GlaxoSmithKline awards $25,000 for postgraduate support
Congratulations to Susan Hoe, PhD student in the Faculty of Pharmacy, on receiving a GlaxoSmithKline Postgraduate Support Grant of $25,000 for 2 years. GSKA Post Graduate Support Grants are offered for up to $15,000 per annum for two years to PhD or Post Doctorate students in the field of human health. These awards were designed to provide further financial support to PhD or Post Doctorate research students who are already in receipt of a research grant from a non commercial body. Susan’s PhD project focuses on the development of the electrical Next Generation Impactor (eNGI) for the study of electrostatic charge in pharmaceutical aerosols.
Gracia wins IUPHAR Young Investigator Poster Award
Gracia Quek, PhD student in the Faculty of Pharmacy, has been awarded 2nd prize in the poster competition at the 18th Neuropharmacology Conference in Washington DC, USA. Organised by Neuropharmacology, in association with IUPHAR, this satellite symposium to the 2008 meeting of the Society for Neuroscience brought together international experts to review similarities within different classes of receptors and the implications for drug discovery. Gracia’s poster was part of the Nicotinic ACh receptors section and is entitled ‘Probing the nAChR channel using SCAM to locate the binding site of novel nicotinic antagonists’, G.X.J. Quek*¹, J.I. Halliday², M.D. McLeod², M. Chebib¹, ¹The University of Sydney, Australia, ²The Australian National University, Australia.
The Pharmacy Practice Foundation Governors’ Dinner 2008
In its 30th Anniversary year, the Pharmacy Practice Foundation within The University of Sydney held its annual Governors’ Dinner on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 in the historic and elegant setting of the Great Hall at The University of Sydney. It was another outstanding success!
The keynote speaker was The Honourable Dr Craig Emerson, MP Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy, Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation
Mr Warwick Plunkett, President of the Pharmacy Practice Foundation and President, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia thanked the Foundation’s supporters including API who is the major sponsor of the Foundation. Mr Plunkett also thanked industry and individuals who have donated funds, contributed their time, knowledge, energy and resources and for their continued support of the Pharmacy Practice Foundation.
One of the purposes of the evening was the announcement and presentation of the Medals of Excellence in Pharmacy Practice. These medals reward those who have had a significant role to play in advancing pharmacy practice in Australia
Medals of Excellence in Pharmacy Practice
These were presented to the 2008 winners by Mr Warwick Plunkett and Hon. Dr Craig Emerson.
Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Medal of Excellence in Pharmacy Practice
Sanofi-aventis Medal of Excellence in Pharmacy Practice
Pharmacy Practice Foundation Industry Medal of Excellence
From left to right Mr Warwick Plunkett, Hon. Dr Craig Emerson, MP, Frank Payne, Will Delaat and Albert Regoli. The photo was taken by Kevin Murrant.
Massive funding boost for Faculty research
The Faculty has received an excellent level of funding support in the latest grant awards.
ARC Discovery Projects and Linkage Projects (Round 1):
Professor Kim Chan received $360,000 for ‘Development of a novel process for the formation of particles with controlled surface’.
Dr Ramin Rohanizadeh and collaborators Professors Mason and LeGeros are investigating ‘Drug delivery coating for a new generation of orthopaedic implants’ with an award of $325,000.
Professor Basil Roufogalis, Drs Colin Duke and Van Tran were awarded $250,000 for ‘Ginger based agents for delaying the onset of metabolic syndrome: type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia’. Buderim Ginger Pty Limited is a collaborating partner in this project.
Associate Professor Mary Collins is Chief Investigator 2 on the project ‘Elucidating the mode of action of nicotinic receptor ligands’ with her colleague Dr MD McLeod from The Australian National University. They were awarded $420,000.
Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, Dr Alaina Ammit commented “This is an extremely competitive system - Discovery Projects only have a 20.4% success rate; Linkage Projects have a 49.4% success rate. But it is great to see that the Faculty’s success rate tracks well with the national average”.
Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Foundation Equipment Grants:
Despite the change in the application rule this year which limited the Faculty to applying for just one equipment grant per research discipline, all three applications were successful. Each equipment grant was awarded $30,000. Dr. Alaina Ammitt says “Congratulations to all. I know it was a massive effort and it is great to have 100% success rate in this scheme”.
Team leader: Dr Daniela Traini
Equipment: PSIA Thermal Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), XE-70 SPM system plus Scanning Thermal Microscope
Team leader: Dr Dai Hibbs
Equipment: Bruker APEXII X-ray diffractometer detector
Team leader: Maria Sukkar
Equipment: Leica Fluorescence Microscope
Funding for Alzheimer’s Research:
Congratulations to Dr Lenka Munoz and her collaborators who have secured two sources of funding. Both grant applications are entitled “Integrating Chemistry and Biology in the Search for New Therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease” and aim to develop p38 inhibitors as therapeutics to treat neurodegenerative disorders.
Alzheimer’s Australia Research has awarded $20,000: Principal Investigator: L. Munoz, Senior Investigators: A.J. Ammit, G. Guillemin.
The JO and JR Wicking Trust managed by ANZ Trustees Philanthropy Partners granted $30,000: Chief Investigator A: L. Munoz, Chief Investigator B: C. Peifer.
Natalie wins Pharmacy Student of the Year
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia named Natalie Tasker as the Pharmacy Student of the Year after winning the final competition at the National Counselling Event during the annual Pharmacy Australia Congress in Perth. Natalie, in her final year of the Bachelor of Pharmacy course in the faculty of Pharmacy, was also awarded the Pharmacists’ Choice award, newly instituted this year, which is voted for by the audience. PSA President Warwick Plunkett said, “I was so impressed with the quality of all the students in this year’s National Counselling event and for Natalie to stand out in a field of this quality is a real testament to her skills.”
Natalie is pictured here with her awards and Warwick Plunkett, PSA President, and Ben Henry from Alphapharm.
Alzheimer’s disease research boosted by DAAD-Go8 visiting fellowship scheme
A new researcher exchange scheme between the Group of Eight (Go8) and the German Academic Service (DAAD) has been announced. The scheme “supports the exchange of skills, knowledge and research outcomes of mutual benefit to both Australia and Germany”. Australian researchers are able to spend time at partner institutions in Germany and collaborating German researchers can spend time at Go8 universities. The Go8 and the DAAD have each agreed to provide up to $200,000 per year for the period 2008-2010 inclusive to support the scheme. Each Go8 university will contribute $25,000 per year to support its researchers travelling to Germany.
Dr Lenka Munoz, Associate Lecturer in the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Discipline was invited to give a plenary lecture attended the 16th Mainzer Forum Medicinal Chemistry in Mainz, Germany. The Forum’s theme for 2008 was ‘Treatment strategies for dementia – a challenge of the 21st century’.Whilst in Germany, Lenka went on to visit the University of Bonn to give a seminar in a Program called Analysis of cell functions through combinatorial chemistry and biochemistry , which is an interdisciplinary Research Training Group Programme for PhD candidates, funded by the German Research Council.
Lenka’s research project, titled ‘Targeting inactive p38? MAP kinase as a novel strategy to treat neurodegenerative disorders’ is in collaboration with the University of Tübingen in Germany. The project details are described below:
“the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) is an important player in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Unregulated, excessive activity of this MAPK results in processes that contribute to the manifestation of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, we believe that inhibiting the p38 kinase can be beneficial for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and slow the progress of the disease. The unique feature of our collaboration is that the German partner brings expertise in the field of organic chemistry while the Australian partner provides an excellent integrative chemistry–biology platform for the development of brain active drugs. The ability to exchange expertise in various fields of drug discovery allows us to work more efficiently when compared to a one-sided project of similar size and aims”.
Lenka is pictured with the Australian Ambassador in Germany, His Excellency Mr Ian Kemish AM, in the German Embassy in Berlin.
Sydney Pharmacy Students Win National Business Competition
Pharmacy students at the University of Sydney have won the Pharmacy Guild of Australia National Student Business Plan Competition, beating rivals Griffith and Queensland universities in the finals.
The competition, organised by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, was open to all 16 schools of pharmacy within Australia. The aim of the competition was to give pharmacy students a real-life experience in setting up a small business.
The competition was first advertised in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney in November 2007. After two-round selection process in January 2008 the team for Sydney was selected. Daniel Rifkin, team captain for Sydney for the past two years led a team of 3 undergraduates and 3 postgraduates from the Faculty of Pharmacy; Anjana Rao (BPharm Year 3), Jane Xie (BPharm Year 3), Daniel Galanos (MPharm Year 2), Lisa Kouladjian (MPharm Year 2), Eva Ling (MPharm Year 2). The team was split into two units covering finance and marketing and they have worked on their business plan model for over 7 months.
Daniel and the team successfully pitched their plan to a ‘potential investor’ for the semi-finals. They were flown to Melbourne for the Pharmacy Women’s Conference where the final involved a 20-minute presentation on stage in front of a panel of judges and a live audience.
Chair of the Women and Young Pharmacists Committee, Judy Liauw, said that separating the top three finalists had been difficult, “I think all of the finalists could succeed as a viable business….my congratulations go to both the University of Sydney team and the finalists for their creative and practical business plans and ideas.”
The panel had been impressed with the level of professionalism and talent of the entrants. Ms Liauw commented “The talent that pharmacy schools are producing is simply breath taking..if the result from this competition is an indication of the future of pharmacy in Australia, then I am proud to say that it is in very safe hands”.
The $6000 prize money will be split between the winning team and their university, but for captain Daniel Rifkin and his team from the Faculty of Pharmacy there was only one focus, “the prestige of the competition and the national challenge is more important than anything else, that’s what drives us”. The team will have their names engraved on the competition’s perpetual trophy.
Daniel was presented with the trophy on behalf of his team-mates and said “It is with honour and pride that I accept this award on behalf of my spectacular team members, our mentor Professor Lesley White and the University of Sydney. We have all learnt so much from the competition and it is a privilege to be in the company of such a high calibre of entrants.”
Business Competition Team Winners from Sydney with the trophy
Pharmacy’s Pro-Dean wins 2008 GlaxoSmithKline Medal of Merit Award
The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) recognises Professor Jo-anne Brien for outstanding contributions to the profession in medication safety and hospital pharmacy and has awarded her the 2008 GlaxoSmithKline Medal of Merit.
Jo-anne has been a prominent leader in Australian hospital pharmacy for many years in both clinical pharmacy practice and academia. She has been instrumental in the formation of strong teaching and research collaborations and continuing to advance the role of clinical pharmacists in multidisciplinary education and practice settings.
Congratulations Jo-anne on behalf of Professor Iqbal Ramzan and the Faculty of Pharmacy and associates.
Pharmacy Celebrates $1,000,000 Success
The University of Sydney’s Faculty of Pharmacy held a special celebration to say thank you to its supporters who have collectively raised over $1,000,000 for the expansion of the Faculty.
A campaign to raise awareness of the Faculty’s research and infrastructure needs - the largest fundraising campaign ever undertaken by the Faculty - has been successful in securing the donations for the Faculty’s Building Establishment Fund.
New Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence announced the final total of $1,044,753 at a special drinks reception held for individual donors and organisations who had contributed. Donors were treated to a tour of the new facilities showcasing new laboratories, research equipment and offices for academic research staff.
The money will support the expansion of the Faculty into the adjoining Bank and Badham buildings, enabling an increase in student intake by 25% and allowing the Faculty to upgrade the facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and researchers.
Over the past 2 years the extensive 3-phase building program has provided the Faculty teaching and research laboratories with world-class equipment such as diffractometer and spectroscopy instruments. In addition, specially designed areas for postgraduate students have enhanced the dynamic atmosphere in the Faculty providing a creative and inspirational environment for their research training.
Dean of the Pharmacy Faculty, Professor Iqbal Ramzan, is delighted with the results: “The Faculty has always prided itself on producing excellence in research and teaching. With these new facilities we will continue to attract the international stars of Pharmacy research and lucrative funding from organisations such as ARC and NHMRC. We are also committed to attracting the very best postgraduate research students and with these new spaces designed specifically for their needs we will be able to boost our postgraduate cohort. I wish to thank all those who have contributed to this and other Faculty campaigns for their generous support”.
Vice Chancellor Dr Michael Spence, who raised the issue of philanthropic support from alumni and friends in his Inaugural Lecture, expressed his gratitude to those who had joined the campaign: “The University of Sydney receives just 16% of its funding from the Commonwealth Government so initiatives like these are crucial to enhance the student experience and maintain our position as one of Australia’s top Universities”.
The donations have come from very generous alumni and supporters of the Faculty, including the President of the Pharmacy Alumni Association Mr Ross Brown, and Blooms The Chemist Group. A Donor Roll of Honour was unveiled during the reception listing all those who have made gifts of $10,000 and over.
Blooms Founder and Chairman Mr John Sidgreaves with family and colleagues
Pharmacy Dean Professory Iqbal Ramzan, Vice Chancellor Dr Michael Spence and Pharmacy Alumni Association President Mr Ross Brown.
Sydney pharmacy students amongst Australia’s best for business skills
Pharmacy students at the University of Sydney are proving their entrepreneurial skills are among the best in the country by reaching the National Student Business Plan Competition finals.
The competition, organised by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, is open to all 16 schools of pharmacy within Australia. The University of Sydney will compete against Griffith University and the University of Queensland in the finals.
The aim of the competition is to give pharmacy students a “real-life experience in setting up a small business”.
Daniel Rifkin, team captain for Sydney for the past two years, says “the competition is great. University teaches you good clinical knowledge but the competition allows us to experience the business side of pharmacy too.”
Daniel (BPharm Year 4), captains a team of 3 undergraduates and 3 postgraduates from the Faculty of Pharmacy; Anjana Rao (BPharm Year 3), Jane Xie (BPharm Year 3), Daniel Galanos (MPharm Year 2), Lisa Kouladjian (MPharm Year 2), Eva Ling (MPharm Year 2). The team is split into two units covering finance and marketing and they have worked on their business plan model for 3 months.
Daniel and the team successfully pitched their plan to a ‘potential investor’ for the semi-finals and look forward to flying to Melbourne for the Pharmacy Women’s Conference where the finals will be decided. The final involves a 20-minute presentation on stage in front of a panel of judges and a live audience.
To prepare for the competition the Sydney team has put in a lot of work on top of lectures and revising for exams, meeting diligently several times a week. Daniel says “the plan has taken up a lot of time but we work really well together and we have formed really good friendships. The success of the team is a good reflection of the Business Undergraduate Mentoring Program and the Business Skills Program run by the Faculty”.
The Faculty runs 2 voluntary programs to enhance the business knowledge and skills of pharmacy students, The Business Undergraduate Mentoring Program teams up students with successful pharmacy owners who act as mentors. The Business Skills Program offers special business skills classes led by pharmacy professionals. These very popular programs are unique to the Faculty of Pharmacy and help students prepare for running their own pharmacy or taking positions in leadership roles in the pharmacy profession.
The $6000 prize money will be split between the winning team and their university, but for captain Daniel Rifkin and his team from the Faculty of Pharmacy there is only one focus, “the prestige of the competition and the national challenge is more important than anything else, that’s what drives us”.
Pharmacy Practice Success in New Zealand
Researchers from the Pharmacy Practice discipline at the Faculty of Pharmacy had a successful visit to the 15th International Social Pharmacy Workshop.
Congratulations to the following prize winners:
PhD student Kristy Hatherly for receiving the award for best new investigators presentation, Dr Lorraine Smith who won best oral presentation
Dr Kylie Williams for winning best poster presentation.
Hosted in New Zealand by the University of Auckland 8 to 11 July, the conference was based around central themes of Globalisation, Pharmacy and Medicines with the aim is to “explore everything from education and workforce issues to counterfeit drugs and internet sales”.
A total of 10 published abstracts for oral presentations, 4 poster presentations and 6 Education Day presentations were given by Pharmacy Practice researchers from the Faculty.
Faculty student wins NSW Pharmacy Student of the Year
Natalie Tasker, a student at the Faculty of Pharmacy, was announced as the winner of the NSW Pharmacy student of the Year and will go on to represent NSW in the national competition in November. Natalie's win was announced on Saturday 21st June 2008 at the Pharmacy Expo Ball held in Sydney's Darling Harbour. The Faculty congratulates Natalie and wishes her the best of luck for the forthcoming national competition.
Faculty Alumnus named a Member of the Order of Australia
The Faculty of Pharmacy congratulates Ken Bickle who was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “service to the pharmacy profession through executive roles with a range of organisations and to the community as a supporter of the Return Unwanted Medicines Program.” Ken graduated from the University of Sydney in 1950 and has made a valuable contribution to the development of Pharmacy Practice in Australia including involvement in the University’s Pharmacy Practice Foundation.
Former Dean of Faculty is awarded Fellowship of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
The Faculty of Pharmacy congratulates President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (NSW Branch), Professor Shalom (Charlie) Benrimoj, who has been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.
Professor Benrimoj, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Planning) at The University of Sydney, also holds the Foundation Professor of Pharmacy Practice (1991) and was also the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy from 2000 to 2005.
Fellowship of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society is awarded to members who have made a distinguished contribution to the profession. For more information please see the full media release from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia media release
Business Skills Bloom for Pharmacy Students at the Faculty
Major pharmacy group donates over half a million dollars for Australian first in pharmacy education
Major pharmacy group Blooms The Chemist have donated over half a million dollars to the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney to support Faculty projects including an innovative optional business skills program. The program is the first of its kind in an Australian university and is one of the Faculty of Pharmacy’s many proactive initiatives to support pharmacy students and the pharmacy profession. The program will in future be known as the Blooms’ Business Skills Program and additional modules are planned to enhance the program.
Blooms The Chemist Chairman and Founder, John Sidgreaves, announced the major donation, which provides $590,000 over 5 years, at a reception held at the University on 5 June. John says “Blooms is very proud of its links with the Faculty of Pharmacy and wants to support the academic excellence achieved by its graduates by ensuring they are equipped with the business knowledge to enable them to run their own pharmacies successfully.” Professor Iqbal Ramzan, the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, presented Blooms The Chemist with a certificate and cake to mark the celebration.
Professor Lesley White who has implemented this innovative program is the Johnson and Johnson Chair of Pharmacy Management at the University, the first academic position of its kind in Australia. Lesley says “We need to teach pharmacy students how to run a business as well as the more clinical and scientific aspects of their careers. By having long term financial support for this program we can make sure our graduates have the essential skills required for a successful future in community, hospital or industrial pharmacy”.
The business skills program, which is offered to students on a voluntary basis, was introduced a year ago as a pilot scheme to provide pharmacy students at the University of Sydney with relevant knowledge of business management skills.
This year two modules, Leadership and Introductory Retail Management, were open to third and fourth year undergraduates as well as to Masters students. The response from students was overwhelming, with 270 students applying for 225 places in the modules, representing approximately 50% of the eligible student cohort.
Professor Lesley White, Chair of Pharmacy Management,
with students from the Business Skills Program
Appointment of Dean
After a very thorough international and local search and selection procedure, Porfessor Iqbal Ramzan has formally been appointed as the new Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Pharmacy for a period of 5 years.
Professor Ramzan has also been appointed Chair of the Committee of Deans at this University for 2008.
Third International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research
The Third International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research will be held in Sydney from 29 - 31 March 2008. For more information, please visit http://iccmr2008.com
Click here to download the Advance Notice Flyer
Australia China Centre for Research in Chinese Medicines (ACCRCM)
The University of Sydney and Sun Yat-sen University are collaborating to establish the Australia China Centre for Research in Chinese Medicines (ACCRCM).
Between 28 and 31 May 2007, nine delegates from the University of Sydney led by Professor John Hearn, Deputy Vice Chancellor (International) and Professor Iqbal Ramzan, Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy visited Sun Yat-sen University and signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the Australia-China Centre for Research in Chinese Medicines. The proposal is to respond to the Chinese Government’s strategic plan for internationalisation of Chinese medicines and the strategy of Guangdong Province to become a strong province in Chinese medicines. The proposal received support from both the Australian and Chinese governments.
The delegates visited Department of Science and Technology, and Department of Health of Guangdong Province accompanied by Mr Sean Kelly, Consul General, Australian Consulate General Guangzhou, Professor Detao Zhen, Chairman of University Council, Professor Guanmei Yan, Vice President (Research), and Professor Min Huang, Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy of Sun Yat-sen University.
The Guangdong Government officials were pleased with the progress of the proposal and supported the joint Centre. Professor Zhen expressed his strong support to the proposal on behalf of Sun Yatsen University to establish the ACCRCM joint centre and implement the projects.
The shared vision for the ACCRCM is collaborating to modernise and internationalise Chinese medicines. The measurable scientific objectives are to:
1. Identify the substances of Chinese medicines
2. Study the quality standardisation of the Chinese Materia Medica
3. Conduct pre-clinical assessments of Chinese medicines
4. Design new dosage forms of Chinese medicines
5. Conduct clinical studies and basic research on the integration of Chinese and western medicines focusing on four disease areas: cancer, diabetes/lipids, infection and inflammation, cardiovascular conditions.
The First Australia China Symposium on Chinese Medicine was held during the visit. It is planned the Second Australia China Symposium on Chinese Medicine - Frontier of Knowledge, Internationalisation of Chinese Medicine - will be held on November 13, 2007 in Guangzhou.