Medical and Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

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Deze opleiding

!Deze opleiding communiceert alleen in het Engels.
We tonen daarom de Engelstalige opleidingsinformatie.
How can we make use of the immune system in order to target cancer? How does early life nutrition impact metabolic health in adulthood? How can microorganisms help fight against infectious diseases?

Do you want to find the answers to these types of questions and are you interested in the pathophysiology of diseases, precision medicine, and the development of new therapies and drugs?

The selective two-year master programme Medical and Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation (MPDI) offers research-minded students small-group interactive teaching in an international and multidisciplinary environment. You will learn how to creatively apply knowledge and we will train you to become a critical and analytical scientist. You will be challenged with exciting cutting-edge research and methodologies and will learn how to critically read the literature, design novel research questions, translate hypotheses into testable research plans, and write scientific essays.

As a student you can focus on your interests and ambitions by participating in one of the following tracks after the first semester:

- Oncology
- Medical neurosciences and neurological diseases
- Infection and immunity
- Medical nutrition and metabolic diseases
- Medical system biology and bioinformatics
- Drug innovation

open_in_newstudy website


diplomaMSc Medical and Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation
typeregulier, 120 EC
start1 september
taalvolledig English
opleidingsduur2 jaar voltijd
heeft geen numerus fixus
geen honoursprogramma

Waarom aan de Rijksuniversiteit?

If you choose to study MPDI at the University of Groningen, this is what you can expect:
  • a challenging multidisciplinary and intercultural approach to problem solving
  • participate in a track of your choice
  • teaching by top-researchers with a high teacher - student ratio
  • large data cohorts
  • two major (international) research internships are part of the programme
  • possibility to add a track-specialization to your diploma
  • possibility of obtaining a fully funded three-year PhD position

Open dagen en meeloopdagen

Masterweek Groningen
Van 19 t/m 23 maart 2018 organiseren de faculteiten op verschillende dagen een mastervoorlichting op locatie. Aanmelden kan vanaf eind februari 2018.


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opbouwEmbedded in both the University Medical Center Groningen and the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, MPDI offers excellent facilities for (pharmaco)genomics, proteomics and in vivo(animal) and in vitro(cell) imaging. This direct interplay of the clinical, medical, and pharmaceutical sciences is what makes MPDI unique as well as the possibility to choose a track after the first semester. At the end of the second year, you will write and defend your own research proposal.
1e jaar
Topclass II: Modern techniques in medical, biomedical, and pharmaceutical sciences
Topclass I: Recent developments in medical, biomedical, and pharmaceutical sciences
Introduction to Research Project I
Colloquium I
Topclass III: Theoretical preparation for advanced research in medical, biomedical, and pharmaceutical sciences
Research Project I
2e jaar
Topclass V: PhD project proposal
Capita Selecta
Research project II
Introduction to Research Project II
Topclass IV: Project design
Colloquium II
Elective A) Extension Research Project II, B) Elective Course, C) Track Dedicated Elective Course


track Oncology

How is cellular and/or organismal ageing involved in cancer development? What are the long-term adverse effects of treatment in cancer survivors and how can we prevent this?

In this track, students will focus on a range of aspects in the field of cancer biology, spanning the entire scope from rather fundamental basic research to (pre)clinical translational research and ultimately clinical trials. We aim to unravel the molecular mechanisms that determine malignant transformation of solid and hematological tumors and to translate these fundamental insights into improved early detection and treatment of cancer.

For detailed information on oncology-associated research, please go to the Cancer Research Center Groningen:

track Medical neurosciences and neurological diseases

How do neurodevelopmental disorders arise and are they reversible? How is organismal or central nervous system ageing involved in neurodegenerative disorders?

In this track, students will be exposed to a range of topics in the field of neurobiology, ranging from fundamental neurobiology, basic research, to more (pre)clinical translational research. We aim to unravel the (epi)genetics basis of the central nervous system (CNS) disease and the underlying cell biological defects in the context of various conditions and disorders are addressed in animals and humans.

For detailed information on neuroscience-associated research, please go to the Department of Neuroscience and the Department of Cell Biology:

track Medical system biology and bioinformatics

What is the central role that computational methods play in all biological and medical fields?

Computational methods are as diverse as the questions and problems which they tackle. In this track, the students gain an overview of a broad spectrum of computational methods and strategies including top-down approaches to analyze and model genome scale data, and bottom up approaches to study the detailed dynamics of molecular networks, from basic biology to clinical studies. In doing so we will cover multi-scale data across the genome, transcriptome, proteome and metabolome. The needs and constraints for acquisition of quantitative data at all scales will be covered, as much as the differences in computational approaches used to analyze different data types.

For detailed information go to the Section of Systems Medicine of Signaling and Metabolism:

track Drug innovation

Are you interested in finding new and innovative drugs and therapies and do you wish to improve the use of existing drugs?

The disciplines covered in this track circle around the theme: 'molecules for patients'. Students are encouraged to bridge the gap between the fundamental natural sciences (such as chemistry and physics) and the medical/clinical sciences in the field of medicinal products. This track contributes to the entire field of the pharmaceutical sciences, from basic areas such as chemical analysis and synthesis to pharmaceutical practice and patient-oriented research. Knowledge from different research disciplines is combined in the design and evaluation of optimal drugs, products and therapies that are being made available to society. Research in this track is of high societal impact with several drugs or related products developed in-house on the market or in clinical trials, several spin-offs, a strong portfolio of patents and research that contributes directly to healthcare policymaking.

For detailed information go to the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy:

track Medical nutrition and metabolic diseases

What is the role of nutrient sensors in the development of diabetes? Can we use patient-derived cells for disease modeling, drug discovery and personalized medicine?

The prevalence of metabolic disorders increases with age and changes in lifestyle. Metabolic disorders have a causal role in liver, digestive and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and other age-related chronic diseases, and are therefore an important cause of morbidity. In this track, students learn to understand the physiological, pathophysiological, and developmental basis of these diseases with the aim to identify interventional targets and to design new evidence-based strategies to prevent, treat, or deal with the consequences of these diseases.

For detailed information go to the Center for Liver, Digestive, and Metabolic Diseases and the Groningen Kidney Center.

track Infection and immunity

What are the detrimental and beneficial roles of microorganisms in human health and disease? How can we exploit this knowledge in the prevention and fight against infectious diseases?

In this track, students can unravel the mechanisms underlying immune-mediated chronic diseases by translation of basic immunological concepts into clinical practice (and vice versa). Students become involved in contributing to personalized and precision medicine for infectious and immune-mediated diseases. Students will address a wide variety of research topics ranging from the roles of microbes in the etiology of major autoimmune disorders to the genetics of celiac disease.

For detailed information go to the Groningen University Institute for Drug Exploration, Microbes in Health and Disease.


taal van onderwijs100% en
onderwijsopzet15% zelfstudie
35% theorie
50% praktijk
literature study, colloquium, oral presentation, research, research project, research proposal, tutorial, lecture, group assignment, group discussion, individual assignment, practicum, self study, laboratory work, seminar
instruction modes
Lectures, practical assignments, research, (international) research internship.
All of the tracks in MPDI span the entire scope of research, ranging from fundamental basic research to (pre)clinical translational research and ultimately clinical trials. You will be mentored throughout the programme by top-researchers who will help you define your future goals and aspirations.
study abroad
Students are encouraged to perform their second research proposal abroad, further enhancing their international experience. Previously students have done this at:

  • Children's Hospital Boston
  • Harvard Stem Cell Institute
  • Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College London
  • J.W. Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt am Main
  • KU Leuven
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University Hospital Freiburg
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Oxford

Toelating en studiekosten

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1 september 2018
aanmelding deadline : 1 mei 2018
collegegeld nog niet bekend
After you complete your application, the selection committee will assess whether your educational/academic background meets the specific programme requirements. If so, students are required to submit a letter of motivation and one letter of recommendation from an academic. After evaluating these documents, the selection committee decides whether a student is invited for an interview.

Please note that MPDI offers an early bird application deadline of 15 January 2018!

The selection committee makes a first evaluation and decides if student is invited for an interview. During the interview a student must:

  • Present the BSc thesis (10 min)
  • Present a scientific paper (10 min)
  • Have a discussion with the selection committee

Students who hold a VWO level high school diploma including English, meet the English language requirement

reference letter
One letter of recommendation from an academic is required.

Students are required to submit a letter of motivation. Within this letter, students should specifically explain why the programme suits their interests and ambitions.

inbegrepen in collegegeld
registration fee

estimated monthly costs

bron: Nibud
303kamerhuur in Groningenrond het landelijk gemiddelde
158collegegeldop basis van € 1906 per jaar
80studieboeken en -spullen
77uiterlijkkleding, kapper, schoenen
132vrije tijdstappen, uit eten, vakantie
42vervoernaast de OV-kaart

€ 1171totale maandelijkse uitgaven landelijk gemiddelde is € 1181
Hiernaast staat een overzicht van de gemiddelde kosten die een uitwonende student heeft. Niet iedere student heeft met iedere kostenpost te maken. Het totaalgemiddelde is dus niet gelijk aan de optelsom van alle kostenposten.

Bekijk ook de uitgebreide toelichting: wat kost studeren?

Studenten en studentenleven


? studenten volgen deze opleiding
?% daarvan is vrouw
? eerstejaars gestart in 2012
?% daarvan is vrouw
28510 studenten aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
51% daarvan is vrouw
bron: HBO-raad/VSNU

Op kamers in Groningen

55216studenten studerend
31914studenten woonachtig   
€ 303gemiddelde kamerprijs
kamer betaalbaarheid
21 m2gemiddelde kameroppervlak
kamer beschikbaarheid
bron: Nationale Studenten Enquête

aan het woord: studenten en docenten

Wellington Candido, student
'MPDI is in many ways science without borders'

Back home in Brazil, Wellington Candido studied Medicine. An exchange year led him to the Netherlands, where he spent most of his days in the laboratories of the University Medical Center Groningen. In 2016 he returned to participate in the top-master Medical and Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation (MPDI). 'I loved the days in the lab, it is fascinating what happens on a molecular level.'

The last couple of week were busy ones for the 28-year-old. ‘I have just started my second internship,’ Wellington says...
That can run up to hours, since donor organs can come from any one of the other European countries. As it is on its way to the receiving patient, the kidney starts to deteriorate. What is going on in that time in the cells?’Science is team effort
This second-year research is one of the main components of the master’s programme. Ultimately, it will lead to the student writing a PhD-proposal. ‘The programme asks a lot of self-study and hours in the lab. Ultimately, you learn how to be a scientist. But,’ Wellington emphasizes, ‘you don’t make science alone. During classes, students are stimulated to be pro-active and to present their research methods, facts and figures to top-researchers and fellow students. Everyone thinks along, asks questions and offers a new perspective. Because when you only take your own opinions in mind, chances are that your research is to restricted.’ Molecules
The focus of the study is molecular biology and the unravelling of the molecular mechanisms that determine health and illness. With the internships, students are free to follow their aspirations, even to perform the second research proposal abroad and further enhancing their international experience. For the first internship Wellington worked in the characterization of mutations in breast and ovarian cancer. Currently he is doing his second project in the Experimental Nephrology, about kidney transplantation. Wellington chose to stay in the Netherlands since he is planning to combine research with clinical work: ‘MPDI has definitely changed the way I see and make science, and I will carry this with me in whatever I do in my future.’ Some advice
‘Make sure you are willing to put in the time and effort. In the online course descriptions you can read all the information on each class and track. It is also important to keep organized and look up what deadlines are coming. And if you have any questions, the professors and other students are always willing to help.’

lees verder ...
Lisette van Os, student
'The right combination of proteins can save lives'

Lisette van Os (21) just finished her first year of the Medical and Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation (MPDI) master programme with top marks. Now she is ready for the next step. 'I’m going to California to research the forces and interactions between cells and proteins in fibrosis.'The master student emphasises that she’s somewhat off the beaten track, considering that within the six tracks MPDI offers, her research does not exactly fit any of them. ‘I chose somewhat of my own path within the master programme...
Ultimately, this led me to want to research the role that cells and the extracellular matrix play in the lung disease Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF.'Cells and health
Lisette explains: ‘This disease of the respiratory system causes lung tissue to indurate, eventually filling up the lungs until breathing is impossible. Modern science doesn’t know what exactly causes IPF, only that the matrices surrounding the cells cause them to overproduce proteins, which form scar tissue. Ideally, we would discover a protein to influence the disease so that the cells stay healthy and supple.’Pauline van Wachem-award
Her supervisor during the research projects is Principal Investigator Janette Burgess, who is specialised in lung disease and regenerative medicine. They already met during Lisette’s bachelor years, and met again in the first period of the master programme. She was the one that urged Lisette to send in an abstract of her research for the annual congress of the Dutch Matrix Biology Society. Not only was Lisette invited to speak to researchers and PhD-students from all over the world, she was also awarded best junior speaker. California
‘I will continue the research, but expanded to fibroses in general,’ Lisette states. Her visa for the United States just came through. In November she starts working with Elliot Botvinick, professor in Biomedical Engineering at the university of California Irvine. ‘He has high tech microscopes that can measure the forces and interactions between cells and proteins.’Choose your track
Does she have any advice for future MPDI students? ‘In the first semester the Principal Investigators introduce the tracks and their specific research interests within these tracks. Oncology, Medical neurosciences and neurological diseases, Infection and immunity, Medical nutrition and metabolic diseases, Medical system biology and bioinformatics and Drug innovation. Choose the track that sparks your interest and aspirations, or find a way to follow your interests outside of the beaten paths. Being “trackless” worked out great for me.’

lees verder ...


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1/2 Rijksuniversiteit
Medical and Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation
€ 303 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
2/2 Rijksuniversiteit
Innovative Medicine
€ 303 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
disclaimer: bovenstaande cijfers en beoordelingen zijn aangeleverd door de opleidingen zelf. Wij kunnen de juistheid niet garanderen.

Feiten en / studie in cijfers

bron: Nationale Studenten Enquete 2015
algemeen oordeel4.2


De Nationale Studenten Enquete is het grootschalige onderzoek van de overheid onder studenten in Nederland naar de kwaliteit van opleidingen aan hogescholen en universiteiten.
In 2015 hebben meer dan 200.000 studenten hun oordeel gegeven over hun studie en instelling.

Medical and Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen is beoordeeld door 9 respondenten. Gemiddeld waarderen ze de opleiding met 4.2 uit 5.

Na de studie

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Medical and Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation encourages and enables students to pursue a career as an independently working (bio)medical or pharmaceutical scientist. The majority of MPDI graduates continue their career in academics as a PhD student. In fact, a number of students will be offered a full PhD scholarship.

Beroepsperspectief / arbeidsmarkt

Upon completion of this programme you are fully prepared to become a PhD student in an international research programme. Currently, most graduates have continued their research activities in PhD projects. Many stay at the UMCG, however, others have gone to a selection of other prestigious institutions or employers.
current job market

vergeleken met andere studies

zoektijd baanzeer goed
salaris na 1,5 jaar goed
kans op een vaste baan zeer slecht
bron: Elsevier beste banen 2015

Potentiële beroepen

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bron: StudieData


Graduate School Of Medical Sciences
Meer informatie?
Bezoek de website van deze opleiding.

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