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Introduction and hands-on experience in the ‘–omics’ techniques, such as (functional) genomics, proteomics and epigenetics. Those techniques are used to understand how inherited variations in genes dictate drug response.

Pharmacogenomics studies how an individual’s genetic background influences it’s response to drugs. Pharmacogenomics refers collectively to all the genes that influence drug responses, and how genome-wide analysis may be used to identify such genes in the search for novel drug targets and/or key determinants of drug reactions. This course will focus on pharmacogenomics research design, including utilization of key knowledge from the human genome, HapMap and 1000 genomes projects, genomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomics approaches, other considerations in design of human pharmacogenomics investigations, and approaches to defining functional effects of pharmacogenetic candidates. Over the last decade the discipline has evolved considerably due to great advances in high-end technologies. Those high-end technologies will be addressed in the course. Topics include: i) the drastic increase in the identification of possible ‘drugable’ targets based on ‘omics’ approaches; ii) the greater emphasis on ‘omics’-based biomarkers to assess drug action in humans; iii) the role of pharmacogenomics in current drug development; iv) uncovering dynamic concentration-dependent drug responses on biological systems to understand pharmacodynamic responses. All these developments will pave the road to the era of ‘personalized medicine’.

The aim of the course is to gain more insight in the application of novel techniques that are applied in pre-clinical and clinical drug research. Students will get to know the most up-to date techniques/technologies that are currently used in the field of pharmacogenomics research.


Dr. S. Wink en Dr. S. Le Dévédec

Mode of instructions

The course will use a combination of lectures, discussions of assigned literature, computer-based exercises (workshops) and student-led presentations. Most of the courses will be offered in the morning and will focus on a current important technique of Pharmacogenomics. Students will be expected to critically read assigned papers beforehand. There will also be two workshops to illustrate how bioinformatics can be used in this field of research. Finally, students will also be expected to present a brief research proposal based upon their reading.


The course will be concluded by a presentation of a brief research proposal and a written exam. Students will be graded individually for the presentation (15%) and for the written exam. In the written exam, there will be specific questions that will deal with the study material provided during the two workshops; those questions will count for 15%. The remaining 70% are assigned to the questions from the various lecturers that presented during the entire course.


This course is mandatory for students who do the Minor ‘Disease Signaling and Drug Targets’ (DSDT) and these students will be given priority. Ten additional places are available to students outside the minor under the condition that they meet the admission criteria. The same admission criteria apply to this course as for the entire Minor DSDT. Application for students outside the Minor DSDT occurs via the study advisers of Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences only.