Measuring arterial stiffness at different scales: a new toolbox for safety pharmacology

Host organisation: University of Antwerp, Belgium

Supervisors: Prof. Pieter-Jan Guns


Safety pharmacology is an essential part of the drug development process aiming to identify, evaluate and investigate undesirable pharmacodynamic properties of a drug primarily prior to clinical trials. In particular, cardiovascular adverse drug reactions (ADR) have halted many drug development programs. My name is Callan Wesley and I am from Durban, South Africa. I am the Early Stage Researcher 10. The focus of my PhD research will be on arterial stiffness in safety pharmacology. Arterial stiffness is a blood pressure-independent prognostic factor to predict the risk for cardiovascular disease but has not been widely considered in safety pharmacology. Therefore, my PhD-project will investigate different methods to quantify arterial stiffness, both in vivo and in vitro; and will explore the predictive value of arterial stiffness as a measure in safety pharmacology evaluation. Having a robust toolbox available to measure arterial stiffness would not only help to understand acute dysregulation of stiffness by (experimental) drug candidates, but allow investigations of chronic pathological vascular remodeling and the possible pharmacological modulation thereof. This research will be conducted at the University of Antwerp in Belgium with additional secondments to the University of Nottingham and INRIA-Paris.