About this site

This is primarily a blog for expressing my random thoughts, opinions, and the odd tutorial about R or pharmacometrics, but also serves as the de facto homepage for my company, Numetric GmbH, which is a member of Occams.

A bit about me

I’m from Cape Town, one of the world’s sunnier places, and I have a PhD in pharmacology (my thesis was on the population pharmacokinetics of rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide, key drugs in the treatment of tuberculosis) from the University of Cape Town - I also collected a BSc in microbiology and biochemistry, and an MSc in the pharmacoeconomics of malaria while I was there (as you do).

Since then, I’ve moved around a bit. I joined Uppsala University as a postdoctoral researcher in 2004, where I had the good fortune to work in the storied Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, one of the world’s foremost centers of pharmacometrics, and then to Switzerland in 2006, to join Novartis.

In 2010, I joined Exprimo, a pharmacometrics consulting company of some renown. Sadly, it was acquired by a multinational logistics company soon after, which ran it into the ground. Everyone left, and today, it no longer exists. On the bright side, this catastrophe gave some colleagues and I the push we needed to set up shop for ourselves, and in 2015, we formed Occams. My family and I moved to Germany in 2019, where we remain today.

I’m a pharmacometrics consultant in my day job. I build pharmacokinetic (PK), pharmacodynamic (PD) and PK-PD models for drugs, based on clinical trial data; these models can be used to explain and predict changes in drug concentration over time, given a specific dose, and how those concentrations relate to the drug’s effects (both positive and negative). I’ve worked on drugs in infectious diseases, oncology, diabetes, and respiratory disease, amongst others - you can find a more detailed record of what I’ve been up to here.

I try to keep active in the greater pharmacometrics community. I was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Society of Pharmacometrics (ISoP) in 2016, and served as its President in 2019. My term ended at the end of 2021, and I’m pretty proud of what my ISoP colleagues and I managed to achieve while there. I’m currently part of the logistics team at PAGE, sit on its Student Sponsorship committee, and have been on its Scientific Organizing Committee since 2013. I was the Novartis representative on the DDMoRe project, served briefly as its Scientific Director, and co-led the team that developed the Thoughtflow concept. The success of DDMoRe is up for debate, but I’m firmly of the opinion that did some useful things (if only more people agreed).

As well as being a full-time pharmacometrics consultant in my day job, I dabble occasionally in tool development and I’m a big fan of reproducibility in research. Census was my attempt at a run management tool for NONMEM, but it has fallen into disuse over the past few years (moral of the story - if you want to build a community around an open source tool, don’t develop it in Object Pascal). I helped port xpose4 from S-PLUS to R while at Uppsala, I maintain the pmxTools package for R, and I’m on the nlmixr development team (everyone should use nlmixr, it’s great).

I’m on GitHub. On social media, I can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn (where I mostly just lurk).

This blog occasionally pops up at RWeekly.org.


If you see mistakes or want to suggest changes, please create an issue on the source repository.