A decade ago, Joel S. Owen, PhD, met Jackson Mukonzo, PhD, a professor at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, at a Cognigen sponsored NONMEM course. This fortuitous meeting resulted in a sustained collaborative relationship that has significantly enhanced Pharmacometrics education and research in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
Joel and Jackson partnered to create NONMEM courses that would expand Makerere University’s Pharmacometrics curriculum. In 2012, 2014, and 2016 Joel taught several courses in person. His lectures attracted students from several countries in Africa, as well as individuals from clinical and regulatory sites within Uganda. During this partnership, Joel, Dr. Mukonzo and other members of the Makerere faculty have published several scientific articles together. Joel continues to collaborate with Jackson, and Cognigen continues to foster this relationship with licenses to KIWI™, its web-based knowledge-sharing platform.
Joel’s passion for pharmacometrics education across the globe, and especially in East Africa, has been a hallmark of his career. In February 2019, Joel spoke at the Workshop on Novel Clinical Trial Methodologies held in Cape Town, South Africa, sponsored by The Fundisa African Academy of Medicines Development and Pharmacometrics Africa. His presentation, “Novel clinical trial designs for optimizing parameter estimation in malaria disease-drug models,” described ongoing research in optimization of early clinical trials for malaria drug development. Dr. Owen also presented a webinar on Principles of Ensuring Data Integrity, on behalf of Pharmacometrics Africa, and gave a presentation for the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at Cape Town University. He serves on a dissertation committee for students in Uganda, participates as a dissertation reader for doctoral students in Tanzania, and acts as a coach to numerous African students on their scientific presentations and continuous education.
Cognigen and Dr. Owen’s efforts together have helped many students in Africa and clinical development and regulatory teams in Uganda leverage modeling and simulation to support their research and drug development programs. Cognigen’s commitment to support future pharmacometrics research and discoveries will remain paramount, including the sponsorship of the World Conference on Pharmacometrics scheduled in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2022.