26 May 2021 Volume :9 Issue :19

PhD Study Aims to Improve Human Health

PhD Study Aims to Improve Human Health
Dr Danah Alshaer.

Dr Danah Alshaer, who hails from Jordan, graduated with a PhD in Pharmaceutical Science following a study titled: Synthesis and Physiochemical Characterization of new Siderophore-inspired Peptide Chelators with l-hydrnxypridine-2-one (l,2-HOPO).

Supervised by well-known scientists in the field of peptide sciences, Professors Beatriz Garcia de la Torre and Fernando Albericio. Alshaer’s study identified new ligands that are derived from peptides and can strongly bind to iron (III). These are expected to be beneficial as antibacterial agents.

‘Multi drug resistant bacteria is an increasing threat to human health,’ said Alshaer.

‘Compounds that chelate iron (III) can assist in overcoming this resistance by depriving the microbes from its nutrient, iron (III), or by smuggling the antibiotic into the cell in a Trojan horse disguise. These kinds of studies thus have promising potential to improve human health.’

She added that the PhD experience was like opening a door to the world of science. ‘I am looking for a chance to go much deeper into the field of developing, preparation and testing antibacterial agents and I am optimistic about the future.’

Alshaer’s future plans include getting into chemical biology, the interdisciplinary space between chemistry and biology.

She is married to her former lab mate and they have three small children. ‘My husband was a student and a lab mate in the same research group, which gave me strong determination to pursue my study in the scientific field I have been always passionate about, Chemistry.’

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied


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