Pharmaceutical Sciences Students Scoop Prizes at Research Symposium
Two of the three awards at this year’s School of Health Sciences’ Young Health Scientists Research Symposium went to students in the Discipline of Pharmaceutical Science.
An investigation into the adherence and health outcomes of patients on Fixed Dose Combination (FDC) Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) as opposed to Multi Drug (MDR) ARV treatment, won Pharmaceutical Sciences students the community-based Research Category Award.
Their study found that the use of CD4, viral loads and weight were good indicators of adherence and health outcomes in HIV and AIDS research. The conclusion reached was that patients adhered to their medication whether on MDR or FDC by demonstrating a positive health outcome. A further finding was the regimen, and not the formulation, contributed to a positive health outcome.
Their colleagues won the Laboratory-based Research Category Award for a study, supervised by the Discipline’s Research Co-ordinator, Dr Rajshekhar Karpoormath, titled: “Synthesis and Antimicrobial Evaluation of Some Simple Yet Novel Substituted N-4-(benzyloxy) benzylideneamines”.
This group aimed to develop new antimicrobial agents with novel and more efficient mechanisms against microbial organisms. All compounds exhibited significant antibacterial and antifungal activity in the study and the presenters said further research would improve the scope of the development of antimicrobial agents.
The Laboratory-based Research Category Award went to Exercise Science final-year students for their pilot study which assessed the effects of repeated Sprint Training in Hypoxia (3000m altitude) versus Repeated Sprint Training (RSH) in normoxia (sea level).
‘RSH vs normoxia has shown positive improvements in power output and attenuating the negative waste product effects of anaerobic metabolism among professional soccer players,’ the group said. ‘The most likely mechanism is an improved acid-base buffering of excess hydrogen ions.’
The School of Health Sciences consists of eight disciplines and all final-year students were applauded by adjudicators for presenting a wide array of impressive and relevant research projects.
Keynote speaker, Professor Sarojini Nadar, encouraged students to pursue exciting research careers in the health sciences, saying the benefits of contributing to new knowledge were multifold.
‘We’re really impressed by the work we’ve seen presented here today,’ said the School’s Academic Leader for Research, Professor Mershen Pillay.