diploma with Cum laude in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience (Clinical and Molecular track) at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Daan van Valkengoed is a PhD student at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR), working under the supervision of Prof. Liesbeth de Lange and Prof. Vivi Rottschäfer. His work focuses on the prediction of opioid disposition and effects, making use of the physiologically based LeiCNS PK model. With a background in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSc and MSc at Leiden University), Daan has a keen interest into mechanistic understanding of pharmacological processes, and the use of mathematical models to obtain a better understanding of drug PKPD.

Annika Jüttner is a phD candidate at Erasmus Medical center in Rotterdam in the Pharmacology group. She is working under the supervision of Prof. Jan Danser, Prof. Anton Roks and Prof. Jenny Visser and focuses on the role of DNA damage and metabolic remodeling, cross-talk between vascular and adipose tissue ageing and the mitochondria as potential intervention target. She studied Life Sciences (Bachelor) in Potsdam and Biological Chemistry (Master) in Berlin. In between Bachelor and Master she gained experience while working at Thermo Fisher Scientific in the field of biomarker discovery.

Alex Cornelissen is a scientist at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and started his PhD at Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) in March of 2023, under the supervision of Prof. Liesbeth de Lange. The aim of his project is to improve the translational value of animal models of neurotoxicity by modelling the relationship between brain concentration, receptor binding kinetics, and observed (adverse) effects, using the LeiCNS PBPK model. He graduated with a Master’s in Molecular Life Sciences (cum laude) from Radboud University Nijmegen.

Desi Nesheva is a postdoctoral researcher in molecular pharmacology and drug discovery at the VU Amsterdam, Prof Rob Leurs’ research group. She has extensively studied GPCRs with a focus on chemokine receptors and ways to target them with small molecules. Prior to her postdoctoral position, Desi graduated from BSc in Neuroscience and a PhD in Molecular Pharmacology and Drug Discovery at the University of Nottingham. She has been actively involved in the scientific community both in the UK and The Netherlands organising various scientific meetings and doing outreach.

Honorary members

Prof. dr. E.J. Ariëns (1918-2002)
Prof. dr. D de Wied (1925-2004)
Prof. dr. P.A. van Zwieten (1937 -2014)
Prof. dr. H. Timmerman
Prof. dr. F. Nijkamp

Formers members of NVF committees

Dr Cees Korstanje (Committee for Pharmacological training supervision and assessment, 2019-2023)

Dr. Tom Schirris (NVF Spring Meeting Organizing Committee, 2019-2023)

Dr. Nshunge Musheshe (NVF Spring Meeting Organizing Committee, 2019-2021)

Prof. dr Harald Schmidt (Van Zwieten PhD thesis Award Committee)

Mohammed Saleh (Young Talent NVF Committee, 2021-2022)

Berfin Gülave (Young Talent NVF Committee, 2021-2023)

Divakar Budda (Young Talent NVF Committee, 2021-2023)

Divakar Budda (Young Talent NVF Committee, 2021-2023)