"If someone from the IT department were to look at my browser history, they would probably assume I’m addicted to drugs. For my PhD research I looked at the ways in which different substances are absorbed, distributed, broken down, and excreted by the body. I researched the anticancer drug niraparib, as well as two opioids, morphine and heroin, and the hallucinogen ibogaine. I investigated the role in the absorption and behavior of certain proteins known as drug transporters, as well as an enzyme. The transporters P-glycoprotein and BCRP stood out in particular. They act as traffic agents: they determine how those drugs move through the body. Variations in the activity of these proteins may cause certain patients to respond differently to drugs.
Yes, as a neuroscientist, I was surprised to see research on opioids at a cancer institute, but it is vital to know how certain substances are absorbed by the body and, for example, how they cross the blood-brain barrier. I grew up in Algarve, Portugal, and did have to get used to some things in the Netherlands. Like being sharp and being on time. These traits actually suit me well. I want to stay in the Netherlands for now. In December I will start working as a project manager in translational research at Genmab, in Utrecht."
Margarida will defend her thesis on November 30.
prof. dr. J.H. Beijnen
dr. A.H. Schinkel