The act of giving does make a difference

6 July 2012

Mr Maurice Renshaw
Mr Maurice Renshaw

The Faculty of Pharmacy has recently been the recipient of a generous gift from a donor. Mr Maurice Renshaw (BPharm 1972) has committed a leadership gift of $315,000 over three years to support a PhD scholar and research project by one of the Faculty's academics,Associate Professor Alaina Ammit.

Mr Renshaw, a former Vice President of Pfizer and currently on the Board of Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, has a professional interest in small molecules. So he was particularly drawn to the work of pharmaceutical scientist, Associate Professor Ammit; her research is investigating whether increasing the protein level and/or enzymatic activity of the endogenous MAPK-deactivator, MKP-1, will provide a new anti-inflammatory strategy in asthma and airway remodelling.

There is an urgent need to find a new anti-inflammatory strategy. Current drugs for treating airway remodelling have side effects - steroids have dose-limiting effects and 10% of asthmatics are corticosteroid resistant. The Faculty research aims to identify effective alternative anti-inflammatory strategies, with reduced side-effects, to eradicate the symptoms of asthma. Such a breakthrough would benefit millions of people worldwide, including two million Australians who suffer from chronic asthma.

Mr Renshaw's gift is 100% allocated to this research project, and includes provision of funding for a PhD scholar to work with Professor Ammit. Mr Renshaw has also structured his gift so that his second and third installments are conditional on the Faculty of Pharmacy Foundation raising a further $100,000 each year from other donors. He has taken the lead and is now asking fellow alumni to join him to give back to the profession and their alma mater.

Professor Iqbal Ramzan said: "On behalf of the Faculty, I would like to thank Mr Renshaw and for his generous donations. His gift will make a vital contribution to the Faculty's research, helping us to achieve a much-needed breakthrough in asthma treatment."

Funding secured from donors is always allocated in accordance with the donors' wishes, such as to academic staff for research, students for scholarships or facilities of the Faculty.

In the recent past, donors have helped improve the academic curriculum, practice and content, facilities, culminating today in a fusion of academic training and community, hospital and industrial practice.

The curriculum is constantly evolving to ensure students are staying at the forefront of science, pharmacy practice and business management. Today, pharmacy students are taught compounding, pharmacology, patient counseling and specialised business skills that prepare young graduates particularly for community pharmacy and industry business life.

If you would like to learn more about the Faculty's student scholarships, teaching and research programs, donate or make a bequest to the Faculty and/or Foundation please contact Rebecca Palser, Development Manager, Faculty of Pharmacy at or call on 02 9351 7828.

Contact: Kate Sanday

Phone: 02 9351 2311

Email: 1a1e1403222c1b015d0031175c4a053a5e0b231c21055d0a3f63560e331e132f