Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Monash pharmacy PhD student named Victorian Young Achiever

Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD student, Lori Ferrins, has won the Science and Technology prize in the 2014 Victorian Young Achiever Awards.

Ms Ferrins won the award from a strong field of nominees and was one of seven category winners announced in front of 330 guests at the Medallion room at Etihad stadium.

Monash Pharmacy School
Study pharmacy at Monash University

Her PhD which focuses on the design of new drugs to treat human African trypanosomiasis, known as African sleeping sickness, clearly impressed the judges and it is an illness Lori believes flies under the radar.

“This parasitic disease is devastating to many isolated communities across Africa and once a village is affected by the disease it is very difficult to prevent cross-infection and this leads to the eventual destruction of the entire community.

“The overarching goal of the project is to uncover a novel, safe and potent compound that could be used in the treatment and it is this goal that drives us to complete the research,” she said.

While Lori is clearly a rising star, she is quick to heap praise on her colleagues from Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

“I am truly honoured to have received this award, the quality of the work from the other finalists was exceptionally high and the fact that I have won is something I am really proud of.

“I am a part of a great team and I could not have achieved my research outcomes without the support and guidance of Dr Raphael Rahmani, a research fellow also working on the project,” she said.

Lori’s supervisor Professor Jonathan Baell described the accolade as a just reward for her commitment and hard work.

“Lori is a young researcher with a very bright future. This award acknowledges her research and it is great to see one of our up and comers singled out as one of the best,” he said.

With less than 12 months before finishing her PhD, Lori has her eyes set on a future in medicinal chemistry and is hoping a career in research will lead her overseas.

“Once I have completed my PhD, I would like to gain further experience by travelling to do a post doc in medicinal chemistry.”

Monash University Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Monash Pharmacy School engages in world-class research and has a long history as a leading provider of undergraduate and postgraduate education. The faculty’s curriculum is purpose designed for the study of pharmacy and pharmaceutical science and taught by discipline experts.

Home to the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Centre for Medication Use and Safety, the faculty is internationally recognized for its contribution to research in the pharmaceutical science and pharmacy practice fields.

Pharmaceutical Sciences
Pharmaceutical scientists are experts in the chemistry, biology and biotechnology required to design and develop medicines. They play a key role in improving human health and well-being by researching and developing reliable, accessible and effective treatments.

They understand the impact of medicines on the body and diseases. They’re also experts in bringing safe and effective products to market.

If you enjoy solving problems, love chemistry or biology, and want to improve human health, then a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science could be your calling. It equips you to work in the pharmaceutical science and biomedical fields.


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