“We are dedicated to what we do and empower each other to advance the field”

Jurij Aguiar Zdovc joined Pharmetheus as an Associate Consultant in 2022, working from his home office in Ljubljana, Slovenia. His work focuses on model informed drug development in clinical trials and he says he really enjoy the company's open work environment.

Dr. Jurij Aguiar Zdovc, Associate Consultant, Pharmetheus

Why did you initially join Pharmetheus?

Pharmetheus seemed like a stimulating environment where I could improve my skills. The company is well-known in the field because of its expertise and links to academia. Back in 2019, I met many of my future colleagues when I attended Uppsala Pharmacometrics Summer School. I also attended the PAGE-conference 2021, online, and met many of them, and got a really good impression of the culture and their work. So, when I finished my Ph.D., I felt Pharmetheus was the place to further develop my knowledge.

What do you work with at Pharmetheus? 

I work as an Associate Consultant in Model informed drug development. Usually I work with data collected in clinical trials, which I use to develop models that relate the drugs and drug exposure in patients to the effect of the drug. I also use data simulations to find out which drug dose has the most benefit and therefore should be used. Our clients are mostly big pharma companies, but also smaller biotech companies.

I live in Slovenia, and work from home. But I work closely with my team, and we meet regularly online. I also travel to our head-quarters in Sweden now and then. It is really nice to meet my colleagues face-to-face.

Where does your interest in Model-informed drug development come from and how did you get involved in it? 

Before I joined Pharmetheus, while I did my Ph.D. at the University of Ljubljana, I worked with therapy individualization and did a clinical study on Crohn’s disease at the Ljubljana Medical Centre. We collected data from patients to optimize the drug dose and come up with better or alternative dosing regimens. I also worked as a teaching assistant to pharma students, mostly giving practical lessons in pharmacokinetics and biomedicinal informatics.  Pharmetheus is my first full-time  job in the model informed drug development area.

What are your guiding principles for success at work?

I have a few. First, to think before you execute. Second, I always try to keep in mind that the job is a marathon, and not a sprint. The long term or sustainable efficiency is just as important as being organized at work. Third, to be working together as one. As a team we must work closely together to achieve the common goal of improving people’s health.

What do you enjoy most about working at Pharmetheus?

I really like my colleagues and the culture at Pharmetheus. It’s a stimulating and collaborative work environment, and it’s easy to reach out and ask questions of colleagues with expertise in a particular area. I’ve never experienced such an open work environment before, and I think it is related to our core values. We are dedicated to what we do, and empower each other to advance the field.

I always remember that what I do will make an impact and, even if it’s just small steps each time, in the end it will make an impact on improving people’s health. 

What is your proudest moment at Pharmetheus so far?

I’m  proud to be part of a great team  at Pharmetheus. I feel like I am where I belong, and the things I believe in correlate with the company’s values and vision. An example is how I, before joining Pharmetheus, was involved in starting the Educational Pharmacometrics Summer Symposium, EPSS. Pharmetheus saw the potential in EPSS, and decided to support the initiative, so I can continue driving it with external partners.

What do you do in your spare time?

I mostly spend time with my wife and our two-year-old. We like the outdoors and spending time in nature and playing outside. I like sports, specifically badminton, tennis and table tennis, and meeting up with my friends to play board games. One of my favorite games is Pandemic Legacy, which we already played before Covid, so we were ahead of our time. Another good one is Lord of the Rings Journeys in Middle Earth. I like board games you can play over several sessions across a few months.