The Graduate Programmes competences and initiatives

Training as a researcher provided by the Graduate Programme for In vivo Pharmacology and Experimental Animals is a unique opportunity to become qualified for a very exciting job as a researcher and an attractive career in pharmaceutical research.

Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic models (PK-PD models)

PK-PD modelling (the relationship between concentration and effect) is a mathematical description of the link between the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of a drug. PK-PD is used, for example, in preclinical studies to interpret toxicological data, when extrapolating the results from animal studies to humans and in the clinical phase. The research projects and courses on offer will cover pharmacokinetic models, PK-PD models and data analysis in various animal species to clarify the effect of substances on biochemical endpoints.

Biomarkers for human diseases

Experience of studies with a wide range of animal models for human diseases has been gained under the umbrella of IVP. One limitation when evaluating the effect on the development of disease is the option to be able to measure relevant biomarkers. IVP focuses on the development and validation of biomarkers in disease models. To date, the effect on early cellular and molecular pathophysiological changes has been investigated in in vitro studies. With new in vivo imaging techniques it is possible to identify and characterise cellular and molecular changes in vivo.

Pain research and pain therapy in experimental animal models

In animal models for cutaneous, neurogenic, deeper somatic and visceral pain, IVP will focus on the physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms for these types of pain and the effect drugs have on them, describing the mechanisms of action and pharmacokinetics with a view to improving pain therapy. The courses offered will include pain therapy for laboratory animals.

Neurodegenerative models and ageing models

Neurodegenerative diseases account for a significant proportion of what are termed age-related diseases. They are often characterised by marked damage to neurons in specific areas of the brain. The causes are unknown, but the frequency increases greatly with age. In IVP, the focus is on the study of age-related and disease-related as well as redox-modulated degenerative changes in the brain with both biochemical and cognitive endpoints, with courses offered in in vivo neuropharmacology and behavioural models.

Behavioural pharmacological models in relation to depression, anxiety and substance abuse

The risk of developing mental illness is considerable. In IVP, the neurobiological and neurochemical mechanisms of diseases are studied using various genetic and behavioural animal models to characterise depression together with ex vivo characterisation of the regional neurochemistry of the brain, including following antidepressant therapy. Considerable use is made of in vivo cerebral microdialysis.

In vivo pharmacological models of psychosis

Schizophrenia is characterised by disturbances in the processing of information. The program includes preclinical studies to describe the pathophysiological mechanisms, as well as focusing on various forms of treatment. In addition, biological, cognitive and behavioural studies are conducted in transgenic mice with a schizophrenia-relevant genotype.

The inflammatory reaction in atopic dermatitis

The interaction between keratinocytes and lymphocytes in atopic dermatitis is studied via skin-specific and Th2 chemokines and their receptors, together with the option to modulate these. Further development of the NC/Nga mouse, a spontaneous model for atopic dermatitis. Testing is carried out for regulatory T cells and T lymphocytes in atopic dermatitis patients and the NC/Nga mouse.

In vivo pharmacology with particular reference to depressive illness

Flinders Sensitive Line rats, a genetic model for depression, are used. Considerable use is made of in vivo cerebral microdialysis to characterise the interaction of monoaminergic neurotransmission with the role of nitric oxide (NO) as a neurotransmitter.

Study of the immune system in vivo in connection with cytokine-based immunotherapy in cancer

Monitoring of patients with malignant melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, acute and chronic leukaemia enrolled in cytokine-based immunotherapeutic clinical trials. Selected experimental animal tumour models used to clarify specific immune mechanisms (the NK and T cell system) in cytokine therapy.