Prof. dr. Ronette Gehring

Prof. dr. Ronette Gehring

One Health Pharmacology

"We can learn so much from studying the different reactions of various animal species to exogenous chemicals."


Different animal species can react very differently to exogenous chemical substances such as nutrients, drugs and poisons. For example, a medicine that is safe and effective in one species can be extremely toxic to another. As a veterinarian, Ronette uses a comparative approach in both her resesarch and teaching, identifying the key similarities and important differences between species.


She seeks to understand the physiological basis for these inter- and intra-species differences, relating them to the animals' environment and diet, as well as seeking explanations through taxonomy, developmental biology and evolutionary theory.  Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic models are an important tool in her research. These in silico mathematical models make it possible to assimilate existing knowledge with data from a wide range of sources such as in vitro and in vivo experiments, to improve understanding, generate hypotheses and predict outcomes with in silico experiments . 


An example of a physiologically-based kinetic model (From Tardiveau et al., DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2022.112848) showing how PBK models integrate existing physiological and chemical knowledge with data from different sources to make useful predictions such as antibiotic concentrations in milk following treatment of food-producing animals.


Applications of such physiologically-based kinetic models range from the support of pharmacotherapeutic decisions for veterinary patients, to the better selection and interpretation of animal and in vitro models for pharmacological research and chemical risk assessment for animal and human food safety. In addition, these models can serve to grow our fundamental biological knowledge.


At Utrecht University, Ronette leads the Veterinary and Comparative Pharmacology Group (One Health Pharma), which bridges the basic, applied, and clinical sciences to improve the care of animal patients and translate pharmacological knowledge from animals to humans and vice versa. Through our work, we address important societal issues such as antimicrobial resistance, animal welfare and minimizing the use of animals in biomedical research (3R's).

Veterinaire Farmacotherapie en Farmacie