Voices in Molecular Pharmaceutics: Meet Dr. Bart Hens, A Sociable Scientist Focusing on Multidisciplinary Connections to Unravel the Gaps of Oral Drug Behavior in the Human Gastrointestinal Tract

Authors: Hens B
Publication: Mol Pharm
Software: GastroPlus®


Bart Hens (Pharm.D., Ph.D.) holds a Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences obtained from KU Leuven (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Patrick Augustijns – Leuven, Belgium). His Ph.D. project was funded by the Flemish government (Innovation through Science and Technology) and the OrBiTo project; a large European biopharmaceutics project between academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies to explore the predictive power of in vitro and in silico tools that can simulate the in vivo performance of oral drug products. In January 2017, Bart started to work as a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Gordon L. Amidon (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI), where they both explored the impact of gastrointestinal physiology on oral drug behavior by performing clinical aspiration studies. The gathered knowledge was used as a reference to develop a formulation predictive dissolution (fPD) test for oral drug products. This work was supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). From 2018 on, Bart was assigned as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological sciences (Drug Delivery & Disposition Lab) focusing on the impact of “real-life” intake conditions on the behavior of a drug product along the gastrointestinal tract. This project was granted a postdoctoral scholarship from the Flemish Research Council (FWO). In November 2020, Bart joined the Pfizer UK group (Sandwich, United Kingdom) to work as a biopharmaceutics scientist and drug product design biomodeler under the supervision of Dr. Mark McAllister. In his current role as Principal Scientist, Bart supports the internal projects at Pfizer in parallel with the supervision of students for numerous collaborative projects between academia and industry (e.g., Marie-Curie European Training Network Colotan, Centers for Doctoral Training (CDT), and CMAC). Bart is currently the chair of the Oral Biopharmaceutics and Modeling community of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) and is an active member of the Oral Biopharmaceutics community of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences (APS). Bart has (co)-authored approximately 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including 20 of them as a first author. Bart was awarded the Oral Absorption Focus Group Award from AAPS for unravelling the absorption mechanisms of Posaconazole in the human gastrointestinal tract using the aspiration technique. In his free time, Bart enjoys spending time with his family (wife Jolien Trekels, son Oliver Hens, and daughter Julie Hens), playing music (guitar), running, and farming.

By Bart Hens