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Bridging Pharmacy and Mathematics

Graduate Research Training Program PharMetrX Accepting New Applicants / Deadline: September 15

№ 203/2018 from Jul 27, 2018

A doctoral training program bridging pharmacy and mathematics, PharMetrX – Pharmacometrics & Computational Disease Modeling, is accepting applicants for the new term. Scholarships will be awarded for graduates of pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, mathematics/statistics, bioinformatics, life sciences, or medicine to enroll in the PharMetrX Research+ program of Freie Universität and Universität Potsdam, where they can earn a doctorate, attend the module curriculum, and become part of the PharMetrX doctoral network (https://www.pharmetrx.de/files/pdf/PharMetrX-Call-for-Application_Poster2018_final.pdf). Applications are being accepted until September 15, 2018, for the term starting March 1, 2019. Pharmacists and mathematicians work together within this practice-oriented program. They develop mathematical models combining the course of disease and effects of drugs in patients, in order to develop more effective therapies. So far, 67 doctoral candidates have been accepted since the program was started in 2008.

PharMetrX is a structured graduate research training program organized jointly by Freie Universität Berlin (Clinical Pharmacy) and Universität Potsdam (Mathematics & Systems Biology). It bridges the gap between pharmacy and mathematics. PharMetrX offers an excellent research environment in the Berlin-Potsdam area, innovative research projects of high relevance for society, interdisciplinary support from the spokespersons of the program, individual mentoring by one of the industrial partners, and an attractive 3.5-year scholarship. The program is headed by Charlotte Kloft, a professor of clinical pharmacy and biochemistry at Freie Universität, and Wilhelm Huisinga, a professor of mathematical modeling and systems biology at Universität Potsdam.

In PharMetrX research projects, the scientists explore relationships between administered doses, drug concentrations produced (including at the site of action), and the resulting effects and therapy results, all based on experimental and clinical data. They take into account knowledge about the mechanisms of drug effects – both desirable and undesirable – in biological networks and the development of disease in different spatial and temporal resolution in the body. These in silico models of pharmacometrics are becoming increasingly important: these types of models facilitate a mechanism-based understanding of the interaction between drugs–patient–disease and thus the occurrence of desirable and undesirable side effects, the disease process, and the influence of patient-specific factors; they also facilitate possibilities for prediction. “As a result, pharmacometrics is becoming increasingly important not only in decision-making processes, but in all phases of drug development,” stresses Charlotte Kloft. She continues, “Pharmacometrics represents another important step in the direction of personalized drug therapy.” Wilhelm Huisinga says that the PharMetrX program is making a contribution toward developing rational treatment recommendations to improve the benefit/risk balance in the individual patient or subgroup, thereby improving both therapeutic safety and efficiency.

In addition to five one-week training modules at Freie Universität Berlin and Universität Potsdam, the curriculum also includes a one-week on-site module with partners in industry as well as individual industry internships lasting two to three months. Industry and university partners exchange ideas at regularly occurring symposia, and six to eight times per year there are day-long meetings of the working groups at the two involved universities. Every two years graduates of the program meet with current doctoral students within the Network of former and present PhD students of the PharMetrX program, which was founded in 2013 for intensive exchange and networking.

Graduates of the program work at universities, in both larger and smaller research-based pharmaceutical companies, at non-university research institutes, consultant institutes, and regulatory agencies.

Further Information


  • Prof. Dr. Charlotte Kloft, Director, Clinical Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Institute of Pharmacy, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 83850676, Email: charlotte.kloft@fu-berlin.de
  • Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Huisinga, Professor of Mathematical Modeling and Systems Biology, Institute of Mathematics, Universität Potsdam, Tel.: +49 331 977-5933, Email: huisinga@uni-potsdam.de