19 January 2022

On 11 January 2022, Laurens Verscheijden, theme Renal disorders, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, defended his PhD thesis, entitled "Mechanistic models for the prediction of brain drug exposure and response in the paediatric population: A virtual child reaching maturation", which he passed with flying colours.

Laurens’ supervisors were Frans Russel and Saskia de Wildt, theme Renal disorders and co-supervisor Jan Koenderink, theme Infectious diseases and global health. Based on the outstanding quality of the thesis and excellent defence the Examination Board awarded him the doctorate for exceptional performance with the distinction ‘cum laude’. Developmental processes in children can affect pharmacokinetics: “what the body does to the drug”, as well as pharmacodynamics: “what the drug does to the body”.

By a clever combination of lab experiments, clinical studies, and mathematical models, Laurens has developed mechanistic physiology-based pharmacokinetic models that could be used to predict brain drug concentrations and effects in children of different ages. These novel models can be considered a breakthrough in achieving more effective and safer dosing recommendations in children for drugs acting on the central nervous system.

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