Stijn Koolen studied pharmaceutical sciences at the Utrecht University and obtained his PharmD degree in 2006. In that year he started with a PhD training at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) Amsterdam. His research focused on the clinical development of orally administered anti-cancer drugs. During his PhD he followed a clinical training to become a Clinical pharmacologist. He defended his thesis “Intravenous to oral switch in anticancer chemotherapy – focus on taxanes and gemcitabine” in 2011.
In 2011 he started with a four year specialization phase at the Spaarne Gasthuis Haarlem to become a hospital pharmacist. Further specialization in pediatric pharmacology and oncology were done during internships at the Amsterdam Medical Center and Erasmus Medical Center.
Since 2015, Stijn is a post-doctoral fellow at the laboratory of translational pharmacology at the department of Medical oncology. His main research is focused on the relationship between pharmacokinetics of oncology drugs and toxicity or response. A better understanding of this relationship may lead to a better and more personalized treatment for many oncology drugs. An example is pharmacokinetically guided dosing (TDM), which is adjusting the administered dose based on the measured drug concentration in blood.