nlmixr in Cuba

Part of the nlmixr team had the wonderful opportunity in June 2017 to train the next generation of pharmacometricians in Cuba.

Wenping Wang and Mirjam N. Trame spent one week together with the Pharmacometrics group of Prof. Leyanis Rodriguez Vera from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Havana, Cuba. Besides hands-on NONMEM training, a main focus throughout the entire week was to train the students and professors in the use of the open-source software nlmixr and R.

Cuba is one of many developing countries in the world where money for education, books, software licenses, courses etc. is short and research opportunities are correspondingly limited. Open-source tools give researchers from these countries in particular a tremendous opportunity to perform their daily research and to engage and collaborate with researchers and colleagues across the world. In Cuba, extremely limited access to the internet makes it even harder for researchers, teachers and students to access courses, webinars and training materials.  The course was held at the local Novartis site in Havana, as well as at one of its oldest pharmacies, the “Johnson and Johnson Drug Store” in the heart of Old Havana.

During the training week we also had an opportunity to experience the “real” Havana, thanks to the wonderful students – who made sure to introduce us to their national drinks, the “Mojito” and the “Daiquiri”, and organized us a tour of Havana’s historic pharmacies.

We are excited to see that nlmixr will be used in their future thesis work, and looking forward to continuous fruitful collaborations!

Thanks so much to the entire group of Prof. Leyanis Rodriguez Vera for their lovely hospitality! We look forward to visiting again.

Special thanks to Novartis, ICON, Occams and PKSim, who generously sponsored our visit in various ways.