This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956146.


Elderly people illustrated

The AGePOP European Training Network (ETN) will provide 11 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) with multidisciplinary instruction to train them as the future experts in drug development for geriatric patients and older people. All ESRs will be enrolled in a PhD programme, conducting much needed research on the drug absorption, physiological alterations and characteristics of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract specifically in the advanced age population. Based on their collection of the according, first-ever, dataset, the young researchers will develop novel in vitro and in silico tools.

Complementary training will equip the ESRs with the broader knowledge and experience needed for successful career paths. Diverse elements including scientific writing, ethics, and project management will be part of their transferable, business and wider horizon skillset, preparing them to support better and more personalised patient care, well beyond the 4 years of the project.

Cooperative research and networking are key elements of innovation. AGePOP encourages this through the training provided by academia, industry and clinical practice partners, providing the ESRs with insights into different sectors. Leading experts impart their knowledge in oral drug absorption and development, clinical research and practice, as well as mentoring and training. They will provide supervision and guidance for the ESR(s) they host as well as to all ESRs in network-wide training units.

Related Information

Network-Wide Training Modules and Events

Introduction Days ‘AGePOP Network, Research & Training’
  • Good research practice, quality management, and research ethics
  • TM01 – Research: Drug absorption in older people and geriatric patients
  • TM02 – Transferable: Clinical aspects in older people and geriatric patients
  • TM03 – Business: Career perspectives & working in the pharma industry

Host: NKUA (Athens, GR)

Participants: All ESRs & PIs, invited experts from HR departments of pharma industry

1st Annual AGePOP Week
  • TM04 – Research: GI at an advanced age and clinical practice
  • TM05 – Transferable: Publishing & science communication
  • TM06 – Wider Horizon: From bench to clinical trials

Host: University Medicine Greifswald (Greifswald, DE)

Participants: All ESRs & PIs, external speakers from journal editorial boards, open to external PhDs

Interim Activity A
  • TM07 – Research: In vivo and ex vivo techniques for the characterization of human GI physiology
  • TM08 – Transferable: Workshop with COST

Host: KULeuven (Leuven, BE)

Participants: All ESRs, UNGAP members

2nd Annual AGePOP Week
  • Network Management: ESR project and WP progress, Board meetings
  • TM09 – Research: From clinical aspects to pharmaceutical companies
  • TM10 – Transferable: Product development, industry and society
  • TM11 – Wider Horizon: Leadership and mentoring

Host: KULeuven (Leuven, BE)

Participants: All ESRs & PIs, invited external speakers, open to external PhDs

Interim Activity B
  • TM12 – Research: PBPK modelling using PK-Sim®
  • TM13 – Transferable: MoBi for specific populations

Host: Bayer (Leverkusen/Darmstadt, DE)

Participants: All ESRs

3rd Annual AGePOP Week
  • Network Management: ESR project and WP progress, Board meetings
  • TM14 – Research: in vitro and in silico modelling of GI composition, hydrodynamics
    and permeability in the advanced age population
  • TM15 – Wider Horizon: Career planning & job preparation
  • TM16 – Business: Science, technology and innovation beyond AGePOP

Host: Merck, Bayer, Abbvie, UCB, AZ, accelCH, Novartis, and Janssen

Participants: All ESRs & PIs, external Advisory Board chair, invited guests from Pfizer and

Research Webinars
  • 3 ESRs jointly deliver a webinar
  • PIs will coach on scientific aspects, ACCEL on presentation skills

Participants: All ESRs & some PIs

International Conferences
  • Joint organisation of AGePOP symposia or satellite meetings at relevant conferences
  • 1-2 presentations by each ESR at international conferences

Participants: All ESRs & PIs

Secondments & clinical visits
  • A minimum of 1 secondment for all ESRs to either industry (if the main host is from academia) or academia (if the main host is from industry)
  • Regular clinical visits for sample collection and to experience the end-user environment

Participants: All ESRs, PIs, and POs

AGePOP Final Event
  • Organisation of an AGePOP session at an international conference open to external participants
  • ESRs will
    disseminate results, discuss job opportunities and future collaboration

Participants: All ESRs & PIs, externals


We aim to develop a sound knowledge of the physiological alterations associated with ageing, which is crucial to drug product performance in older people and geriatric patients.


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The Early Stage Researchers will be trained by multi-disciplinary, European partners. The 6 Beneficiaries and 8 Partner Organisations bring together expertise from academia, industry and clinics for this multidisciplinary training and research programme.