Pharmacy Students win John A. Lamberton Scholarships

26 May 2010

Nasiara Karim and Steven Devenish, both PhD candidates at the Faculty of Pharmacy have just been awarded the John A Lamberton Scholarships. Established in 2004, the purpose of these scholarships is to provide financial support to postgraduate students of exceptional abilitywho are working towards higher degrees at the University of Sydney.

Applicants must be conducting research in areas emanating from and inspired by the work of Dr. John A. Lamberton, or in the area of science aimed at the chemical understanding of brain function and malfunction. These scholarships have been awarded for the purpose of fostering research as well as recognising and encouraging excellence.

Nasiara's area of research interest is in medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology, specifically looking at the effects of various flavonoids on GABAa and GABAc receptors. Recent research indicates that flavonoids can be nutritionally helpful by triggering enzymes that reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and age-related degenerative diseases. Her research supervisor is Dr Mary Collins, Associate Professor in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy.

"I'm thrilled to receive the scholarship" says Nasiara "and depending on my progress in year one, the scholarship may be extended into a second year which would be a huge help" she says.

Steven's research is looking at photoaffinity labeling, (a process used to identify the parts of a molecule that are significant for particular biological functions) to identify the site of action of flavan-3-ol derivatives on GABAa Receptors. This research will hopefully lead to the development of a new and better quality medications for patients suffering from neurological disorders.

Steven is currently in his second year of his PhD having majored in medicinal chemistry as an undergraduate. "I did honours in the department of Pharmacology as I found an interesting project involving both chemistry and biological testing" he says, "after this I was able to continue the work into a PhD in the Faculty of Pharmacy under the supervision of Associate Professor Jane Hanrahan and Associate Professor Mary Collins."

The Scholarships are awarded by the Dean of the Faculty of Science upon the recommendation of the Lamberton Research Scholarships Committee. This committee is chaired by the Head of the School of Chemistry, one member who must be a senior academic in the field of the award and three other senior academics from the fields of pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacy, botany or agriculture.

Steven Devenish
Steven Devenish

Contact: Claire Riordan

Phone: 02 9351 2311

Email: 0f20091346205e4620061612362436272c02371528010630427d250c