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PhD position in Pharmacokinetics

From: Joel <joel>
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 16:26:54 +0700

Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) is a well established=
 and highly productive research collaboration between the Faculty of Tropic=
al Medicine, Mahidol University, the University of Oxford, and the Wellcome=
 Trust (UK). Our main research interests are the epidemiology, diagnosis, =
pathophysiology and treatment of infectious diseases which cause illness an=
d deaths throughout this populous region. MORU is looking for two bright, e=
nthusiastic and capable people to join our team.


We are located at the Mahidol-Oxford Research Unit, based at the Faculty of=
 Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University in Bangkok. The unit has been conduc=
ting research here for 30 years and is recognized as a world leader in trop=
ical medicine research. We are looking for an exceptional science graduates=
 who wish to study for a PhD. The subject is the analysis of data describin=
g drug concentrations in the body during the treatment of infections. This =
requires advanced statistical modeling and computer simulation.
Clinical Pharmacology is essential to ensure optimal dosing with currently =
available and newly introduced antimalarial drugs. Optimal dosing requires =
two key questions to be answered:
Firstly, what drug exposure (pharmacokinetics) is necessary to ensure the r=
equired therapeutic effect (pharmacodynamics)?
Secondly, do dosing recommendations need to be modified in important target=
 populations including infants, pregnant women, and those with prevalent co=
-morbid diseases (especially HIV/AIDS, malnutrition) to ensure the required=
 therapeutic effect in these vulnerable populations?
Inadequate drug levels have been repeatedly found in pregnant women and you=
ng children. Studies conducted on the Thai-Burma border have clearly shown =
that pregnancy alters the pharmacokinetics of drugs such as atovaquone, pro=
guanil, artesunate and lumefantrine. These changes in the disposition of th=
e drugs affect the treatment efficacy. It is likely that the impact of preg=
nancy on the pharmacokinetics of some drugs is also related to host genetic=
 factors making it necessary to have some information from each of the 3 co=
ntinents were studies are being conducted. In order to understand how pregn=
ancy affect the pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics for the main antimalarial=
s drugs, the Malaria in Pregnancy (MIP) Consortium has undertaken a series =
of studies as part of its main trials.
These studies are being analysed both with non-compartmental analysis (NCA)=
 and population pharmacokinetic analysis. However, individual pharmacokinet=
ic studies are almost often underpowered for describing the factors that in=
fluence antimalarial pharmacokinetic parameters. It would therefore be adva=
ntageous to combine data from all studies to properly describe the pharmaco=
kinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship. The main limitation in pooling indivi=
dual patient data from multiple studies is the variability in assay and ana=
lysis methodology between studies. Another constraint is if different biolo=
gical matrices (e.g. venous plasma or whole blood) are used for different s=
tudies. This complicates the comparison of results from different studies, =
pooling of data and meta-analysis of results. The main goal of this project=
 is to characterize this through modeling and thereby allowing pooling of l=
arge series of data for population pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic analyses=

You do not need to have any previous experience in biological sciences (alt=
hough some would be helpful). This work would be suitable for top graduates=
 in engineering, physics, mathematics, chemistry or allied sciences.

You do need experience of data analysis and a good knowledge of statistics =
and/or mathematics.

This is an unusual opportunity for a top graduate to train and work with a =
world-leading research group in a lively and stimulating academic environme=
nt in a subject of growing importance in pharmaceutical science. You will b=
e registered for a PhD at the University of Oxford. A stipend for living ex=
penses and housing will be provided and all University fees supported.

You need to have a European citizenship with either a Masters' degree in ph=
armacy, physics, engineering, statistics, mathematics, chemistry, or relate=
d subject or a BSc with GPA >3.0.

Please apply in writing, stating qualifications and experience to Dr. Nikla=
s Lindegardh at MORU, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University
E-mail: pharmaco_app
Applications close on 1 March 2010

Best wishes

Joel Tarning, Ph.D
Senior Pharmacokineticist

Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit
Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University
Chalermprakiat Building, 8th Fl, 420/6 Rajvithi Rd
Bangkok 10400, THAILAND

Tel: 66 (0) 2 203 6369
Fax: 66 (0) 2 354 6018
Cell: 66 (0) 81 489 1918

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Received on Fri Jan 29 2010 - 04:26:54 EST

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