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Human Digestion and Absorption - a Mechanistic Understanding
Provider: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Activity no.: 3117-21-00-00There are 13 available seats 
Enrollment deadline: 15/10/2021
Date and time22.11.2021, at: 08:45 - 26.11.2021, at: 16:00
Regular seats25
Course fee5,880.00 kr.
LecturersAnette Müllertz
ECTS credits4.00
Contact personMarianne Jørgensen    E-mail address: marianne.joergensen@sund.ku.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserPhD administration     E-mail address: fak-phdkursus@sund.ku.dk

Aim and content
This course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School), and for PhD students at graduate schools in the other Nordic countries. All other participants must pay the course fee.

Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student at a Danish university, you will be placed on the waiting list until enrollment deadline. This also applies to PhD students from Nordic countries. After the enrollment deadline, available seats will be allocated to applicants on the waiting list.

Learning objectives
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

1. Achieve a detailed insight into the anatomy and physiology of the gastro-intestinal tract, and its role in solubilization and absorption of drugs.
2. Understand the physiological effects of food intake and the influence of food intake on drug absorption.
3. Get insights into development of targeted drug delivery system, e.g. to the colon
4. Have an overall understanding of the role of microbiota in health and disease, and the potential influence on drug delivery.
5. Be able to select a suitable in vitro model for development of an oral delivery system.

Although oral drug delivery is the most common and convenient way for patients to take medicine, there is still a gap in the general knowledge on the gastro-intestinal tract and the mechanism of absorption for both drugs and nutrient. When designing oral drug delivery systems, it is important to have a fundamental knowledge of digestive processes and the impact of intestinal fluid composition on dissolution of the drug. Further, the microbiota and the intestinal immune system can also play a role for the therapeutic effect of the drug. Drug absorption can be dependent on active transport or efflux transporters. Finally, selecting suitable in vitro and in vivo models for characterization of the drug and delivery system can be essential for a successful drug development.

The lectures will cover the following key topics:
• Organoleptic assessment of oral products
• Gastrointestinal physiology
• Characterization of gastric and intestinal fluids
• Hydrodynamic conditions in the gastrointestinal tract and effect on transit time
• Effect of food intake on transit time and gastrointestinal fluids
• Understanding of digestive processes, enzymatic, pH-dependent, etc.
• Mucosal barrier in gastro-intestinal tract
• Use of enhancers to increase absorption of nutrients and drugs
• Lipid digestion, absorption and metabolism
• Solubilization and emulsification of nutrients and pharmaceutical drugs
• Encapsulation of nutrients and drugs
• The gut microbiota – species and functionalities
• The intestinal immune system
• Targeting and site-specific delivery
• Delivery to the colon
• Regional absorption and controlled release
• Drug formulation principles
• Suitable animal models for studies of human digestion and absorption
• In vitro models simulating the digestion

The course is relevant for PhD students and others within life and medical sciences, who desires to get a better understanding of the human gastro-intestinal tract.

Relevance to graduate programmes
The course is relevant to PhD students from the following graduate programmes at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH:

All graduate programmes


It is a 5-day course comprising about 25 lectures and group work. The group work will be finalized with a presentation on the last day.

Course director
Anette Müllertz, Professor, Department of Pharmacy, UCPH, anette.mullertz@sund.ku.dk
Ragna Berthelsen, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy, UCPH, ragna.berthelsen@sund.ku.dk
Jette Jacobsen, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy, UCPH, jette.jacobsen@sund.ku.dk
Daniel Bar-Shalom, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy, UCPH, Daniel.barshalom@sund.ku.dk

Anette Müllertz
Jette Jacobsen
Daniel Bar-Shalom
Thomas Rades
Peter Vilmann
Hanne Frøkiær

22 - 26 November 2021

Course location
FARMA, Universitetsparken 2 / Jagtvej 160, 2100 Copenhagen

Please register before 15 October 2021

Seats to PhD students from other Danish universities will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and according to the applicable rules.
Applications from other participants will be considered after the last day of enrolment.

Note: All applicants are asked to submit invoice details in case of no-show, late cancellation or obligation to pay the course fee (typically non-PhD students). If you are a PhD student, your participation in the course must be in agreement with your principal supervisor.

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