Roger Brüggemann
Roger Brüggemann

Roger Brüggemann appointed as Professor of Antifungal Pharmacology

Hospital pharmacist and clinical pharmacologist Roger Brüggemann has been appointed as Professor of Antifungal Pharmacology at Radboud university medical center / Radboud University. Brüggemann conducts research on medications for fungal infections, especially in vulnerable patients. He investigates new ways to deliver drugs to the site of infection, studies optimal dosing, and examines interactions between drugs, fungi, and patients. He also tests new medications.

Fungal infections are gaining more attention in the medical world. Drug resistance is increasing, and in 2022 the WHO released a list of fungi posing the greatest threat to public health. Climate change is introducing more fungi and spreading them further. Vulnerable groups, such as children or adults with an impaired immune system due to chemo or immunotherapy, or due to a severe viral infection, are particularly at risk. Roger Brüggemann is committed to ensuring the correct medication, dosing, and delivery site, especially for these vulnerable groups.

Nebulization

A significant research theme for Brüggemann is local drug delivery, which can lead to fewer side effects and potentially better efficacy. For example, he investigates whether medications effectively reach the lungs through nebulization: 'Patients in the ICU with severe viral infections, such as influenza or COVID-19, often also develop a fungal infection. They sometimes need treatment for months. We are exploring whether inhalation therapy can be more effective than systemic therapy by delivering the drug directly to the infection site. This approach prevents side effects throughout the body.'

Additionally, Brüggemann searches for the right medication and dosage for both individual patients in the clinic and larger groups of vulnerable patients in clinical studies. A notable example is his work with the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology on children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Six percent of these children develop a fungal infection, which can be fatal. The researchers identified the best approach, including the appropriate drug and dosage. They demonstrated that administering the right antifungal drug twice a week reduces infections fivefold. Brüggemann aims to extend this type of research to other drugs and patient groups.

Interaction

For these vulnerable patients with severe infections, it is crucial to understand precisely what happens in the body. 'Together with colleagues from the mycology team, I investigate the interaction between human, fungus, and drug', says Brüggemann. 'This is extremely important, especially when an infection is life-threatening.' Brüggemann aims to better map these interactions using a mathematical approach.

With increased attention on fungal infections, many new antifungal drugs are in development. Brüggemann participates in international studies on such new medications, and several studies are currently underway at Radboudumc. The Radboudumc-CWZ Center of Expertise in Mycology, the only expertise center of its kind in the Netherlands, plays an important role, along with the pharmacy laboratory. Brüggemann states: 'We can precisely determine the amount of a drug both in the blood and at the infection site. This greatly aids in measuring a drug's effect in clinical studies.'

Career

Roger Brüggemann studied Pharmacy and then completed his training as a pharmacist in Utrecht. He specialized as a hospital pharmacist at The Hague Central Hospital Pharmacy. In 2011, he obtained his PhD from Radboudumc with his dissertation titled 'The road to tailor-made azole antifungal therapy'. Subsequently, he trained as a clinical pharmacologist. Since 2007, Brüggemann has worked at Radboudumc as a hospital pharmacist, and since 2014 as a clinical pharmacologist.

Brüggemann co-founded the Radboudumc-CWZ Center of Expertise in Mycology. He is also a member of CMO East-NL and a guest researcher at the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology. Internationally, he is a fellow of the European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECMM) and the International Society of Anti-Infective Pharmacology (ISAP). He also coordinates the domain of pharmacy, pharmacology, and pharmacometrics within the European Clinical Research Alliance on Infectious Diseases (ECRAID). The appointment as professor takes effect on June 1, 2024, for a period of five years.

Contact information

Contact
Prof. R.J.M. Brüggemann (Roger)
Organizational unit
Radboudumc
Theme
Health & Healthcare