The ESPR Paediatric and Neonatal Pharmacology Section

Welcome to the Paediatric and Neonatal Pharmacology Section of the European Society for Paediatric Research (ESPR)

The Paediatric and Neonatal Pharmacology section is a young and growing section that aims to study, educate and collaborate within Europe. We aim to increase the awareness about the relevance of paediatric and neonatal pharmacology among scientists, clinicians, and researchers. Improved knowledge and understanding of drugs, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, drug development, and new therapies to protect our patients, will contribute to improved patient care and outcome.

  • Our objectives

    Our section aims to increase the knowledge about paediatric and neonatal pharmacology in Europe by:

    - Sharing research and knowledge.
    - Writing educational papers.
    - Organizing education and courses to educate others.

    We collaborate with other sections within ESPR, as pharmacology covers topics involved in these other sections, such as sepsis, circulation, lung, and neurology.

    Furthermore, we aim to improve and enlarge the network of (clinical) scientists in the field of pharmacology and beyond, and inspire each other on how to improve our clinical care.

    Finally, we encourage and support young researchers.

  • Meet the Section Council

    Anne Smits
    Neonatologist, Clinical Pharmacologist,
    Assistant Professor MD, PhD
    Section chair since October 2022
    University Hospitals Leuven

    Robert Flint
    Hospital Pharmacist, Clinical Pharmacologist
    Assistant Professor PharmD, PhD
    Senior member since October 2022
    Erasmus University Medical Center-Sophia Children's Hospital
    The Netherlands

    Felipe Garrido
    Associate Professor MD, PhD
    Senior member since October 2022
    Clinica Universidad de Navarra
    University of Navarra

    Rudolf Ascherl
    Pediatrician, MD
    Junior member since October 2022
    Leipzig University Medical Center


    Genny Rafaelli
    Neonatologist, Clinical Researcher, MD, PhD
    Junior member since October 2022
    Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Dep. of Clinical Sciences & Community Health, University of Milan

    Sezin Unal
    Neonatologist, Associate Professor MD
    Ongoing – Clinical Pharmacology PhD
    Junior member since October 2022
    University of Health Sciences,
    Ankara Etlik City Hospital
  • Current & future activities/projects
    • Publication of scientific papers
    • With support of ESPR we are setting up an ESPR survey infrastructure
    • Coordination of the Pharmacology module in the NOTE courses
    • Contribution to ESPR congresses, pre-congress courses, and symposia
    • Close collaboration with the ESPR Special Interest Group on Pain
    • Explore new interactions with the other ESPR sections, as well as with learned societies in the field of paediatric and neonatal pharmacology
  • Our Special Interest Groups
    • Neonatal Pain SIG (chaired by Sinno Simons, MD, PhD)
  • Upcoming meetings of the section

    More info coming soon!

  • Links to section survey/current research

    Currently, a survey on the role of parents in neonatal pain management is open for participation. The survey is performed by the ESPR Special Interest Group on Neonatal Pain and the Pain in Early Life (PEARL) network. It is distributed through a number of professional and scientific networks around the globe.

    The survey explores the conditions on a unit level, i.e. not on an individual level. The idea is that each neonatal unit responds once to the survey, so please ask the person with the most knowledge about pain management in your unit to deliver the answers. Depending on how your neonatal unit (NICU) is organized, this can be a neonatologist, NICU nurse, unit manager etc.

    Participants will be asked about their hospital and name/number of the NICU. The reason for this is to sort out duplicate answers from the same unit. Your answers will be treated with confidentiality and the results will be reported on a group level where no individual unit can be identified.

    Estimated time for completion: 10-15 min

    To take the survey, please click here.

  • Publications
    • L. Mahoney et al, Grading the level of evidence of neonatal pharmacotherapy: midazolam and phenobarbital as examples (Pediatric Research, accepted for publication on July 18th 2023)
  • How to engage with us

    Please contact the ESPR Secretariat via We will be more than happy to forward your request to the members of the Paediatric and Neonatal Pharmacology Section.

Why join the ESPR

Find out about our membership benefits

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ESPR Research Grant Programme

Discover our grant opportunities

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The ESPR's meetings

The jENS and EAPS formats

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