Prefclinical Drug Discovery
Prefclinical Drug Discovery

Preclinical Drug Discovery (RSS3.04)

During this course you will learn about all major aspects of the preclinical stages of modern drug discovery, and challenges and opportunities in pharmaceutical R&D with a unique combination of lectures by academic and industry experts.

Duration: one-week.

Location: Pivot Park in the city Oss (30 KM off campus)


    During this course you will learn about the most important aspects of the preclinical stages of modern drug discovery.

    Course not in Nijmegen

    Please be aware that this course takes place in Pivot Park Oss. Pivot Park Oss is Europe's leading biopharmaceutical campus situated in the city Oss. Oss is a conveniently accessible city, reachable by car and also by a 20-minute train ride from Nijmegen Central Station. The Oss station is just a 5-minute walk from the Pivot Park campus. You are free to join the social activities with the other Summer School participants, but be aware of your extra travel time. 

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    Starting date

    01 July 2024, 9 am
    Pivot Park Oss (30 KM off campus)
    Educational method
    Main Language
    01 July 2024, 9 am - 05 July 2024, 5 pm
    Dr. P. Hermkens (Pedro)
    Dr. J. Rasmussen-Dietvorst (Judith)
    Unique code


    Type of education
    Entry requirements
    See the requirements in cost and admission
    Study load (ECTS)
    Radboud Summer School

    Startdate: 1 July 2024 - 5 July 2024
    ECTS credits: 2 ECTS. For more information see credits and certificate.

    Course programme

    During this course you will learn about the most important aspects of the preclinical stages of modern drug discovery, some of these subject contain:

    • Principles and challenges of drug discovery
    • Different phases of drug discovery
    • Conventional and novel therapeutic modalities
    • Target identification and validation
    • Assay development and hit finding through high-throughput screening
    • Importance of hit triaging and validation of target engagement
    • Medicinal chemistry and hit & lead optimization
    • ADMET, animal PoC
    • Chemistry Manufacturing and Controls 
    • Regulatory affairs 
    • IP generation and 
    • Clinical studies

    The course will be organized jointly by Radboud University (Nijmegen), Pivot Park Life Science campus (Oss) and HAN University of Applied Sciences (Nijmegen). The content of the lectures is designed by academic and industry experts in the field of early drug discovery and the course is a combination of lectures, seminars, group assignments and visits to companies active in pharmaceutical R&D located on Pivot Park Life Science Campus.

    After successful completion of this course you will understand how drugs are discovered and developed, the different phases, in general terms, of drugs discovery, the basic principles of medicinal chemistry, and the importance of factors for a molecule to become a drug.

    Your course impression

    Floris Rutjes

    Prof. F.P.J.T. Rutjes (Floris)

    Prof. Floris Rutjes is a specialist in the synthesis of organic molecules. He focuses on (i) developing new and sustainable (catalytic) synthesis methodology, (ii) the design and synthesis of biologically active small molecules, (iii) new click-probes for bio-orthogonal conjugation, and (iv) continuous flow chemistry in microreactor systems. Besides doing scientific research, Floris Rutjes has a keen interest in bridging the gap between the scientific invention and its commercial application. As a result, over the past 15 years six spin-off companies have been produced by the synthetic organic chemistry group, four of which were co-founded by Floris Rutjes. He also played a prominent role in the Topsector Chemistry in setting up a national network of Innovation Labs (incubators for chemistry spin-offs) termed Chemielink.

    Pedro Hermkens

    Dr. P. Hermkens (Pedro)

    Pedro Hermkens (PhD) has a scientific background in organic chemistry, pharmacology and biochemistry. He worked at Organon, Schering-Plough and MSD (Merck) in the Medicinal Chemistry Department for 21 years where he was responsible for projects in several therapeutic areas as team leader. Furthermore, he has experience in the early stage of the process as Discovery Leader. In this role he was responsible for managing target identification & validation, assay development, screening & hit identification & optimization. In 2013 he became director of the Institute Applied BioSciences & Chemistry of the HAN University of Applied Sciences. In this position he was responsible for education and research of this institute. In 2020 he accepted the position of lector Drug Discovery at the HAN University of Applied Sciences.

    Judith Rasmussen-Dietvorst

    Dr. J. Rasmussen-Dietvorst (Judith)

    Judith Rasmussen-Dietvorst (PhD) has a background in cell biology and assay development and in 2015 joined Pivot Park Screening Centre (PPSC) in Oss. Additionally she teaching Molecular Biology and Biotechnology courses at the HAN University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen. In her current role as Director Assay Development she is involved in cellular and biochemical assay development, ultra-High Throughput Screening (uHTS) and hit-to-lead biological compound profiling within a wide range of commercial, academic and public-private partnership projects including the European Lead Factory (ELF).


    • Regular: €700 (application deadline 31st of May)

    Discounts and Scholarships


    Level of participant: 

    • Advanced bachelor
    • Master
    • Professional

    Admission requirements: You should have a finished bachelor in any of the life sciences, and thus a basic understanding of chemistry and biology

    Admission documents: 

    • Motivation letter
    • CV

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