Pharmaceutical Honours Programmes

Finished projects

Here you can find an overview of all old projects, use this for inspiration for your own project. Contact the project manager ( if you want more information about the projects or if you have any other question.

Regulatory T-lymphocytes as a potential therapy for autoimmune diseases 2006-2013
We performed a literature review about regulatory T-lymphocytes as a potential therapy for autoimmune diseases. First, we reviewed the role of the various regulatory T-cells in the immune system. Then we reviewed how regulatory T-cells can be induced and how they can be administered. We summarised our conclusions in an extensive report.

The pill, that is pharmacological…! 2007-2013
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Dutch Society for Pharmacology (NVF), we produced an exhibition about pharmacology in the University Museum Utrecht. It was named: ‘The pill, that is pharmacoLOGICAL…’ (‘De pil: da’s farmacoLOGISCH…!’) Taking the contraceptive pill as an example, pharmacological concepts were explained.

Pain and art 2007-2013
In cooperation with other students, we devised a 2 week-programme on pain and art for the multidisciplinary elective “Pain”.

The road to benzodiazepine addiction 2008-2013
We performed an epidemiological research and literature review about benzodiazepine addiction.

Human papilloma virus 2008-2013
We performed a literature study on the human papilloma virus and vaccination.

Developing a course about philosophy of science 2008-2013
A proposal was made for a new course for the new track ‘Experimental Pharmacology’. We have used insights into the philosophy of science, literature, education forms and the course ‘Philosophy of Science’ at Studium Generale.

The battle against cystic fibrosis 2008-2013
We developed a computer game that would be used to educate about pharmacy and biology in high schools. We also provided the teacher with a teacher’s guide and literature. Three high school students were involved in the development.

Safe microbiological techniques 2008-2013
We produced an educational video about safe microbiologic techniques, that is shown in the regular pharmacy course FA-206 ‘Infections’.

Dawn for bacteriophages? 2008-2014
We wrote a review of evidence of resistance to antibiotics and bacteriophages.

Development of CPS bachelor 2009-2013
I gave advice from a student’s perspective to the team that developed the curriculum of College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPS), a research honours bachelor on pharmaceutical sciences.

Following a course about the philosophy of science 2009-2013
I followed a course on the philosophy of science. As a sequel, a course about the philosophy of science was developed.

Alcohol abuse among students and the effects of alcohol 2009-2013
Little was known about an alcohol-induced hangover and its consequences. The aim of the project was to generate more knowledge on the pathology of alcohol hangover and influencing factors. 5000 – 10.000 students were asked to fill in a questionnaire, to gather information about:
– which symptoms are contributing to the alcohol hangover
– which role congeners play in the alcohol hangover
– alcohol hangover remedies
The data were analyzed using different statistical techniques and the outcomes together with a literature review were published in several papers:
The pathology of alcohol hangover
The alcohol hangover research group consensus statement on best practice in alcohol hangover research

Alcohol abuse among students and the effects of alcohol 2009-2013
Little was known about alcohol-induced hangover and its consequences. The aim of the project was to generate more knowledge on the pathology of alcohol hangover and influencing factors. 5000 – 10.000 students were asked to fill in a questionnaire, to gather information about:
– which symptoms are contributing to the alcohol hangover
– which role congeners play in the alcohol hangover
– alcohol hangover remedies

Use of precision Xceed pro point-of-care glucose test in neonates 2009-2013
At the department of Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry and Haematology of UMCU, I validated the use of point of care glucose devices in neonates. This article has been published:
Use of Precision Xceed Pro Point of Care glucose test in neonates

Reactive oxygen species and interleukin secretion in mast cells 2009-2013
In this project, I investigated the effects of PUFA on reactive oxygen species and interleukin secretion release in mast cells in vitro. The results are published in: n-3 Long-chain PUFA reduce allergy-related mediator release by human mast cells in vitro via inhibition of reactive oxygen species

Effect of complementary and alternative medicine on cytochrome P450 enzymes 2009-2014
I performed a literature research and practical work about the quantification of the induction and inhibition of complementary and alternative medicine on different metabolizing CYP-enzymes.

Effect of complementary and alternative medicine on cytochrome P450 enzymes 2009-2014
I performed literature research and practical work about the quantification of the induction and inhibition of complementary and alternative medicine on different metabolizing CYP-enzymes.

Cristal delivery internship 2010-2013
During this project, I joined the pharmaceutical company Cristal Delivery to perform a variety of different tasks. I did not work in the lab on the product itself, but I was rather involved in the other affairs that come with such a company.

The effect of PBL group composition on the course grades of the first year pharmacy students 2010-2013
The academic performance of students in problem-based learning (PBL) is heavily influenced by group functioning, which in turn is influenced by many factors such as tutor performance, group size and case quality. However, the effect of group composition is still equivocal.
The aim of this project was to investigate whether a change in the achievement level (measured by grades achieved in the previous semester), gender, age and descent of a student’s PBL group members correlated with a change in course grades.

The effect of broccoli on CYP2D6 2010-2013
This project was about investigating the effect of broccoli on the CYP2D6 phenotype. We did this by conducting in vitro research and setting up an in vivo experiment.

Malaria Vaccine 2010-2013
We performed a literature study to a malaria vaccine.

Drug delivery of polymeric micelles 2010-2013
I investigated the encapsulation, stability and efficacy of photosensitive oncolytic drugs in different types of polymeric micelles.

The effect of broccoli on CYP2D6 2010-2013
This project was about investigating the effect of broccoli on the CYP2D6 phenotype. We did this by conducting in vitro research and setting up an in vivo experiment.
For the in vitro experiment, several broccoli extracts were prepared and added to CYP2D6 supersomes. The effects were compared to the CYP2D6 inhibitor quinidine and several individual substances found in broccoli such as sulphoraphane.

New Website Course 2010-2013
In the pharmacy course FA-203 the manual for building a website was outdated. I renewed this manual.

Organizing interdisciplinary symposium “science without boundaries” 2010-2014
I helped to start the interdisciplinary Honours Programme among science students. I was involved in the set-up of the very first interdisciplinary students, that was organized in cooperation with honours coordinators Sanne Tromp, Filipe Freire and Rolf Boelens. We invited our dean of the faculty Gerrit van Meer to provided a plenary session about the (interdisciplinary) boundaries within science. Then, students could choose two out of three lectures: natural sciences (by professor Andries Meijerink and Dr Leonardo DiCarlo), life sciences (by dr. Joost Holthuis and dr. Raymond Schiffelers) and Maths & Art (by Rinus Roelofs).

Chrohn’s disease: integration of knowledge about the pathogenesis and comorbidities for new therapeutic targets 2010-2014
We performed a literature study about the comorbidities connected with Crohn’s disease. We also visited patients’ meetings to find out the patients’ perspectives.

Organizing workshop ‘Read faster, concentrate better and remember more’ 2011
We organized a workshop for students of the interdisciplinary honours programme (Science Honours Academy) to learn how to read faster, to concentrate better and to remember things better.

Case report clinical chemistry 2011-2013
At the department of Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry and Haematology in the UMCU, I analysed and wrote a case report about misleading oxygen saturation parameters in the diagnosis of carbon monoxide intoxication:
A 56-year-old man with an apparently normal oxygen saturation and a dead canary

Summer course ‘Chinese medicine’ 2011-2013
As I have always been interested in Chinese medicine, I signed up for two summer courses at Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong). These were “Fundamentals in Chinese Medicine” and “History of Traditional Chinese thought”. The Chinese medicine course provided some visits including a Chinese medicine practice, a hospital specialized in Chinese medicine and the botanic garden. I gained insights into the philosophy and the fundamentals of Chinese medicine, which was a solid base for my next project upon Chinese herbs.

Organizing seminar “Chinese medicine” 2011-2013
After following a summer course about Chinese medicine, I organized a seminar on Chinese medicine for HP students. I presented a global overview of Chinese medicine myself and invited Herman van Wietmarschen as guest speaker. He gave a talk about the bridge between Chinese and Western medicine, illustrating this by his own research into metabolomics of rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Organizing interdisciplinary honours conference 2011-2013
We organized an interdisciplinary conference in which honours students of the interdisciplinary honours programme presented their honours project or bachelor research. Topics include extracellular vesicles, CCR5-delta 32 in HIV-infected people and analysis of very cold sound.

Organizing interdisciplinary symposium “In search of the interdisciplinary holy grail” 2011-2013
We organized the first interdisciplinary honours symposium which was organized by students only. We invited professor Robbert Dijkgraaf for a lecture about “Bridge between society and science” and to host a subsequent discussion. After that, students could choose to attend either the workshop “Everything flows” (chair: Dr Ed Moret) or “The Holy Grail and Determinism” (chairs: Dr Bas Defize and Niek Verlaan). We also made a format for future interdisciplinary symposia.

Hyperleukocytosis causes spurious hypophosphataemia 2011-2013
In this project, I analyzed patients’ data from the Utrecht Patient-Oriented Database (UPOD).

P-selectin as a new biomarker for platelet reactivity 2011-2013
I set up a new platelet function assay for the determination of platelet reactivity and supported this assay.

Herb-drug interactions lurking in integrated medicine 2011-2013
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has become more popular among patients in the Western world, such as cancer patients who often use TCM as adjuvant therapy to reduce the adverse effects of conventional chemotherapy. However, interactions between TCM and anti-cancer drugs can have dramatic consequences for these patients. Currently, possible interactions between TCM and conventional Western drugs have not been well documented.

Academic English 2011-2014
I followed a course in Academic English at James Boswell Institute in Utrecht.

Effect of Chinese herbs on CYP3A4 activity and expression 2011-2014
Based upon a chapter of my bachelor thesis about herb-drug interactions lurking in integrated medicine, I wrote an article about the effect of four Chinese herbs on CYP3A4 activity and expression together with PhD candidate Kim Mooiman.

Effect of Chinese herbs on CYP3A4 activity and expression in vitro

Organizing interdisciplinary symposium “explore the nanoworld” 2011-2014
Together with other students, I organized an interdisciplinary honours symposium about nanotechnology. A lecture was given by Wim van Saarloos, followed by a workshop of choice: “Designing your own medicine” or “Magnetic nanoparticles: chemistry, physics and biomedical applications”.

Protein expression in BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 knock-down squamous cells 2011-2014
BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 deficiencies due to mutations are common in tumour cells. Certain cytostatics act better in the presence of dysfunctional BRCA proteins than others. Therefore, it is important to know whether a tumour carries BRCA mutations or not. The most practical way of determining the presence of a BRCA mutation is by testing for a biomarker that indicates BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 deficiencies. In this study, the first step in this quest was taken by mapping the protein expression in BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 knock-down tumour cell lines. The BRCA genes were silenced by siRNA, loaded on a gel and measured with mass spectrometry. Interesting proteins such as ATM and cyclin D, that play a major role in cell cycle checkpoints and in DNA repair, were downregulated, while other key proteins like p21 and Cdk6 were upregulated. All up-and downregulated proteins are useful for further analysis and in the race to be used as a biomarker for deficient BRCA proteins.

Extracellular vesicles 2011-2014
We performed a research internship at the Department of Pharmaceutics at Utrecht University. We examined the effects of pharmacological compounds on extracellular vesicles (exosomes) secretion in different cell lines. In this way, we got familiar with the most frequently used techniques in a biochemical lab.

Organizing ‘Workshop R’ 2012
For HP-students, I organized a workshop about R, which is a statistical programme equivalent to SPSS. R is an open source programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics. I provided instructions and assignment to let the participants learn reading and writing codes in R.
The R language is widely used among statisticians for developing statistical software and data analysis.

Chemistry 2012-2013
During my bachelor, I followed diverse extracurricular bachelor chemistry courses, including:
– Structural analysis which provided deeper knowledge upon several important chemical analytical techniques (X-ray crystallography, mass spectrometry, NMR, infrared and raman spectroscopy)
– Viral diseases

Starting new ventures 2012-2013
I followed an honours course from Delft. Introduction to information technology and databases from Open University. This course teaches the principles of good entrepreneurship and gives a thorough introduction to information technology.

Organizing symposium “Fraud in Science” 2012-2013
We organized a symposium for the entire department about “Fraud in science”. During this symposium, we had presentations from Frank van Kolfschooten and Marcel van Assen. After that, a discussion was held based on the results of a survey which all participants filled out beforehand.
This project was a sequel to False published research findings.

False published research findings 2012-2013
I gave a lecture about why most published research findings are false with subsequent discussions. The main focus was on the statistical unlikeliness of finding positive results and ways to reduce the risk of finding false (positive) findings. This lecture was a prelude to the symposium Fraud in science.

Organizing seminar “Phytotherapy and safety aspects” 2012-2013
We organized a seminar for HP students only. We invited two speakers for this thematic event. The first speaker (Florence van Hunsel) worked at Lareb. She gave a presentation about the safety of phytotherapy/herbal medicine. The second speaker (Bert van den Bergh) of the Utrecht University gave a presentation about active compounds in plants and animals.

False published research findings 2012-2013
I gave a lecture about why most published research findings are false with subsequent discussions. The main focus was on the statistical unlikeliness of finding positive results and ways to reduce the risk of finding false (positive) findings. This lecture was a prelude to the symposium Fraud in science.

Integration and network analysis of students 2012-2013
This project was about the network analysis of the first year pharmacy students. Literature states that a good sense of community at the university gives higher grades. What makes a good sense of community? Is the way we teach at Pharmacy sufficient to stimulate this sense of community? Secondly, we were interested in the current networks of the first year Pharmacy students. How are these formed? Are they related to age, gender, tutor group or perhaps ethnicity? About 250 first year Pharmacy students filled in our Questionnaire with questions about their network and their sense of community. With the programs Ucinet and Pajek, we were able to show these networks in figures and to calculate a number for centrality.

The children anticoagulation and pharmacogenetics study (CAPS) 2012-2013
Dosing of acenocoumarol and phenprocoumon in paediatric patients is very complex. In adults, it is clear that dosing of coumarins can be improved by including genotype (i.e. of VKORC1 and CYP2C9) and other determinants (i.e. sex, weight and indication) in dosing algorithms. For paediatric patients, this is only studied for warfarin. Developing a dosing algorithm can improve anticoagulation control in this complex category of patients. The Children Anticoagulation and Pharmacogenetics Study (CAPS) was set up to develop such an algorithm.

Production of a biosimilar 2012-2013
This project was about the possibility of the production of a biosimilar of Myozyme, a highly expensive orphan drug, by (hospital) pharmacists. A feasibility study was conducted to determine if the production costs of Myozyme could be reduced by developing and registering a Myozyme biosimilar that could be produced in pharmacies and hospitals. A thorough research of the literature was performed together with practical work regarding the creation of an expression vector containing the DNA encoding the desired enzyme.

Selection 2012-2013
As of the academic year 2013-2014, there will only be a decentralized selection procedure for pharmacy students at the University of Utrecht. Therefore, in this project the decentralized selection in universities was reviewed. We investigated decentralized selection at all universities in the Netherlands and at some other universities worldwide. We also searched for decentralized selection for the study pharmacy specifically in other countries. For this literature research we used evidence based articles about selection of medical students and pharmacy students. In these studies they have looked for the results of some specific selection tools and if they were effective in study success.

Production of a biosimilar 2012-2013
This project was about the possibility of the production of a biosimilar of Myozyme, a highly expensive orphan drug, by (hospital) pharmacists. A feasibility study was conducted to determine if the production costs of Myozyme could be reduced by developing and registering a Myozyme biosimilar that could be produced in pharmacies and hospitals. Thorough research of the literature was performed together with practical work regarding the creation of an expression vector containing the DNA encoding the desired enzyme.

Alzheimer’s project 2012-2013
We helped PhD candidate Yuliya Borre with her project. She investigated Alzheimer’s disease in rats. The aim of this research was to find out whether the medicine Memantine or a diet (consisting of zinc, curcumin, piperin, melatonin, cholin, uridin and tuna oil) was more effective. Either the diet or the medicine was given to the rats.

Addictive drugs: friend or foe? 2012-2013
Addictive drugs form a controversial topic which can be approached from multiple angles. Therefore, it’s an ideal topic for critical thinking. Our aim was to create an elective course for the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences about critical thinking and addictive drugs, using attractive and unusual learning methods such as debates.

Pharmacy: from pills to pharmaceutical care 2012-2014 (restarted in 2020)
The objective of this group project was writing a book for laymen who are interested in the pharmaceutical field. Small groups of two or three HP-students wrote several chapters. Every group asked an expert to review the chapter for the correctness of the content. After that, all students peer-reviewed some of the other chapters. In the end, all chapters were rewritten and edited by the editors of the book. They were responsible for spelling and grammar, and also the coherence among the chapters in the book.

Organizing ‘Annexation honours base camp’ 2013
We organised the annexation of room 0.26 in the David de Wied building. With this annexation, we wanted to draw attention to the wish that the HP-students want a place to come together to discuss their plans and project, organise meetings and so on.

Organizing interdisciplinary symposium “Food” 2013
We organized an interdisciplinary honours symposium about food. I was responsible for promotion and sponsors, arranged sponsorship with Danone.

Interdisciplinary symposium “Water, an ocean of science” 2013
The project was organizing an interdisciplinary symposium for the honours programme students from biology, chemistry, physics, pharmacy and computer science. In three months you work on the organization of this day.

Organizing seminar “Personalized medicine” 2013
We organized a seminar about personalized medicine. Dr Rob Ruijtenbeek, vice-president at Pamgene, came to tell us everything about PM and his company. Afterwards, we had dinner and the evening ended with a very interesting discussion about PM.

Organizing interdisciplinary workshop ‘Oral presenting’ 2013
With a committee, consisting of four students from different disciplines, I have organized a skills workshop. The main focus of the workshop was oral presenting.

The theme was described as follows: ‘Present your research proposal or results to a broad audience. Learn how to translate scientific information into clear, coherent non-expert language. Also learn how to identify what is the most relevant information and formulate this in a clear, concise way.’

Following a course about advanced immunology 2013
Since I felt I did not fully grasp the immunologic concepts after completing a couple of bachelor courses, I followed the course ‘Advanced Immunology’(PhD), organized by the department of Infection & Immunology of UMCU. Topics included the innate/adaptive immune system, communication among immune cells, immune dysregulation. In this course, I gained insights into immunological research from different perspectives.

Organizing social event: ‘Daredevils’ 2013
For the first social event of this academic year, four students organized a fun event around the theme ‘daredevils’. We decided to divide the evening into two events: one fun and bonding event, and one more educational part. For the first part, we were real daredevils and went to a climbing wall for two hours. After that, we went to a cafe in the city centre of Utrecht, where we tested the (pharmaceutical) knowledge on adrenalin and daredevils of our fellow students.

Micro-RNA in red blood cell and red-blood cell-derived microvesicles of patients with erythrocyte-disorders and healthy subjects 2013
Mature red blood cells (RBCs) are mainly filled with haemoglobin and terminally differentiated RBCs lack a nucleus as well as any kind of organelles. It is commonly thought that RBCs also lack any form of genetic material. However, I showed in this research project that there are small non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) present in RBCs. I also stimulated RBCs to produce microvesicles/exosomes and determined their miRNA content.

Interdisciplinary Switzerland excursion 2013
Each year, a group of six honours students from the different Science studies organise an excursion abroad for their fellow honours students. During the excursion, we visited multiple companies, institutes and university departments from different disciplines. Next, to that, some cultural and binding activities were organised to make the different students familiar with each other and each other’s discipline. For this excursion, transport, housing, visits, sponsors and funds were planned. The excursion to Switzerland took place in November 2013. We visited both Geneva and Zurich and visited CERN, the ETH Department of crystallography and the UN palace, as well as a lot of other places.

Honours programme goes online 2013
For the Honours Programme of Pharmaceutical Sciences, we made a website about the different projects that honours students have been working on. This site gives honours students a better overview of possibilities within the honours programme and also provides new students with an idea of what the honours programme is all about.

Organizing interdisciplinary symposium “Life” 2013-2014
Together with other students from different disciplines with the faculty of Science, we organized an interdisciplinary symposium about life.

Thematic event ‘Cardiovascular disease’ 2014
We experienced the thematic event as fun and educative. We invited two experts on cardiovascular disease: Michiel Bots and Hans Wouters. The two lectures were very different in content, however, they were about the theme of cardiovascular disease. This made it a diverse evening full of learning processes, also during the quiz. Some questions were about general knowledge of c.v. diseases, but some were about the lectures and every answer was explained thoroughly. Did you know that drinking orange juice and smoking is just as bad for your heart as smoking and riding the bicycle at the same time? Moreover, most heart attacks happen on Mondays! All in all, it was an informative evening that everyone enjoyed!

Interfacultary symposium: stem cells vs medication for neurodegenerative disorders 2014
At the 14th of May, we organized the first interfacultary symposium for Honours students from the faculties of BMW (Biomedical Sciences), Pharmacy, Veterinary medicine and Biology. The theme of the evening was stem cells versus medication for neurodegenerative disorders.

Studying pharmacy for a day 2014
We developed a problem-based learning task about ADHD for high school students, who would be visiting the university to experience studying pharmacy.

Organizing book release “Pharmacy: from pills to pharmaceutical care” 2014-2015
To celebrate the release of the book Pharmacy: from Pills to Pharmaceutical Care, we organized a seminar for HPPS students and all other interested people. The seminar was split up in several interactive parts.
Firstly, Mathijs Addink as the initiator of the book was asked why he started the project and how he managed it. Secondly, professor Herman Vromans gave a short presentation on what aspects are covered in the book and how this relates to his view of the interesting and dynamic field of pharmacy. Lastly, two of the authors were asked to come on stage and share their experiences with us: Hedy Maagdenberg and Hans van Lanen.
At the end of the evening, a short movie was shown in which the whole procedure was summarized in several minutes. After that, the Dean of the faculty of Science received the first official copy of the book.

Experimental protein chemistry 2015-2017
I went on an exchange programme to Lund, Sweden to follow one of my CPS elective courses at their University. I left in August and returned in November in 2015. I followed the course Experimental Protein Chemistry for 15 EC. The course was about biochemical studies of proteins. The goal was to acquire an understanding of how proteins work by theoretical and practical investigations of the function, properties and structural dynamics of proteins.

The cycling carrot 2016
Together with two Brazilian students, Jonathan and Carla participated in a global contest called “The Thought for Food Challenge” (TFF). This contest is dedicated to the proposal of ideas in order to feed 9 billion people by 2050.
This is what they said: “One of the main current global problems is food waste. This problem can be solved, on the one hand, by preventing food waste, and on the other hand, by making use of this waste. Our idea consisted of setting up a restaurant (which would be called The Cycling Carrot) especially meant for children.

New insights into cannabidiol’s mechanism of action 2016-2017
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotropic constituent of Cannabis sativa. Early investigations demonstrated that CBD acts as a 5-HT1A and TRPV1 agonist, while it has very low affinity for CB1 receptors. However, CBD appears to be a pleiotropic drug targeting many other receptors and pathways. This review focuses on the recent identification of CBD targets and the effects that it exerts in order to further elucidate its mechanism of action.

Innovative Paediatric Amoxicillin Formulation 2016-2017
In 2014 the World Health Organisation came with a new challenge to reduce deaths from pneumonia in third world countries. With a group of the challenge, we wrote a proposal for a new amoxicillin formulation. This formulation had to be effective, cheap, stable in high temperatures, easy to ship and did require clean water. The proposal about a lollipop was not picked, but we decided to get on with the project.

We were interested in an orodispersible tablet, a lollipop and a syrup. During the project, we looked into the literature to make a good formulation and we tried to make this in the lab. We encountered a lot of problems because amoxicillin is an expensive compound and since it is an antibiotic, a variety of safety regulations is needed. We visited Astellas fabric, were different amoxicillin formulations are made and discussed the problems with their professionals. Eventually, we could not make the orodispersible tablet due to a logistic problem, but we succeeded to make a lollipop.

Interview Project 2016-2017
In June 2016, we started this interview project to learn more about the career possibilities for CPS/Pharmaceutical Sciences students. We have interviewed five types of pharmacists that did their studies in Utrecht: a public pharmacist, a hospital pharmacist, an industrial pharmacist, a research pharmacist and a pharmacist working for KNMP (Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie).

My internship in the USA and guideline how to get an internship abroad 2017

Organizing thematic event to discuss the topic ‘Pharmaceuticals and Water Quality’. 2017

Redevelop the labwork of FA-BA101 2017

CPS electives 2017

Dementia: overview of conventional and alternative medicine 2017-2019
We started by gathering information about the epidemiology and pathophysiology of dementia. We also looked at the development and diagnostization of vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia and Lewy Body dementia. We described the conventional treatments. These are medicines which slow down the disease (acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, NMDA antagonists) or treat the patient symptomatically (antipsychotics, antidepressants). Next we did research about alternative treatments. The alternative treatments included were snoezeltherapy, music therapy, homeopathy, light therapy, Chinese herbal medicine, aromatherapy, acupuncture, nutrition and diet, psychological interventions and exercise therapy. We looked at which alternative treatment had the best chance of treating dementia according to our research. After our literature research we organized a thematic event with another group. There were two invited speakers and a movie was shown. 

Advanced molecular biology course (CPS) 2017-2020
In this project, we aim to design an Advanced Molecular Biology course as an addition to the current CPS curriculum. In our opinion, there are not enough CPS electives and we have a knowledge gap on the topic of molecular biology. This course would fill that gap. We have thought of topics that could be taught during the course (replication, transcription, translation, chromatin structure and epigenetics, RNA biology, stem cells, gene editing, and bioinformatics). We also contacted several teachers that might be involved in the course or who could help us with forming the course. Moreover, we have thought of a project that could be executed during the course: students write a research proposal for an in vitro study. 

Honours programme goes online 2.0 2018-2019
The HPPS website was not up to date anymore. No one had the access code for the site and the site was not responsive and thus not properly visible on your phone. Since it is very important to be able to access a website on your phone I decided to develop a new website. You are looking at the result right now after working many hours and struggling to get everything nice and visible on your phone. The site gives a nice overview and a lot of information on the Honours Programme of Pharmaceutical Sciences. We worked together with the master students to include the HPIP part.

Improve the practical medicinal chemistry FA-CPS-312P course 2018-2019
The aim of the project is to improve the practical medicinal chemistry FA-CPS-312P course by improving the protocols students follow to perform various syntheses and come up with a new idea for the 5-week group project, which is a part of the course. This project is a follow-up of the “Designing the medicinal chemistry practical course” initiated in September 2018 by Anniek Henselijn, Khaled Essa, Marinda Westerveld but they are no longer part of the group.  

FA-BA301 2018-2019
In this project our aim is to create new assignments (‘opdrachten’) for honours students. We want to create a protocol for the ‘perfect’ assignment for an honours student, based on their needs. We also want to create new assignments for honours students in the course of FA-BA301 (psychopharmacology).  
First we wanted to find out what honours students want in an assignment. We are also interested in what non-honours students are looking for in an assignment. We made a questionnaire with 22 questions. In this questionnaire we asked the students about what they find challenging and motivational in an assignment, and what their ideal assignment would look like. We also asked about what they don’t like in an assignment, and what they think about interdisciplinarity and social relevance in an assignment. We sent out this questionnaire to students of different honours programmes (e.g. SHA and HPPS) and pharmacy students. Based on the results of this questionnaire we will make a protocol of the ideal assignment for honours students, and work out a couple of assignments for FA-BA301 honours students. 

Renew teaching material for the course FA-BA111 ‘Moleculen als Geneesmiddel’ 2018-2019
In the course FA-BA111 there is a practical in which students have to synthesize a particular molecule. In the previous year the practical didn’t go as desired, so Dirk was looking for a new setup of the practical. The idea is to synthesize a molecule that is easily adjusted in one or more side groups. These molecules can later be analyzed with UV/Vis-techniques and with those results we can link structure-activity relations to it. 

HPPS brochure update 2018-2019
We are updating the HPPS Brochure that is given to all new HPPS students. The aim of the brochure is to have a compact, but complete overview of the most important things within the HPPS. This includes the content of the program for both Pharmacy and CPS (and the differences between both) and we will explain each part separately so that it becomes clear what is expected from an HPPS student. 

Faecal transplant review project 2018-2019
The study of the gut brain access requires in vivo models to be established so that measurements can be taken. The next step is to see if such a model can be “humanised” so that it more accurately reflects the human situation. In Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the gut microbiome is thought to be altered causing on sent of behavioural changes. To further study this, Aletta Kraneveld et al. will establish a model using ASD patient stool samples to colonise mice who have no microbiota. Previous studies show a wide variety of ways in which the microbiota can be removed (antibiotic or “germ free”) but these have shown impacts on behaviour and could therefore impact the outcome in such a behaviour driven study. Therefore we are conducting a review of literature involving the transplant of microbiome and reviewing the outcomes on behaviour, transplant success and a summary of the methods used. 

FA-BA203 Neurology 2018-2019
In the pharmacy course of FA-BA203 (Neurology) there is an existing writing assignment. In this writing assignment, students get 2 or 3 literature articles about a certain subject within neurology (for example about epilepsy or pain). They have to write a literature review about these articles. Liesbeth Bijlsma asked us to create new subsets of articles and make a text plan for these articles. In this way, in the new course of FA-BA203 there will be a lot of article subsets the students can choose from. There are also 6 other pharmacy students working on this project as a ‘vakuitbreiding‘, so not as a free project within hpps.

Green chemistry 2018-2020
The Green Chemistry project focuses on ways to make the pharmaceutical world more sustainable and environment-friendly. The idea came from a former CPS student, Marinda Westerveld, who with the help of Lukas Schoenmakers, an expert in removing pharmaceuticals from wastewater, started some research in this field. However, our project continues with her work and goes even more in depth, with the main goals being pharmaceutical waste removal and how to produce less of it in the first place. From all the preventative measures, this project mainly focuses on catalytic reactions used in the lab to neutralize the dangerous waste and making it harmless for the environment. We also focus on already used and future methods for removal of specific drugs from the environment such as antibiotics, cancer drugs, antidepressants and hormonal pills. Our main goal is to spread awareness about ways we can make our waste less hazardous and stimulate students to think of new ideas to improve this problem. 

Social network analysis FA-BA100 2019
My project is part of a greater research in which the importance of tutor groups in the first year of Pharmacy (FA-BA100) is being studied. With this research, we would like to study what role tutor groups play in social networks (e.g. contribute to the formation of social networks) and if there is a relationship between someone’s place in a social network and the interaction with other students? I started contributing to this project as a student-assistent in September. They asked me if I wanted to continue with the project. 

Optional course “Intracultural communication in healthcare” 2019
Helping set up a course for second year pharmacy students regarding intercultural communication to create a cultural awareness between students (and later between professionals and patients). Different cultures in the Netherlands have different views about healthcare and healthcare professionals. It is important that a healthcare professional can adequately communicate with patients of different cultures. We are helping to set up this course by providing a student insight and helping set up assignments.  

Internship SEHOS 2019
Because of personal interest to pursue a career as a hospital pharmacist after studies at the Utrecht University, I wanted to do an internship at a hospital pharmacy. The st. Elisabeth Hospital (sehos) is the biggest hospital of Curacao. During this short internship I will have the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of a hospital pharmacy and the tasks of a hospital pharmacist. Furthermore, I will get to see what type of medication is used in the hospital.  

Birth Control 2019-2020
Paper addressing multiple (current) aspects surrounding Birth Control.  

  • Why is there a current trend in young women to stop using Birth Control and the effects of social media? 
  • Rewriting the mechanism of action in a more patient friendly way. 
  • Effects of the shortage of Birth Control in the last years; cause and consequence. 
  • Relation between Birth Control and deep vein thrombosis. 
  • The factors which determine the price of Birth Control. 

Problems related to the pharmaceutical industry → Big Bad Pharma 2019-2020
In this project I would like to expand my knowledge about problems within the pharmaceutical industry and how this is related to the medical profession. Also, problems within academic research, clinical trials and the excessive use of medicines will be addressed. 

Reorganisation of medication drawers pharmacy of UMC Utrecht 2019-2020
Project in the pharmacy of UMC Utrecht regarding reorganisation of the drawers in which medication is stored. Since this pharmacy has been quite busy over the past year, they did not find time to properly organize their drawers. Therefore, I made a plan to start this reorganisation, which includes seeing whether the medication is still in use, what the maximum storage is that the pharmacy keeps and adjusting the space in the drawers to this, properly organising the medicines in alphabetical order and discarding of medication that is past its expiration date. Due to this project, the pharmacy benefits from time management and better organisation. It is also an interesting project for myself, as I learn a lot about organising efficiently and what different medicines are stored in the pharmacy, as well as how often they are used.

Big data on rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis 2019-2020
We are working on two different inflammatory diseases; atopic dermatitis (Regina Voss and Pien Kiliaan) and rheumatoid arthritis (Sophie Groenewoud, Nina Lebret and Elysia Yau). With machine learning we will look into the differences in transcriptome expression before and after treatment as well as compare them with healthy controls. For this, we use the datasets from Guttman-Yassky et al. (2019)  who researched atopic dermatitis and the data from Tasaki et al. (2019) who investigated rheumatoid arthritis. Based on the datasets, machine learning makes a list of candidate genes which we will analyse to see differences in transcriptome expression between start and point of patients, between patients, treatments and healthy controls. For the atopic dermatitis, we will look into the use of dupilumab to see which genes are involved in clinical remission. For rheumatoid arthritis, we will look whether molecular remission is achieved when treated with methotrexate, infliximab and tocilizumab. 

Psychosis 2019-2020
I am interested in neurological diseases and want to know more about psychosis. I am going to look into different aspects of the condition: causes (diseases in which psychosis occurs, pathophysiology, influence of stress and alcohol), different types of psychosis, treatment (available drugs and their effectiveness on different types of symptoms, treatment plan, if and how the treatment differs between the first psychosis and chronic psychosis, the role of different organisations, prevention, differences between patients), diagnosis and the influence on the life of the patient and their surroundings. 

Cosmeceuticals field review 2019-2020
Cosmeceuticals are a relatively small field and it is usually overlooked. A review of the current advances of Cosmeceuticals, explaining what they are and their use on the market is something that could be very interesting. In this project I want to look into this.  

Antibiotica lollipop 2019-2021
The aim is to produce lollipops containing amoxicillin. Amoxicillin is an antibiotic and using the lollipop formulation it would be more child friendly, as well as allowing the children in poorer countries without access to water to take in amoxicillin easier. 

Computer Calculated Compounds 2020
Nowadays, a lot of tasks in a variety of industries have been automated or completely taken over by computers. While organic and medicinal chemistry might have always seemed ‘safe’, recent studies have shown this not to be the case. In this project, the future of organic and medicinal chemistry will be explored, by taking an in-depth look at what computers and AI are doing in this field right now, and what they could be used for in the future. This will be done by looking at existing technologies used in different fields, but also future technologies that could be used in the field of organic chemistry. Combining all this knowledge will hopefully lead to the answer of the questions, will the job of organic and medicinal chemist be around for much longer?