Drug Development and Neurohealth
Which brain drugs does our society need most? Do drugs work the same in everyone? What makes someone vulnerable to brain diseases? What makes them receptive to drug effects? Can we predict drug effects in the brain? Can diet be as effective as drug treatment? How do we translate new R&D knowledge into a start-up company? Drug Development and Neurohealth provides a theoretical background and practical experience in pharmaceutical drug research & development, medicinal nutrition and personalised healthcare. You will interact with industry and regulatory agencies. The overarching theme is the pipeline of drug research & development from design of the molecule to its applications in healthcare settings.
Why this programme?
This specialisation provides you with a theoretical background and practical experience in pharmaceutical drug research & development, medicinal nutrition and personalised healthcare. You will have interactions with industry and regulatory agencies. The overarching theme is the pipeline of drug research & development from design of the molecule to its applications in healthcare settings.
The programme covers the process of bringing a new pharmaceutical drug to the market once a lead compound has been identified (drug discovery). You will gain a thorough understanding of:
- pre-clinical research (in-vitro/in-vivo)
- clinical trials (in volunteers and patients)
- obtaining marketing authorisation
- molecular, biological, neuroanatomical, electrophysiological, and behavioural techniques
- biomarker development into diagnostics
- clinical trial methodology
From November of the second year, you will devote your time to the preparation and execution of your research internship and master’s thesis. You will conduct your own research project (very often as part of a larger ongoing study), including the writing of a proposal, acquiring and analysing the data. The work is reported in a master’s thesis, written in the style of a scientific journal article. Given the strong multidisciplinary research infrastructure here in Maastricht as well as extensive international networks, you will have ample opportunities for internships related to any aspect of Drug Development & Neurohealth, either locally or at other top universities throughout the world. We will help you find a topic and location that best fit your own interests and career goals.
During the programme, you will be part of a multidisciplinary team of neuroscientists including biological psychologists, pharmacists, molecular- and neurobiologists, neuroanatomists, pharmacologists and psychiatrists. These professionals participate in world-wide international networks of research in relevant fields at academia and industry. This offers excellent opportunities for internships at small, medium and large biotechnology- / clinical research companies, pharmaceutical- and nutrition industries as well as governmental organisations in food and drug regulation.
The main research topics focus on clinical and pharmacological brain targets and biomarkers associated with affective-, neurodevelopmental-, neurodegenerative- and neurovascular disorders. Core courses are organised along these mechanisms/disorders including practical trainings to acquire necessary laboratory skills. Specific workshops like 'Genes and Proteins', 'Drug Metabolism', 'Psychopharmacology' and 'Pharmaco-epidemiology', provide additional technical knowledge.
All research is organised within 5 research groups: Psychopharmacology, Toxicogenomics, Clinical Pharmacy & Toxicology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience.
Courses & curriculum
The curriculum of the Research Master in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience is divided in two parts.
The first part focuses on a set of modules offering theoretical and practical research training, and covers the first year as well as the first eight weeks of the second year (for detailed module descriptions please scroll down). In each specialisation, you will participate in domain-specific intensive core courses covering important theories, models, and analytic approaches. Depending on the specialisation you choose, the courses will cover genetic, environmental, affective, cognitive and neurobiological processes underlying the human mind and behaviour, in health or disease. In addition, you will take advanced statistics courses and practical workshops that will allow you to develop your proficiency in general skills like data analysis, scientific writing, and data acquisition with methods and techniques specific for your chosen field.
The second part of the curriculum, occupying most of the second year, focuses on an internship in which data are collected that form the basis for your research master thesis. In the specialisations Psychopathology and Neuropsychology, you have the option to do an additional clinical internship, which also entails a smaller research project and minor thesis. Once enrolled in the Research Master, you will receive timely and detailed information on how to choose a thesis topic, how to approach potential supervisors, and how to choose a good host for the local or (inter)national internship. The curriculum as a whole corresponds to 120 European credit points.
You will be able to tailor some aspects of the curriculum to your specific interests, for example by choosing an elective outside the required curriculum of your specialisation. There are three types of electives: attending regular modules of another specialisation, writing a review paper, or assisting in an ongoing research project. In addition, to foster a better understanding and appreciation of the rich interdisciplinary connections linking cognitive and clinical neuroscience, the curriculum also includes a colloquium series, with interactive lectures by UM faculty as well as visiting national and international speakers. The research grant writing component of the curriculum entails a workshop at the end of year one and a core module at the beginning of year two, during which small groups of students from different specialisations work together to formulate an interdisciplinary research proposal. This primes you to think concretely about all aspects of doing research, which is an excellent preparation for the internship and thesis that follow.
See website www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fpn/researchmaster
About the School
Dear prospective student, Thank you for your interest in our master's programme. Please use the form to request our newest study brochure 2016-2017.